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Canon EOS 20D

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200 206984 Dec 4, 2009
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,355.57
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.98
8.82
9.2
20d

Specifications:
- Second Generation 8.2 Megapixel CMOS Sensor with DIGIC II Image Processor
- Professional Level High-speed Continuous Shooting
- 9-Point High-precision AF with New Multi-controller
- Enhanced Color and White Balance Settings
- Rigid Magnesium Alloy Body for Outstanding Durability
- Advanced Viewing and Printing, Powerful Software
- Compatible with all EF/EF-S Lenses and Many EOS System Accessories


 


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warp_foo
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Registered: Jan 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 106
Review Date: Oct 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Turn on and focus speed are a nice upgrade to the 10D. Weight is a bit lower, and the controls are nicely laid out. Still has the nice, solid feel of the 10D. The 'date' battery much more logically placed.
Cons:
While the weight is lower, for me it is a bit too light. With the BG, I expect a certain heft, which is missing. Then again, after a day hiking, I suppose the lighter weight is a benefit. The BG-E2 could be a bit more robustly engineered to remove flex. I want a mirror lockup lever/button, dangit. Why is that buried in a menu? (still...)

I have had the camera for a few days now. On picking up the unit from the local shop, the first camera had a issue with the top LCD panel blanking after the first shot. (Not locking up, just not displaying information...) While the top LCD panel could be read if the camera were angled, this was an obvious fault.

Fortunately, the shop had a second 20D on hand (an 18-55 kit ) and they were able to swap the broken unit for a working example.

With fw 1.0.2, the camera worked well and without a single lockup. I also noticed that focusing was pretty danged fast, even while trying to lock on to black painted and natural metal bits of a steam locomotive undercarriage in a poorly lit shed. (www.261.com)



Oct 24, 2004
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Mistrblank
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Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Oct 23, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Ease of use
Cons:
Lots to learn

I've had the camera for a week. It's the first SLR I've used in 6 years, and back then it was in high school and the teacher took care of most of the settings.

Anyway, I just got the camera, an EF 70-200mm f/4L and took it to a hockey game last night (local team) and started shooting... in MANUAL mode.

It was my first shoot and in about 60 shots (though I took many more and deleted most of the REALLY bad ones on site between periods) I pulled a dozen or so that I was really pleased with. Now, by no means were they professional level, but pretty close. I was more than excited that (after reading the manual) I had such great photos in just one sitting and I look forward to getting bettter with each shoot. I also love that I am able to read off the camera settings at the time the picture was taken so that I can learn from my mistakes in the process, something I couldn't do if I was shooting film.





Oct 23, 2004
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Rob Ernsting
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Registered: Jun 24, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 7
Review Date: Oct 20, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: It is a good cam, better than 10D in ease of use. Speed of focus, writing to FC, image quality and features vs 10D
Cons:
Som spots on CMOS, but really minor.

My first 20D I got was the old serial number 430XXX, it had severe spots on the CMOS which were non removeable. They were no dust spots so I returned it and a few weeks later I got a new one with serialnumber 530XXX. This one is great, it had FW 1.0.5 on it and minor spots on the CMOS when photographing a blank sheet and f 22.

The captures I took look good and need less PP. For instance with my 10D I had the EV set constant at -0.6 in order to avoid burning high lights. That is less of an issue with the 20D. Sofar not necessary to do.

Focussing is fast and good I checked that by shooting a brick wall under 45 degrees and aiming a specific point with a 50mm and a 70-200mm lens wide open of course. It looks great.

As I shoot in RAW I use the Digital Professional Photo sofware version 1.1 very much. It is good but not as flexible as the Capture One software I used for the 10D. This software will be improved with a version 1.5 as of November shipments Canon says. I only want to know how I can get a download version ASAP. On the scale of 5 I rate the software 4, we will see what 1.5 brings. Incidently there is a tutorial about DPP
http://www.photoworkshop.com/canon/dpp/index.html

What I like is the parameter settings in general and for B/W, it allows to add a red filter, great for the sky. To my surprise when processing the B/W shots in DPP software the B/W and color filters disappeared and full color version was shown. Going back to the View Filer software the shot is BW as intended by the parameter setting. So RAW retains all the original data despite what filter or B/W you have chosen and ignores the paramater setting, nice to know in case you might prefer color after all.

