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Canon PowerShot D20

Tough-style 12.1-megapixel waterproof digital camera

1 Review

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Item # 280D20

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Our take on the Canon PowerShot D20

Planning to take a snowboarding trip? Going on a snorkeling adventure? Or maybe you just like to hike over rough terrain, and you want a camera that can keep up. The Canon PowerShot D20 is ready to bring back detailed pictures of all your outdoor activities. Waterproof to 33 feet, this camera is perfect for snapping close-ups of a coral reef off the Florida Keys, or even just getting some fun shots of the kids in the shallow end of the pool. It's temperature-resistant, too, remaining fully operational in cold environments down to 14°F, and in heat up to 104°F. That means it can spend the day on a snowy mountain or go on a desert trek with no problems at all. And, a truly rugged travel companion, it's shockproof up to 5 feet.


Planning to take a snowboarding trip? Going on a snorkeling adventure? Or maybe you just like to hike over rough terrain, and you want a camera that can keep up. The Canon PowerShot D20 is ready to bring back detailed pictures of all your outdoor activities. Waterproof to 33 feet, this camera is perfect for snapping close-ups of a coral reef off the Florida Keys, or even just getting some fun shots of the kids in the shallow end of the pool. It's temperature-resistant, too, remaining fully operational in cold environments down to 14°F, and in heat up to 104°F. That means it can spend the day on a snowy mountain or go on a desert trek with no problems at all. And, a truly rugged travel companion, it's shockproof up to 5 feet.

The D20 has all sorts of thoughtful features that come in handy when you're on the slopes, in the water, or on the trails. The buttons are easy to operate, even with gloves on. And there's a dedicated movie button, so you can quickly switch to high-definition movie mode with the press of a button. Built-in GPS tracking is a nice touch: you can tag your photos with GPS data, then use the bundled software to show off a map of your travels on your computer when you get home.

    • 12.1-megapixel (effective) CMOS image sensor
    • 3" LCD screen
    • 5X optical zoom (4X digital/20X total zoom)
    • 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 28-140mm
    • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards
    Special Features:
    • tough enclosure is:
      • waterproof to 33 feet
      • temperature-resistant — works in temperatures from 14 to 104°F
      • shockproof up to 5 feet
    • high-definition movie mode (up to 1080p resolution), with dedicated movie button
    • advanced CMOS sensor for detailed photos even in low-light
    • optical image stabilization
    • built-in GPS tagging and bundled computer software let you view your photos on an interactive map
    • DIGIC 4 image processor for maximum responsiveness and photo detail
    • face detection automatically sets focus, exposure, flash, and white balance for better portraits
    • motion detection calculates subject movement and sets ideal exposure and sensitivity to reduce blur
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • mini HDMI output (HDMI cable not included)
    • high-speed USB interface
    • 4- 7/16"W x 2-13/16"H x 1-1/8"D
    • weight: 7.2 oz. (without battery and media)
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Supplied Accessories:
    • rechargeable lithium ion battery
    • battery charger
    • USB cable
    • wrist strap
    • software CD-ROM

    What's in the Box:

    • Digital camera
    • NB-6L Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.7 V/1000 mAh) with plastic terminal cover
    • CB-2LY Battery charger (4.2 V/0.7 A)
    • 50" USB cable with in-line noise filter (cable has a USB Type A connector on one end and a Mini-B USB 2.0 connector on the other)
    • Detachable strap mount
    • Wrist strap
    • Canon Digital Camera Solution Disc Ver. 111.0
    • Getting Started Booklet (English)
    • Getting Started Booklet (Spanish)
    • Canon Customer Support/Product registration sheet
    • Warranty card
    • Canon Printer brochure

    Featured Video:


    Canon PowerShot D20 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (1 Review)

    Still reserving judgement

    nph from New Jersey on 6/14/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am an early adopter. I bought this for my wife as soon as it came out because of the Canon name and the shockproof + waterproof capabilities. I'm giving it 3 stars now, but might go to 2 (or 4) stars as I get more experience. The camera: It's lens is in the upper right corner. This means you're able to really wrap your hands around the camera. MUCH more securely. You can shoot with ISO up to 3200. High ISO means noisy. Canon reduces noise by using a very aggressive blurring algorithm. The shots also have a narrow contrast range (which is also suppresses noise). I assumed my wife would be using AUTO mode most. Unfortunately this mode has several problems. It VERY aggressively uses high ISO. The first day I took some shots in the rain of our garden - it used ISO 1600! Viewing the results I began to contemplate returning the camera. However, there is a 'P' mode in which you can fix the ISO and also increase the contrast. Using P mode at the beach we got satisfactory results. We haven't tested it in the water yet! One peculiarity. The LCD screen is polarized. If you rotate the camera from horizontal to vertical while wearing polarizing sun glasses it goes BLACK.

