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Canon PowerShot D20 Digital Camera Review$349.99
The Canon D20 can produce very accurate colors. We measured a minimum color error of 2.81 (anything under 3.0 is very good) with 110.2% saturation—just a hair above what we consider to be acceptable oversaturation. The most accurate color mode was Lighter Skin (though the results were basically identical to what we measured in the default "Off" mode, and we shot the rest of our tests with that default setting). More on how we test color.
In the most accurate modes, the D20 pushes reds a bit, and shifts blues a bit toward purple. We actually think that oversaturation is fine here—it's an outdoor camera, so natural scenes will pop a bit more. It's especially helpful underwater, where colors tend to flatten out a bit.
NOTE: Because of the way computer monitors reproduce colors, the images above do not exactly match the originals found on the chart or in the captured images. The chart should be used to judge the relative color shift, not the absolute captured colors.
All of the tough-cams we've tested oversaturate their colors, and again, that's fine for this type of point-and-shoot. That said, the D20 is the most color-accurate of the bunch otherwise.
No less than 11 color modes are available. Known as My Colors in the menu system, modes include: Off (default), Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B/W, Positive Film, Lighter Skin, Darker Skin, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, and Vivid Red. A Custom setting is available under My Colors, with adjustable parameters for contrast, sharpness, red, blue, green, and skin tones.
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.
The D20 handles white balance very well. Long story short, the only time you'll really need to worry about your shots looking too yellow is under incandescent lighting.
Auto mode can balance daylight and white fluorescent lighting, no problem. Incandescent lighting looks way too warm, but we always expect that, with any kind of camera. With a custom white balance, whites are near-perfect incandescent and white fluorescent lighting (though light grays are about 100-200 degrees off—still not bad). In daylight, whites look the same as they do in auto mode, but grays are very accurate.
White Balance Options
White balance presets include Day Light, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, and Underwater. Auto white balance and custom white balance are both available as well.