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Canon EOS 20D

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200 218677 Dec 4, 2009
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,355.57
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- 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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Registered: May 27, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 219
Review Date: May 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great AF, High ISO performance, file size, parameters use, solid feel, battery life, 5 fps, quick shutter release response
smaller viewfinder, still jealous of friends with 1D's and their 8 fps

My 20D is my baby. She does great work for me and is incredibly dependable. I've put almost 34,000 frames through her since June last year and she just keeps taking more.

I use it with the BG-E2 battery grip and it feels great in my hands, and the ISO 3200 is great for baseball games with very, very little light.

I wish I could have a bigger viewfinder, but I can do ok with this one. It just makes me appreciate my AE-1P more.

May 29, 2006
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Registered: Apr 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 641
Review Date: May 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,049.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great AF, 8 MP, 5 frames per second.
The size of the vertical grip. Like the grip on the 10D better.

I bought this camera in late May and love it. Since most stores are trying to get rid of the 20D because of the 30D, I took advantage of the price slash.

I love the autofocus and the 5 fps. I shot a baseball game for the first time with the camera and it worked tremendously well, better than the 10D. I did have to hold off on the shutter. The 5 fps are a little overwhelming for me. The only time I had 5 fps was on my A2 film camera.

This is a great camera. I love it.

May 27, 2006
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Registered: Mar 14, 2005
Location: Tanzania
Posts: 220
Review Date: May 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Responsiveness, High ISO/Noise Performance, Build and Layout, Burst Rate, Focus Point Selection Joystick, Viewfinder compared to other 1.5/6 x Crop Cameras
No spot meter :(, shutter noise, no RGB histogram

I think you can tell from my "cons" panel that the 30D is exactly what I was after when I bought this camera 6 months ago. Unfortunately it didn't exist at the time! In every other respect this is a great camera. I have used it to get some truly amazing shots.

When I was considering the purchase (last camera was a film EOS 5/A2e), I was looking at the 20D vs 350D. After comparing them, there's no way I could go with the smaller viewfinder of the 350D, and the 350D's body is just too small for my large (though not huge) hands. In fact last night I looked through the viewfinder of a Nikon D70, and it was similar to the 350D - it seems Canon did a great job to make the 20D's viewfinder so much bigger. I can manually focus (important for closeup work) on this, but not a chance with a smaller finder.

High ISO quality is incredible, though I ideally shoot at 100-200 ISO. Coupled with the 17-85mmIS I have a shot backlit by a single bulb at ISO 3200 at 1/8second that is sharp and relatively noise free after raw processing in ACR.

When I bought it, I thought all it needed to make it perfect (for this price point anyway) was a spot meter and RGB histogram. Enter the 30D.

May 9, 2006
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Registered: Jul 8, 2005
Location: France
Posts: 281
Review Date: May 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image Quality, very good resolution, high ISO performances, start-up delay, ergonomy, construction, bright Viewfinder, low price.
Tiny Viewfinder, no ISO in Viewfinder, 95% Viewfinder, squeaky CF card door.

This is a very capable Camera in expert hands. After one year of pretty intense use, I fail to find real cons to this jewel.
High resolution, beautiful build quality, exceptional high ISO
performances, this DSLR really deserves the best glasses to
show all its potential. Once mastered, it delivers wonderful
images; now let's see if the use can follow!

Highly Recommended!!

May 2, 2006
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Registered: Feb 16, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Contruction, AF, AE, ISO noise control, customisable, res for highend lenses.
Viewfinder crop, ISO not in viewfinder,

Upgrade from a 300D. The ISO noise handling was the biggest selling point for me and the 20D doesn't disappoint. The choice was between this and the 350xt. The main point against the 350xt was the lack of size. I'm not a big person by any means, but the 300D was as small as I would like to go. I normally have expensive glass (to me) hanging off my camera's and I just don't feel secure having them on such a small camera which all of my fingers all won't fit on the grip.

Colour accuracy is quite good and has a certain refined quality about it that is hard to describe but is something that really sets it apart from the 300D. Setting the profile to adobe1998 is a good start.

Build quality is as much as you would expect from a camera of this class. I don't baby any of my gear, it gets taken to some pretty unfriendly places, but I won't have any worries about this body not being able to stand up to it. This is why I don't go for more expensive gear, the chance of it being wrecked is kinda high.

