Canon EOS-20D Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Canon EOS-20D Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS 20D Review, Phil Askey, November 2004
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Review based on a production EOS 20D, Firmware Version 1.0.5
It's been four years and four months since they revealed the EOS D30, the first digital SLR which
amateur photographers could really afford. So here we are, 52 months later with the latest
incarnation of that original design, the eight megapixel EOS 20D. Not since February 2002 (the EOS
D60) has Canon increased the resolution of this line of digital SLRs, in the EOS 20D we have a 1.9
million effective pixel increase, a new AF system, 50% faster continuous shooting and more than
double the buffer space.
First impressions of the EOS 20D are good, it feels far less 'prosumer like' and instead feels more like
a 'baby EOS-1D' (as described by one of our team). Gone are some of the annoyances of the EOS
10D, the 20D now switches on virtually instantly and focuses quickly, it feels very solid and yet
weighs slightly less than the model it replaces. So far so good.
Model line history
Model
Announced
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/ (1 of 3)3/2/2005 4:34:36 AM
Effective pixels
AF
Continuous (JPEG)
Canon EOS-20D Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
EOS D30
April 2000
3.1 million
3 point
3.0 fps, 3 frames
EOS D60
February 2002
6.3 million
3 point
3.3 fps, 8 frames
EOS 10D
February 2003
6.3 million
7 point
3.3 fps, 9 frames
EOS 20D
August 2004
8.2 million
9 point
5.0 fps, 23 frames
A summary of new features and improvements can be found on the third page of this article.
Two new EF-S lenses
In addition to the EOS 20D Canon has also announced two new EF-S lenses which are clearly aimed
at the EOS 20D buyer. The EOS 20D will be offered as a body only or a kit with the EF-S 18 - 55 mm
F3.5 - F5.6 lens we first saw in the EOS 300D kit. In my honest opinion the 17-85 mm lens is a
superb companion to the EOS 20D, it offers a great range of focal lengths and image stabilization in a
fairly compact package.
EF-S 17 - 85 mm F4.5 - F5.6 IS USM
(27 - 136 mm equiv. FOV, 5x zoom)
EU: 649, US: $599
EF-S 10 - 22 mm F3.5 - F4.5 USM
(16 - 35 mm equiv. FOV, 2.2x zoom)
EU: 899, US: $799
If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before
diving into this review (it may help you understand some of the terms used).
Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you
should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.
Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the
bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (normally
1024 x 768 or smaller if cropped) image in a new window.
To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a
particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the
navigation bar at the top.
DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well
accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out
the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We
recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference
(at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/ (2 of 3)3/2/2005 4:34:36 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
This article is Copyright 2004 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or
printed medium without prior permission from the author.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 2. Specifications: Digital Photography Review
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List price
(body only)
• US: $ 1,499
• EU: 1,599
List price
(with EF-S 18-55
DC)
• US: $ 1,599
• EU: 1,699
Body material
Magnesium alloy
Sensor
•
•
•
•
•
•
22.5 x 15.0 mm CMOS sensor *
RGB Color Filter Array
Built-in fixed low-pass filter
8.5 million total pixels *
8.2 million effective pixels *
3:2 aspect ratio
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 2. Specifications: Digital Photography Review
Image processor
DIGIC II *
Image sizes
• 3504 x 2336 (8.2 MP) *
• 2544 x 1696 (4.3 MP) *
• 1728 x 1152 (2.0 MP) *
File formats
• RAW
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - Fine / Normal
• RAW + JPEG (separate files) *
Color space *
• sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Lenses
• Canon EF / EF-S lens mount *
• 1.6x field of view crop
Focusing
• 9-point TTL *
• CMOS sensor
• AF working range: -0.5 - 18 EV (at 20°C, ISO 100) *
Focus modes
•
•
•
•
AF point selection
• Auto
• Manual
• Home position
AF assist
• Stroboscopic flash
• 4.0 m range (at center)
Metering
• TTL 35 zone SPC
• Metering range: EV 1.0 - 20 EV (at 20°C, ISO 100, 50 mm F1.4)
Metering modes
•
•
•
•
AE lock
• Auto: One Shot AF with evaluative metering
• Manual: AE lock button
AE bracketing
• +/- 2.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
Exposure compen.
