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Canon EOS 20D

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Reviews Views Date of last review
200 207755 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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dhphoto
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 10053
Review Date: Mar 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Silky smooth, sharp images, fast in use (even with RAW), light weight. Great battery life, rear dial, accurate focusing.
Cons:
'clunky' (but fast returning) mirror. Doesn't feel as well made as 10D - a bit plasticky, especially the CF door. Smallish LCD screen, 1.6x crop Ugh!

I have a 1D2 as my main pro camera. The 20D is my backup. It is a vastly superior Dslr compared to my previous backup 10D, it feels much more snappy and up-to-date.

It also feels lighter and not quite as well made - especially the CF door which is very flimsy on such an expensive camera.

It does everything extraordinarily well and quickly. I can process the files in C1 and achieve more or less the same quality as the 1D2 without having to lug the big beast around.

I HATE the 1.6x crop, as soon as we are out of this phase and onto sensibly priced full frame the better. I bought the kit lens (18-55) as it was effectively free and it isn't that bad, and it is very light - not a patch on proper glass but ok for snaps.

To me it seems that the 'digital camera' has more or less come of age now- the new 350D is almost as good as the 20D, smaller and a lot cheaper. I went for the 20D because I like the rear dial, the focus point layout the bigger finger grip and the obvious 1D2 similarities, but we are really nit picking now. These modern cameras can do everything we could ever wish for and the differences between all of them are very small. Taking very good quality photographs has never been easier.

I'm sure the 20D will be superceeded soon, but I don't think I will change until the 1.6x crop goes, there really is very little I can't do with a current 20D! Excellent camera.


Mar 14, 2005
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larsmolin
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Registered: Jan 11, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Mar 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Fast and crisp sharp pix.
Cons:
Small LCD display, no spot metering, keeps shooting without card (why no warning in view finder or LCD display, if card is not present. This message will only pop up, if you want to view your shots..), Noisy shutter, mirror only rated to 50,000 pix vs 250,000 for the cheaper 10D, 1.6 crop factor, easy to knock exposure compensation wheel (why no lock on it?). Price a couple of hundred dollars too high !



Mar 10, 2005
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allan m.
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Registered: Mar 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 273
Review Date: Mar 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 8.2 mp, raw alone, metering zones, higher pop-up flash, thumb wheel, weight, price, pro quality, did i say 8.2 mp??
Cons:
price (come Canon you knew you were going to sell thousands of these), such nice shots it keeps you glued to PS CS and printing all night :D

Now the price compared to the 10D, which it replaced (2 of them), is very good. They should lower the price of the remaining 10D's drastically. But they cant b/c of the 350D out now. I have had this cmera since the first day it came out. I wish i waited a bit so i could have gotten in on the triple rebate. I got in the rebate mix with the 17-40L and 70-200L f4 lenses. The 20D with these two lenses make superb photographs!!! I just marvel at the quality of the image and sometimes dont concentrate on the content- not good. I am now satisfied (for awhile) with the image quality in compaarison to film. If you want an all around camera that is going to get you that shot on the street or doing landscapes, this is the camera. To have the feel right you should get the battery grip. I was going to get another but at the rate Canon is coming out with digitals i wil just wait the 30D to be my 2nd camera. Get it- Enjoy it!

Mar 1, 2005
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Abdo
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Registered: Nov 19, 2004
Location: Brazil
Posts: 336
Review Date: Feb 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: I love this camera, beautiful takes.
Cons:
NONE



Feb 26, 2005
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MichaD
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Registered: Nov 29, 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 407
Review Date: Feb 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast, in nearly every way, high iso performance, E-TTL II
Cons:
still no iso in viewfinder, only 6 raw shots buffer

This is a great improvement over the 10D. I wanted to keep the 10D as backup but the 20D is so much faster in nearly every way. Virtually no startup delay, lots faster image preview, faster AF, faster card writing, lower shutter dalay, higher frame rate.

ISO 1600 is actually usuable now, wow. The new flash metering is much more consistent.

Sure, it has a few more pixels as well but nothing to get all too excited about. Don't get me wrong, it's defenetely an improvement and nice to have, but I couldn't justify the investment soley on the increased pixel count.

Why on earth can't we see the current ISO setting ANYWHERE without first pressing a button? Hello Canon? How hard could it be? You really want us to buy a 1 series camera just for that?!

