Canon PowerShot D20 Waterproof Compact Camera

Already own this?

This item is in your gearlist!

71% Tried & Tested
Overall, the PowerShot D20 offers a uniquely styled rugged body, good photo quality, and performance that'll satisfy its target audience.”

Read more of the review

Key Features

  • 12.1 MP 1/2.3" CMOS sensor
  • 28-140mm equivalent f/3.9-4.8 lens (5x optical zoom)
  • ISO 100-3200
  • 1080p / 24 fps HD video (H.264/MOV)
  • 3" TFT LCD with 461,000 dots
  • Intelligent IS picks best of six modes for the shooting conditions
  • Waterproof to 33'
  • Shockproof from 5'
  • 14° to 104°F operating temperature
  • Built-in GPS

Product Description

Canon's second waterproof rugged camera, the 12MP D20 has a 5x, image stabilized 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens and features the company's latest 7-mode IS system. It also includes GPS and a 460,000 dot 3.0" LCD. The camera's back-lit CMOS sensor allows the D20 to shoot 1080p24 movies accessible with a dedicated movie record button. The D20 is waterproof to a depth of 10m and shockproof from a height of 1.5m.

Overall, the PowerShot D20 offers a uniquely styled rugged body, good photo quality, and performance that'll satisfy its target audience. It wouldn't be our top choice for low light or movie recording, but for the photographer who will occasionally go underwater, the PowerShot D20 fits the bill.


Body type
Body type Compact
Max resolution 4000 x 3000
Other resolutions 4000 x 3000, 4000 x 2248, 4000 x 2664, 2992 x 2992, 2816 x 2112, 2816 x 1880, 2816 x 1584, 2112 x 2112, 1920 x 1080, 1600 x 1200, 1600 x 1064, 1200 x 1200, 640 x 480, 640 x 424, 640 x 360, 480 x 480
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 12 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 13 megapixels
Sensor size 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Digic 4
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
White balance presets 6
Custom white balance Yes (1)
Image stabilization Optical
Uncompressed format No
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 28–140 mm
Optical zoom 5×
Maximum aperture F3.9 - F4.8
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (5x)
Manual focus Yes
Macro focus range 1 cm (0.39)
Number of focus points 9
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3
Screen dots 461,000
Touch screen No
Screen type PureColor II TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type None
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 15 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/1600 sec
Aperture priority No
Shutter priority No
Manual exposure mode No
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes
Flash range 3.50 m
External flash No
Flash modes Auto, Fill-in, Red-Eye reduction, Slow Sync, Off
Self-timer Yes (2, 10, Custom)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps) 640 x 480 (30, 120 fps), 320 x 240 (240 fps)
Format H.264
Videography notes Miniature Effect (HD, L) 6fps, 3fps, 1.5 fps iFrame Movie (HD)
Microphone Mono
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (Mini)
Wireless Eye-Fi Connected
Remote control No
Environmentally sealed Yes (Waterproof, Shockproof, Freezeproof, Dustproof)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion NB-6L battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries) 228 g (0.50 lb / 8.04 oz)
Dimensions 112 x 71 x 28 mm (4.41 x 2.8 x 1.1)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS BuiltIn
GPS notes GPS Tagging and Logger functions


DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Exposure and focus accuracy
Image quality (jpeg)
Flash performance
Low light / high ISO performance
Performance (speed)
Movie / video mode
Tried & Tested
Tried & Tested
71 %
Overall Score

The PowerShot D20 is a good underwater camera, though it doesn't stand out in any particular area. It takes decent (though slightly soft) photos with pleasing colors (but expect a color cast when shooting underwater). Although light on features, the D20 is water, freeze, dust, and shockproof, and it didn't let us down in our testing.

Good For

Photographers who want a compact camera that can go for a casual swim, hike, or diving trip.

Not So Good For

User Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
  • FishyPix, Apr 14, 2012 GMT:
    Helped test the beta of this on the Great Barrier Reef

    CAVEAT: I have not used a production unit.. However, I was briefly a part of the testing team on the Great Barrier Reef with a beta unit and from memory, with the other cameras mounted on the same platform taking the same photos and video frames, the underwater shots from the D20 blew the competitors out of the water. I am concerned the lens has shifted from central (and big) to the ubiquitous small rectangle in the upper corner of the camera body which then instantly knocks down image ...