    Pros: Sturdy, Large buttons, Easy to use.

    Cons: Overly aggresive noise suppresion, lack of ISO limit in auto mode


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    LCD Screen Size 3"
    Adjustable-angle LCD No
    Wi-Fi No
    Touchscreen No
    Waterproof Yes
    GPS-enabled Yes
    Lens 35mm Equivalent 28-140mm
    Optical Zoom 5x
    Digital Zoom 4x
    Filter Diameter N/A
    Manual Focusing Yes
    Manual Exposure No
    Built-in Flash Yes
    HDMI Output Mini
    Internal Memory None
    Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
    Sensor Size 1/2.3" CMOS
    Megapixels 12.8
    Image Stabilization Optical
    Highest Resolution 4000 x 3000
    4K Video No
    Video Resolution 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720
    Width (inches) 4-7/16
    Height (inches) 2-13/16
    Depth (inches) 1-1/8
    Weight With Battery (ounces) 8.04
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year

    Product Research

    Recording Features
    Play, Edit, and, Print Functions
    Battery Information
    Supplied Software

    Recording Features

    Rugged Design: The Canon PowerShot D20 digital camera's rugged design allows you to take it almost anywhere. It is waterproof to 33 feet (IPX8 standard), temperature resistant from 14°F to 104°F, shockproof up to 5 feet, and dustproof (IP6X standard).

    PureColor System LCD Monitor: The Canon PowerShot D20 has a 3" TFT color LCD monitor featuring approximately 460,000 dots with approximately 100% picture coverage. This extra-durable, high-resolution screen with tough scratch-resistant coating on the anti-reflective, PureColor LCD screen offers a crisp, bright, clear picture to make shooting  playback and using the camera's menu functions convenient even at an angle. The LCD display's brightness can be manually adjusted.

    Note: This camera does not feature a separate viewfinder.

    12.1 MP Image Sensor: For optimal image quality, the camera uses a 1/2.3" CMOS image sensor with approximately 12.7-million total pixels and 12.1-million effective pixels giving your shots added depth and detail.

    DIGIC 4 Image Processor: The PowerShot D20 features the DIGIC 4 Image Processor. The DIGIC 4 chip gives you superior image quality, faster image writing to the SD card, more efficiency to extend battery life, and higher definition for the LCD monitor.

    Intelligent Contrast Correction: DIGIC 4 also makes possible the i-Contrast (Intelligent Contrast Correction) system, which controls the compensation level in pixel units to brighten dark areas while leaving bright areas unchanged for better images where the main subject is dark, and more natural transition. The PowerShot D20 can even use i-Contrast in playback mode to adjust images that were shot without the setting activated.

    Global Positioning System (GPS): The camera has a built-in GPS receiver. Camera location information (latitude, longitude, and elevation) can be added to your images and movies as your shoot. This information can be used with the supplied software to see the shooting location on a map.

    Optics: The camera features a Canon F3.9-F4.8 lens with 5x optical zoom and a 4.0x digital zoom (20x total zoom). The 5-25mm focal length (35mm equivalent: 28-140mm) can be increased by approximately 1.5x or 2.0x by engaging the digital tele-converter. The equivalent focal lengths when using the 1.5x and 2.0x teleconverter are 42-210mm and 56-280mm, respectively.

    Intelligent Image Stabilization: The PowerShot D20 is equipped with the latest advance in Canon's acclaimed Optical Image Stabilizer Technology. Intelligent IS analyzes camera movement and applies the best shake correction method for the shooting situation. For still images, the system automatically selects Normal, Panning, Macro (Hybrid), and Tripod IS modes. If you're shooting video, the camera chooses from Dynamic, Powered, Macro, or Tripod IS modes.

    Recording Media: The camera records still images and moving images with stereo audio on SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards. The camera has no internal memory, and does not include an SD card, so you will have to obtain a memory card before recording.

