Canon EOS 20D

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Canon EOS 20D

The EOS 20D is the semi-professional digital SLR to deliver all the speed, precision and flexibility synonymous with high-end film SLR cameras - plus ...

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23 reviews from the community

Review of "Canon EOS 20D"

published 10/02/2017 | SirJoseph
Member since : 08/03/2012
Reviews : 544
Members who trust : 83
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Pro Current Price, Weight, Compatibility, Dial, Shutter, Body
Cons Original Price, Features, Compact Flash, Screen, Shutter Volume
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use

"The 20 stands for £ to replace the CF slot"

An absolute mess inside! Got the ribbons mixed up once, lost 1 bolt, had 2 left over - but it works!

An absolute mess inside! Got the ribbons mixed up once, lost 1 bolt, had 2 left over - but it works!

Decommissioned (Intro)

Under normal circumstances, I never would have picked up a Canon 20D let alone review one, however thanks to finding a faulty one at work that had officially been written off the books, I simply couldn't resist tinkering with it. It came complete with battery, charger, AC adaptor and a handful of Compact Flash cards - talk about retro. That's right, this thing is from all the way back in 2004. Then it cost $1,499 which now sounds hefty considering it's only semi-professional kit, but all things considered it was likely closer to £750-1000 than current exchange rates would have you wince at today (£85 used). Work had used it for time-lapse photography of ongoing projects so it was often suspended high up out of reach on a bannister - so kinda makes you wonder just how it became damaged... My best guess would be one of the only guarantees of fault - human error. Seconds after it boots up, the data screen reads 'CF ERROR' - something wrong with the memory section. Gazing into the slot with a torch revealed this was indeed the case, a couple of bent pins in the reader, a parting gift of incompetence and lack of patience from my ex-colleague. Still, anyone could do it (which is worrying) putting the card in the wrong way or too fast and you can effectively knacker a pricy gadget. I'm no technician/electrician - I had to look up how to fix this thing as outside refurbishment was out of the question due to line manager concerns and confidentiality. A couple of tutorial style videos on YouTube and I'm buying a £24 CF compartment replacement and opening up the back of the 20D. Needless to say, the results were positive. Credit to Lens Myth for their tutorial.

This 8.2 megapixel camera takes standard size photos in both JPEG and RAW (or both) ranging from small/normal/large with normal to fine detail. It has an APS-C image sensor (cropped) so it can use both full frame lenses and EF-S (I recommend the 10-18mm for a good, budget wide angle lens) This has the usual stuff you'd expect from a modern(ish) digital SLR such as auto-focus, 7 presets for white balance, a mini USB port, time lapse slot, hole in battery compartment for AC battery. Its ISO only goes up to 3200 but personally, I find that that's high enough to cause some really, super sh*tty grain, struggling in the dark or no. There's 9 focus points that light up in the viewfinder, these can be utilised for One-shot focus, AI Servo/Focus. Shutter manages 1/8000 of a second to bulb or 30 seconds. It can shoot 23 times consecutively in JPEG but only 6 in RAW. The only gimmicky bit of creative features is the red eye reduction option. Built-in flash which even today remains very similar to new models just a little bit more loud and chunky. You can screw this onto a tripod. You can zoom in and out of photos via separate buttons, move along with a stick, scroll via dial, delete, view menu/settings or 'jump'. The screen on top has a little button to light it up in orange, noice. It has the following modes on dial:
  • A-DEP
  • M
  • Av
  • Tv
  • P
  • Auto (Green Square)
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Sport
  • Night
  • No Flash

Mine has only shot around the 24,000 mark despite being primarily used as a time-lapse model - then again it had spent at least 3 years in a bag, drawer, broken. Quite heavy and larger than most semi-pro DSLRs due to the screen, it's not the most comfortable to have around your neck all the time but you at least feel secure with it in your mitts - it's substantially well made. Upon use, I noticed that someone or something had made the shutter button less reliable. At first I assumed I had fudged one of the ribbons when attempting to fix it but after thorough tests it only needed a stronger finger to fire properly. This can likely be fixed by pouring ethanol (

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Comments on this review

  • euphie published 27/02/2017
    e :o)
  • rolandrat123 published 16/02/2017
  • jo-1976 published 15/02/2017
    Welcome back!
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Product Information : Canon EOS 20D