• +/-2.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
Sensitivity
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Auto (100, 200 or 400)
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800
ISO 1600
ISO 3200 (Enhanced H)
Shutter
•
•
•
•
•
Focal-plane shutter
30 - 1/8000 sec *
0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
Flash X-Sync: 1/250 sec
Bulb
Aperture values
• F1.0 - F91
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• Actual aperture range depends on lens used
AI Focus AF
One shot AF
AI Servo AF
Manual focus
Evaluative 35 zone
Partial (9% at center)
Center-weighted average
Metering range: 1 - 20 EV (at 20°C, ISO 100)
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page2.asp (2 of 6)3/2/2005 4:36:51 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 2. Specifications: Digital Photography Review
White balance
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Auto (3000 - 7000 K)
Daylight (5200 K)
Shade (7000 K)
Cloudy (6000 K)
Tungsten (3200 K)
Fluorescent (4000 K)
Flash (6000 K)
Custom (2000 - 10000 K)
Kelvin (2800 - 10000 K in 100 K steps)
WB bracketing
• +/-3 levels
• 3 images
• blue/amber or magenta/green bias
WB shift
• Blue (-9) To Amber (+9)
• Magenta (-9) to Green (+9)
Processing params
•
•
•
•
•
•
Parameter 1 (con +1, shp +1, sat +1, tone 0) *
Parameter 2 (con 0, shp 0, sat 0, tone 0) *
Set 1 (con, shp, sat, tone)
Set 2 (con, shp, sat, tone)
Set 3 (con, shp, sat, tone)
B&W (con, shp, filter, toning) *
Custom params
(Set 1 - 3)
•
•
•
•
Contrast (+/-2)
Sharpness (+/-2)
Saturation (+/-2)
Color tone (+/-2)
Viewfinder
•
•
•
•
•
•
Eye-level pentaprism
95% frame coverage
Magnification: 0.9x (-1 diopter with 50 mm lens at infinity) *
Eyepoint: 20 mm
Dioptric adjustment: -3.0 to +1.0 diopter
Precision matte screen
Viewfinder info
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
AF points
Focus confirmation light
Shutter speed
Aperture
Manual exposure
AE Lock
Exposure compensation amount
AEB level
Partial metering area
Flash ready
Red-eye reduction lamp on
High-speed sync
FE Lock
Flash compensation amount
Warnings
Maximum burst for continuous shooting
Buffer space
LCD monitor
•
•
•
•
1.8" TFT LCD
118,000 pixels
5 brightness levels
10x zoom playback
Record review
• Off
• On (histogram via INFO button) *
• 2 / 4 / 8 sec / Hold
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 2. Specifications: Digital Photography Review
Flash
•
•
•
•
•
Auto pop-up E-TTL II auto flash
FOV coverage up to 17 mm (27 mm equiv.) *
Guide number approx 13
Flash compensation +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
X-Sync: 1/250 sec *
External flash
• E-TTL II auto flash with EX-series Speedlites *
• Wireless multi-flash support
• PC Sync
Shooting modes
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Drive modes
• Single
• Continuous: 5 fps up to 23 frames *
• Self-timer: 10 secs
Direct printing
• Canon Card Photo Printers
• Canon Bubble Jet Printers with direct print function
• PictBridge *
Other features
• Orientation sensor
• Automatically writes FAT16/FAT32 depending on capacity
• LCD panel illumination
Auto rotation
• On (playback uses orientation data in file header)
• Off
Playback mode
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Custom functions
18 custom functions with 50 settings *
Menu languages
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Firmware
User upgradable
Portrait grip
Via BP-E2 battery grip (option)
Connectivity
•
•
•
•
Auto
Program AE (P)
Shutter priority AE (Tv)
Aperture priority AE (Av)
Manual (M)
Auto depth-of-field
Portrait
Landscape
Close-up
Sports
Night portrait
Flash off
Single image
Single image with info (inc. histogram)
Magnified view (1.5 - 10x in 15 steps, browsable)
9 image index
Auto play
Image rotation
Jump
English
French
German
Spanish
Italian
Dutch
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
Chinese
Japanese
USB 2.0 Hi-Speed *
Video out
N3 type wired remote control
PC Sync flash terminal
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page2.asp (4 of 6)3/2/2005 4:36:51 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 2. Specifications: Digital Photography Review
Storage
•
•
•
•
Compact Flash Type I or II
Microdrive supported
FAT 12/16 and FAT 32 support
No CF card supplied
Power
•
•
•
•
Lithium-Ion BP-511A rechargeable battery (supplied & charger)
Supports BP-511 / BP-511A / BP-512 / BP-514
CR2016 Lithium battery (date/time backup)
Optional AC adapter
Dimensions
144 x 106 x 72 mm (5.6 x 4.2 x 2.8 in) *
Weight (no batt)
685 g (1.5 lb) *
Weight (inc. batt)
770 g (1.7 lb) *
* New or changed, see next page for details
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 2. Specifications: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 3. What's New: Digital Photography Review
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8.2 megapixel CMOS sensor
The first and probably most significant change is
an all new 8.2 megapixel CMOS sensor which has
the same dimensions (albeit for half a mm) as the
EOS 10D's six megapixel CMOS sensor. Canon also
claims improved sensitivity thanks to new
microlenses and a new on-chip 'noise elimination
circuit', frame rates are up as this sensor has a 4channel read-out (double the EOS 10D).
