Canon Powershot SX20 (part deux)

October 2, 2009

Ok. After one month I’m ready to give my opinion on the Powershot SX20. I admit I went back and forth on whether I should keep it or not. I purchased it through Newegg.com specifically because it gave me a longer “evaluation” time than had I purchased through BHPhotovideo.com.  (I still love both sites, though)

Normally I would have waited for a review before purchasing something that would cost me over $350. As I mentioned in Part One I did quite a bit of research. I had settled on a sub $200 model (Fujifilm 1500SD) but when I had the chance to test it out I noticed a big quality difference between it and a Casio Exilim  EX-FH20 model that I *never* thought about buying. So I knew I wanted something better. If not for my desire to see what the HD looked like I would have bought the SX10 since all the reviews on that model was above average.

Post purchase the reviews have been all over the place. There are some who love the new camera. There are some people who had the SX10 and declare the SX20 to be inferior. There are some who sold their SX10 as soon as they had a few days with the SX20.

I took about 400 pictures and the ones taken a great light were amazing, much better than the previous camera I had. Options galore. And the HD video is pretty cool…

And then the bad comes to light:
I kept getting motion blur when trying to photograph people at a podium or people in motion. I had never had that effect before. I’m no photographer but I’ve been taking pictures for years with digital and film cameras. I couldn’t understand why it was happening either. Photos of my kids, photos in the church, photos at the school events all had motion blur. I played with f-stop, aperture, shutter speed, color, shooting modes and I was still getting the problem. I read many reviews from Amazon,  BH, Adorama, Photographyblog.com, BestInClass.com. I posted questions and got no response.

(Side note: if you are not going to answer the question posed don’t bother to post some nonsense that has NOTHINGto do with the question, thankyouverymuch!)

I tried faster cards, different batteries, I even read the manual and no luck. Then I realized a major failing in the camera. I wish I could test this one issues against other cameras in its class but I don’t know why this has not come up before. No one has mentioned this one issue; neither pros nor amatures. Many have written about poor image quality in low light but I haven’t seen any comments about motion blur in low light. Without adequate lighting is you are shooting a subject in motion you will get motion blur. In adequate lighting (using the flash or external lighting) you get a much cleaner shot.  I am looking into an external flash because the SX20 has a hotshoe.

Other than that I think the camera is a great find. Is it worth over $350? Could be but I intend to make that money back while using it to expand my Videography so it is an investment. I may move up to a DSLR next or just a higher level Superzoom camera.

Oh and the 1 fps shooting is a joke.



  1. Have you tried the Canon PowerShot S90?

  2. I have not. What is your take on the S90?

  3. […] wedding I shot prior to that I used a 1 GL2 and 1 Powershot SX20. Less footage so it required much more creativity to put together, especially when you consider […]

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