"Fantastic camera, Great for the digital enthusiast"4.5 starson by captainsquash
Pros: Produces excellent shots (quality, color, noise, etc.), Joy to work with (intuitive and instantaneous)
Cons: Pop-up flash isn't too powerful, should have a kit lens that really shows off the camera's power, pricey
Summary: The Canon EOS 20D certainly breaks a lot of ground when compared to older digital SLRs (especially the EOS 10D). I closely compared this with Nikon's D70(s) and Canon's Digital Rebel XT (350D) and I can say that this is the current 'top gun' of prosumer digital SLRs. The shots I take with the Canon EOS 20D always show excellent color reproduction and the perfect exposure. The EOS 20D also produces very nice photos at very high ISO speeds (ISO 1600 is fantastic, images begin to get grainy at ISO 3200) with very little noise. Unfortunately, it still carries a hefty pricetag at this point (roughly $1450), which makes it difficult to justify the purchase at first. After playing with this camera at a local camera store (swing by a camera store if you can!!), and after comparing it head-to-head with other DSLRs, I chose the EOS 20D because of the following...
* Best body design and best button/control layout (having an LCD on the front can be hard when you are working in the field), felt very snug in my hand, I like the set dial VERY much
* Fastest burst mode, 5fps (very nice if you take pictures of sports games or other fast-moving objects)
* Fastest response time (DIG!C II really shines on this camera)
* 9 focus points, can be crucial if you need AF and shooting macros or other delicate shots
* Extra manual controls (manual white balance, color temperature, custom functions)
* Body looks (and feels) much more professional than the Canon Rebel XT or Nikon D70.
At this point, I’m using the EOS 20D mostly for my own pleasure in nature photography and in experimental shots. I’ve also used it in weddings/prom shots, product modeling and the school yearbook, all of which it performs exceptionally. It is certainly an upgrade from my Powershot S30 and Nikon F2.
Miscellaneous annoyances with the EOS 20D
* The viewfinder shows only 95% of final image, if you are really into framing your shots (and don’t like to edit them) this can throw you off sometimes
* It has a fairly loud shutter
* Can’t take good candid/portrait shots due to its size
* Would have liked a Firewire option, but USB 2.0 works just fine.
The 18-55 EFS kit lens is very nice for the price (extra $100), featuring (roughly) a 2.5x zoom and decent macro capability (.28m/.9ft). To get the true 35mm equivalent, you multiply any lens by 1.6, so the kit lens is roughly a 28.8mm-88mm lens in 35mm terms (note: using old 35mm lenses can get tricky with the 1.6x conversion factor). The 18-55 kit lens doesn’t really show off all the camera has to offer, if possible, go with the 17-85 kit lens. The 17-85 also features Canon’s new image stabilizer feature, which works very well. The image stabilizer sometimes eliminates the need for a tripod.
The pop-up flash on this camera performs very well as a fill-in flash but it isn’t well suited for long-range nighttime shots. For the occasional night portrait, this flash should do the job. If it doesn’t, you can hook up your old flash via a PC terminal or accessory shoe (hotshoe).
If you still can’t decide what DSLR you want…
If you already have Nikon compatible (most AF lenses work) lens, go with the Nikon D70, if you have Canon compatible (most AF lenses), go with the EOS 20D.
If you are a creative professional or extreme hobbyist, the EOS 20D will never cease to please.
If you are in the photography business, something with a little more punch might be nice, you might want to try the Nikon D100 or the Canon EOS-1D Mark II. For wedding shots, assignment photography or journalism, the EOS 20D should be just what you’re looking for.
If you want superior quality images as well as impressive functionality, yet don’t want to drop lots of cash then you would want the Rebel XT.
If you’re still not sure, it can’t hurt to go to your local photo store and try them out. Reading reviews (like this one) can help quite a bit, but it’s probably a wise idea to take some shots with the different cameras and play around.
Image Stabilizer - http://www.canon.com/technology/detail/digi_video/shakecorrect_shift/
EOS 20D Product page - http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=139&modelid=10464
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