Canon S20 User Feedback Review

Name: John Miller

I used to use my Canon EOS Elan, but since I bought this S20 I am absolutly amazed at what it can do. I am especially impressed with the stitch ability. I took 3 shots of a panorama from Half Dome in Yosemite and when I asked the software to merge them it was like watching drops of murcury blend together. I bought the epson panoramic paper and printed out a photo 22″ by 8″. It is compact and easy to carry so I always have it in its little case on the side of my belt. It would be nice to have a more powerful zoom, but the 2 x zoom looks like much more when I crop and doctor it in Photoshop 5.5. I am seriously looking forward to seeing the new Canon 3.3 SLR coming out soon. I have invested a lot in lenses for my 35 mm Canon and if these lenses will fit the new SLR I will have one. John

Submitted by: Paul Knox

I have now been using the Canon S20 for 1 week, this camera is a real gem!! I cant think of many bad things to say about it. My friend had purchased an S10 which I liked very much, I did plenty of research before buying the S20 and decided that if offered one of the best pictures that I had seen, it was one of the smallest bodies ( The Ixus being too small for my large hands ) and didn’t over complicate on controls.

A lot of people like the manual aspects of the higher range of digi cameras which I fully appreciate, I am a very keen photographer so if I want to take pictures that require me to alter exposure times or manually focus it normally means that I would take the picture with a film camera and scan in the negatives anyway, also a lot of traditional camera effects can be created with ease using Photoshop and the very high quality images that the current crop of 3.34 mega pixel cameras produce.

To the S20 then, it ‘s very light and easy to control the LCD display is very good even in bright light. the lag time between shots is very quick on the S20 in continuous mode it is almost instant 0.6 secs which isn ‘t far off some motor winds on a good SLR. The on screen menu display is easy to follow I do however recommend thoroughly studying the manual though as it won ‘t let you enable the digital zoom unless the LCD is on?? There are also many things that the camera can do that won ‘t be obvious if you just stumble around the menu system. The main thing that I am having to get used to is the framing, it is very hard to frame close shots accurately through the viewfinder, landscapes and scenes are fine but it is quite easy on a close tightly cropped shot that you will be off to one side or too low. I found that using the LCD cleared up the problem but obviously at the expense of the battery. The metallic casing of the camera looks and feels very durable, the knobs and buttons all feel very good and responsive, in the UK it is supplied with the battery and charger which is great as you get about 90 shots with moderate screen usage before re-charge, which isn ‘t bad but isn ‘t as good as some I guess the battery is a size trade off, you have to loose something I guess, I know which I prefer.

The camera comes supplied with a 16MB compact flash card and a USB+RS232+COMP video out connection cables, annoyingly it is not supplied with a case which considering the price is a bit mean That said a trip to the local photo store in town got me a good waterproof case, which I lined with foam for less than 5 pounds. The main thing that I wanted to see when I was looking around was Image Gallery, I know the CCD ‘S are all largely manufactured by the same company, but it is the lenses that make all the difference just as in traditional cameras, canon ‘s optics are world renound and they have 90 years of history behind them, they don ‘t disappoint the S20 features a 6.5 – 13.0 mm lens F 2.9 (wide) to F4.0 (telephoto) with shutter speeds from 2 secs to 1/1000 sec with sensitivity equivalent to ISO 100 / 200 / 400.

The supplied software is excellent, allowing full access including uploading of the pictures back to the card which is useful if you want to perform some image editing before you get your shots printed at a bureau or photo shop. The supplied photo stitch software is basic but functional if you really want to do this properly I still recommend using layers in Photoshop it takes longer but the results are so much better.

All in all I think the camera is superb, here are my quick pros and cons of the camera.

Small and very well finished
Easy to navigate menu system
Very fast between shots
Fantastic picture quality
Great bundled software

No case supplied
Limited manual controls
Battery drain a bit high

Submitted by: System Architect


LengthofOwnership: 2 months

I’m extremely impressed with this camera in the ease of use and level of integration – but most of all with the superb quality of the photos it takes. It is easy to scale the pictures down for web pages (for faster downloading), and still keep the originals for printing on high quality paper that look just as good as photographs.

I’ve also been comparing this camera to many others now that I have one. The more I compare, the more I like this one. I’m thorougly impressed and would buy it again in a heartbeat.