150 of 153 people found the following review helpful
I Like this Camera,
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This review is from: Canon PowerShot SX20IS 12.1MP Digital Camera with 20x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-Inch Articulating LCD (Camera)
Years ago I carried and VHS video camera with separate recorder as well as an SLR. Even after video went to the 8mm tape and camera were much smaller I gave up the video and concentrated on stills. I went through the 640 x 480 digital cameras and found the images horrible, digital would never replace film. I've since packed away my film cameras and concentrated on DSLRs. I carry a pocket digital camera for convenince but turn to the DSLR when I plan on taking photos.
Recently I was viewing photos taken by a friend on his SX10 IS. I was intrigued by the features, the quality of the photos, and the video capability. When I went to Amazon.com to check on the price of this camera I saw the SX20 IS slated for release. After viewing the features I decided to wait for this camera. I'm glad I did.
I received this camera on the day I left for a trip to Walt Disney World. While I took the DSLR with me I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn about the SX20 IS. Since I have many Disney World photos I left the DSLR behind most of the time and carried just the SX20 IS.
Recently I took photos with the SX20 IS and my Canon XSi DSLR and compared the photos side by side. The results were consistent with the reviews I've read.
In bright daylight the photos are comparable. As the lighting deteriorates the XS20 IS tends to show more noise. It's not unacceptable to me, just not as good. Also, the DSLR focuses more quickly and accurately most of the time. However, to get the focal length on the lens I'd have to carry more equipment for the DSLR and I still wouldn't be able to take video.
I'm not a video expert but I think the quality on this camera is excellent. It is much sharper than that footage from my old video cameras. Being able to use the zoom while shooting is great. Being able to snap a still while shooting the video is also a big plus in my opinion.
The articulating LCD really proved beneficial. When behind a crowd or in a tight situation it's nice to be able to move the camera and still be able to compose the shot without guessing. It's also helpful when just trying to change a perspective on a subject without having to stnad on something or lie on the ground. Self-portraits are also easier, just make sure you look at the camera, not the LCD, when you finally push the shutter.
Will this camera replace my DSLR? Not for situations where I consider the quality of the photo or quick focus critical. However, for situations where I just want to enjoy an outing without carrying an entire camera bag this is a great choice. The still photo remains my preference but I can see me shooting video much more frequently. Now all I need is some extra batteries (the NiMH variety seem to work fine) and spare SD cards. The external flash from the DSLR works on the SX20 IS and helps the noise issue. However, I usually leave it behind to cut down on the bulk.
I got what I expected with this camera. As I learn more about its different functions I'm sure I'll appreciate it more.
One piece of advice. When storing the camera or carrying it in a backpack, etc. use the articulating feature to face the LCD toward the camera body. It protects the LCD screen. I was in sich a hurry to use the camera I forgot to do this and now have a minor scratch on the LCD, a situation I could have avoided.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 6, 2009 4:52:17 PM PDT
D. Simmons says:
Is this camera able to change lens?
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2009 3:55:26 PM PDT
This is a fixed telephot lens, it is not interchangeable. Part of the advantage is having this zoom range in one package.
Posted on Oct 8, 2009 10:24:37 AM PDT
When you compared the video quality with that of your other video cameras, were you comparing HD to SD footage? This camera can video in HD, and will naturally be much detailed otherwise.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2009 6:52:14 PM PDT
I shot the video in HD. In fasct I shot several videos in Disney World and one recently in a park. The video is smooth and clear, the sound is clean. When I freeze a frame I am impressed with the quality of the still image as well. Certainly not as good as a photo but the detail is, to me, more than acceptable.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2010 10:22:12 AM PDT
Christie Mcdonald says:
Does the SX20 IS take great photos inside and at a distance? My Z650 will zoom in but if inside my photos are really dark. I want something (single shot) simple but great.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 5, 2010 6:06:48 AM PDT
The built-in flash is limited, as it is in most cameras, even SLRs. The zoom of the lens far outdistances the capabilityof the flash. However, the camera has a hot shoe for an extended range flash. Since I have two SLRs I haven't used this camera for far away, inside photography.
Hope this helps.
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