    Still Image Resolution: Still images are recorded in JPEG format in four aspect ratios. You can choose from the following still image resolutions:

    Image Size Aspect Ratio
    4:3 16:9 3:2 1:1
    Large 4000 x 3000 4000 x 2248 4000 x 2664 2992 x 2992
    Medium 1 2816 x 2112 2816 x 1584 2816 x 1880 2112 x 2112
    Medium 2 1600 x 1200 1920 x 1080 1600 x 1064 1220 x 1220
    Small 640 x 480 640 x 360 640 x 424 480 x 480

    Movies: Movies are recorded in MOV format (Image data: H.264, Audio data: 2-channel monaural LPCM). You can record in Full HD (1920 x 1080, 24 fps), HD (1280 x 720, 30 fps), or SD (640 x 480, 30 fps). Other movie modes include iFrame movie (recommended for Macs), Super Slow Motion (320 x 240 at 240 fps or 640 x 480 at 120 fps), or Miniature Effect.

    Drive Modes: The Canon PowerShot D20 offers the following modes:

    • Single Shot: The digital camera captures a single image each time the shutter button is fully pressed and released.
    • Continuous Shooting Mode: You can shoot successive frames, at approximately 1.9 frames per second, while the shutter button is fully depressed. The interval depends upon shooting conditions and settings.
    • Self Timer: You can choose a 10-second self timer for self portraits or to include yourself in a group photo. A 2-second self timer can be used to avoid camera shake. The custom self timer lets you set the delay time between 0 to 30 seconds, and the number of photos taken between 1 and 10 shots.
    • Face Self-Timer: For group shots that include the photographer, the camera will take up to three consecutive shots approximately two seconds after it detects an additional face has entered the picture.
    • Wink Self-Timer: The camera will take a picture about two seconds after a wink is detected. This allows the subject in the picture to control when the photo is taken.

    Blink Detection: The camera will alert you if it detects that someone in the photo may have closed their eyes when the picture was recorded. For multiple shots, the blink detection function works for the final shot only.

    Focus Modes: The camera offers manual and auto focusing. You can choose from the following modes:

    • Manual: When Auto Focus is not possible, you can switch to manual focus, and use the left/right buttons to adjust the focal position.
    • Face AiAF: The camera automatically detects the position of a face (up to 9) and uses the data to set the focus and exposure while shooting.
    • Center: The camera fixes the AF frame at the center; this is recommended when the target subject is at the center of the composition.
    • Tracking AF: The focus is maintained on a moving subject while you press the shutter-button halfway.

    Focusing Range: The camera features the following focus ranges:

    • Auto (incl. Manual): 0.4" to infinity (W); 3.3' to infinity (T)
    • Macro: 0.4" to 1.6' (W)
    • Infinity: 2" to infinity (W); 3.3' to infinity (T)

    Auto Focus Lock: The focus can be locked. After locking the focus, the focal distance will not change even when you release your finger from the shutter button.

    AF Assist Beam: The built-in AF Assist lamp will automatically light to assist focusing in low-light conditions when your press the shutter button halfway.

    Shooting Modes: You can choose between several shooting modes. In the Smart Auto mode, the camera will automatically select the best settings for the scene, detect and focus on faces, and set the color and brightness to optimal levels. Other shooting modes to choose from include: Program, Movie Digest, Portrait, Smart Shutter, Handheld Night Scene, Low Light, Fish-Eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap, Underwater, Underwater Macro, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter, Stitch Assist, iFrame movie, and Super Slow Motion Movie.

    Exposure Compensation: If you are shooting against a bright background or strong backlight, you may need to correct the exposure so that the subject doesn't come out too dark. You can set the adjustments from -2 to +2 in 1/3-step increments.

    Locking the Exposure Setting (AE Lock): You can set the exposure and focus separately. This is effective when the contrast is too strong between the subject and background, or when a subject is backlit.

    Long Exposures: You can set the shutter speed to a range between 1 and 15 seconds to shoot long exposures. However, you should attach the camera to a tripod to prevent the camera from moving and blurring the image.

    Metering Modes: You can select from the following metering modes:

    • Evaluative Light Metering: Used for standard conditions. The area within the frame is divided into several zones and light is measured based on subject position, brightness, direct light and backlighting..
    • Center-Weighted Averaging: Averages the exposure from the entire image, but places more weight on the subject at the center.
    • Spot: Meters the area within the spot AE point at the center of the LCD monitor.