Near instant power on time
It makes a big difference, the EOS 10D typically
took 2.5 seconds to start up and be ready to
shoot, the EOS 20D takes just 0.2 seconds
(verified).
5 fps continuous, 23 frames
Up from 3.3 fps (frames per second) and a
maximum of 9 frames the EOS 20D can shoot
continuously at 5 fps for up to 23 frames (JPEG).
All-new 9-point AF system
The EOS 20D gets an all new (not seen on any
other SLR) nine point AF system which has its AF
points in a diamond pattern. It's quite noticeably
faster than than the EOS 10D and has better low
light working range (-0.5 EV compared to 0.5 EV).
Note that the center point is a 'cross type' sensor
when used with lenses with a maximum aperture
of F2.8 or faster.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page3.asp (1 of 7)3/2/2005 4:37:03 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 3. What's New: Digital Photography Review
DIGIC II processor
Canon's DIGIC processor has been the key to
consistent image quality across their range, the
new DIGIC II processor first seen in the EOS-1D
Mark II is now used in the EOS 20D.
Support for EF-S 'digital lenses'
Just like the EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) the EOS
20D now supports the new Canon EF-S 'digital'
lenses which have the same lens mount as EF but
have a rear element closer to the sensor and can
be made smaller as they only need an imaging
circle large enough to cover the APS-C size sensor.
This also means the EOS 20D's mirror is smaller
than the EOS 10D.
Faster top shutter speed
The EOS 20D's fastest shutter speed is 1/8000 sec
compared to the EOS 10D's 1/4000 sec.
Faster X-sync shutter speed
Flash sync speed has also been increased slightly
to 1/250 sec compared to 1/200 sec on the EOS
10D.
Modified parameter sets
Canon has split color space from parameters and
introduced two preset parameter sets, the default
being Parameter 1 which has a higher contrast,
saturation and sharpness than the default on the
EOS 10D.
Black & White mode
Also new is an in-camera black and white mode
with digital color filters which work in the same
way as a color filter would on black and white film.
Additionally you can also apply a 'tone' to the
black and white image (sepia etc.)
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page3.asp (2 of 7)3/2/2005 4:37:03 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 3. What's New: Digital Photography Review
Separate color space selection
As noted above color space has now been split
away from parameters which means you can now
combine parameter adjustments with Adobe RGB
color space.
True RAW + JPEG support
While the EOS 10D claimed RAW+JPEG support, in
reality only provided a JPEG embedded into the
RAW file. The EOS 20D now has 'proper' RAW +
JPEG and in this mode writes one RAW (.CR2) and
one JPEG (.JPG) file for each frame taken.
New WB shift / WB bracketing screen
The EOS 20D's white balance shift now provides
shift in two axes; Blue to Amber and Magenta to
Green. WB shift is achieved on this new screen
using the new joystick controller and you can add
bracketing by simply turning the quick control dial.
Control of Long exposure NR
The EOS 20D now allows you to disable long
exposure noise reduction (dark frame subtraction)
and Canon claims even better long exposure
performance than the 10D.
Menu hints
The EOS 20D menu now includes a few simple
'hints' to remind you that the setting change you
just made won't take effect unless you put the
camera in the correct mode.
Record review histogram via INFO button
On the EOS 10D you chose the record review
display mode from a menu option, on the EOS 20D
you simply press the INFO button during record
review to change the display mode for all
subsequent record review displays.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page3.asp (3 of 7)3/2/2005 4:37:03 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 3. What's New: Digital Photography Review
USB 2.0 Hi-speed connectivity
Direct USB transfer of images from the EOS 20D
are now a much more viable option thanks to the
introduction of Hi-speed USB 2.0 interface. We
achieved transfers of just over 3.0 MB/sec.