The 1.6 crop factor is less of a problem now as we finally have some ultrawide options, and more coming up. Of course I'd like to have a full frame finder, but then again I'd also like a MF finder. Wink


Feb 16, 2005
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syelseth
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Registered: Nov 15, 2004
Location: South Africa
Posts: 41
Review Date: Feb 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,379.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast startup, excellent high iso quality, 5 fps, ETTL 2, much improved autofocus.
Cons:
Pretty loud.

This was an upgrade from the 10D for me, so I was hoping that the improvements would make it worthwhile. After trying the camera out over the weekend I am very happy with the upgrade.
Although I preferred the size and feel of the 10D, especially with the battery grip, I am happy to sacrifice this for the benefits the 20D offers.

Autofocus - much more accurate and faster.

Frame rate - 5 fps is perfect for me.

Lower noise at high iso's - although some reviews have said that the noise output is very similar to the 10D, the fineness of the 20D's noise makes it much less visible. Even at 3200, shots were acceptable, and even more so when converting to b/w. Makes shooting at 1600 using ambient light very easy option.

ETTL 2 - Using the 550EX the result from flash photography have been excellent, even better results than I'd hoped for. The 10D used to sometimes give very erratic results.

Fast startup - You don't need anything faster than this. Reviewing pictures is also a lot easier, no more waiting for pictures to appear.

The new joystick control is also a nice feature, makes scrolling around images very easy. It does take a little time to get used to controlling the joystick though, but once you get the hang of it life gets easier.

Although the build is still good, the ergonomics, for me at least, don't feel as good as the 10D. The battery grip especially doesn't seem as good as that of the 10D. The 10D grip just seemed to be more solid.

Overall an excellent camera, the improvements are very noticeable and the picture quality is a definite improvement over the 10D. Definitely worth the upgrade from the 10D.


Feb 13, 2005
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speedbrakesout
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Registered: Dec 2, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 255
Review Date: Feb 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent image quality - Fast AF - Excelent high ISO perfomance - Very good battery life - Instantaneous start-up - User friendly and ergonomic - FPS rate - Joystick concroller - Robust.
Cons:
No spot metering

Excellent camera for amateur and semi-pros. The ISO performance is excellent, bump it up to ISO 1600 and your photos will show much less noise compared to it's predecessor and it's competitor. Even ISO 3200 (H) will give you relatively good picture if the need arise to use it.

The image quality is second to none. Some people complain about banding, I haven't witnessed any so far.

The battery life is incredible. I never had an electronic (cameras incl.) that could last such a long time on a battery.

The camera feels great in my hand, very well balanced. The buttons are placed in and ergonomic fashion. The menus are intuitive and user friendly for changing settings on the go. You can customize a whole bunch of settings to your specific needs.

I find the size of the LCD perfect, if Canon were to make it bigger we would lose on the battery life. Joystick controller makes previewing photos a breeze. Instant display of your images is also pretty cool.

As soon as you flick the ON switch the 20D is ready to go. Never miss a picture again while you wait for your camera to start-up.

My only complain is that there is no spot metering available. But for that small inconvenience the 20D makes up with some amazing features!

Speed, Quality, Performance ... It's all there.


Feb 7, 2005
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george_vg
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Registered: Feb 4, 2005
Location: South Africa
Posts: 12
Review Date: Feb 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Picture Quality, speed, fast AF, CANON
Cons:
None that I can complain about.

So today with fear and tribulation I went to listen to the "machine gun" shutter...

What a load of bs... It is not LOUD at all IMO!

It may be a little louder than a D70 which I also reluctantly played with and which btw sounds VERY sluggish, more like a slide action shutter iso the quick snap of the 20D...

So my fear raced up by comments of a loud shutter in the newsgroups was all for nothing... The way I expected it to sound was such that it would sound like the angel of death's trumpet!

The other concern was the infamous plastic CF door...

I really do not know how ppl handle their cameras, but you have to press the @#$#@ out that grip to make that thing move/break...


Now that all that fear are out of the way, I will get mine on Monday....


Guys forget about all the negative propaganda about this camera...Go try it out for yourself...and you will probably like it (if I may quote a TV ad).

This is really as my wife said...There is and will NEVER be a perfect camera!
Give a perfect camera to someone in a NG and they WILL find a problem with it...It is the human condition.

So I am happy to say I appreciate the comments on the NGs,
but I also realise that ALL problems are not problems and some people just love to exaggerate!