AF/AE are good. I use a 100-400L a fair bit but it had a bit of softness from 300-400 on the 300D and had to be stopped down to 11. On the 20D I can get away with stopping it down to 8 or 9, a huge advantage for me and is what is considered normal for this lens. Maybe its a question of lens detail to sensor res or perhaps the 300D had resolving issues with this lens, i'm not sure.

I'm indifferent to the shutter noise. It is a little noisy, but it has that grunt tone to it, like my muscle cars are pretty noisy, but I wouldn't necessarily say that was a bad thing Smile.

The price you can pick these cameras up for is very fair for what you get. It has a refined quality about it that is more than what I was expecting from a camera in this class.

All in all a good serious amateur/semi pro lens or a backup for a pro.

Apr 13, 2006
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Registered: Jan 15, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4805
Review Date: Apr 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Speed, image quality, high ISO noise handling
I'd like a larger RAW buffer & a faster write speed. Spot meter would be nice.

I waffled for a long time between this camera and the D100. I made the right decision. The 20D is simply an awesome tool & still amazes me how well it works. It's been able to handle just about every situation I've thrown at it. The only limitation I run up against is shooting RAW I can fill up the buffer pretty easily. Highly recommended.

Apr 10, 2006
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Registered: Oct 27, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 309
Review Date: Apr 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: 8 megapixels, fast focusing, custom functions, solid build, ISO 400.
A little red in the skin tones maybe it's just me. No Spot metering. 1.6 crop factor.

I like this camera, it's a step up from my original D Rebel. I am at looking getting a 5D for the FF sensor only because I am now shooting in my home studio with confined spaces. I don't really like using wide angle lenses on my 20D regardless of the 1.6 conversion. There is still distortion and I don't like distortion when photographing models. Saving up for the 5D.

Apr 8, 2006
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Registered: Dec 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 410
Review Date: Mar 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality, flexibility, ease of use, fast fps rate, very low noise, great picture quality,
loud shutter, viewfinder, ISO selection not in viewfinder, small screen, no RGB histogram, Custom Functions

I have now been shooting with the 20D for a 15 months, and have put on close to 30k shots. Prior to that, it had been a few years since I had used my old A1, and I refused to pick up earlier digitals. Literally from the moment I picked up the 20D, I was amazed at the capabilities of this camera, and would highly recommend it, especially as the price has now come down. I give the price/value rating a 10+, all others a 9 only because i know of the 1 series. This is an outstanding amateur camera.

This camera has seen action in many environments, most recently on the beach, but has also been through mountains, Niagara Falls, snow, heat, football, basketball, theater, concerts, and pretty much any "normal" use condition you can think of. It blows away my brother's D70 in terms of speed (AF, ISO, and FPS). It is far more usable in any situation.

At first, I did not realize its capabilities, but as my proficiency grew (I have rarely used any of the programmed modes: only M, Av, Tv to better learn exposure skills) so did the capabilities of this camera. Smile

The other major factor that increases the camera's usability is the quality of glass one selects. I almost immediately made the jump to mid level glass and saw a significant increase in the quality of my shots -- moving to "L" glass was only a hard choice because of the cost, but adding high quality lenses DOES make a significant difference. I now have about an 80% "keeper" rate. The 28-135 is an excellent all around starter lens with this camera, but L glass does make a visible difference both in terms of performance and picture.

So what do I most like and appreciate about this camera?
+ OUTSTANDING high ISO performance. Initially, I shied away from any ISO over 400 for fear of noise. Now, I regularly find myself using ISO 3200 when conditions warrant. 1600 is very good, and 3200 can be acceptable.
+ VERY GOOD predictive AF, especially at this price point, but AF is not perfect.
+ FAST burst mode.
+ IMAGE QUALITY / resolution is excellent. I recently made a very acceptable print at 20x30. Unless there was operator error, picture quality is always outstanding at 8x12.
+ Build quality - the camera feels solid and works as advertised 99% of the time. Despite an occasional error code that is easily solved by taking the battery out for a few seconds.
+ Ease of use. I have put it in the hands of my 12 yo nephew, and he took some very good shots. Can easily be tethered to a computer. I shoot in Manual mode 90% of the time, and it is very easy to make needed adjustments.
+/- 1.6 crop factor. I love it for long shots (especially sports), but wish it wasn't there for sweeping landscapes of tall buildings.
+ excellent battery life. (and generic replacements are cheap too!) Get a spare battery for those long days. I usually get about 250 - 300 pictures from a single charge, but this varies with AF, IS, and image reviewing.