    Continue Reading

Questions & Answers


how to keep Canon D20 lens dry

i use my canon d20 all the time.  beat my previous canon d10 to death, lol. but i'm in the water a lot.  if not in the water, in the rain.  and taking photos after splashing in the surf is hard, with water on the lens.  same for when we are hiking trails.  we get muddy and wet, with nothing dry to wipe the lens.  so i have lots of photos with water spots in them. i'm hoping that with all the experts here, does someone know a secret to keeping the lens clean and dry?  i usually dunk the camera in the water and shake it vigorously.  blowing doesn't work, as it just fogs up the lens. appreciate any help!  thanks!

sgecko asked
5 months ago




I would like to know if the images of CANON D20 after ISO 400,are in good quality.

jiorgos asked
7 months ago



First DSLR - Which One?

Hello all... I am new to this site and am interested in photography. I have been a point-and-click guy my whole life and am ready to make a jump into the DSLR world with my first DSLR purchase. I want a camera that I can grow INTO and not OUT OF. I currently use a Canon D20 for vacationing underwater shots, and it works quite well for its purpose. My main camera to this point is a Canon G12. I thought about going mirrorless with a Fuji X-E2 at a friends recommendation. However, this doesn't go fully automatic. I will need to be able to do that so my wife can use the camera as well, not to mention I will need to as I start to learn. After about a week's worth of research and asking friends in the field, I have narrowed it down to 2 choices (if you have a better one, I am willing to listen)... - Canon EOS 70D - Nikon D7100 Which one of these models do you prefer for a beginner photog? I will be taking some short movies, and shooting lots of family shots as we vacation, my girls ...

Rono007 asked
11 months ago


You mentioned the Canon EOS 70D and Nikon D7100. These are rather over the top for your needs. You'd be able to do everything you want with an entry level model like Nikon's D5100, D5200, D5300 and D3200 or Canon's entry level models ( or Pentaxes or Sony's ). I know you want to "grow into them" but these are really all very capable systems and what you need to take great shots with any camera is technique, technique, technique. So any Nikon entry level system with maybe the 18-105, 18-140 or the 18-55 and 55-200 VR or 55-300 VR lenses would be fine. On Canon, again, pretty much any entry level DSLR of the last few years and the 18-55 and 55-250 lenses. And a book on photographic technique. Continue Reading

darklamp answered
11 months ago

I'd be inclined to believe that the OP has made a reasonable decision, and also has friends who can assist him. We have no idea of his financial position or degree of commitment and skill level. I think the 7100 (for example) would be an excellent choice. Some forum members have trouble stretching the budget to a basic camera, while others have no trouble picking up several FF cameras and a dozen or so lenses. Happily, I'm somewhere in the middle of this range, and I can see the OP's point in going after good gear. Continue Reading

WryCuda answered
11 months ago

Here's a little more advice. There are a few accessories you'll want to get with or shortly after your DSLR purchase: Memory cards: SanDisk Extreme 32 GB is PLENTY (over 1,000 RAW images!). Even 16 GB is a LOT (640 RAW images, or about 3,500 JPEGs). A faster, more expensive card won't improve performance at all (I tested them myself to be sure). Get a second 4GB card to keep in your bag just in case (as in, "just in case you left your card attached to the computer"). Card Reader: Most computers have built-in readers, but a USB 3 reader may be faster. Spare Battery: Get a non-Canon spare battery. Your dealer should be able to refer you to a good battery that will cost about $25 less, and work just as well. Strap: I really hate the garish "Canon 70D" straps that come with the camera. It's kind of tacky to walk around advertising your camera model to the world, and it's not a very comfortable strap. OpTech makes excellent, inexpensive, Made in USA straps of neoprene which are very ... Continue Reading

MarshallG answered
11 months ago

Warranty Information

"Canon U.S.A., Inc. and Canon Canada Inc. (collectively "Canon") warrant to the original end‐user purchaser, when delivered in new condition in its original container, that the Product will be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use and service for a period of one (1) year from the date of original purchase. Product returned to a Canon repair facility and proven to be defective upon inspection will, at Canon’s sole discretion and without charge, be (a) repaired utilizing new, remanufactured, repaired and/or recycled parts; (b) exchanged for a new Product or; (c) exchanged for a refurbished Product, as determined by the Canon repair facility. Warranty exchange or replacement does not extend the original warranty period of the Product. "

Go to Canon USA's warranty page for more information. DPReview GearShop is an authorized Canon dealer in the United States.

  • Please enable JavaScript. GearShop is designed to work with JavaScript enabled. You may not be able to use our site properly if it's disabled in your browser's settings.