So to all the "ponderers" stop pondering about all the possible problems and start filling your harddrive...

Shutter speed is noted in x/sec so let's not take x/year to decide on this camera Smile

Cheers

George


Feb 5, 2005
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FredericB
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Registered: Jul 22, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 248
Review Date: Jan 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,399.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast at startup, goof battery life, hi iso quality, overall image quality (in raw), ease of use. E-TTL II
Cons:
Built lightly, AF not 100% reliable (not bad though), only 6 shots in raw, needs the battery grip to feel "balanced"

This is my first digital SLR and coming from the eos 3 I was really worried but decided to give it a try anyway.

I am happy I gave the eos20D a chance.

The main reason: image quality is just amazing in raw (and my reference is a provia 100F scanned on a nikon ls4000 ...). Details are very high and the file is sharp to start with (at least with my copy of the 24-70 Ff:2.8 L) - but where I got blown away is the ability to extract details in the shadows way beyond what can be done with slides.

The second reason: it is so fast; you shoot, you come back home, you see the results. That is sweeter than I had believed, not to have to wait for 5 days...

I was worried about light measure. The 35 zone masuring system from canon and I never managed to get along - but this one is just as reliable as the 21 zone of the eos 1 and 3 series (ok except for the lack of spot measure which bothers me a bit). Whatever they did to improve it, they did right.

My second worry was for the AF. And the 20D is good in that regard, but not as good as an eos 3. It seems as good (or rather as bad) in low light, but I caught it on occasion delivering out of focus pictures even with 1 sensor selected and located on a contrasty area of the picture... in this kind of situation the eos 3 is 100% accurate and the eos20D probably 98% - nothing to cry about, just to be aware of.

There are a few things that could be improved to make it easier to use; the iso in the viewfinder would be nice, a button dedicated to change quality or parameters (I know I have the SET button for that but it does one or the other, not both...).

There are many small differences in the way to operate the 20D vs an eos 3 but overall it does not take long to feel at home with it.

Finally the ETTL II has proven highly reliable.

The banding at high iso with the internal flash is present even with the latest firmware but it is only annoying at 3200 and even at that setting it goes away fairly easily with a good noise reduction software. In a jpeg, it is visible from 800iso and up but not really annoying below 3200.

And that is my final comment: JPEGs are crappy. Colours are off (at least in P1) and shadows really dark. Anything outside of P2 delivers poor JPegs (in my eyes) and even P2 (all parameters at 0) is not outstanding.

I find canon's software unusable but I have Adobe camera raw and that works like a dream...


Jan 29, 2005
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KyleCanuck
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Registered: Nov 26, 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 108
Review Date: Jan 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Much more of an improvement over the 10d than reviews would have you believe, high ISO performance, AF, Battery Life, Read/Write speed, Raw+Jpeg
Cons:
1.6x Crop Factor, AF (much better, hopefully will continue to improve with 30d), LCD Screen needs to get bigger and better with next generation Canon DSLR's, Battery Pack (add on) grip is too smooth

I want to keep this short and sweet, as the pro's and con's section really outlined my feelings on this camera nicely.

It is in fact a great improvement over the 10d. It moves quickly, like a pro (or semi-pro) SLR should. It reads and writes fast enough so that there is no sitting and waiting like with the 10d. Its high ISO shows marked improvement in 800 and especially 1600 and 3200 ISO images. Autofocus is faster and more accurate than before, and I've always shot with the vertical grip add-on on both the 10d and 20d and the battery life is now improved in nothing short of a remarkable manner.

But speaking of that grip, its too smooth!!! It is actually called a grip, yet, you can't grip it that well at all. Very silly design flaw. While the AF is better, I'm hoping for even more focus points in the next design. The 1.6x crop factor isn't really a complaint, as I'm sure it benefits as many shooters as it does place a disadvantage with some. I am one of the latter. And those LCD's, man oh man is it time for them to get bigger and better.

Overall, it was a hesitant upgrade purchase for me, but one I have never regretted for even a single second.



Jan 22, 2005
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jcrawford
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Registered: Dec 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 167
Review Date: Jan 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: good controls, lots of options.
Cons:
bad location of power switch, Horrible kit lens. just a little too pricy.

I purchased this kit with the 18-55mm ef lens and love the camera. With a decent lens it is a dream to use. the custom options alone make this a great step up from the dreb. I think a more fair price for this camera would be $1200 for body and $1300 for 18-55 kit. although I think they will need to pick a better lens then either of the two that the kits ship with.

