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Nikon D70s DSLR
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Nikon Coolpix S1
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z750
Canon EOS 20D
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20
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Canon EOS 5D
Nikon D200
Canon EOS 30D
Canon EOS 400D
Nikon D80 DSLR
Nikon D40
Canon EOS 40D (Rumored)

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February 2010

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Canon EOS 20D

Canon-Eos-20DThe Canon EOS 20D is an 8.2 megapixel Digital SLR which replaces their popular EOD 10D. It features a DIGIC II Image Processor, 9-Point Autofocus and Up to 23 Consecutive Frames at Five Frames Per Second.

Canon are marketing this camera to wedding and portrait photographers, photo journalists and serious amateurs. It's a camera that is sure to be popular with all classes of serious photographers.

Get the latest price on the Canon EOS 20D Digital SLR at Amazon and elsewhere.


Canon EOS 20D Reviews

Digital Image Outback has a good experience report on the Canon EOS 20D - check it out - it has good pictures taken with the 20D.

Epinions reviews the Canon EOS 20D and writes - 'I can't find much to complain about. There have been some reports of a "lock up" problem on some of the photography forums in which the camera seems to lock up and not shoot after either a prolonged sleep time, or after a lens change. They are still trying to get a handle on that and are unable to reproduce the problem to troubleshoot it. It seems to be always overcome by removing the battery and effectively rebooting the camera's computer, but it could be annoying if you use the camera for a living. The diagnosis may be prolonged since none of the users are willing to return their cameras to Canon for analysis! My camera has survived 1,000 shots with total competence, so it may have been an early batch.'

Luminous Landscapes has a field report of the Canon EOS 20D and writes - 'Perfection? Hardly. But, the 20D is definitely a worthwhile upgrade for anyone with a previous generation Canon DSLR, and many a pro will find that while it doesn't have the ruggedness and weatherproofing of the 1D MKII, and the viewfinder is also smaller and dimmer, the 20D offers much of the performance of its bigger brother at a third of the price. For anyone just entering the digital SLR fray, the Canon 20D, because of its high image quality, excellent performance, and moderate price, may well be the camera to remove a film diehard's final excuses.'

More reviews of the Canon EOS 20D after these messages from our sponsors:

Digital Media Thoughts reviews the Canon EOS 20D and writes - 'A faster frame rate, improved auto-focus, better image quality at higher ISO all contribute to the success of this latest offering. For Canon shooters wondering if the 20D is worth the upgrade from previous models it's hard to say. For me, there are many improvements over the 300D however, 10D users might not find enough difference to trade up. For those folks out there looking to get into the digital SLR market, the 20D is a perfect blend of high end features with an affordable price tag.'

DP Review reviews the Canon EOS 20D and writes - 'As soon as we got our hands on the Nikon D70 it became fairly clear that it was a camera which although priced nearer to the EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) could compete with the more expensive EOS 10D. Canon knew this and obviously also knew that they would have to raise the bar still higher to stay ahead. They should then be fairly proud that with the EOS 20D they have certainly done that.'

Check out the first image samples of the Canon EOS 20D.

Digital Photo Outback has a good comparison of images taken with the Canon EOS 20D and the Canon 1D Mark II.

O'Reilly's have a good first look at the Canon EOS 20D. They write - 'If you're a traditional film camera buff and haven't yet entered the world of digital cameras because the point-and-shoot cameras weren't your style, the Canon EOS 20D is a solid workhorse that might just make you retire your 35mm SLR for good.

If you're a digital point-and-shoot camera user and are ready to move on to interchangeable lenses, better low-light sensitivity, and a more professional look, you might be tempted to jump to the Digital Rebel. But for only 50 percent more money, the 20D will give you faster shooting speeds, better low-light sensitivity, easier-to-use controls, eight megapixels (versus six in the Rebel), and a good base of compatibility for future Canon products.'

Get the latest price on the Canon EOS 20D Digital SLR at Amazon and elsewhere.

DCRP Reviews the Canon EOS-20D and writes - 'I'll be blunt: the Canon EOS-20D is the best reasonably priced digital SLR that I've tested. And by reasonably priced I meant under $2000. There's so much to like about the 20D, I don't know where to start. Photo quality is excellent, with photos having an ultra smooth look to them. Color and exposure were both accurate. Personally I'd crank the sharpness up another notch, but that's just me. Noise levels are very low, even at ISO 1600 -- try that with your fixed-lens camera!'