What could be improved? (nothing to hate)
-- viewfinder. very small and dark, and only covers about 95% of image.
-- ISO not in viewfinder, though it is easy enough to change.
-- No spot meter. 9% is not close enough for critical work.
--LCD screen is small and never indicative of the actual image captured.
-- menus. I would like to see some functions more easily accesible (ie: image quality, flash sync, and mirror lockup). Here's a suggestion: make the settings and buttons programmable by computer -- or at least in camera -- and have one button access to scroll through the various user-defined selections including button assignment and shooting modes. Tethered programming would also allow a better help system for learning the features of the camera and its capabilities as well as how different possibilities interact.
-- Software bundling. While the products themselves are very good, upgrading must be done individually, rather than as a package.

Overall, I would highly recommend this camera to anyone who thinks they like taking pictures with any degree of manual control. Shoot RAW and never be disappointed.

Mar 29, 2006
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Registered: Mar 14, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 299
Review Date: Mar 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, image quality
I wish it was full frame, I want faster access custom funciton or preset settings.

Simply put, most of us want full frame but cant afford it. We want all the goodies but not the price. The 20D is that and you only sacrifice a 1.6x. Yes this is a pain but it is nearly standard now so lots of resources are available on now to emotionally cope with it.

I bought when it was new and havent regretted it.

Mar 28, 2006
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Registered: Dec 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6561
Review Date: Mar 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: speed (fps & iso), performance, price, quality
none - worth every penny

Some will nitpick about a smallish LCD, or having to traverse 2 menu settings to enable mirror lockup. I am not one of them. For me the evaluation criterion is simple: can it get the shot I am trying to make. My experience has been that it absolutely can. I have taken indoor soccer/basketball shots with absolutely no trouble catching the action. With the advent of the 30D, for $1100 you can get a camera with: excellent high ISO performance; fast frame rate; great predictive AF; and overall beautiful picture quality.

I took the following shot at ISO 3200/f4 with my tamron 28-75 (I forgot and left it in oneshot AF). I can't imagine any other camera for less than $1398 getting that shot (certainly not a d-reb)

Mar 24, 2006
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Registered: Feb 22, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,140.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Speed (tracking focus, writing to CF card, burst shots, etc.), solid feel of the camera, resolution/image quality, reasonable price and great battery life. A noticeable step-up from the Digital Rebel.
Nothing major, but a couple nit pickings would include the strange on/off switch placement/function and the 'joystick' functionality doesn't work smoothly for me in picture preview.

I'm a newbie, but stepped up from a Digital Rebel to the 20D during a recent Upward basketball league at our church. The number of usable photos I was able to obtain with the 20D and a 50mm f/1.4 lens was a dramatic improvement over the DR and kit lens. Of course, it was a few more dollars in equipment, so one would expect better results for the amateur photographer not familiar with compensating for a camera's shortcomings.

The 20Ds tracking and focus abilities were very impressive to me and the ability to fire off a burst of shots to make sure you got the picture was amazing to someone with relatively little SLR camera experience.

I'm sure I will run into limitations someday, but for the beginning amateur, the 20D offers a large learning space with few barriers.

Mar 6, 2006
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Registered: Dec 6, 2005
Location: Portugal
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great noiseless performance up to and including ISO 3200. Quick and accurate autofocus
Shutter noise, small LCD

Feb 27, 2006
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Registered: Oct 23, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Feb 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Excellent image quality, autofocus
Controls, battery grip, viewfinder, menus, handling

I have a love hate relationship with the 20D, it is a camera that frustrates me a great deal, yet it consistently delivers superb quality images.

I use EOS 1D class DLSR's for the majority of my professional work, and a 20D for personal and recreational photography. Coming from a 1D class camera I am used to a 100% viewfinder, the 20D has somewhere around 95% which makes a real difference when you compose shots accurately and then find something distracting has crept into the edge of your frame that you didn't see in the viewfinder. I know that this may not be important to a lot of people but it annoys the heck out of me!

