canon a20 review


  • Camera Name: Canon A20
  • Price Paid:  CDN$549 (US$ 361) + 14% tax
  • Place of Purchase: A-Power Computer (
  • Purchase Date:     June 2nd, 2001
  • Extra Power: 4 sets 1600mah NiMh + 1 fast Maha charger for US$70
  • Extra Memory: 48MB (will buy 128MB for CDN$150 later)


  • CCD: 2.1M (quite sufficient)
  • Photo size:
     1600x1200, (useful for serious photos, 8x10 when printed)
     640x480    (useful for "Diary" pictures, to record story digitally).
  • Optical zoom: 3x (35mm to 105mm, step zoom)
  • Digital zoom: 2.5x (sometimes useful)
  • Power:   4 AA batteries (Purchase of NiMh rechargeable is a MUST)
  • Storage: compact flash (8mb default, at least 48MB to be practical)
  • Extra: Stitched assisted panorma mode
  • Most Useful features: 3x optical Zoom, white balance

[View Pros and Cons]

Sample Photos:

  • Click on the gallery thumbnails (after No. 7) will bring you to the galleries with hundreds of photos.
  • Otherwise, clicking on the thumbnail will bring you to the picture (avoid clicking "view").
  • Most sample photos are NOT enhanced (except those photos without extra information).
  • All (except the photos on this page) had been sized down to 800 x 600 (and lower resolution) to conserve space.
  • The photo information is directly captured from JPEG file.
tips-white balance

Pro (in sequential importance):

  1. Relatively small
  2. Pretty good picture quality
  3. Unlimited powers with extra NiMh batteries
  4. Easily accessible for frequently used features
  5. Can remember date and preference after battery change.
  6. Cheap

Con (in sequential importance):

  1. lack of manual features.
  2. 1 secnod shutter is a bit short
  3. Poor focusing in low light (fixed in firmware upgrade)
  4. Limited Macro
  5. Viewfinder not very useful (but I never use it anyway)


Will I buy Canon A20 again if I make the purchase now?
Yes, there is a 100% chance I will end up with the same camera. I have already known the weakness before my purchase.

Who is this camera for?
Not for people who want to "play" with their cameras. There's a "lack of manual features" with this camera. I used to have two SLR cameras (I lost both). Switching to a point and shot camera is pathetic. But I guess if my secondary objective (taking photos) is hindering my primary objective (travel) then it is even more pointless. So I settle with A20 and is quite happy with it. My number one priority is it fits into my pocket (for convenient and security reason). It also takes "pretty good" photos (compare with camera in similar price, the photos are excellent). The power is easily accessible (can use AA batteries in emergency).

Bottom line: This is an extremely useful and practical camera with not much fancy features.

comments powered by Disqus
Powered by Afterweb 1.66