Canon EOS 20D Offers Many Improvements Over Its Predecessor

Modeled on the EOS D30, released in 2000. Canon’s EOS 20D offers some impressive upgrades in this 2004 release. For starters, it has an eight-megapixel sensor. And an increase of 1.9 million effective pixels over its precursor, the EOS 10D.

But that’s not all. The Canon 20D also features an autofocus system and more than twice the buffer space. Plus, a continuous shooting mode that is 50 percent faster. Let’s take a closer look.

Canon EOS 20D Review

Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera Kit with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is II Lens, Built-in WiFi and NFC - Black (Renewed)

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What’s New in the EOS Canon 20D

With its max shutter speed of 1/8000 sec. This model doubles the 10D’s capabilities. It also has a quicker X-sync shutter speed of 1/250 sec, up from 1/200 sec. The 20D’s pop-up flash is much higher. Allowing 17mm coverage of the field-of-view and helping to fight red-eye. It also boasts an improved calculation of flash power through the use of lens distance information.

Color space in this model has broken out of image parameter settings. Allowing you to adjust them independently. It has a nine-point autofocus system, which takes a diamond pattern and is much quicker to focus. It also works better in low light, with an exposure value of -0.5. Compared to the previous model’s 0.5 EV.

Watch This 1D Mark IV and 1D Mark II in a Side by Side Comparison

Additional features of the Canon 20D include:

  • DIGIC II Processor: A DIGIC II processor delivers uniform image quality.
  • USB connectivity: Transfer files from a USB interface at a rate of 3MB per second.
  • Direct printing: Supports direct USB printing through PictBridge as well as Canon.
  • Menu reminder: Menu prompts you to choose the correct mode for settings you have changed.
  • Noise reduction: Allows disabling of noise reduction for long exposures.
  • Joystick control: A thumb control selects the autofocus point and allows white balance shift.

Frame Rate

Canon 20D Camera without its flash

The Canon 20D has more than double the frame rate. It shoots continuously at five frames per second for a maximum of 23 frames. The previous model shot 3.3 fps for up to nine frames. The 20D can also embed a unique signature in images to verify their authenticity. This is an important feature for law enforcement and court proceedings.

Supported RAW+JPEG

The 10D model claimed that it supported RAW+JPEG. But what it did was embed the JPEG in the RAW file. The Canon 20D makes a claim true, writing one of each file type for every frame. Magenta to green and blue to amber are the two axes in white balance shift. Which you can adjust with a “joystick.” A control dial lets you add bracketing.

Canon reduced the size of the camera’s mirror box, as well as the mirror itself, to enable support for EF-S lenses. It has also included a focus screen, dubbed “precision matte”. That offers a color response that is more neutral and better for those who want to use manual focus.

Image Parameters of Canon 20D

Canon 20D Camera

Canon’s 20D gives you the opportunity to customize three image parameter sets. In addition to having two preset choices available. Parameter 1 is the default, which features higher sharpness, saturation, and contrast. You can apply color filters, as well as sepia and other tones. In the camera’s black-and-white mode, the same way that you would use them with black-and-white film.

Adjustments Options

?In configuring parameter sets, you have several adjustment options. Including contrast, color saturation, tone, and sharpness. Reducing the contrast retains more of an image’s dynamic range, but also makes it appear flattered. And increasing contrast extends the grayscale. Which may cause some clipping in shadow highlights and detail. Adjusting saturation affects the color potency of an image while tone affects the hue. A negative setting adds redder and a positive setting adds more yellow. The maximum sharpness adjustment is +1, while the preset parameter default is 1. There is also a parameter set for black and white. That allows you to choose toning, contrast, and sharpness with the B&W filter.

Seven Image Sizes

This camera has seven image sizes that you can use with normal- or fine-quality JPEG settings. For super-clean images rivaling the RAW feature, use the fine JPEG mode. Which provides no detectable artifacts. The normal JPEG compression is also free of artifacts at 100 percent view. Despite compressing the output by nearly half. A RAW mode captures data from the sensor and creates files. That offer lossless compression in a size of about 9MB per image.

How it Works The Canon 20D

Canon 20D Camera full kit

On top of the Canon 20D, you will find a large LCD panel that shows a variety of information, including exposures and settings, so you can visually double-check before shooting. The panel also shows the processing parameter and ISO setting, along with a “busy” signal

LCD Monitor

The LCD monitor measures 1.8 inches diagonally. And clear enough to read in both moderate and low light. It is difficult to read in bright sunlight. However, which is partly due to having a protective screen that is plastic rather than anti-reflective.