Manufacturer's product description

The EOS 20D is the semi-professional digital SLR to deliver all the speed, precision and flexibility synonymous with high-end film SLR cameras - plus a whole lot more. A rugged magnesium alloy body provides the first clue that the EOS 20D is no ordinary camera. Canon's award-winning CMOS technology delivers outstanding image quality and 8.2 Megapixel resolution. The DIGIC II architecture drives blistering 5fps continuous shooting with a maximum burst of 23 frame JPEG images, class-leading color rendition accuracy, quick start-up times and rapid display and zooming of images during in-camera review. JPEG and RAW files write simultaneously with no loss of performance. 9 auto focus points are carefully distributed across a wide area of the frame for fast, accurate focusing, even with off-center subjects and particularly with 'rule-of-thirds' compositions. The E-TTL distance-linked flash algorithm takes factors such as lens distance information and ambient light readings into account for accurate flash metering, even in circumstances such as recomposed shots, or where high or low reflective objects appear in the frame. The camera is compatible with the entire EX-series Speedlite flash range. This includes the 580EX, which transmits color temperature information for improved color stability and auto zooms to match the camera's APS-C sensor size. The EOS 20D is compatible with more than 60 Canon EF lenses, including Canon's EF-S lenses. Built with the EOS 20D photographer in mind, the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM and EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM cover popular wide (approx. 16-35mm) and standard (approx. 27-136mm) ranges in the 35mm equivalent. An extreme high (3200 ISO) setting extends the camera's wide 100-1600 ISO speed range. Both sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces are supported. Digital Photo Professional image processing software permits high-speed processing of lossless RAW files. The EOS 20D's USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connection enables fast download of images to the computer. PictBridge compliant, the camera supports direct printing to any compatible photo printer. It takes both CF and CF-II cards, including cards of over 2GB capacity.

Product Details

Product Description: Canon EOS 20D - digital camera EF-S 18-55mm lens, Canon EOS 20D - digital camera - body only, Canon EOS 20D - digital camera EF-S 17-85mm IS lens

Product Type: Digital SLR Camera

Lens Included: EF-S 18-55mm lens, Body only, EF-S 17-85mm IS lens

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card

Image Processor: DIGIC II

Sensor Resolution: 8.2 Megapixel

Lens System: 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6, 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF-S, 5 x zoom lens - 17 - 85 mm - f/4.0-5.6 IS USM Canon EF-S, 5 x zoom lens - 17 - 85 mm - f/4.0-5.6

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 28 cm, 35 cm

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Viewfinder: Optical - fixed eye-level pentaprism

Display: LCD display - 1.8"

Supported Battery: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 1390 mAh ( included )

AV Interfaces: Composite video, Composite video/audio

Dimensions (WxDxH): 14.4 cm x 7.2 cm x 10.6 cm

Weight: 0.7 kg, 685 g

Image Stabiliser: Optical


MPN: 9442A026AA, 9442A019, 9442A089, 9442A088, 9442a008, 9442A028, 9442A017AA, 9442A027, 9442A018, 9442A103, 9442A109AA, 9442A107AA, 9442A108AA, 9442A058, 9442a002, 9442A036

Product Type: Digital camera - SLR

Lens Included: EF-S 18-55mm lens, Body only, EF-S 17-85mm IS lens

Sensor Resolution: 8.2 Megapixel

Optical Sensor Type: CMOS

Total Pixels: 8,500,000 pixels

Effective Sensor Resolution: 8,200,000 pixels

Optical Sensor Size: 15.0 x 22.5mm

Optical Zoom: 3 x, 5 x

Image Processor: DIGIC II

Auto Focus: TTL phase detection

Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty: 9

Image Recording Format: JPEG, RAW, RAW + JPEG

AV Interfaces: Composite video, Composite video/audio

Image Stabiliser: Optical

Field of View Crop Factor: 1.6

Exposure & White Balance

Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 800, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 1600, ISO 3200

Exposure Metering: Evaluative, partial (9%), centre-weighted

Exposure Metering Zones: 35

Exposure Modes: Programme, depth-of-field, bulb, automatic, manual, aperture-priority, shutter-priority, E-TTL II program flash

Shooting Programs: Landscape, portrait mode, macro, close-up, night portrait, sports mode