I would suggest that you get it without a kit lens and purchase a lens more suited to fit your needs.


Jan 19, 2005
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Matthew Kieren
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Registered: Jan 11, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 142
Review Date: Jan 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,284.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super fast speed, easy to use, quick responsive controls, excellent battery life, silky smooth images, great price!
Cons:
Very few; please read my review below.

I received my 20D in the mail today! Along with the 50mm f/1.8 lens (I didn't buy a kit lens, so this is all I have to begin with). I also have a Bigma 50-500mm on the way (it'll probably get here in 3 or 4 days). This will be my first dSLR. I am upgrading from an Olympus C-5050Z (a very fine P&S camera I might add, it served me well).

I've only used the 20D for about 4 or 5 hours. Here is what I think of it so far, and things that I've noticed about it that I like or dislike:

The Good:

1) Amazing speed and incredibly responsive controls! Everything is SUPER FAST and instantaneous. You can start using the camera the instant you turn it on or come out of sleep-mode.
2) I love having both the control wheel and the joystick. I personally think they are well designed. I can see where someone with big hands might have trouble with the joystick. It works great for me though.
3) It has a very well-rounded balance of quality features, such as a DOF-preview button, mirror lock-up, date/time battery backup (probably lasts for 4 or 5 years minimum and is easy to replace yourself), easy to use controls (some may disagree, this is up to personal preference, I say it is easy and quick to use), etc.
4) Excellent battery life! Even after 4 or 5 hours (lots of flashes, lots of LCD use) the battery isn't even showing that it's half drained. Note: P&S cameras rely more on the LCD display, so that is one reason why P&S cameras have a shorter battery life.
5) You can take pictures very rapidly. While the camera is flushing the buffer out to your CompactFlash card, you can continue to do other things like navigate the menus, adjust settings, even take more pictures if there's enough room in the buffer.
6) Silky smooth images at last!! Goodbye color noise!! Smile
7) I let my girlfriend give it a try, and she went CRAZY with it! She never did that with my previous cameras, so I was kind of shocked at first. I think one of the reasons is because she could take pictures so rapidly without having to wait for the camera to catch up. She was moving around taking pictures so fast that she almost appeared as a blur to me! Smile She was also very impressed with the amazing quality this camera produces.

The Bad:

1) Sometimes the auto-focus has trouble locking on a target in low light conditions. (Even with a fast lens, 50mm f1/.8.) I've noticed it usually happens when you are targetting a "smooth" surface. If you focus on a contrasty edge, then it works perfectly. This probably sounds much worse than it really is -- don't worry, the auto-focus is very good.
2) This one isn't Canon-specific -- sensor dust. It's an issue that a lot of dSLRs have. There are some cameras that use ultrasonic vibrations to help clean the sensor, but unfortunately they are few. One potential problem with relying on ultrasonic vibration to clean the sensor is that the dust gets kicked around and can eventually end up back on the sensor. (In other words, even the ultrasonic vibration technology isn't perfect. There is no easy solution to this problem.)
3) The CompactFlash door is on the right side, and your palm rests against it. Sometimes it wiggles a little (just a tiny little bit). I wish it was a little more solid. I can end up squeezing the camera pretty hard if I'm taking an important shot. I think it's okay though, it could be worse. This is a "nitpicking issue," it probably won't bother most people.
4) Some of the controls are a little stiff. They might loosen up a bit after extended use. Although I'd rather have them stiff and sturdy than loose and ready-to-fall-off like some cameras. It also helps protect against accidentally bumping a control and changing a setting during a critical time.

The Ugly:

0) I haven't found anything at all that really bothers me. Yes there are some issues (like above in "The Bad" section), but what camera doesn't have it's bad points? There is no such thing as a perfect camera. Nothing in this world is perfect. You are getting "more than you should" at this price. The pictures that come out of this camera are as good as much higher priced pro-cameras. The only major difference is that the higher priced cameras have a few extra features, and a higher megapixel rating.