A superior lens on the viewfinder adds minimal distortion in the corners. A partial metering circle and the diamond pattern of nine focus points show in the viewfinder. Let the camera choose the autofocus points. And they appear in the viewfinder with a half-press of the shutter release. If you select the points, they appear on their own.

Five Creative Zone Exposure

Along with basic zone exposure selections that range from portrait and landscape to sports and night scenes, the 20D offers five creative zone exposure choices.

  • Shutter Priority Auto Exposure: The camera does the mental work for you, figuring the correct aperture for the shutter speed you’ve chosen.
  • Aperture Priority Auto Exposure: This mode lets you choose the aperture, then figures the right shutter speed for the exposure, taking into account the metering mode, value and ISO.
  • Program Auto Exposure: Similar to the automatic exposure mode, this one allows you to access manual controls for bracketing, ISO and other typical settings.
  • Full Manual Exposure: In this mode, you can choose shutter speed and aperture in any combination. Aperture choices depend on the lens you are using.
  • Automatic Depth of Field: The camera controls the depth of field to maintain a sharp focus on all points despite varying distances from the lens.
  • More Powerful Battery Pack

    This camera comes with a more powerful BP-511A battery pack of lithium-ion with 1390 mAh at 7.4 volts. And a small, lightweight CB-5L battery charger for ease of use while traveling. It takes about 90 minutes to recharge. Due to its smaller size, the EOS 20D also has a new battery grip with added capacity. An included magazine of six AA batteries is your backup. Which Canon says is only enough to “get you home”.

    Like the fuel that remains after your car’s gas tank light comes on. There is enough battery power in the magazine to get you to the “gas station”. To attach the grip, you must remove the battery door. Insert the grip in the compartment and then attach it to the tripod mount. With two battery packs, the grip adds 13.2 ounces the overall camera weight.

    Offers Connection

    The 20D offers connections for video out, USB (high-speed), PC sync and remote. The protective rubber, allows you to uncover just the USB and video terminals. The USB 2.0 out-strips a typical reader with a transfer rate of more than 2.5 megabytes per second.

    It works with CompactFlash cards, including Type I and Type II. As well as cards with capacities of 2 GB or more. Unfortunately, there is a problem with this model. Along with others in this line: it turns off if you open the CF door. And you lose buffered images not yet written to the card.

    Canon’s design aim is to ensure that the card is not damaged when you remove it. Perhaps a better solution, as seen on other models. Is an alarm alert when you open the door to remind you that images are still buffering.


    • Store images on CompactFlash memory card
    • Powered by rechargeable BP-511A 1390mAh battery pack
    • Direct printing with PictBridge printers


    • Stock lens don’t have IS
    • Low latency



    Our Rating

    Great Camera


    What We Think of The Canon 20D


    Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera Kit with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is II Lens, Built-in WiFi and NFC - Black (Renewed)

    • 18.0 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor; DIGIC 4+ Image Processor; 3.0" 920k-Dot LCD Monitor
    • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps; 9-Point AF with Center Cross-Type Point
    • ISO 100-6400 (expandable to H: 12800) for shooting from bright light to low light. 3 fps Shooting; Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC; Scene Intelligent Auto Mode
    • High-performance Optical Viewfinder helps facilitate quick and accurate focusing by firmly framing and capturing the subject at hand.

    Canon upped its game with the 20D, which outperforms Nikon’s D70. It still has some issues, namely the shutdown when you open the CF compartment, and loss of buffered images. It also could be more flexible in adjustment settings and image processing features, in particular, sharpening.

    This model does not have spot metering, but it does have poor white balance, which is, unfortunately, average. The flash sync is not as good as others at 1/250 sec compared to 1/500 sec. Image parameters are limited to five adjustment levels, and the low-resolution 1.8” LCD monitor should be larger and have higher resolution.

    Smaller and Lighter

    Minimally smaller and lighter than its predecessor, this camera feels comfortable in your hand. It is not bulky and it is easy to carry around all day. The 20D offers excellent resolution and great color with minimal noise levels and an ISO range of 100-3,200. It’s faster, shooting continuously at a rate of five frames a second in a burst of up to 23 JPEG. The autofocus is quicker in this model, and dual-purpose buffering ensures that you always have room to keep shooting.

    Photographers can choose between a sRBG or Adobe RGB color space, which are now separate from image parameters. You can customize three sets of parameters in this model, and improvements to battery features extend both power and life. Overall, it is a good camera with many improvements that make it a good purchase.

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