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My EOS 20d was my first move from the amateur end of the SLR market towards the professional end. The camera is remarkably easy to use - a bonus when you're pinned to the viewfinder trying to capture that all important action shot. The frame rate is stunning at about 5fps. I shoot and work in cannon's RAW (.crw) format which I find makes the image processing much easier and any tweeks you miss when shooting can be corrected much faster and easily than with standard JPG shooting formats. The qualiy is, however generaly excelent. Combined with decent lenses this camera has the potential to shoot some fantastic photos of a real professional standard, yet it is also perfect for moving up throught the ranges as a more beginner end photographer. Its ease of use and seemingly effortless settings changes make this camera a dream for any aspiring photographer to use.
I have owned my Canon 20D for many years now, and although no longer available to buy new there are a number of second hand ones on the market that go for a song.
This camera was my first step into the world of DSLR. I was attracted to Canon due to it's reliability, range of lenses (and the availability of them second hand) and reliability, I have not been disanointed. I chose the 20D over the then entry model 300D due to a number of it's key features:
· 8.2MP sensor
· Continuous shooting mode of: 5 frames per second
· AI servo (which allows you to keep a moving object in focus)
· Better flash sync
If you want it to be the Canon 20D is an incredibly easy camera to use, it has a general automatic setting, and other tailored setting for specific types of photography (e.g. sports, macro, portrait etc), so you are able to take the camera out of the box and start using it straight away. Once more advanced as with any SLR you are able to fully controls the photos you take, with shutter priority, aperture priority along with exposure compensation, or fully manual modes.
This camera takes EF and EFS lenses. The EFS lenses are specifically for cropped sensor cameras such as these - this camera has a cropped sensor of 1.6 (this means that a traditional 200mm lens will become 320mm). The camera was often coupled with and sold with an EFS 18-55 lens, however I didn't not purchase this due to the poor reviews I had read of this specific lens option for a body only purchase. Another point on all SLR cameras is that the performance and picture quality is not down to the camera alone but the lenses used.
In comparison to newer models the screen on the back isn't that large - but it does allow reasonable review of the photos taken, it is also easy to review the histogram of each photo ands to review areas of the photo which have burn out (all white) giving you a chance to adjust the settings and try again.
The on board flash is a nice addition to this camera, and unlike other compact cameras I had used in the past the flash will sync at quite a high shutter speed in addition you are able to easily and quickly control the amount of flash used to take a picture, this is useful when using it as a fill in and avoids a total white out of starchness that can occur with flash use.
The battery the camera comes with is a canon BP511A is a good battery, I have never timed how long it lasts but I do know that I have gone out shooting for the day taking in excess of 400 images on one full battery, with some reviewing of the photos along the way.
The camera takes compact flash cards, which are readily available, robust and easy to handle.
My main areas of photography are: sports, macro and wildlife, so I will talk specifically about my experiences of using this camera for these purposes:
For this purpose I would select AI servo and aperture priority, generally a low number to get a good shutter speed (the camera will show the shutter speed when you half press the button), I find for most sports you'll need a shutter speed of 1/1000 to 1/1200, the aperture and ISO settings will help you control this. I found very fast sports such as dog agility requires an even faster aperture of 1/2000, this has to be the fastest thing I have ever tried to photograph but the camera coped well, a fair few blurry photos but a nice number of sharp ones to, that is the beauty of digital photography.
For this I would use the One Shot focussing mode, aperture priority & continuous shooting mode. The camera nicely focuses on a spot when you half depress the capture button, if you keep your finger depressed it will keep focus on that point whilst you can move the camera if you wish. I've had some marvellous photos taken with this camera coupled with a long telephoto lens. Clear sharp pictures and good colours. The cropped sensor already mentioned above is truly advantageous when taking wildlife shots.
For these shots, I would select aperture priority and switch the lens to manual. The view finder has a clear image which lets you accurately use manual focus (you can alter the actual focussing of the view finder to your own eyes with a little dial to the right). The screen does not have live preview like some newer models but I do not find this a problem. A dedicated macro lens does make the job more rewarding, and as the camera does not come with image stabilisation and most macro lenses don't either a tripod is almost a must.
