Canon PowerShot D20
The Canon PowerShot D20 measures 9.5x6.5x2cm and weights 228grams. Normally I am a fan of sober colours and the predominate black of this unit pleases my sober personality. However as this may be lost under water the bright yellow buttons and semi-circular yellow swirl on the face make it stand out where other single sober colour units would become lost.
The left side has only the wrist strap anchor point. The base has a standard tripod screw as well as a door behind which is the solid battery and any SD card you may insert. The right side has another door this hides the HDMI, USB and DC input connections. By default the camera is charged using the standard Canon method of battery removal and placement of the battery in the supplied dock.
The face has the built in flash and the periscope type 5x zoom lens both securely sealed behind glass. The flash is level with the lens and only around 1.5cm away but in my tests the flash images were fine.
The top has three buttons, on/off and review image both bright yellow with the standard chromed shutter release in between.
This leaves the back which is dominated by a 6x4.8cm TFT display and eight bright yellow buttons to its right. The exception is the instant movie capture button which is chromed with a red central point. There is another bright yellow blob which is your thumb grip amongst the various well marked buttons.
Image can be captured in 16:9, 4:3, 3:2 or 1:1. Each is either L, M1, M2 or S. So in 16:9 that is 9MP, 4MP, 2MP or .2MP. In 3:2 that is 11MP, 5MP, 2MP or just lest than VGA. In 4:3 it is 11MP, 6MP, 2MP or VGA. The 1:1 settings are 9MP, 4MP, 1MP or 480x480.
In video mode there are three settings 1920x1080, 1280x720 or 640x480.
I know a lot of people like taking special shots in environments that are less friendly, one of these would be under water. Another would be when very cold, it is also dust proof and finally being able to drop the camera, this is meant to survive all four. It also has GPS so it could even help locate itself when you drop it.
While this is more than a point and shoot the amount of manual control you have is limited to the various scene modes and settings made through the capacious menus.
So the Smart Auto mode has a choice of 32 scenes and at least one must suit every occasion when you want to better the standard choices made for you by the camera.
The case is sealed to go up to 40metres under water. You can drop it from up to 1.5metres. It still works in temperatures of as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius. The purpose of GPS is to tag shots to remind you afterwards where you were. Being designed to work underwater the 5x zoom is all inside the unit and the easiest way to explain the zoom is that it works like a periscope but of course it never breaks the surface.
Another feature is the ability to tap or tilt the unit to scroll captured images it is called ‘Active Display’.
While my use of the unit did not involve freezing, dropping or underwater use I took the claims made at face value. I did take lots of rather good images, it has an excellent low light feature and although the flash seems very close to the lens I had no flash back.
The Canon PowerShot D20 is available from the link below for £254 with free delivery.
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