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Thread: 20D Advice please

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    20D Advice please

    I currently have a 500D and I have a chance to buy a very nicely looked after 20D. The camera felt good in my hands. It is somewhat heavier than the 500.

    I have been reading reviews but wondered if anyone has a 20D or can tell me the major differences.

    Thank you

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    The 20D is a 2004-vintage DSLR.

    At the time, Canon has four DSLR market segments:

    1. 350D (equivalent to the 500D);
    2. 20D;
    3. 1D Mark II; and
    4. 1Ds Mark II.


    I am not familiar with the 500D, but that's clearly a much newer camera.

    At the time I bought the 20D (April of 2005), I had decided to buy the 350D (having decided that the 20D didn't justify the $1,000 price difference), but for some odd reason I decided to look at the 20D.

    It was larger, more comfortable, the viewfinder was larger, and the camera had a rear thumb wheel (which I found valuable and have continued to find valuable on the 5D and 5D Mark II I've owned since). Its construction was also magnesium alloy vs. plastic, so build quality also counted.

    I'm not sure how you'd fare with comparing a 6-7yo camera against a relatively recent model, as so much as changed in that time and there would be more differences than similarities.

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    Xendis,

    Thank you for a very informative reply. I have decided to leave this one & lean towards a new lens for now. The body I have is ok for now. The 20D seems a very nice model.
    Thanks for your time

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    I have a 40D as well as an early 300D. You are right the feel and controls of the 20D (an earlier version of the 40D) are better than Canons xxD series cameras.

    The 500D is a great camera, but when you get a chance have a look at second hand 40D's or 50D's and maybe the new 60D - just to get a feel for the difference.

    I do agree with you, the 20D is too early a camera to consider.

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    The image quality from the 20D is fine, I still use one these days, but it has many faults. Processing is quite slow, so a very small buffer, LCD is small/poor, and no Liveview. The viewfinder is not bad and it has 1/250th flash sync.

    I'm only using mine because my 40D died but the 20D still gets the job done, and they are very cheap these days.

    JJ

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    Pro 500D:
    • 15MP resolution (same as a 50D)
    • Self-cleaning sensor
    • Bigger LCD (but no sharper)
    • Newer body, so less likely to go wrong (?)
    • Several modern gimmicks/features (strike out which does not apply) such as live view, extra dummy modes, and the like


    Pro 20D:[list]
    • Superb 8MP sensor - slightly less resolution than a 500D (yes, slightly because resolution changes with the square root of the megapixel count) but a wonderful, almost legendary, sensor nevertheless, which produces rich, deep images arguably superior to those made by the likes of the 40D and 50D.
    • Much better body: stronger, made out of real metal, bigger and nicer to hold, easier to hold steady because it fits in your hand and fits in your hand = steady camera = sharper shot.
    • Much better controls. Despite the age of the 20D design and the consequent lack of some refinements (like ISO in the viewfinder), the controls are largely the same as those on a 1 Series or a 7D. Why? Because with the 20D they got things right. There wasn't much to improve. The twin wheel system is a huge improvement on the single-wheel-and-buttons arrangement the 500D uses.
    • Very cheap. (It's 7 years old - if it isn't very cheap, tell him he's dreamin!)
    • No slower than a 500D. Well, no slower than the 450D I used to own, I'd guess the same applies. Much smaller raw buffer than a 40D or 7D, but perfectly OK for anything except birds and sport, and still very usable for those two.


    Would you throw away your 500D? Of course not. But you would certainly take the 20D to use as a second body (or first body with the 500D as backup - much of a muchness). Watch out for the non-self-cleaning sensor - try not to swap lenses in the field. Best plan is to take a specialist lens (I use my 10-22 for this) and mount it on the 20D all the time. Run two bodies - it really does make like easier and more pleasant.

    My wonderful old 20D is on its second shutter now - the first one wore out after long and very faithful service - and still very much part of my photographic front line. I love that old camera, and I generally enjoy using it more than any other body I own bar the 1D III. It is a rare day that I take pictures and don't use the 20D for some of them.
    Tony

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

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    I bought me a 20D about 3 month ago for 150$ and I am very happy with it.
    I like the size of the 20D much more then the size of my old 300D, thats why i sold the 300D with my old 35 - 105mm lens and bought me now a 17-50mm/2.8 VC Tamron lens unstead.
    Klaus!

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