    White Balance: You can choose from the following white balance settings:

    • Auto: The camera sets the white balance automatically according to shooting conditions.
    • Daylight: For recording outdoors on a bright day.
    • Cloudy: For recording under overcast, shady or twilight skies.
    • Tungsten: For recording under tungsten and bulb-type 3-wavelength fluorescent lighting.
    • Fluorescent: For recording under warm-white, cool-white or warm-white (3-wavelength) fluorescent lighting.
    • Fluorescent H: For recording under daylight fluorescent, or daylight fluorescent-type (3-wavelength) fluorescent lighting.
    • Underwater: Sets the optimum white balance for taking pictures underwater; reduces blue tones to produce natural, vibrant hues.
    • Custom: Allows you to manually set the white balance and store the settings.

    Built-In Flash: The camera features a built-in flash with a range of approximately 12" to 11' at the maximum wide angle and 3.3' to 9.8' at the maximum telephoto zoom. You can choose from the following flash modes.

    • Auto: The flash fires automatically as required by the light level
    • Flash On: The flash fires with every shot
    • Flash Off: The flash will not fire
    • Red-Eye Correction: You can automatically correct red-eyes in images taken with the flash.
    • Slow Synchro: You can make the main subject, such as people, appear bright by having the camera provide the appropriate illumination with the flash. At the same time, you can use a slow shutter speed to brighten the background that the light from the flash cannot reach.

    Flash Lock: You can lock the camera's flash exposure so that the exposure settings are correctly set regardless of the composition of your subject.

    ISO Speed: The ISO speed can be set to 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, or Auto to reduce the effects of camera shake or avoid blurry subject or to turn the flash off when shooting in a dark area.

    My Colors: You can choose the look and feel of the photos you take by using My Colors to add the following effects to the image you are currently recording or have already recorded:

    • Vivid: Emphasizes the contrast and color saturation to record in bold colors.
    • Neutral: Tones down the contrast and color saturation to record neutral hues.
    • Sepia: Records images in sepia tones.
    • B/W: Records images in black and white.
    • Positive Film: Makes red, green, and blue colors more intense.
    • Lighter Skin Tone: Makes skin tones lighter.
    • Darker Skin Tone: Makes skin tones darker.
    • Vivid Blue: Emphasizes blue tints to make blue subjects, such as the sky or ocean, more vivid.
    • Vivid Green: Emphasizes green tints to make green subjects, such as the mountains, new growth, flowers and lawns, more vivid.
    • Vivid Red: Emphasizes red tints to make red subjects, such as flowers or cars, more vivid.
    • Custom Color: Lets you adjust the contrast, sharpness, or saturation settings or the color balance between red, green, blue, and skin tones.
    • My Colors Off: Records with no effect.

    Histogram Display: The Histogram is a graph that allows you to check the brightness of the image. The greater the bias toward the left in the graph, the darker the image. The greater the bias toward the right, the brighter the image.

    Play, Edit, and, Print Functions

    Review: After an image is recorded, it will appear in the LCD monitor for a preset number of seconds for reviewing. You can select the review time from 2 to 10 seconds. It will also display as long as you hold the shutter button down.

    Focus Check Display: Focus Check display allows you to check the focus of image taken and allows you to easily check facial expressions and whether a subject's eyes are closed. This feature can be set to allow you to check the focus of an image taken right after shooting the subject.

    My Category: You can categorize your recorded images for simpler playback. You can select from People, Scenery, or Events.

    Image Search: When you have a lot of images recorded onto a memory card, you can speed up your search by specifying specific groups of images:

    • Favorites: displays images tagged as favorites
    • Shot Date: displays images shot on a specific date
    • My Category: displays images in a specific category
    • Still Image/Movie: displays still images only or movies only

    Slide Show: You can automatically play back images recorded to a memory card. You can set the interval, transition effects, and set the slideshow to repeat. You can also select which images to play back (category).

    Index Replay: The Index Replay feature allows you to view 4, 9, 36, or 100 images at once on the LCD monitor so that you can search for an image quickly. Movies cannot be played in the index playback mode.

    Image Magnification: When viewing a still picture in Single Image Replay mode, you can magnify the image up to 10x. You can also pan around the zoomed image to view a particular portion of the picture.

