Product Type: Canon digital cameras
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A joy to behold
Canon EOS 20D
Member Name: Willow_Warren
Canon EOS 20D
Advantages: easy to use. sharp. reliable
Disadvantages: limited pixels for extra size enlargements, limited screen size
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.
Summary: A lovely camera, easy to pick up and start using,more function when you become competant.
|Ease of use:|
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