Steve's Digicams reviews the Canon EOS 20D ad writes - 'With 8-megapixel resolution, excellent image quality, reduced noise at high ISO settings, robust shooting performance, accurate AF, responsive Continuous AF, and improved ergonomics, there's a lot to like about the 20D. Canon has certainly set a new benchmark for what an enthusiast dSLR should be, and the under-$1500 20D even encroaches on the performance envelope of the professional camera's produced by some of Canon's competitors! Those in the market for a high-quality enthusiast dSLR, whether migrating from film or upgrading from consumer digicams, should place the 20D at the top of their short list. Users of the Digital Rebel and 10D may find the 20D's improvements sufficient to justify its purchase, especially sports shooters who will benefit from its improved AF and burst performance and reduced noise at high ISO settings. The 20D is yet another winner from Canon; the dealers should order plenty of them now -- they're not going to be on a shelf long enough to collect any dust! '

Bob Atkins reviews the Canon EOS 20D and writes - 'Overall the Canon EOS 20D appears to be an incremental improvement on the Canon EOS 10D. Maybe not a quantum leap, but a logical and significant development of an excellent camera. In some ways it can be seen as a "mini" version of the EOS 1D mark II, with the same pixel count but a smaller sensor. Of course it doesn't have all the features of the 1D mark II, but then it's priced at $1500, not $4500, so that's not unreasonable!'

Imaging Resource reviews the Canon EOS 20D and writes - 'Smart design and attention to the most important aspect of a digital camera--the images--has made for an excellent photography tool. Now that we've fully tested a production model of the EOS-20D, it's clear that our early enthusiasm was well-founded. The camera performs superbly in every respect. Color is accurate, image noise very low, resolution excellent, and the camera is very responsive, both to the shutter button, and from shot to shot. Particularly impressive is the extent to which Canon managed to decrease high-ISO image noise, while at the same time going to a sensor layout with physically smaller pixels. Canon has had over a year since their EOS-10D was announced to talk to photographers about what the next mainstream pro digicam should be, and it's clear from the 20D that they listened. '

Creative Pro reviews the Canon EOS 20D and writes - 'The fact that the 20D is not �revolutionary� should not be held against it. The market that Canon created -- relatively inexpensive, high-quality digital SLRs with interchangeable lenses -- has matured a lot over the last two years. Canon's own entries, along with those of Nikon, Fuji, and Pentax, simply make it harder to take a huge leap from one model to another.'

Also check out DP Review's Canon EOS 20D preview and image samples and DP Review's Canon EOS 20D Update and Samples.

pdn online reviews the Canon EOS 20D and writes - 'At just under $1600 street, the Canon 20D will find its way into a lot of camera bags. The burgeoning photographer will likely embrace the camera due to its relatively low price tag and high quality images, while many pros will consider it as a back body.

It's enhartening to see that we're at a point with digital where the second-tier camera bodies are solid enough to work in a professional capacity when needed. The 20D and the Nikon D70 are great examples of scaled-down technology working for the professional and amateur alike. Certainly compromises are made when creating a camera at this price point, but gone are the days when image-quality and performance were the things thrown out first in order to hit a target price.'

CNET reviews the Canon EOS 20D and writes - 'Canon has produced a worthy successor to the EOS 10D with this model, endowing it with class-leading 8-megapixel resolution, excellent image quality across a broad range of ISO settings, and fast performance. With a sturdy, well-designed body and an intuitive control layout, the EOS 20D is a pleasure to shoot with. It still lacks a spot meter and isn't without minor flaws, but serious amateurs and pros who need a compact, affordable Canon dSLR should put this camera at the top of their lists. If you'd like to stay closer to the $1000 mark and don't need raw-image-processing software, an optional battery grip, or 8-megapixel resolution, consider Nikon's 6-megapixel D70. Its performance isn't quite as fast as that of the semipro 20D, but it offers the excellent image quality and sophisticated controls that avid photographers demand.'

Bob Atkins reviews the Canon EOS 20D and writes - 'Right now I'd say that the EOS 20D represents the "state of the art" in what might be called "prosumer" DSLRs, i.e. those selling in the region of $1500. If it meets your needs I can highly recommend it.'

Sports Shooter reviews the Canon 20D and writes - 'Is this a camera body I would buy INSTEAD of a pro - level model? If I were making my living in sports and news photography, probably not. If my livelihood depended on my equipment, I think I would tend to learn toward something that would withstand the use (or is it abuse?) that Sports Shooters and PJ's subject their gear to.

However this is a great camera, make no mistake about that, one that would work well as a primary body for many photographers working out there. Even for PJ's, its size and weight make it appealing for many situations and uses. For the money, there is not a better deal out there for Canon shooters.'