Other Notes:

1) If you are upgrading from a P&S camera, you might notice that the images from the 20D appear quite soft at first. From what I've gathered by researching this online, it is very normal. P&S cameras always oversharpen images because that's what average consumers look for (super sharp images over quality). Professional dSLR cameras don't sharpen by default because it is assumed the user is knowledgeable enough to do the sharpening themselves in Photoshop (or similar programs). Sharpening it yourself is ultimately better because you have more precise control over the process, and the algorithm on your computer is virtually always better than what is offered in-camera.
2) dSLRs do not have a live preview on the LCD screen. Since I'm upgrading from a P&S Olympus C-5050Z with live preview, I wondered "why can't they do it??" After doing some research I discovered it is because of the way the viewfinder works. When you look through the viewfinder, you are looking through the lens you have attached. If you look at the viewfinder on a P&S camera, and you look on the opposite side of the camera, you'll see it goes straight through and not through the actual lens. A dSLR uses mirrors. The mirror is in the way of the sensor when you are looking through the viewfinder, so that's why there is no live preview. When you press the shutter button all the way down, the mirror flips up and the sensor is exposed (the viewfinder also momentarily blacks out). Why is this better you ask? Because it's like looking through glass window. Which has the higher resolution and best color reproduction; your own eyes, or a "TV?"
3) I've noticed some posts with the question, "how can I turn the shutter sound off?" Don't ask this question, people will laugh at you. Smile There is no way to turn it off. P&S cameras try to make you feel like you own something more expensive by playing back a sound file through a tiny speaker. dSLRs do the *real* thing.
4) Here's an important tip about inserting the battery. When you insert the battery, be sure you push it down all the way until it clicks and the white hook grabs it. Otherwise when you try to close the battery door it will bend a little bit on one side and be uneven.
5) For those who haven't heard this tip before: When you attach or detach the lens from the body it is best to keep the body upside down with the sensor facing the floor. This way you can keep dust from falling in and onto the sensor to a minimum. Just be careful, don't drop anything expensive. Smile
6) Also, I recommend that you turn the camera off before changing the lens. In theory, leaving the camera turned on while changing the lens can attract more dust because the sensor is carrying a charge. (Thanks Nill Toulme.)

I hope this mini-review helps someone out there. I know a lot of people already know this stuff. I wrote this primarily for people who are considering to buy a 20D and are looking for information to help them decide, and also for those dSLR newbies out there like myself.

Happy shooting! Smile

[ Matthew E. Kieren ]
Canon EOS 20D :: Canon 50mm f/1.8 II :: Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3


Jan 17, 2005
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havida
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Registered: Jan 12, 2005
Location: Serbia & Montenegro
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 13, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,450.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: 8 MP, good selection of lenses,
Cons:
Low build quality and attention to details and controls. Auto focus and metering inconsistent

I really do not want to recommend this camera. Unfortunately there is great trade-offs involved and everyone should make decision on their own.
I got mine and will probably keep it, only because there is nothing else...
I am VERY disappointed in build quality.
Controls lack good feel and tactile feedback.
Autofocus is fast but somewhat unreliable - occasionally images are out of focus.
LCD screen on the back is low res and small. Impossible to check focus of images even when zoomed in.
LCD screen is also not mounted properly but tilted to one side - I have seen this problem on every 20D so far.
Taking pictures is quite noisy.
Lack of focusing light is bad - People do not want strobing flash in their eyes before picture is taken... If someone beats you because of this, do not be surprised.
Expensive lens such is L series makes this camera look like a plastic toy.
Hand grip design has MINIMUM of ergonomics.
Would I want to keep this camera? After writing and remembering all of this...NO! I will try getting 1D MK II.

Last but not least. The viewfinder is crappy and not covering even close to 100%... I have 25 years old Pentax K1000 which is better than this and Canon S410 point-and-shoot that allows me better cropping of the scene. With 20D I always end up wit things I do not want to see on my pictures...
That's it - last edit of this post... I hope not to remember anything else.



Jan 13, 2005
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jd1566
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Registered: Dec 7, 2004
Location: South Africa
Posts: 46
Review Date: Jan 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: FAST turnon! Responsive camera in every way. Buttons more practical and image rocker button makes it easier to review image. Image quality is good
Cons:
Banding issues on sensor at low ISO's or when image "pushed" in Photoshop - not entirely resolved with latest firmware update. Feels cheaper than 10D. Sensor attracts more dust than 10D.

The 20D is a nice upgrade from the 10D but obviously Canon has cut corners to reduce the cost while improving what they are giving you. The corners are not too drastic, though if you're expecting to keep this camera for a number of years they may come back to haunt you.

