We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Cameras Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Canon DC20

£570 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Canon

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The pretenders to DV's crown are lining up for battle. One of the first to enter the fray was recordable DVD, and Canon has finally joined the ranks of its backers with a new DVD camcorder range.

The pretenders to DV's crown are lining up for battle. One of the first to enter the fray was recordable DVD, with Sony currently the most enthusiastic backer. But Canon has finally joined the ranks with a new DVD camcorder range, currently consisting of the DC20 and the cheaper DC10.

The main difference between the two models is the CCD (charge-coupled device). While the DC20 has a 1/3.9in sensor offering 2.2Mp (megapixels), the DC10 has a slightly smaller 1/4in unit providing just 1.33Mp.
The DC20 also incorporates a built-in video light and flash, so will be more functional in poorly lit interiors.

One big selling point is the ability to record to DVD. The smaller 8cm discs are used, and both -R and -RW are supported. The -R format is more DVD-player-compatible, but has to be finalised before you can watch the disc on anything other than the camcorder itself. DVD-RW discs can use VR format, which reduces compatibility in favour of the ability to edit on disc and add footage incrementally. The problem is, both discs can store only 21 minutes of video at the top settings, less than a DV tape or hard disk.

The DC20 offers a decent range of options. The more popular ones are available via an innovative menu that wraps around the edge of the LCD panel.

Despite its obvious consumer orientation, the DC20 proved itself more than capable in terms of quality. In daylight, colour fidelity was very good, and low-light performance was acceptable, marred only by a slight red over-emphasis. But more serious videomakers won't be impressed by the lack of an accessory shoe, mic input or headphone socket. Discs load from the back, so tripod use isn't hindered.

Canon DC20 Expert Verdict »

2.2Mp CCD
Mpeg2 recording to 8cm DVD-R or -RW
f1.8, 10x optical zoom
1,632x1,224 still resolution
USB 2.0
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The DC20 is easy to use and capable of above-average video quality, but you're paying for the privilege of recording straight to disc. There's a clear benefit to being able to stick media straight in your DVD player to watch or into your PC for editing, but capacity is a step back from DV, making hard disk-based camcorders a better choice for lengthy holiday videos.

  • Canon DC210 DVD camcorder

    Canon DC210 DVD camcorder

    Blessed with a very low price, the Canon DC210 offers a fair number of features. The Canon DC210 captured good but not great, video in PC Advisor's lab tests.

  • Canon DC50 DVD camcorder

    Canon DC50 DVD camcorder

    The Canon DC50 is a stylish Mini DVD recorder, with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a Canon camcorder.

  • Canon HV20 HD camcorder

    Canon HV20 HD camcorder

    Compared to Panasonic's sleek HDC-SD1, the Canon HV20 HD camcorder looks a bit ungainly, mostly because it has a large MiniDV tape mechanism grafted onto one side.

  • Canon Vixia HV30 review

    Canon Vixia HV30

    The Canon Vixia HV30 is a fine choice for die-hard MiniDV users, offering superb video quality and a bunch of nifty features.

  • Panasonic VDR-D310 DV camcorder

    Panasonic VDR-D310 DV camcorder

    The more sophisticated sibling of Panasonic's VDR-D210 (both are DVD models), the Panasonic VDR-D310, produces better-quality video and still images.

IDG UK Sites

Nexus 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 comparison: Lollipop phablet takes on KitKat flagship smartphone

IDG UK Sites

Why people aren't upgrading to iOS 8: new features are for power users, not the average Joe

IDG UK Sites

Free rocket & space sounds: NASA launches archive of interstellar audio on SoundCloud

IDG UK Sites

iPad Air 2 review: Insanely fast and alarmingly thin. Speed tests, camera tests, beautiful...