Canon is shaking up the digital camera community with the release of its newest affordable SLR. The 20D features an additional 1.9 megapixels over its predecessor, yielding a large 8.2 megapixel output. The camera design is a bit different as well with support for EF-S lenses that can provide a wider angle of view. The 20D has a new 9-point auto-focus system compared to the 7-point system seen on the 10D. The 20D promises to provide lower noise than the 10D at higher ISO settings as well as a large speed improvement.

In our review, we found the Canon 20D to be a great performer. Compared to the 10D, it is much faster in several ways. The camera is able to start up in just 0.23 seconds compared to the 10D's 2.39 second time. In many of our other timing tests, the 20D continues to outperform the 10D by a large margin. The 20D raises the bar by allowing continuous shooting at 5 fps for 20 frames in JPEG (Large/Fine) mode compared to 3 fps for 9 frames on the 10D. Although general image quality on both cameras is very similar, the 20D has a huge advantage when it comes to high ISO performance. At ISO 3200, the 20D produces images that are low-noise and rich with detail, while the 10D produces images with a large loss of detail and discolored pixels. Read on to see all the details of our review of the Canon 20D.

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Canon EOS 20D Specifications


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  • shuttleboi - Monday, November 15, 2004 - link

    What exactly is the point of these camera reviews? As I wrote several months ago, Anandtech is a gadget/hardware site, not a photography site. If you want to reach the photography community (like the rich folk who hang around, spending $1000 a month on lenses, and are ready to click on lots of advertisers' banners), you should do something novel. I suggested reviewing portable photo storage devices (e.g. the Epson P-2000, Archos AV-480, and Nikon ), but nobody listened to me. Suit yourself. As soon as you review any of these gadgets, you will find yourself on,, and other popular sites. But don't listen to me, I'm just a yuppie male, age 28-40, making a good salary; it's not like your advertisers care about my demographic or anything. Reply
  • Joony - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    I love my 20D, check out my photogallery,
  • Gatak - Thursday, November 11, 2004 - link

    You may also want to look at the DCRAW - Digital Camera RAW. It is a open source program for reading RAW files from most camera RAW files.

    DCRAW vs. Canon D60:

    DCRAW vs. Canon 10D:

    DCRAW source:

    Windows binary:

  • stephencaston - Thursday, November 11, 2004 - link

    Woodaddy, thanks for your comments. A Canon 50mm f/2.5 Macro lens was used for all the tests except on page 11 (where each picture lists the lens used beneath the thumbnail). I've also amended the other image quality pages to indicate the use of the 50mm. Sorry for this oversight. Reply
  • WooDaddy - Thursday, November 11, 2004 - link

    I missed something critical here. Let me know if it was posted. What lens are you using? Since DSLRs have interchangable lenses, the image quality is directly related to the lens used. If not listed, you really want to say that for reference in you image quality tests.

    #8, #3 I've picked on Stephen when he first got started on his reviews. He's getting better and IMO he's doing a great job. Now mind you, dpreview is for photogs/techies with an emphasis on photogs. AT is the converse; techies/photogs. I would consider ease of use and image quality and control to be a focus in a review at dpreview. Technical features would be the focus at AT....

    Personally, I'm a photog more so than a techie camera guy. I'm doing quite well with my Nikon FE2 manual camera (with Acer 2740s film scanner) and Minolta G400 backup.
  • AtaStrumf - Thursday, November 11, 2004 - link

    Wau, this thing makes some great pics! Way too expensive though. Reply
  • Gatak - Thursday, November 11, 2004 - link

    #3 Yes dpreview has many good articles. But I think this is a good start anyway. Dpreview is very technical and doesn't really provide much explanation of technical stuff. This is something I think Anandtech could advance in =) It is possible to have technical depth and yet have good, easy to understand explanations. Reply
  • ProviaFan - Thursday, November 11, 2004 - link

    #4 - that's why we have the term "prosumer". It's (the 20D) better than consumer, which would be the digital rebel, but it's not in the league of 1D Mark II (even though it has the same resolution, the speed and build quality don't compare) or 1Ds - which are professional. Reply
  • stephencaston - Thursday, November 11, 2004 - link

    #4, The 20D is often referred to as a Prosumer camera. Among the reasons are price, 1.6x cropping factor, sealing, built-in flash, and _optional_ battery grip.

    The 20D is aimed at amateur photographers looking to replace/supplement their existing film SLR or for those looking to upgrade from a non-SLR camera. I've also heard of pros buying 10D and 20D bodies as backup cameras. I don't think it would be fair to the 1D line to call the 20D a professional camera. It is very nice, but not quite pro ;-)
  • sjprg - Thursday, November 11, 2004 - link

    Nice article, I use both a 10D and a 20D and would like to see some ACR tests added to the CPU processing tests besides the emphasis on games to assist us in selecting the best hardware for processing digital images. One of the test that could be used is the Tom Fors ACR calibrator beta 3.

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