Replying to previous post, shutter durability is the same or better than the 10D, sitting at 50000 actuations. This is not alot considering that with the fact that it's digital and it's 5fps, you'll be showing off to friends the fast shutter speed! Considering that this is a digital and a newer version will be released in a year from now, the durability issue becomes very relative.

Things I like about the camera are the responsiveness and fast turn-on time which makes it feel more like a film EOS. What you get in 2005 in a digital SLR is about what my EOS3 was capable of in 1998, so I am very happy. Image quality is good and I'm printing Super A3 prints and am quite satisfied with the results. Why quite.. because it can always get better, but I am comfortable saying that the 20D offers me sufficient image quality for my applications (which are sticking photos on my wall at home).

Things I don't like about the camera - Banding! The image sensor algorithm had a bug - when used with the on-board flash you got horizontal lines in the image. After the firmware update, however, I found that they are STILL THERE. Not as bad as before, and only in underexposed areas, but still present. It is annoying, to say the least, and if I have an image which I really care about, it means much post-processing time which I don't have.

Crop factor - Considering the cost of this camera, I shouldn't complain, but the crop factor is quite limiting. If I knew what the future held in terms of DSLR, and knew for a fact that Canon would continue the reduced frame line of cameras for the forseeable future, I might invest in the 10-22mm lens ($800!!! Not cheap - but weren't reduced frame lenses supposed to be cheap!?!). However I don't know the future, so am hoping that full-frame cameras will become cheaper and save my money for that camera to replace this very good 20D.

Last item.. Post processing of images and the time spent on this task is another annoyance, though not specific to this model camera but digital in general. The time spent in front of the computer working on files has become enormous - I'd rather be out shooting. Still, digital, and this camera, have so much to offer in terms of ease of use and immediacy of results that it's a small price to pay.

In the end I recommend this camera wholeheartedly. I am however waiting for Canon's next step which will be a full frame or almost full-frame affordable unit. One day...


Jan 11, 2005
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Mscott821
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Registered: Jun 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 85
Review Date: Jan 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,409.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Way faster than 10D - turn on, write to card, and multi shoot/hi-speed mode. Very clean high ISO. LCD seems clearer
Cons:
Some of the build is definitely on the light-weight/cheezy side. Shutter is LOUD. Viewfinder no as good coverage as 10D.

I have had numerous P&S cams over the years - I had like a latent love of photography but was always kind of disappointed and didn't know I was a frustrated photog.

About 4 years ago I got my first digital still cam. Actually came in the form of a Sony Mini DV video cam that also did 1mp stills. I ended up using that more for the stills than the vid, so I bought a Minolta Dimage 7i, which was a huge jump from the Sony - 5mp, the ability to control aperture, shutter, etc.

Last year I bought a 10D. WOW!! What an eye opener. I may not be like a lot of you, or maybe I am like alot of you, I dunno..., not sure who most of the readers of this site are, anyway...
Never owned a film SLR in my life - went right to digital. I have always believed in the benefits of digi over film, but then again I am (currently, or rather, I make more money still as a technology consultant than as a photog) a techie, so it is a natural choice for me. Seems like a no brainer now that the quality is there. I have to stifle a laugh when I hear that Sports Illustrated is completely digital for last year or so. National Geo had their first all digital cover article this past year or so... Duh? Like that wasn't going to happen. There are local photogs in the area who wax prolific about film and the process. And therein is the deal - it is not about the images, it is about the process and what it means to them on an emotional level.

Well, back to the 20D...
I came into a little lump of cash and on impulse bought a 20D, which I had actually made up my mind that I would not do because it did not seem like enough to spend the same money all over again (from the 10D that is).

It is not. I will say this: If you have a 10D, unless you are coming up short on some specific feature that the 10D can't handle - speed the most likely candidate, don't bother - the change from the 10 to the 20 isn't worth spending another $1500. Save the money, put it toward the 1D MkII - I almost wish I had held out - but wasn't sure I could justify the expense to either myself or my wife.

Let me qualify - if you are a pro - forget all of this - you need to do what business dicatates. This is for folks like me - advanced amatuers or semi-pro (i.e. - you make your living doing something else, but your 'habit' has a semblance, hopefully, of at least looking like it pays for itself).