As with all SLR's you will find that you need to clean the sensor from time to time (notable by blobs on your photos esp with long exposures), this can either be done diy with kits available or professionally.
I have now taken in excess of 10 000 images with the camera over the last 7 years I have had no serious reliability problems. I have had the occasional error message but normally turning it on and off has fixed the problem. The photos are as sharp and colourful as the day I purchased, the camera it's self does look a little worn and has the odd scratch, but what can I say, they are there to be enjoyed not wrapped in cotton wool.
There are cameras out there now with bigger screens, more pixels and more features, but they come with a hefty price tag.
I bought this camera back in 2003 when it was first released. It has served me well over the last 6 years- I still use it as a backup camera just in case I have any problems. Don't be fooled by thinking that it "only" has a 8.2 sensor in it, this produces pictures big enough to print to A2!. The build quality of this camera is amazing, it feels like its not going to break in 20 years of use- couple that with the average life of the shutter being 100,000- means that even 2nd hand this camera will last and last. It takes both te EF and EF-S lenses- which means there is a huge choice for all. Be aware that this camera uses the crop sensor, so any lens will have its focal length multiplied by 1.6x, so 50mm will actually be 80mm. This means the kit lens that is supplied (18-55mm) will actually be more like 26-85mm. All in all, a great camera
I bought this camera a couple of years ago upgrading from a Canon 300d. The first thing I can say about this camera is its brilliant. There are so many features its hard to list them all but you wont fail to be impressed with what Canon have packed into this baby.
The camera has a robust black metal body with the shutter button on the top right hand side of the camera. The main function buttons are on the rear of the camera which allows you to change the aperture and speed. On the top right hand side are the controls you to see what is being selected in a small LCD window. Most of these settings appear in the viewfinder when you look through.
The camera has a burst mode which allows continuous shooting of pictures. This is very handy and I have used this when photographing animals at the zoo to give you a range of shots to choose the best one from for printing.
The camera takes SD memory cards and is powered by a canon bp511 battery that can be recharged with the supplied charger. I bought the optional batter hand grip to take another batter so I have two in my camera so can take more shots that just the one battery.
Overall I love this camera and by now it should have been reduced in price making it even more of a bargain. For the person wishing to get into photography this would be an ideal camera to learn some techniques on.
What can I say - Brilliant piece of kit. The only real drawback is that it works on the smaller S COSMOS sensor.Strong ,dependable, great features and quality of image that are amazing.One for the semi pro, some still rate this better than it's upday the 30D.
Exelent camera. It's my 3rd Canon camera. First digital (from Canon range). Canon products were always good, but this camera is just what person serious about photography needs, it's really professional camera. The camera body gives you nice filing of well balanced device with ergonomics in mind.
The camera buttons and dials were very well placed. At the begining I had small problem with shutter button, it's been placed slightly further than in Canon SLR cameras. But after several minutes I got use to it. Before even reading the manual I was able to identify purpose of most of the buttons and dials. I's really intuitive layout.
There are two features worth mentioning. The first one, dioptric adjustment, would be appreciated by spectacles users. You can adjust the diopter (range -3 to +1)and see a sharp image even without your glasses. The second is LCD Panel Illumination, its helps to see the vital information on the panel in different conditions.
Package includs good software enabling you to edit and manipulate your photographs. You should not need to buy any extra software, unless you are professional photographer. Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 is slightly out of date (current version is 4.0) but still good enough for home users. EOS Viewer Utility allows you to manipulate RAW photographs, quite a powerfull software, i.e. you can apply digital colour filters, etc. EOS Capture is for remote shooting, not really useful. PhotoStitch is for creating panoramic pictures (I didn't like it).The manual for EOS software is included and easy to follow.
Connecting the camera to you my computer was easy and straight forward. It took me just few seconds!
Memory wasn't included, shame! I bought 2G and it claims to take up to 490 best quality pictures on it.
The lens included (18-55) is good enough for everyday use. I have my old 75-300 lens, which in terms of digital is 120-480! Great! What else would you need? Something 55-120 would be nice, wouldn't it? But just one warning, do not buy it in the first shop on your way! Shop aroud. I bought my Canon 20D for £699 at Jacobs. Good luck.