Bob Atkins has a useful comparison of the Canon EOS 5D and EOS 20D and basically asks 'which one'? He writes - 'The price difference is $2000 which isn't insignificant! Though the 5D is a breakthrough in pricing for a full frame camera, it's still out of the reach of many photographers at $3300. For those doing studio work or landscape and editorial shooting, the 5D will be a great camera and I'm sure it will sell very well indeed. For anyone shooting a lot of action, the slightly more expensive ($3999) EOS 1D MkII N, with it's 8.5fps frame rate and 48/22 JPEG/RAW buffer will still probably be the camera of choice. For penurious amateur wildlife shooters who never have a lens long enough to capture their subjects, the 20D probably remains the camera of choice due to its higher pixel density and significantly lower price. The 1Ds Mk II will still command the attention of those wealthy enough to buy it and who need the durability of a fully weather sealed camera with the ultimate in full frame image quality. However I'd guess that the 5D might well eat into 1Ds MkII sales as the $4700 price difference is more than a lot of people will be able to justify.'

Virtual Traveller has a review which compares the Canon EOS 5D and the Canon EOS 20. The 5D reviewed has a 24-105 f4L IS USM lens and the 20D has a 17-85 f4-5.6 IS USM lens. They write - ' The 5D and 24-105L combination is better than the 20D and 17-85. No surprise there. Really, the results of my tests are that there are no surprises. The 5D is as good as I expected it to be, and I expected it to be amazing. For my travel purposes, it is better than the chunky EOS 1Ds, making it the best camera currently available, indeed the best camera ever.'

Firing Squad has an interesting review that has an in depth comparison between the Canon EOS-20D and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30. In many ways the comparison between these cameras is not fair as they are designed with different users in mind and sell for very different prices - however it does make an interesting read:

'The decision between a digital SLR such as the EOS-20D and a superzoom point-and-shoot such as the DMC-FZ30 is not that simple. Although the more expensive digital SLR is better in many ways, the extended depth-of-field is a unique feature inherent to the lower-priced cameras with smaller sensors. It is both an advantage and a weakness. There is even a Magnum photographer (Magnum being for photojournalists what Elite is for models) who chooses to shoot with an Olympus point-and-shoot digital camera for that very effect.'

I like cameras has a review of the Canon EOS 20D and writes - 'Probably the biggest improvement over the Canon EOS 10D is in performance. Not just in frames-per-second terms but in the general use of the camera. The DIGIC II chip has really sped up reviewing photos, something that the Canon EOS 10D took a few seconds at a time to do. with the Canon EOS 20D you can quickly dial through photos without waiting for it to display the full quality image. Additionally the instant-on nature of the Canon EOS 20D is fantastic. Going back to my Canon EOS 10D is a trial in patience as you wait the 3 or so seconds for it to boot up. The Canon EOS 20D is ready to go whenever you need it. I gave it a rough test by waiting for it to go into sleep mode and then seeing how fast it would be by pushing the shutter release fully. It took a photo in an instant, so you won�t be missing any moments with the Canon EOS 20D.'

Canon EOS 20D Press Release


New 8.2-Megapixel EOS 20D Digital SLR Features DIGIC II Image Processor, 9-Point Autofocus and Up to 23 Consecutive Frames at Five Frames Per Second

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. Aug. 19, 2004 - Designed for advanced amateurs, photojournalists, wedding photographers and professionals who purchase their own equipment, Canon's new EOS" 20D digital SLR combines speed, image quality, ease-of-use, and ruggedness with compact size and light weight to deliver the highest performance in its class. Available in September, the EOS 20D digital SLR will carry an estimated street price of $1,499* without a lens; $1,599* with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5 -5.6 zoom lens; and $1,999* with the new EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Wide Angle Zoom lens.

The EOS 20D SLR has a new APS-C (15.0 x 22.5 mm) 8.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor designed and manufactured by Canon. It is the first mid-range digital SLR to offer high-speed continuous shooting of five frames-per-second with a burst of 23 frames at highest JPEG resolution. Uncannily responsive, the camera starts up in 0.2-second and has a shutter release time lag of only 65 milliseconds.

The all-new 9-point AF unit with high-precision cross-type sensor raises the bar on speed, accuracy and precision in mid-range SLRs. The new AF system has one full stop better low-light performance than its EOS 10D predecessor. The new E-TTL II autoflash metering system, inherited from Canon's EOS-1D Mark II professional model, takes into account the distance, reflectance and position of the subject for highly stable, accurate and intelligent exposure calculations.

