Canon SX20 IS Quick Guide: Tips & Resources for Beginners

Canon SX20 IS Tips & Resources

Manual: Download the official Canon SX20 IS PDF manual (provided by Canon).


Approved Memory Cards & Capacity: The Canon SX20 IS is compatible with SD, SDHC, MMC and HC MMCplus memory cards.

Card Size No. of Images (Fine) Min. of HD Video (720p)
8GB 2,505 42 min
16GB 5,010 84 min
32GB 10,020 168 min

Battery Life & Charger Info:

Compatible Charger Compatible Battery Battery Life
AA NiMH Charger AA NiMH 450 shots

Recommended Bags & Cases: The Canon SX20 IS is 5.04″ long by 3.46″ tall by 3.43″ wide. Here are the best cases and bags that fit the SX20 IS like a glove.

All Purpose Compact Stylish
Case Logic DCB-304
High Zoom Bag
Canon PSC-4000
Leather Case
Lowepro Exchange
Messenger Bag

Filter Size & Adapters: The Canon SX20 IS can accept 67mm filters with the help of the Canon FA-DC67A Filter adapter. Here are my recommended filters.

67mm UV 67mm Polarizer 67mm ND 3 Stop 67mm ND 10 Stop
B+W, Hoya, Tiffen B+W, Hoya, Tiffen B+W, Hoya, Tiffen B+W, Hoya

Compatible External Speedlites (Flashes):

Portable All Purpose Powerful Professional
Canon 270EX II Canon 320EX Canon 430EX II Canon 580EX II

Other Compatible Accessories:

HDMI Cable HTC-100 HDMI to Mini-HDMI cable for HDTV photo/video playback

Initial Setup:

Setting Selection Manual
Highest Image Size & Quality Select JPEG (L) Pg. 70
Highest Image Quality Compression Select FINE Pg. 70
ISO (Outdoors/Bright Light) Select an ISO of 80 Pg. 73
ISO (Indoors/Low Light) Select Auto or Manually Set between 400 to 1600 Pg. 73
White Balance Select Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash or Custom Pg. 74

Cool Effects:

Effect Selection Manual
Shoot in Black and White FUNC/SET → My Colors → B/W Pg. 76
Increase Color Saturation FUNC/SET → My Colors → V Pg. 76
Subject in Color/Background Black & White SCN Mode → FUNC/SET → Color Accent (icon: Eyedropper+A) Pg. 103
Swap Color with Another SCN Mode → FUNC/SET → Color Swap (icon: Eyedropper+S) Pg. 104
Panoramic Shots SCN mode → FUNC/SET → Stitch Assist (icon: Box w/ left or right arrow) Pg. 105

Better Control & Performance:

Setting Selection Manual
Close-ups Select Macro Mode (left arrow) Pg. 72
Quick burst of shots FUNC/SET → Drive Mode → Continuous (icon: three boxes) Pg. 75
Imprint the Time & Date MENU → Shooting tab (icon : camera) → Date Stamp Pg. 64
Include Yourself in the Photo Select the Self-Timer (down arrow) Pg. 65