The cameras battery grip is useful but not very secure, if you mount it on a tripod with the battery grip fitted the whole thing will actually vibrate if you tap the camera with your finger - not very good for slow shutter speed work! Much better to mount the tripod to the camera base, not the battery grip. Then we have the mirror lock up, tucked away in the depths of the custom function menu - what were Canon thinking!

Overall the handling doesn't feel that great, and I find I constantly have to remove the camera from my eye to adjust settings which can't be seen in the viewfinder. The autofocus however is very good.

In conclusion, I may have a lot of complaints about this camera, but I still continue to use it, mainly because of the superb images that it can produce.

Feb 18, 2006
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Registered: Oct 7, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 227
Review Date: Feb 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: The best camera on its range,bar none.
Small RAW buffer,too many menu-driven options for my liking.Wish i could afford full frame.

I love it.Nearly flawless in every aspect.Autofocus is super fast and very accurate(to me,a few reviews here had AF complaints,i find it perfect).
Amazing image quality,super fast operation,great viewfinder,i love the ergonomics and METAL body(love the clickwheel),very nice ISO performance,DIGIC II,5 frames a second! This camera is amazing,I'm never upgrading from it till i can afford full frame.
I give it a 10 since i find it the clear best in its price range(to me this smokes a D70,D100 and any effort in the Olympus lineup,including their very nice E-1),but i do see room for improvement:
-RAW buffer is small at 6 frames,this means you can fill it up in 1.2 seconds if you use continous burt,but its processor does flush frames down real fast.
-MENUS! I HATE menus! I want the next version of it to have external dials for : Mirror lockup,burst mode,single shot AF and timed shot.I'd also rather NOT have a button assigned for 2 functions(WB/AFmode and such).ISO showing on the viewfinder(when im setting it) would be very much welcome.
-People complaing about no spot meter(i coudn't care less),so i guess it would be nice for Canon to add that in.Maybe weather seals(doubt it at this range).

I love this camera,the D200 is basically a 20D with a few upgrades(same base features/speed,bigger buffer and sensor-which is nice- and worse ISO performance),and 2 years late,to me that says it all.
Buy the battery grip,it will never die.
I love this camera.

Feb 5, 2006
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Registered: Dec 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 617
Review Date: Jan 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,199.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Almost Instant Start Up. Fast Write and Read Times, Solid Feel Just Like My Old 10D. Better Auto Focus. Better Noise Reduction.
Slightly Smaller Grip Than The 10D.

I purchased this camera to upgrade from the 10D that I have been using for over two years. One of the reasons I upgraded was due to the rebate offer from Canon saving me $300. This camera is better in every way coming from the 10D. Overall image quality is not that noticable compared to the 6mp 10D but noise reduction is far improved at higher ISO's. Start up speed is almost instant which is one of the things that annoyed me with the 10D. Review time is just as fast on the rear LCD where the 10D would be blurry for a few seconds before you could actually view the image. The USB 2.0 feature is nice when I want to download images to another computer and keeps me from dragging my card reader around with me.

Auto focus is improved from the 10D as well. Although not a night and day improvement, it does seem to track subjects better than the 10D when in AI Servo mode.

The only thing I see that I liked better about the 10D was the grip. I have large hands and the 20D grip is smaller than the 10D but after adding the battery grip I have gotten over this issue and it is no longer a problem.

Jan 23, 2006
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Registered: Jun 8, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
Review Date: Jan 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,275.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wonderful camera! turns on fast, it takes sharp photos, it's accurate and well made. A great camera form the money!
I wish the mirror lock up was easier to activate. --but hey if i have time to put the camera on and a tripod and get it ready then i suppose i have time to set mirror lock up in the custom funstions...

I just bought the 20d and even though it is near the end of it's production run (its been around for a year and a half) its still a great camera! One of the reasons i waited this long is the new low price and final versions of cameras usually have all the bugs worked out.

~~~i love it!~~~

Jan 17, 2006
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Canon EOS 20D

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
200 218677 Dec 4, 2009
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,355.57
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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