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Canon EOS 20D

Review Date: Jul 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: A lot for the money, well built, 5 fps - all-in-all everything with it makes me HAPPY!
Loud shutter.

Others pretty much have said it all, but I felt like adding some things, maybe from a somewhat different perspective (being a wheelchair using photog). I had the 300D, but had some things I missed with it. One was that it was too slow for me in some situations. Another was that I felt a large need to use a battery grip for good balance, especially with the 70-200/4L, which was really impractical for me, simply as it did not fit nicely into the bag that I use, hanging in front of my wheelchair. Simple little thing, but problematic nonetheless, as I need to put the camera into the bag for moving around when I use a manual wheelchair, and this bag has worked so very well as an "in-front-of-knees" bag supported by 2 "custom made" straps attached to the wheelchair back on each side. Having to either take off the lens or the grip, did not work well. Also, I need good balance, but it all can't be too heavy, as my arms aren't very strong. So I missed something that would give me the nice balance, without having to use an additional battery grip. And, I also missed a bit having a quicker camera in some situations (like action, moving kids/animals etc.). So when the 30D came, and prices on slightly used 20D's dropped like a heavy stone, the timing was perfect. From the very first day I have really LOVED this camera! There's really only one thing I miss, and that is a more silent shutter (and ISO in the viewfinder would have been nice!). The 300D's shutter was much better when taking pics in silent places, e.g. at conferences. Not fun when the person beside you suddenly gets up and moves to another seat (happened a couple of weeks ago)... Sad

Allover this camera is just a great find these days! I know for sure that this will be with me for years to come, and it gives me so much fun! It just works with you and obeys your commands, and I find the results very pleasing. Taking pics in both RAW and JPG is great, sometimes I will just use the JPG as it is, other times RAW is just what I need. Now my focus is building a "lens park", with reasonably good lenses that will suit my use, so that I have just what I need for the different challenges photography can throw at you as an aspiring "serious hobby photographer" (which for me means finding solutions of reasonably good speed, build and quality, without using the real big bucks, which I just can't).

This is somewhat beside the camera itself, but I have seen others do it and have found their additions useful myself, so I am choosing to do it too - mentioning what I have found and think will be the best "companions" for my 20D, for my use (hobby use, different types of photos). Allover I have found that, maybe with the exception of the kit lens 18-55mm which I actually do find quite useful (and an old "gem" 35-80mm III), cheap and slow lenses just don't "cut it". I'd like lenses where I can trust that they deliver, so I can concentrate on the creative part of photographing, at the same time as I just can't afford the real expensive ones and have to avoid the real heavy ones.

My "equipment park" will hopefully, in a year or two, consist of (original Canon if brand is not mentioned):
Sigma 10-20, EF-S 17-55 f2.8 (or new Tokina 16-50/2.8), 70-200 f4L, 50mm f1.8, 85 f1.8, Sigma 150 f2.8, Kenko 1.4X, Canon 500D close-up lens and a 550 or 580EX flash. In addition I already have some other zooms and MF Primes (macro's), an old Vivitar macro focusing 2X teleconverter, 4 manual flashes and 1 studio flash as well as different lighting accessories/radio slaves. The last ones on my list, yet to be bought (hopefully lightly used) are the Sigma 150mm (macro/concerts/action - complementing the 70-200/4 in low light etc), the Canon 500D ("travel macro" with 70-200), the Canon flash and the 85/1.8 (portraits etc., a *dream* would be the 85/1.2 though). With this "park", I truly think that my needs will be pretty well covered.

I realize this is a different review, but hope it will be of use to somebody! Smile

Good luck to you! If you are a wheelchair user that needs other's experiences on how to deal with challenges on how to handle getting around with gear etc., feel free to send me a message and I will try my best to share what I have experienced. Smile