So, initial impressions:

Do I love the 20D? Yup. If it was my only cam, I would think photography is the best thing that ever happend to the human race. Honestly, as much as I love the 10D, this is my new primary axe. I feel a little dis-loyal, but the all-but-instant-responsiveness of the 20D makes the 10 feel all but glacial - turn on, time to review, etc. Even the hi-speed mode feels way faster even if the numbers don't seem like a big deal - what is it, 3fps for the 10, 5 for the 20? Makes a big difference, though when you're shooting horses, hockey or race cars.

I have taken about 21,000 pix with my 10D in the past year.

Thus far I have taken 1800 with the 20D, have had it 2 weeks - wow seems hard to believe. You wouldn't do that with film if you weren't pro. Grandson, hockey, local architecture (live in an historic location).

What else?

Not sure if it is familiarity with the 10D or actually an issue - I prefer the metering of the 10D over the 20D. FOR YOU 10D USERS OUT THERE, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY THESE CAMS METER!!!!!!. Same image, lighting, etc. the 10D will meter more evenly and better than the 20D, in high contrast situations we're talking.

Another thing that SUCKS about the 20, is the viewfinder coverage - LESS THAN THE 10D. Again, I don't know what the specs say, but the 20 does not have the coverage of the 10. This may not be an issue for some of you, but I have a real point on my head when it comes to cropping a photo later. I have no problem with post-processing, but cropping a photo is just about apostasy - you lose pixels and you are not presenting that image as was seen/taken. Anyway, this is not a religion (yes, I am involved with a 12 step program to get me through this, but in the meantime) discussion, SO, it's probably not a big deal. BUT if you want exacting composition, the 20D comes up lacking. Get the 1D which is supposedly 100% or very close. I know that the 10D is not 100% either, but it is noticeably better the the 20.

I hate how the 20 is cheezy, almost cheap feeling. I never felt that the 10 was cheap. The 20 feels like corners were cut. Yes, it is not a 1 series, but for $1500, give or take, it should not make you feel that way, we're not talking a Rebel here or something. No offense to the 300 users out there. That camera is fine, it is just in another price point, 35-45% is a pretty big differential, so if there is a difference in build, it is to be expected.
The mode dial is cheezy. The memory door is cheezier. The dial on the back is cheezier. The battery door is cheezier. Fewer buttons may be good sometimes, but it also makes it seem that they (Canon) wanted to cut cost. The dial by the shutter button is lighter wieght. The lighter wieght of the body itself is good, perhaps. The louder shutter calls in to question the substantial-ness of the body - louder noise from the inside means that there is less to block the noise, meaning less build/body. Overall, seems like more plastic in the frame and less metal.

The other big concern - I thought I read somewhere (here or Steve's, or Luminous Landscape) that the 10D was rated for 250,000 pix and that the 20 is rated at 50,ooo!!! What? A $1500 camera that may start to fail after 50,000 exposures? Well, isn't that convenient? (For Canon, that is.) I could burn through this thing in two years!!! I may be wrong, please correct me if I am. But that is pretty sad if true, and perhaps the BIGGEST REASON TO NOT BUY THIS CAMERA. Buy the 1D MkII. It is only about twice the cost. It has many extra perks and it will last 5x longer.

I have to say that the shoulder strap is nicer than the one that came with the 10D. The 10D had one that has 'iron-on transfer' lettering, the 20D is stitched. Also the entire inside of the 20D strap is rubber lined, or mostly. The 10D had like two spots of anti-slip.

So, longwinded? Sorry.

Summary:

The 20D is infinitely usable. Perfect? No. Worth the cost? Maybe.

If you are concerned about image and not longevity, the 20D is a great camera.

If you want a friend with whom you will be with for many years and you shoot many pix (greater than 15,ooo/year), probably not a good choice if I am correct about the shutter life).

Let me know your thoughts!


Jan 9, 2005
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Mscott821
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Registered: Jun 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 85
Review Date: Jan 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,409.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Way faster than 10D - turn on, write to card, and multi shoot/hi-speed mode. Very clean high ISO. LCD seems clearer
Cons:
Some of the build is definitely on the light-weight/cheezy side. Shutter is LOUD. Viewfinder no as good coverage as 10D.

I have had numerous P&S cams over the years - I had like a latent love of photography but was always kind of disappointed.

