Best Canon PowerShot SX20 IS SD Memory Card

Best PowerShot SX20 IS SD Memory Card

The Canon SX20 IS needs SD memory cards. 32GB is the largest capacity SD card that is compatible with the SX20 IS.

MultiMediaCards (MMC) and MMCplus cards can also be used. However, they are not produced anymore. If you have one, you can use it. If you do not have one, do not buy one, they will cost more than an SD card.

SD memory cards described as SDXC or SDUC won’t function properly in the SX20 IS. These cards can simply be avoided as they have a capacity of 64GB or more.

The SDHC format was announced in 2006. All 32GB cards that are currently being produced will have almost identical performance. You cannot go wrong buying the cheapest class 10 name brand card. At the time of writing this, the PNY Elite 32GB SD memory card has the best price.

Here are a few options to choose from that will function correctly with the SX20 IS. With any of the cards below, you will not have to stress out over poor performance or SD card failure.

PNY Elite 32GB SD Card
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  • Sequential read speed of up to 100MB/s
  • Class 10, U1 rating delivers speed and performance for full HD photography and HD videography.
  • V10 video speed rating to capture uninterrupted HD video at 1920x1080 format
  • Compatible with point & shoot cameras, DSLR cameras, standard & advanced HD-enabled video cameras, and more
  • Reliable & Durable: Magnet Proof, Shock Proof, Temperature Proof, Waterproof
SanDisk Ultra 32GB SD Card
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  • Quick transfer read speeds up to 90MB/s.
  • Write speeds are not capable of recording 4k video.
  • Class 10 rating for Full HD video (1080p).
  • Waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray Proof, magnet-Proof, and shockproof.
Samsung EVO Plus 32GB SD Card
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  • UHS Speed Class 1 (U1) supports Full HD video and burst shots. 130MB/s transfer speeds1 let you upload footage to your PC in an instant.
  • Built to survive tough conditions and heavy usage, whether you’re at home, outside, or on the go. Backed by 10-year limited warranty.
  • Highly durable with comprehensive 7-proof protection.
  • Backed by a 10 year warranty.

Best SD Cards

SanDisk, PNY, Samsung, and Lexar both produce good quality memory cards. Low-priced house brand names need to be avoided.

Memory card problems, including a complete loss of all of your photos because of file corruption, is more likely to occur with low-cost cards. A small amount of decrease in price is not worth the reduction in build quality.

Buying a reduced capacity memory card is a clever way to save a tiny bit of money. They generally are a bit lower in cost and you won’t have to fret about the SD card becoming corrupted.

Bear in mind, SD card failures are very infrequent. Over the years, I have only had two cards become corrupted. Both memory cards were used house cards that were bundled with the purchase of used digital cameras.

Canon SX20 IS SD Card Compatibility

The Canon SX20 IS uses SD memory cards. There are currently four separate specifications of Secure Digital (SD) memory cards. Each new memory card technical spec advances the maximum storage capacity and transfer speeds when compared to the earlier standard.

Secure Digital memory card readers are backward compatible. A card reader built into a digital camera that can use SDXC cards will also be able to use SDHC and SD memory cards.

The Canon SX20 IS’s card reader can only read the initial two SD card standards. SDXC or SDUC SD cards will not operate correctly.

  • Secure Digital (SD) - These memory cards have a maximum capacity of 2GB and are compatible with the SX20 IS.
  • Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) - The capacity of these memory cards range from 4GB to 32GB and are also compatible with the SX20 IS.
  • Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) - The capacity of these memory cards range from 64GB to 2TiB.
  • Secure Digital Ultra Capacity (SDUC) - The capacity of these memory cards range from 4TiB to 128TiB.

Canon SX20 IS Memory Card Full Error

SD Card Contacts

Trying to use a memory card that is 64GB or larger in size in the SX20 IS will cause the point and shoot camera to display an error message.

Get an SD card with a capacity of 32GB or less to fix the error.

If you have an SD memory card that has a storage capacity less than 32GB, and the card is not functioning correctly, try to format the SD card while it is in the camera.

Speed, Class, & Capacity

SD Card Image Capacity

The following is an estimate of the number of large JPEGs you will be able to keep on an SD card.

  • 4GB - 1920 images
  • 8GB - 3840 images
  • 16GB - 7680 images
  • 32GB - 15360 images

Memory Card Speed

Speed ratings for SD memory cards are established by the sequential read and write speeds. The speed of the memory card is important in the event that many shots need to be written or read from the SD card.

SD Card Speed Class Rating

SD Card Speed Class

The Class speed rating of an SD card is dependant on the sustained write speed of the SD card. A Class speed rating of 2 means that the SD memory card can maintain a write speed of a minimum of 2MB per second.

  • Class 2 - 2MB/s
  • Class 4 - 4MB/s
  • Class 6 - 6MB/s
  • Class 8 - 8MB/s
  • Class 10 - 10MB/s

The highest rating a memory card can get is Class 10. There are memory cards that are a lot faster than 10MB/s. Those SD memory cards use other technologies, such as UHS (Ultra Highspeed Bus), which use a separate rating criteria.

Sustained write speeds of 2MB, 4MB, 6MB, or 8MB per second means the card has a speed class of 2, 4, 6, or 8. Cards that have write speeds of 10MB/s or faster are rated as Class 10.

MultiMediaCard Compatibility

SanDisk and Siemens AG introduced to the market the MultiMediaCard specification in 1997. MMC cards are close in size to an SD card, but they are a little bit thinner.

Only the original two versions of MMC memory cards will be able to function correctly in the Canon SX20 IS. Suitable memory cards will be labeled as MMC or MMCplus. Later versions won’t function correctly in the Canon SX20 IS

I would never recommend purchasing any MMC cards. Suitable MMC cards for the SX20 IS are not currently being built. Hence, they are very expensive and extremely hard to purchase used.


Buy an SD memory card for the Canon SX20 IS based on price. An expensive card isn’t going to improve performance. As long as it is a speed class 10 card, you will be fine. My recommendation is the PNY Elite 32GB SD memory card.