    Rotating Images: You can rotate an image by 90, 180 or 270 degrees clockwise in the LCD monitor.

    Red-Eye Correction: You can correct red eyes in already recorded images. However, red eyes may not be automatically detected in some images such as faces near the screen edge, faces that appear extremely small, larger dark or bright in relation to the overall image and faces turned to the side or at a diagonal and faces with a portion hidden which prevents the Red-Eye Correction from working.

    Trimming: You can trim a required portion of a recorded image and save it as a new image file.

    Resizing Images: You can save images a lower recording pixel than the original image. You can change high resolution images to Medium 2, Small, or Extra Small.

    Erase Images: You can select and erase images one at a time or all at once. Please note that erased image cannot be recovered.

    Protecting Images: The protect feature allows you to protect important images from accidental erasure. You can protect images by the image itself, by a specific date, a category or folder, or select All Images.

    PictBridge Printing Capability: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer. PictBridge is a new standard that allows you to connect a PictBridge compliant camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer and make prints, regardless of brand.

    Battery Information

    Power Requirements: The Canon PowerShot D20 powered by the supplied NB-6L rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery pack (3.7V/1000mAh). A fully charged battery is good for approximately 280 shots, 1 hour of movie recording time, or 5 hours of playback time. The battery pack can be charged in the supplied CB-2LY battery charger. Charging time is approximately 1 hour and 55 minutes. For long periods of continuous use, or when connected to a computer, it is recommended that the camera be connected to the optional AC adapter kit (ACK-DC40).

    Power Saving Functions: This camera is equipped with a power saving function, which can automatically turn off the power or LCD monitor.

    • Power Saving During Shooting: The monitor will turn off approximately 1 minute after the camera is last operated. After about 2 more minutes, the power will turn off.
    • Power Saving During Playback: The power will turn off approximately 5 minutes after the camera is last operated.

    Note: The Power Saving Function will not activate during a Slide Show or while the camera is connected to a computer


    HDMI: The PowerShot D20 has a mini-HDMI output for connecting it to an HDTV. A mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable, such as the optional Canon HTC-100 is required. When the camera is connected to an HDMI-CEC-compatible TV, you can control the camera's functions with the TV remote.

    AV Output/Digital Terminal: The camera has a Mini-B Version 2.0 USB terminal to allow you to connect the camera to a compatible computer or compatible Canon printer via the supplied USB cable. This USB 2.0 Hi-Speed-compatible terminal allows you to rapidly download images to your computer or printer. The camera's Mini-B USB port also allows you to connect the camera to a TV or video monitor using the optional AVC-DC400 audio/video cable. You can set the video output to NTSC or PAL.

    Supplied Software

    Included Software: The PowerShot D20 comes supplied with the Canon Digital Camera Solution Disk Ver.111.0 CD-ROM. It contains the following programs:

    • Canon Utilities:
      • ImageBrowser EX 1.0: import images and change camera settings; manage images (view, search, organize); print and edit images
      • CameraWindow DC 8.7: transfer images to and from camera, organize images on the camera, and upload movies on the camera to web services
      • PhotoStitch 3.1 (Windows) / 3.2 (Mac): use to merge still images to make panoramas
    • User Guides: Camera User Guide, Software Guide

    Compatible Operating Systems:

    • Windows 7 (SP1)
    • Windows Vista (SP2)
    • Windows XP (SP3)
    • Mac OS X (v10.6)

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Staff Reviews

    Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

    Great for the great outdoors

    Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 7/2/2012 10:07:00 AM

    The D20 is definitely made for the outdoors. Just taking it out the box I could feel how rugged the camera was. The control buttons are raised so you can feel them through gloves, and I appreciate the fact that they're in blue. They really pop against the black case, making them very easy to see.

    The battery/memory card compartment has a nice, tight seal. But you can't open the compartment with gloves on. There's a very small latch you have to flip (long fingernails help).

    The indentation on the left side of the case made it easy to hold in my right hand — my thumb just fit naturally into the groove. I wouldn't recommend holding left-handed, however; Because the lens is offset to the left, I couldn't get my fingers out of the way. They were always in the shot.

    Finally, I liked the photo options menu. There aren't many choices, but simplicity is a virtue. You can chose between underwater, snow, and a few other outdoor lighting situations. And really — for an on-the-go extreme sports camera like this, what else do you need?

    What are the Labs?