And guess what? I like the sound of the mirror, it sounds like a real camera.


Oct 20, 2004
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PP133
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Registered: Jul 26, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 70
Review Date: Oct 20, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Design, speed, focus speed. Awesome upgrade from the 300D!
Cons:
"Bad copies" floating around

While reading this review, keep in mind that I have only used a 300D digital rebel prior to this camera so this won't be a comparison to a 1Ds or a 1D MkII.

That having been said, I upgraded to the 20D from the Digital Rebel today. I took some shots this morning, mostly testing against the auto/front/back focus that people have been reporting.

I'm still not totally sure about how the tests came out, but if there's a focus problem it's not a serious one and is most likely caused by my lack of skills Smile.

Let me say, though, that the camera is excellent! I could not believe how fast it focused on things! The joystick in the back to control the focus points is a brilliant idea; I always thought it was a pain in the butt to have to scroll through all the focus points to find the one you wanted and this totally solved that problem.

I really like the wheel in the back used to change the ISO, it's very smooth and is in just the right spot. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I've found that in order to see the ISO you have to look at the display on the top of the camera, you can't see it through the viewfinder, which was slightly annoying.

The only issue that I could see with this camera is all the negative press it's been getting on the forums. As soon as I possibly could, I ran a barrage of tests on it in fear that I had a "bad copy". While mosts of the pictures I took looked fine to me, the Focus21.pdf (http://md.co.za/d70/focus21.pdf) test concerned me a bit, but it might be my lens.


Oct 20, 2004
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skasol
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Registered: Apr 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2297
Review Date: Oct 18, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast (Instant start up, preview, AF, Fps) accurate AF, bigger buffer, low iso noise, better viewfinder for MF.
Cons:
None.................. yep none.

Well I was originally Contemplating selling my 10D and buying a MarkII.
The 20D has everything I asked for, faster AF, FPS, start up, Preview of pictures taken. Accurate Focusing system (9point), low iso noise. with that in mind, I realize that the 20D was a better camera for my needs. with the money I saved I would get more gear.

P.S I have not experience any type of lock up, whatsoever. I have firmware 1.0.4. I used the camera for well over a period of 2 weeks and it's flawless. 1000% recommended.


Oct 18, 2004
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Samael9
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Registered: Oct 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Oct 16, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: It's a fantastic piece! As a person who is sensitive to mechanical devices, I am thorouhly impressed. Fast, simple (in auto-mode) beautiful focusing and incredible continuous shooter.
Cons:
Don't know yet.

No doubt, I am an ameteur. I have been shooting with a Nikon 8700 for 6 months as I continue to develop my skills and define my shooting style. I've learned Mac, Photoshop 7 and CS, along with composure, lighting and subject material. What I have learned during the "Nikon Period" are the compromises which are made in point-and-shoot equipment. I shot a bunch of images at Ye Olde Camera Shoppe with the 20D connected to a EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens. Sheesh! Autofocus faster than a speeding bullet! Image Stabilization! Heavenly! Build quality; Divine! The lens felt sturdier than the camera body, but the combined unit felt balanced and highly capable. Best of all, when I loaded my images into CS, they were perfect with virtually no editing required. It's easy to see where the money went in this jewel of a camera. Even with the lens exceeding the cost of the camera, the price is worth it. The experience well surpassed my expectations, and I will own the aforementioned set-up within a few weeks. (He says while drooling)


Oct 16, 2004
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MyersPhotography
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Registered: Feb 19, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 92
Review Date: Oct 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Rapid startup time, fast/accurate focusing, light weight in sturdy mag. alloy frame. encoding in Adobe RGB, RAW+Jpg in 2 separate files, superb resolution and very low noise even in 1600iso, continuous shooting burst rate, large memory buffer
Cons:
Funky mirror lockup sequence, no ISO in viewfinder, 1.6x magnification factor for lens (wish it had been 1.3), wish it took advantage of the write acceleration found in Lexar media cf's. Why does Canon STILL breakup files into separate folders on the CF card???

