Canon PowerShot D20 ruggedized point-and-shoot camera hands-on (video)

Remember the Canon PowerShot D10? The company's first ruggedized underwater cam was a solid snapper, but its bulky submarine-like design made it impractical for most surface-based shoots. The PowerShot D20 offers a drastic improvement over its predecessor in the appearance department, more closely resembling a compact point-and-shoot than a subaqueous vessel. We can't speak to the cam's image quality just yet, but assuming its on-par with the D10, we'd say the latest D model is worth some serious consideration as an upgrade, even for a reduction in footprint alone. The D20 includes a 12.1-megapixel HS (high-sensitivity) CMOS sensor, a bright 3-inch LCD and a 5x 28mm optically stabilized zoom lens. It's waterproof to depths of 10 meters (33 feet), can survive drops from a height of 1.5 meters (5 feet) and can operate in temperatures ranging from 14 degrees to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. There's also a top sensitivity of ISO 3200, and a built-in GPS.

We spent a few minutes with the D20 at Canon's booth at CP+ 2012 in Yokohama, Japan, and were quite impressed with the improved design. Naturally, it's a solid-feeling point-and-shoot, with protected components and airtight port covers. Company reps didn't bat an eye when we unintentionally tested the camera's durability with a mild drop. There's a standard-issue PowerShot interface, with a fairly straightforward menu structure, and the camera felt plenty snappy, focusing and firing off an image almost instantaneously. It's noticeably larger than the company's more compact land-limited models, but there's no reason you wouldn't feel just as comfortable using this to shoot your child's first birthday party as you would their first scuba lesson. The $349 PowerShot D20 won't be hitting stores until May, but you can jump past the break for a quick look in the meantime.