It’s been about three years since Canon introduced their first waterproof, shockproof digital camera, the PowerShot D10 (learn more about the Canon PowerShot D10). A lot of new rugged waterproof cameras have become available since then and I’ve been wondering if and when Canon would update the D10. Well, last night Canon announced the PowerShot D20, a completely redesigned waterproof, shockproof digital camera. Some of the specs look the same as the D10 but as soon as you see a photo of the D20 you know it’s a completely new animal.
It’s not just the D20’s looks that have been updated. The guts of the camera are all new, too. Although the D20, like the D10, is a 12-megapixel camera, it has a much better CMOS sensor and Canon’s HS System, which combines sensor tech and DIGIC 4 processing for improved low light image quality. The D20 increases the zoom range from 3x to 5x with a new 28-140mm (equivalent) wide-angle optical zoom. Canon also added full HD video, GPS and a high-speed burst mode that can capture almost 7 frames per second. And most important of all – at least to me – the D20 has been slimmed down considerably. It’s still a little porky, excuse me – big-boned – compared to other rugged point-and-shoot cameras. But it went from almost two inches thick to about an inch so I think you could actually put the D20 in a pocket, something you could not do with the D10.
The durability of the D20 is almost the same as the D10. The only improvement there is Canon increased the D20’s shockproofing from 4 feet to 5 feet. Like the D10, the D20 is waterproof to a very respectable 33 feet (I’m never going that far underwater) and it’s also freezeprooof. Freezeproof means the D20 won’t be damaged by severe cold (it’s rated to 14-degrees Fahrenheit).However, it doesn’t guarantee the camera will work perfectly in freezing temperatures. Battery life is affected by the cold so don’t be surprised if your camera batteries die when you’re out taking pictures at the ski resort. Camera batteries have improved over the past few years and they do seem to work better in the cold. But it’s important to know that batteries have nothing to do with the freezeproof spec.
I’m really pleased that Canon has a new rugged outdoor camera. I was excited when the D10 came out and until just recently, it had the best image quality of all the waterproof cameras, in spite of its age. It’s also consistently been one of the most popular waterproof cameras on PhotographyREVIEW.com. In fact, it’s been one of the most popular point-and-shoot cameras with this community, period. However, I was never a fan of the large, bubble-shaped body and I’m happy to see they’ve slimmed it down a bit. I’m also happy it has a longer, wider zoom, full HD video and an HS System sensor. Canon may not have made a big deal about the announcement but the PowerShot D20 is a big deal and deserves plenty of attention – especially if you’re an outdoor person who spends a lot of time on the mountain bike, skis or in the water.
The Canon PowerShot D20 is supposed to be available this May – just in time for summer outdoor adventures! The projected price is $349.99 – pretty much right in line with other high-end waterproof cameras that have similar features. I am betting the D20 will be a very popular camera this summer.