Well, I made the plunge and after starting with Canon in the mid 70's and switching to Nikon in the early 80's am now finally back with Canon again. This camera replaces the Fuji S2 I've been using for the past 2 years and although the S2's are wonderful cameras (much better than the Nikon digitals that are out IMHO), I'd have to give this camera a oneup on the S2 for build quality and a few other Canon specific functions. The 8.2mp is superb but playing the megapixel game won't always yield the finest photos. Along with the mp rating, this camera is excellent in dynamic range and shadow detail. In the short time I've had this I've done several 20x30 enlargements (even using the worst way possible by doing a straight bicubic enlargement in photoshop from 8x12 292dpi to 20x30 300dpi...I usually use a multiple step method in Genuine Fractals to do this but for the sake of time and worst case scenario, went this route) and the detail holds remarkably!
I do like the B&W functionality of this too and the ability to select the type of BW filtration. I've compared this to doing a conversion using the channel mixer in PS and found the camera to be just as good in most circumstances.
All in all I cannot say enough good things about it. There are, of course, some things that would have made it even sweeter but for $1500, this camera has what's needed!
Way to go Canon!


Oct 15, 2004
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stevenas
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Registered: Sep 13, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 317
Review Date: Oct 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast!! Accurate focus, lighter body, accurate flash, lower noise and did I mention fast?!?
Cons:
Missing ISO reading in viewfinder, larger LCD and viewfinder. I would have liked dual memory card capability.

I was using a 10D and had no intentions of upgrading until I saw the price. It was the same as what I paid for the 10D!! Even though the 10D is a fine camera, I don't miss it at all, no regrets. The 20D is a keeper!

Oct 14, 2004
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xichlo
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Registered: Jul 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 2407
Review Date: Oct 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,349.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight, fast frame rate, large buffer for JPEG 25 frames, ETTL-II, fast focus, WB bracket.
Cons:
Quality control, noisy shutter

I decided to upgrade from 10D to 20D mainly because of its fast frame rate, large buffer and E-TTL II. For the price I paid, I am very happy with new features and perfomances of 20D. Last, the write speed with DDR is just super.

Oct 11, 2004
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rd4tile
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Registered: Mar 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2218
Review Date: Oct 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: PRICE, AF speed, 8 mp, 5 fps, jpeg buffer, build, size, built in flash works well, high ISO noise, battery size/life, shutter is quieter than 1D.
Cons:
No ISO in VF, 1.6X crop, needs bigger RAW buffer

I had just listed my 1D and was ready to buy a 1D mkII when Canon announced this model. I wanted more resolution and didn't want to give up the 1 series speed/features. (my first digital was a 10D)

I lived with the size/bulk of the 1D but there were times when it stayed in the bag because of that. What I really wanted was a 1d mkII in a 10D size package. (a baby MK II).

So I'm very happy with this camera. I got about 90% of what I wanted and saved 3 grand to boot!



Oct 10, 2004
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RDKirk
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Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8976
Review Date: Oct 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: High image quality; very fast operation; accurate focusing; robust shutter; 250volt flash sync
Cons:
Cost-cutting measures show with fit and finish of doors.

Before this camera appeared, I had stated more than once in the Fred Miranda forums and elsewhere that I would pay $2000-2500 for a camera with the image quality of the Canon 10D if it had a more robust shutter, more accurate autofocusing, and a 250-volt flash sync.

I had also complained about there not being an AA-battery option for the battery grip. Although I'd not mentioned it, I was also griped by the slow operation of the LCD review and slow writing to the CF card.

Weeeell, doggy, if Canon didn't answer my desires, throw in slightly better image quality, and not even demand that $2000-2500. The 20D isn't a 1D, but it certainly makes it much less likely that I'll buy a 1D. It pretty much answers all my professional requirements for reliability, and gives "good enough" image quality for professional portrait results.

Recent statements from Canon execs in Japan indicate for at least the next five years, Canon has no plans to release a "tweener" camera between the 20D and the 1D Mark II--nothing with a 1D-sized sensor. So the 20D is it for anyone who doesn't desire or can't step up to the 1D; Canon's press releases call the 20D the "camera for professional photographers who buy their own equipment," which tells us where their heads are at with regard to the pricing of the 1D.

