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Canon 20D vs 10D


Well-Known Member
...we put together the major differences between the Canon 20D and the Canon 10D:

8.2 MP CMOS Sensor (almost identical measures as with the 10D with 6MP)
Power-on-time below 1 second (10D 2.5s)
New, significant improved AF-System with 9 AF points and better working range (-0.5 - 18 EV)
Digic II Processor (same one of the Canon Mark II)
True (separated) RAW and Jpeg Format
USB 2.0 connectio
New focussing screen for better manual focussing
Compatible with the new EF-S lenses
5 images per second (vs. 3.3 10D)
1/8000s fastest shutterspeed (vs. 1/4000s with 10D)
1/250s x-sync (vs. 1/200s with 10D)
696g (105g lighter than the 10D)
Improved internal flash
Price ca. 1.600 Euro / 1.500 USD
Available: ca. September 2004

See also our news section for it...


Well-Known Member
You can also read the reviews on Luminous Landscape, DP Review, PhotoNet (Bob Atkins), and elsewhere.

One of the downsides of the 20D is the slightly smaller and dimmer viewfinder. Apparently this is the trade off for the EF-S lens mount.

But I see a lot of good things about the 20D. The 10D's startup speed is painfully and embarrassingly slow - compared to say the D70. You won't have that problem with the 20D. The extra megapixels combined with lower noise (subjective at this point in time) are a welcome addition to those who regularly make large prints of 13 x 19" or bigger.

I am going to order one!


I also like the power flexibility; being able to use BP511 packs as well as having the "emergency" AA six pack provides added flexibility for use. Wonder how long it will take for external batt packs to have adaptors for it.

Wish it had wireless transmission capabilities, though. I've had a couple bad experiences with USB & Firewire connectivity, and I'd really like to see Canon come out with Wifi support.

That being said, I'll probably still end up buying one. Just the added functionality and EF-S lens compatibility is enough to convince me. ;-)
First impressions...

Initially, upon reading the specs I considered the 20D to be a "minor upgrade." I think I said, it wouldn't be worth it unless they drastically reduced noise at higher ISO settings. Well, the new camera bug hit me and I bought one on Friday anyway.

Yesterday, I shot four soccer games and I must say that I am thoroughly pleased with the 20D.

At my first game was at 7:30 am with a heavy overcast. I reluctantly set the ISO at 1600 and was only able to get a top shutter speed of about 1/200th at f/5.6 with my 100-400mm lens. I was griping and grumbling about the lack of light. I'm trying to break into this socccer club and wanted to make a good impression. After a few shots, I decided I needed another stop and turned on the expanded ISO for 3200. While I obviously wasn't going to get really crisp shots, I was extremely happy that the noise, while evident, was very acceptable. The 20D saved the day.

Other things I like...

5fps vs. 3fps is a big difference.

The buffer is MUCH faster. I used to snap three or four shots and then preview them as they appeared during writing. Now, by the time my eye can get to the screen, I only have time to catch the last shot taken. Oh well, I shouldn't be "chimping" anyway.

The focusing system has been much improved. The additional focusing points and tighter pattern seem to be much more accurate and faster.

My wife likes the smaller grip.

With the exception of panning with the multi-directional switch vs. the dial when previewing is the only other difference in feel. I take that back, the speed and force with which the built in flash pops up was a little startling, especially as it smashed into my coif.

The BG-E2 battery grip is an improvement over the one for the 10D. They moved the on/off switch to then end and recessed it eliminating the chance of inadvertantly operating it. This was a minor annoyance with the 10D's grip. The ability to use AA's is a nice feature.

I'm a little mixed on the 18-55mm lens that it came with. The lens performance is acceptable enough for my undiscriminating customers. It'll stay in my bag as a back-up. Too bad it won't fit on the 10D.

Most of my stuff gets printed at 8X10 or less so the extra mega pixels are not a huge difference. However, they do give me a little more comfort knowing that they're there while I'm cropping in post. I guess the warm fuzzy feeling is worth something.


The shutter is much louder than the 10D.

I've not been able to get Canon Zoombrowser to recognize the camera even though it works with Remote Capture.

I didn't notice a difference in the viewfinder. Although with the LCD, I had to kick the brightness up a notch.

The images seem a little soft even with the sharpness maxed out. This will require more testing before passing judgement.

Overall, I'm very happy with the 20D and glad I bought now instead of waiting for the next iteration/generation. My wife is extremely happy since the 10D is going into her bag!