Special Effects: Monotone

White Balance: Custom, automatic, presets

White Balance Presets: Fluorescent, tungsten light, Flash, daylight, shade

Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000 sec

Min Shutter Speed: 30 sec

Exposure Compensation: ±2 EV range, in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps

Auto Exposure Bracketing: 3 steps in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps

White Balance Bracketing: Yes

X-sync Speed: 1/250sec

Exposure Range: EV 1-20 ( ISO 100 )

Lens System

Type: 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6, 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF-S, 5 x zoom lens - 17 - 85 mm - f/4.0-5.6 IS USM Canon EF-S, 5 x zoom lens - 17 - 85 mm - f/4.0-5.6

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 28 - 90mm, 28 - 135mm

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 28 cm, 35 cm

Max View Angle: 74.3 degree(s), 78.5 degree(s)

Zoom Adjustment: Manual

Lens Construction: 9 groups / 11 elements, 12 groups / 17 elements

Filter Size: 58 mm, 67 mm

Lens System Mounting: Canon EF-S

Features: Internal focusing system, aspherical lens

Camera Flash

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Guide Number (m / ISO 100): 13

Flash Modes: E-TTL, FP flash (high-speed synchro), auto mode, red-eye reduction

Features: AF illuminator, flash +/- compensation, ratio control

Effective Flash Range: 3.5 m

Additional Features

Continuous Shooting Speed: 5 frames per second

Self Timer Delay: 10 sec

Flash Terminal: Hot shoe, PC terminal

Status LCD Display Illumination: Yes

LCD Display Information: Autofocus mode, shutter speed, frame counter, aperture, manual focus mode, red-eye reduction, self-timer mode, film speed, photo quality, photos remaining, drive mode, white balance indicators, exposure compensation, battery condition, programme, flash mode

Additional Features: Direct print, USB 2.0 compatibility, backlight compensation, RGB primary colour filter, auto power save, DPOF support, display brightness control, depth-of-field preview button, camera orientation detection, PictBridge support, histogram display, AE lock, AF lock, FE lock


Viewfinder Type: Optical - fixed eye-level pentaprism

Field Coverage: 95%

Magnification: 0.9x

Dioptric Correction Range: -3 to +1

Viewfinder Frames: Autofocus frame

Viewfinder Information: Shutter speed, exposure compensation, AE lock, flash charge completion, red-eye reduction, aperture, white balance, metering system, Exposure Mode


Type: 1.8" LCD display

Resolution: 118,000 pixels

Display Features: Built-in


Connector Type: 1 x composite video/audio output ¦ 1 x USB

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card


Software: Drivers & Utilities, Adobe Acrobat Elements

System Requirements for PC Connection

Operating System Support: MS Windows XP, MS Windows 2000, MS Windows ME, MS Windows 98, Apple Mac OS X 10.1, MS Windows 98 SE, Apple Mac OS X 10.2, Apple Mac OS X 10.3, Apple Mac OS 9.0 - 9.2

Peripheral Devices: USB port, SVGA monitor, CD-ROM Drive

System Requirements Details: Windows 98/98SE/2000/ME - Pentium - 150 MHz - 128 MB ¦ Windows XP - Pentium - 300 MHz - 256 MB ¦ MacOS 9.0 - 9.2 - PowerPC - 128 MB ¦ MacOS X - PowerPC - 256 MB


Included Accessories: Battery charger, dust cap, body cap, lens cap, neck strap, USB cable, video cable

Body Material: Magnesium alloy


Details: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 1390 mAh ( included )

Battery Type: Canon BP-511A

Memory / Storage

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card

Supported Memory Cards: CompactFlash, Microdrive

Image Storage: Fine JPEG 3504 x 2336 - 3.6 MB ¦ Normal JPEG 3504 x 2336 - 1.8 MB ¦ Fine JPEG 2544 x 1696 - 2.2 MB ¦ Normal JPEG 2544 x 1696 - 1.1 MB ¦ Fine JPEG 1728 x 1152 - 1.2 MB ¦ Normal JPEG 1728 x 1152 - 0.6 MB ¦ RAW 3504 x 2336 - 8.7 MB

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 14.4 cm

Depth: 7.2 cm

Height: 10.6 cm

Weight: 0.7 kg, 685 g

Environmental Parameters

Min Operating Temperature: 0 °C

Max Operating Temperature: 40 °C


Listed on Ciao since: 09/01/2005