I really like the quick card writing, that shows up most dramatically during shooting when I want to check the LCD for exposure, lighting, and composition. The 10D seemed to take nearly as long as a Polaroid; the 20D is virtually instantaneous.

Autofocusing is fast and accurate--much better than the 10D. The new AF mark pattern isn't quite ideal--"ideal" would be eye-controlled with marks right at the "Rule of Thirds" intersections. However, the marks are pretty close to those intersections, and the "joy button" is quick to operate with a little practice. It's certainly more intuitive a control for both the AF marks and maneuvering around in LCD review magnification than twiggling with a combination of buttons and wheels.

The shutter sounds a bit sharper, which seems to bother some people, but I've never thought any SLR was especially "quiet"--these people must have never listened to a Leica or even an Olympus OM-1. It's bark is no worse than most other professional-level SLRs.

The viewfinder is no brighter than the 10D. I know Canon can do something about that (the Olympus OM-1 viewfinder was also extremely big and bright), but they seem loathe to take the few grams of weight it would cost. I think virtually all users would accept another 100 grams of weight for a nice, bright viewfinder. Although it's no brighter than the 10D, they have coarsened the focusing screen to make it easier to focus manually, so that's an improvement, if not ideal.

What does bug me a bit is the fit of the CF door and the battery door of the BG-E2 grip. Both have longitudinal play that is obviously a cost-cutting measure on the assembly line. The movement is disconcerting when I'm holding the camera firmly with a heavy lens. Also, it's an old complaint about the Canon lower-priced cameras, but it's still a valid complaint: The CFcard door needs a positive latch. It's not hard to accidently slide the door just enough to trip the "door open" microswitch without actually opening the door. That will send any unwritten images to bit heaven.

The BG-E2 battery grip--while having the AA option I wanted--also allows enough flex to trip the "door open" switch of the camera battery compartment, which will monentarily shut off the camera. That's something Canon REALLY needs to fix. In the meantime, a workaround fix is to use a bit of duct or gaffers tape to hold down the "door open" microswitch in the lip of the battery chamber. Perhaps they will give us a pro-quality BG-E3 in the near future.

Many people have complaints that baffle me with their banality. They complain about the battery grip being too heavy (the 20D with grip is 100 grams lighter than the 10D with grip); too large (the BG-E2 is 1mm deeper and 1mm thicker than the BG-ED 3); poorly shaped (except for rounded edges under your index finger and thumb, it's exactly the same shape); and other trivial complaints.

Although my camera has never suffered from the lock-out bug, I hope Canon has found a way to workaround it with their latest firmware update. Otherwise, I consider the 20D a definite keeper.


Oct 9, 2004
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pterzian
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Registered: Feb 25, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 275
Review Date: Oct 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Focus and metering are better on the 20D, compared to my 10D. Larger files, better resolution. Sensor noise reduction (automatic dark frame subtraction?) is great for astroimaging.
Cons:
Work flow changes required to accomodate .CR2 from .CRW. Noisy shutter. Not as comfortable in my hand as the 10D.

My initial impression is that the 20D is a step up from the 10D, but not a huge step up. Evolutionary, you might say. I wish they had not changed from CRW to CR2 file formats, but maybe it was necessary for some reason. Now I need to upgrade Photoshop CS (done) and Breeze Browser (pending) to reestablish my work flow. I plan to use the camera primarily for bird photography in the daytime, so the improved focus, metering and resolution are helpful. I plan to use the camera extensively for astroimaging (2-4 minute exposures) so the ISO 3200 speed and the built in noise reduction are very desirable. I will post again in a couple of weeks with astroimaging results when I return from the mountain top. :-)

Oct 9, 2004
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mfoto
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Registered: Sep 18, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 2334
Review Date: Oct 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The overall feel, AF speed, fast start up time, great at high ISO. These are the most noticable improvement over my D60.
Cons:
Makes you want to buy more L lenses.... I've had some lock ups... but just did firmware upgrade.

This is a great upgrade from the D60, no doubt. I've been shooting at 800 and 1600 (even 3200) with confidence that I'll come home with some good stuff. It's funny how that faster start up time can be so important. The camera feels much better than the D60 in almost every aspect. I love the new shutter...faster and sound more solid - like my old EOS 1.