News Photography/Photojournalism
The new camera's combination of speed and available light shooting capability make it especially appealing to newspaper photographers. Aside from the five frames-per-second burst rate, the EOS 20D digital SLR delivers superb low light performance and exceptionally low noise, even at high ISOs. In fact, images taken at ISO 1600 are approximately equal in noise to those taken with the EOS 10D model at ISO 400. The EOS 20D digital SLR can be used as a backup camera for the high-performance EOS-1D Mark II digital SLR. It is also an excellent choice in its own right for many professional imaging applications where its smaller size and lighter weight give it an edge.

Wedding/Portrait Photography
The Canon designed and manufactured CMOS sensor has a maximum resolution of 3504 x 2336 pixels, which is sufficient for very large prints (up to 16 x 24 inches) with fine detail. Like its big brother, the Canon EOS-1D Mark II, the EOS 20D digital SLR satisfies the wedding photographer's benchmark: facial details in group-shots. The wedding photography business is changing. Consumers are now looking for more natural and candid documentary coverage of their weddings. With the speed and large buffer of the EOS 20D digital SLR, wedding and portrait photographers have a cost effective solution for capturing both posed and candid event photographs.

"Canon continues to endow advanced amateurs, photo enthusiasts and professional photographers with the highest-quality digital SLR cameras available by combining sophisticated camera features with the latest digital imaging technology innovations," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ). "In addition, Canon is one of the only companies in the industry that designs and manufactures the three primary components of its digital SLRs: Optics, Image Sensor, and Image Processor."

Canon uses design and technology for customers' sake, not for the sake of technology. Canon has listened to owners of the EOS 10D digital SLR and has considered their opinions carefully. This accounts for the new menu format, the color-coded menu display icons, the reduction of buttons and the addition of the highly efficient Multi-controller, among many other features.

When Size Matters
The EOS 20D digital SLR is both smaller and lighter than the 10D model. The 20D camera is about 3.6 ounces lighter and Canon reduced the width, height and depth by 5.7, 2 and 3.5 mm, respectively. The shutter unit, mirror box, main mirror, pentaprism, focusing screen and viewfinder optical unit have all become smaller as they were optimized for the APS-C sensor. The 20D digital SLR has nearly 100 fewer parts than the 10D model. The new camera retains the rugged stainless steel chassis and magnesium alloy body covers of its predecessor for outstanding durability.

New 9-Point Autofocus System
The sophisticated 9-point autofocus system has a high-precision cross-type sensor in the center position. This new design seen for the first time in the 20D model provides full cross-type performance with maximum apertures as small as f/5.6, yet it achieves up to 3 times the standard focusing precision when used with EF lenses featuring maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/2.8. A new, convenient Multi-controller provides fast and easy AF point selection.

New High Speed Shutter
The EOS 20D has a newly developed shutter with a top speed of 1/8000 sec., user-settable in 1/3 and 1/2 stop increments (in shutter speed priority AE and manual modes) and a maximum flash synchronization speed of 1/250 sec. First or second curtain flash sync is possible. The shutter's APS-C configuration allows a reduction in the size of the unit, smaller shutter blades with lower inertial mass, and shorter travel distance. Stronger magnets are used for each shutter curtain, permitting better control of the blades. A semiconductor switch replaces the traditional sync contacts, ending scorching and frictional wear while at the same time increasing the limit for trigger circuit voltage to 250V. The result of these changes is a more rugged and reliable shutter unit with substantially improved performance.

EF and EF-S Lenses
Particularly among advanced amateur and professional photographers, there has been a growing need for affordable zoom lenses that support true wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle photography. In response to this market demand and to provide users with a truly comprehensive lens system, Canon has expanded its EF-S lens offerings to now include four lenses - the new EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM and EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM zoom lenses as well as standard and USM versions of the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens. (Canon U.S.A., launched the standard EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens in August of 2003 in conjunction with the EOS Digital Rebel SLR.) The EOS 20D digital SLR is also fully compatible with all Canon EF lenses and with the entire system of Canon EX Speedlites and accessories, including the new Speedlite 580EX flash.

White Balance Compensation
The EOS 20D camera has professional level white balance controls. In addition to Auto, it has six presets, a Custom setting and direct specification of color temperature. White balance can be corrected for blue, amber, magenta or green; white balance bracketing, up to +/- 3 whole stops, can be performed for magenta-green as well as blue-amber.

