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.

  • Panasonic VDR-D300

    Panasonic VDR-D300

    It's a surprise to see the very consumer-oriented DVD camcorder format married to semi-pro three-CCD optics in Panasonic's VDR-D300.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Panasonic SDRS100

    Panasonic SDRS100

    Apart from JVC, most manufacturers are backing recordable DVD as the next step for consumer video cameras. But Panasonic is taking another tack. Instead of the miniature hard disks used in JVC's Everios, the SDRS100 records to SD memory, with a decent-sized 2GB module supplied in the box.

IDG UK Sites

What is Google Photos? How to back up and share all of your photos for free

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Swatch launches a colourful smartwatch

IDG UK Sites

New Apple TV 2015 release date rumours: TV streaming service delayed, hand gesture interface being...