The 20D produces smoother more life like pictures. At first this takes some getting used to - especially coming from the D60, which would deliver sharp and somewhat color saturated images right out of the camera. I'm planing to shoot RAW soon to have even more control over post processing of my images. This of course means I need more CF card memory, Photoshop CS or Elements 3 and perhaps even a faster computer.... where does it all end?

The D60 takes great pictures in my opinion but the 20D is about getting some shots that I simply missed due to limitation in either ISO speed, AF speed or slower start up time.... I'm starting to repeat myself... better get out and take some more pictures.. I'm a busy guy - I've got two more megapixels to fill up for each frame I shoot.

Follow my progress at: www.pbase.com/mfoto



Oct 8, 2004
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bleep
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Registered: Aug 16, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 29
Review Date: Oct 6, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great handling, very good battery life, high iso with no noise.
Cons:
Don't care for the "joystick".

I have not seen enough talk about how much better the new flash system is. The flash pictures I have taken are the very best I have ever made. I have even used the built in flash on pictures taken with the 100mm macro at closest focus and they are fantastic. I guess I'll have to sell the Canon 550ex flash that I just bought 3 months ago to get the 580 for wedding photos. Technology is great but sometimes frustrating to keep up with. Also the Digital Photo Professional software included is great. Pictures opened in that software and then exported into Photoshop CS are absolutely the most brilliant in color and sharpness that I have ever worked with. Very little if any sharpening and no increase in saturation is needed (this applies to raw pictures from my 10d also). Before, with the raw pictures I opened in Photoshop directly, they were a little dull and not as sharp as they are when opened in Digital Photo Professional and then exported into Photoshop and this software makes that very easy. For "snapshots" at 4X6, you can print directly in Canon's Easy Photo Print directly from Digital Photo Professional for surprisingly good prints. Going to Nascar this weekend and am looking forward to using the faster burst capture than what I am used to with the 10d. I did the firmware upgrade with absolutely no problems. I am very, very pleased with this camera so far.

Oct 6, 2004
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gibsonpd3620
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Registered: Oct 5, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Oct 6, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Speed, speed, and more speed. You can shoot as soon as your turn the camera on. The 5fps lets you caputre action fast and the large buffer (22pics in jpg) allows to keep on shooting. Some added controls that are easier to change your setup quickly. 9 AF points and fast auto focus. Did I say anything about speed. Color reproductions and sharpness are great.
Cons:
Some have reported lockups but I had no problems with mine. I have no negative comments

I upgraded from a Canon DR and was blown away with the speed. The DR blew me away when I upgraded from the PS cameras. The 20D is an incredible upgrade from the the DR. Instant on from either turning the camera on from the sleep mode. Fast autofocus and faster shooting make the camera a joy to use. The shutter noise reminds me of my 35mm days when doing continious shooting. The photos with my 70-200 F4/L lens are brilliant and colors are perfect. The ISO range is unbeliveable. Shooting at 400 and 800 produces little noise. You need fast CF cards and at least 1GB. You can shoot your way through a card before you know it. This camera was worth the difference in money that it cost me to upgrade. It cost me about $700 to upgrade after selling my DR.

Oct 6, 2004
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paulboes
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Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 94
Review Date: Oct 6, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.99 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: 8.2 MP, Instant On Power, Autofocus, 800/1600 ISO that you can actual use, Build Quality, and 5fps
Cons:
Lock-up, Waiting on Firmware to fix the lock-up problem. Spot Meter, There is no reason why they couldn't put spot meter on this camera.

This is a great camera for me. I love the fast auto focus and low noise in high ISO settings. I've had the camera for about a week now, and it lock-up four times. It seems to happen only when I change a piece of glass. Even though I think this camera is awesome there are some things I don't like. For example, the battery grip is ugly on this camera. Also I don't like how it feels in my hands either. It could be that I'm use to the 10D so much that it will take a while to get use to. I don't understand why Canon doesn't put spot metering in this camera. You can get a Nikon D70 with spot metering, but not a pro-consumer camera from Canon. Last comment when is Canon coming out with some L-Glass that support the new EF-S, but I'm not sure why they would either.

Oct 6, 2004
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Canon EOS 20D

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
200 206984 Dec 4, 2009
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,355.57
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.98
8.82
9.2
20d


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