Canon PowerShot D20 Digital Camera Review$349.99
- Low Light Performance
- Noise Reduction
- ISO Options
- Low Light Color
- Focus Performance
- Video: Low Light Sensitivity
Low Light Performance
Low-light image quality is fine—if you can manage to hold the camera steady. Even up at ISO 1600, noise performance is just dandy for sharing online and making small prints. The problem is that the f/3.9 lens is way too narrow, which forces the shutter to slow down in low light, which means you'll be taking lots of blurry pictures if you're hand-holding the camera. In that regard, it isn't an ideal indoor or low-light camera.
We measured relatively high levels of noise in the D20's photos, but Canon's clever noise reduction software keeps shots looking good through ISO 1600, if a bit smooth. The noise-to-signal ratio climbs pretty consistently throughout the entire range, starting at a reasonable 0.83% at the base ISO, and topping out at 2.17% at ISO 3200 (which we wouldn't recommend using). More on how we test noise.
The ISO range stretches from ISO 100 to 3200 in full stops. Users can set the sensitivity, or leave it up to the camera (which seems to cap the sensitivity at ISO 1600—a smart move). In Low Light mode, the range can extend up to ISO 6400 if the camera deems it necessary, but it's recorded at a much lower resolution.
Low Light Color
Colors stay accurate and saturated at medium and high ISO settings, so low-light color is reasonably similar to the color profile in good lighting.
Focus is quick and accurate in good lighting, and reasonably quick and accurate in dimmer lighting. The only notable issue is the action on the stiff shutter—half-pressing the button requires some finesse.
Video: Low Light Sensitivity
The D20 crossed our threshold for low-light sensitivity at 19 lux. That's respectable for a point-and-shoot—most of the compacts we see bottom out around 30 lux.