About 4 years ago I got my first digital still cam. Actually came in the form of a Sony Mini DV video cam that also did 1mp stills. I ended up using that more for the stills than the vid, so I bought a Minolta Dimage 7i, which was a huge jump from the Sony - 5mp, the ability to control aperture, shutter, etc.
Last year I bought a 10D. WOW!! What an eye opener. I may not be like a lot of you, or maybe I am like alot of you, I dunno..., not sure who most of the readers of this site are, anyway...
Never owned a film SLR in my life - went right to digital. I have always believed in the benefits of digi over film, but then again I am (currently, or rather I make more money still as a technology consultany than as a photog) a techie, so it is a natural choice for me. Seems like a no brainer now that the quality is there. I have to stifle a laugh when I hear that Sports Illustrated is completely digital for last year or so. National Geo had there first all digital cover article this past year or so... Duh? Like that wasn't going to happen. There are local photogs in the area who wax prolific about film and the process. And therein is the deal - it is not about the images, it is about the process and what it means to them on an emotional level.

Well, back to the 20D...
I came into a little lump of cash and on impulse bought a 20D, which I had actually made up my mind that I would not do because it did not seem like enough to spend the same money all over again.

It is not. I will say this: If you have a 10D, unless you are coming up short on some specific feature that the 10D can't handle - speed the most likely candidate, don't bother - the change from the 10 to the 20 isn't worth spending another $1500. Save the money, put it toward the 1D MkII - I almost wish I had held out - but wasn't sure I could justify the expense to either myself or my wife.

Let me qualify - if you are a pro - forget all of this - you need to do what business dicatates. This is for folks like me - advanced amies or semi-pro (i.e. - you make your living doing something else, but your 'habit' has a semblance, hopefully, of at least looking like it pays for itself).

So, initial impressions:

Do I love the 20D? Yup. If it was my only cam, I would think photography is the best thing that ever happend to the human race. Honestly, as much as I love the 10D, this is my new primary axe. I feel a little dis-loyal, but the all but instant responsiveness of the 20D makes the 10 feel all but glacial - turn on, time to review. Even the hi-speed mode feel way faster even if the numbers don't seem like a big deal - what is it 3fps for the 10, 5 for the 20? Makes a big difference.

I have taken about 21,000 pix with my 10D in the past year.

Thus far I have taken 1800 with the 20D, have had it 2 weeks - wow seems hard to believe. You wouldn't do that with film if you weren't pro.

What else?

Not sure if it is familiarity with the 10D or actually an issue - I prefer the metering of the 10D over the 20D. FOR YOU 10D USERS OUT THERE, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY THESE CAMS METER!!!!!!. Same image, lighting, etc. the 10D will meter more evenly and better than the 20D, in high contrast situations we're talking.

Another thing that SUCKS about the 20, is the viewfinder coverage. LESS THAN THE 10D. Again, I don't know what the specs say, but the 20 does not have the coverage of the 10. This may not be an issue for some of you, but I have a real point on my head when it comes to cropping a photo later. I have no problem with post-processing, but cropping a photo is just about apostasy - you lose pixels and you are not presenting that image as was seen/taken. Anyway, this is not a religion (yes, I am involved with a 12 step program it get me through this, but in the meantime) discussion, SO, it's probably not a big deal. BUT if you want exacting composition, the 20D comes up lacking. Get the 1D which is supposedly 100% or very close. I know that the 10D is not 100% either, but it is noticeably better the the 20.

I hate how the 20 is cheezy, almost cheap feeling. I never felt that the 10 was cheap. The 20 feels like corners were cut. Yes, it is not a 1 series, but for $1500, give or take, it should not make you feel that way, we're not talking a Rebel here or something. No offense to the 300 users out there. That camera is fine, it is just in another price point, 35-45% is a pretty big differential.
The mode dial is cheezy. The memory door is cheezier. The dial on the back is cheezier. The battery door is cheezier. Fewer buttons may be good sometimes, but it also makes it seem that they wanted to cut cost. The dial by the shutter button is lighter wieght. The lighter wieght is good, perhaps. The louder shutter also calls in to question the substantial-ness of the body - louder noise from the inside means that there is less to block the noise. Overall, seems like more plastic in the frame and less metal.

The other big concern - I thought I read somewhere (here or Steve's, or Luminous Landscape) that the 10D was rated for 250,000 pix and that the 20 is rated at 50,ooo!!! What? A $1500 that may start to fail after 50,000 exposures? Well, isn't that convenient. I could burn through this thing in two years!!! I may be wrong, please correct me if I am. But that is pretty sad if true, and perhaps the BIGGEST REASON TO NOT BUY THIS CAMERA.



Jan 9, 2005
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Canon EOS 20D

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