Flash Forward: Canon Speedlite 580EX
When the EOS 20D digital camera is used with the built-in flash or the new Speedlite 580EX, color temperature data transmission is enabled. The camera has an extensive complement of white balance controls, processing parameters, bracketing options, shooting modes and custom functions that permit the camera to be configured for any situation; the revised menu format, simplified control layout and clever new Multi-controller make the camera easy to use.

Evolved E-TTL II Flash Exposure Control
Though still compatible with all EX-series Speedlites, the "smarter" E-TTL II system captures the subject as a "plane" and ensures that images containing various colors and levels of reflection are captured accurately and optimally. The system compares the ambient light with the reflected pre-flash off the subject reported in all 35 metering zones and selects the areas with a small difference to be weighted for flash exposure calculation. This system also eliminates or under weights areas with large difference recognizing them as an extremely reflective object in the background or as a highly reflective subject, smartly ensuring it by considering the distance information data provided from compatible EF lenses. The system similarly prevents over-exposure when photographers lock focus and recompose the shot by considering the flash output level calculated according to the broader distance. The camera also allows users to select an average metering pattern by using its custom function settings.

New CMOS Image Sensor and DIGIC II Image Processor
The EOS 20D digital SLR includes Canon's latest CMOS image sensor technology as well as the new DIGIC II Image Processor. The CMOS features high-speed 4-channel data reading, brilliant new microlens technology, a 2nd generation, on-chip noise-reduction circuit, and low-noise, high-speed amp, which produces accurate color, extremely low noise and fast recording even at ISO's of 400 and above. Canon's DIGIC II image processor is without question, the most powerful imaging processor that the company has ever put into a digital camera. It boasts improved color reproduction of high-saturation, bright subjects, improved auto white balance precision, and wider dynamic range in highlight areas. In addition to its image quality improvements, the DIGIC II chip is also responsible for speeding up camera performance in areas such as start-up time, autofocus calculation, card-writing speed, direct printing and data transfer speed through the new USB 2.0 High Speed interface.

New .CR2 Raw Format
The Canon EOS 20D digital SLR incorporates the same new RAW format featured in Canon digital cameras from the EOS-1D Mark II model onward. The file extension is .CR2 (Canon RAW, 2nd edition). The RAW data records the white balance data, processing parameters, and other settings. All these settings can be edited freely with compatible RAW file conversion software such as Canon's EOS Viewer Utility and Digital Photo Professional software, which are supplied with the camera.

Exif 2.21 Metadata and Adobe Color Space
There is no need to worry about color space any longer. The EOS 20D complies with DCF 2.0, revised to support Adobe RGB, and Exif 2.21. Images taken in Adobe RGB will have the Adobe RGB color space information, not the ICC profile, appended to the Exif information. (If Adobe RGB is selected from the 20D digital camera's Color Space menu, all processing parameters are available.) Therefore, applications and devices compatible with DCF 2.0 and Exif 2.21 will be able to handle Adobe RGB in the same way as sRGB. When software compatible with Exif 2.21 is used, images captured with the EOS 20D will open automatically in the Adobe RGB color space. When a printer that complies with Exif 2.21 is used, the printer will adjust the color saturation of the print suitably.

Camera Direct Printing
As with the EOS 10D model, the EOS 20D digital SLR is compatible with PictBridge, CP Direct and Bubble Jet Direct print transfer protocol. It also enables DPOF Print Ordering, Version 1.1. The basic specifications are the same as those of the EOS-1D Mark II digital SLR. Printer communications can be set to Normal or PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) with the menu's Communication setting (PTP is required for PictBridge direct printing). PictBridge compliant and Compact Photo Direct printers allow up to eight steps of horizontal trimming, up to five steps of vertical trimming, and a range of print sizes.

Updated Software
The EOS 20D will be supplied with the latest versions of Canon's popular Digital Photo Professional and EOS Viewer Utility software, as well as Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 for image editing.

Kit Configurations
The EOS 20D will be available in body-only or two separate zoom lens kit configurations. All three kits include the camera body as well as the BP-511A lithium-ion battery pack, Battery Charger CG-580, USB Cable IFC-400PCU, Video Cable VC-100, a wide neckstrap, 3 software CDs, printed instruction manuals, and a 1-year Canon U.S.A. limited warranty. The first zoom lens kit includes the standard EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and the second kit includes the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Wide Angle Zoom lens.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The Company is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America, and is ranked #35 on the latest Business Week list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent holder of technology, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2003. Canon Inc. achieved global revenues of $29.9 billion in 2003; 9.8 billion of which came from Canon Americas. For more information, visit

Posted by Darren in our Canon category on August 21, 2004