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  Reviews by: Billie JR  

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Canon EOS 20D

Review Date: Jun 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: PRICE! (used), 5fps! Construction, IQ, Noise Control, Battery Life, Hand Grip Size, Accurate AF (mostly).
Small Screen (made worse in sunlight), Loud Shutter Noise, Occasional Err99, Flimsy with BG-E2, No Anti-Dust (not that Canon was using that tech back then).

I bought a second one of these for a bargain on eBay used - $500 with a BG-E2 and it had only done 3000 actuations.

I simply adore this camera - you cannot go wrong if you buy one of these second hand so long as you ensure it has low shutter actuations. I always thought the shutter was rated at 50 000 but the folks at Canon told me it was 100 000 so I'm a bit unsure.

It's loud shutter noise takes some time getting used to - especially if you do a lot of work indoors at quieter events. A lot of my work in theatres and I've tried various sound-muffling techniques to no avail. So I had to wait until climatic scenes (when the actors shout, etc.) to shoot which was a major hindrance. Now I either stay far away from the audience or bring a different camera along.

I felt the menus were a bit sluggish at times but when I got into the habit of using the Jump button my concerns were no more.

The battery life (with or without a battery grip) on this camera is simply superb. I'm not sure how but I've gone shoots on end without changing batteries - I used a Rebel XTi for a month and had to charge for every shoot.

A lot of my work also involves fast-moving subjects so the 5fps is very welcomed. It's hard to fathom the 5D and other (much more expensive) models can only squeeze out 3fps. So if you need a budgeted sports camera this is probably ideal (1.6x crop + fast fps).

As someone who came to digital photography from film, I trust my instincts and rarely review images. However, on the occasions I have (usually social snaps to check no-one is blinking), I have found the size and brightness of the screen to be troublesome.

Perhaps my main grief with this camera - and I realise this might is probably trivial to most of you - is that it seems to attract much more dust than any other digital camera I have ever used. I tend to change lenses a few times a day and though I take due care - the camera still manages to gobble up dust that manifest themselves into awful dust spots. I have used the 350D, 10D and 30D at some point - all lack Anti-Dust technology but none attract half as much dust as my 20D. It's quite bizarre.

All in all, this camera is really great and I think is one of Canon's underrated little gems.
Also, in reading this review I should let you know I am a cynic and therefore have probably spoken disproportionately about this camera's faults.