PictBridge direct printing support
Pretty much standard on any modern digital
camera but noteworthy anyway, the EOS 20D now
supports PictBridge direct USB printing as well as
Canon's own direct printing to Canon printers.
Support for DVK-E2 data verification kit
The EOS 20D becomes an option for law
enforcement and any other industry which
requires verification of image authenticity. The
camera can now embed a unique encrypted
signature into each image which enables them to
be later verified using the DVK-E2 kit for
authenticity.
New BG-E2 battery grip
Because of its slightly smaller dimensions the EOS
20D gets a new battery grip. The BG-E2 supports
two Lithium-ion battery packs or six AA batteries
(using a supplied battery magazine).
Slightly smaller and lighter
The EOS 20D shaves 6 x 2 x 3 mm from the EOS
10D's dimensions and is more impressively 105 g
(3.7 oz) lighter (approximately the weight of the
battery).
Higher pop-up flash
The EOS 20D now has a flash which raises
considerably higher than the EOS 10D, it now has
a claimed FOV coverage of 17 mm. It also uses ETTL II flash metering which utilizes lens distance
information to improve flash power calculation.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page3.asp (4 of 7)3/2/2005 4:37:03 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 3. What's New: Digital Photography Review
Smaller mirror & new focusing screen
To add support for EF-S lenses the entire mirror
box and mirror are smaller compared to the EOS
10D (click here for a diagram). In addition the 20D
has a new 'Precision Matte' focusing screen which
has a more neutral color response and is better for
manual focusing.
CF activity light moved
The CompactFlash activity light has moved from
the edge of the compartment door to a position
just to the bottom corner of the quick control dial.
Flush connectors cover
A subtle improvement but the rubber covers over
the connectors on the left side of the camera are
now 'almost' flush to the camera body.
Combined power & quick control dial lock
Canon has combined the power switch and the
quick control dial lock to a single switch.
New multi-controller 'joystick'
Just above the quick control dial is a new eight
way multi-controller which also has a 'click' press.
This control is used for AF point selection, WB shift
and panning in play magnification.
Updated menu design
Although not a significant change the EOS 20D's
menus now reflect the newer appearance seen on
the PowerShot series. The menu also indicates
that you can use the JUMP button to skip to the
next menu section.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page3.asp (5 of 7)3/2/2005 4:37:03 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 3. What's New: Digital Photography Review
Backup battery moved to compartment
The backup battery has changed to a CR2016 and
has moved from the base of the camera to a slot
inside the battery compartment.
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Embossed Canon logo
Last but perhaps not least, the Canon logo on the
front of the camera is now embossed into the
body surface, it's a nice touch.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 3. What's New: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 4. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
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Although slightly smaller than the EOS 10D the overall design and layout is very similar, and that's
really not a bad thing, there was little about the design of the EOS 10D which drew criticism. A few
subtle changes like larger buttons and the relocation of button labels have been done to bring the
overall look and feel of the camera more in line with the professional EOS Digitals. Somehow (and
I've still not managed to work out why) the EOS 20D feels that little bit more professional than the
EOS 10D, perhaps it's a change to the material used or the paint but it really does feel even more
durable.
In your hand
Not surprisingly the EOS 20D feels very much like the EOS 10D, albeit a little lighter. One niggle I did
have was the 'nail file', a part of the lens mount molding which is directly opposite the inside of the
hand grip. This part of the body rubs against your fingernails which leaves little white marks
(although not permanent). That aside the EOS 20D is a great camera to hold and shoot with, it's
small enough not to be bulky and 'weighty' enough (without feeling heavy) to provide a little weight-
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page4.asp (1 of 5)3/2/2005 4:37:17 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 4. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
induced stabilization. It's probably also worth noting that the rubber used on the rear of the camera
and hand grip is now softer and more sticky than before.
Design changes compared to the EOS 10D
Place your mouse cursor over either image below to compare the design of the EOS 20D to the EOS
10D. As you will notice there are actually quite a few design changes between the two cameras, and
the EOS 20D definitely looks as though it's 'sucking in its gut' compared to the EOS 10D, it's a tighter
more purposeful look.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page4.asp (2 of 5)3/2/2005 4:37:17 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 4. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
LCD Monitor
The EOS 20D has the same 1.8" diagonal
118,000 pixel LCD monitor as the EOS 10D.
It's quite sharp and bright enough in low
and moderate light however we found that
outdoors on a sunny day even on the
brightest setting the screen wasn't as easy
to view as some others. This will also be
due to the fact that it only has a protective
plastic screen instead of an anti-reflective
one.
LCD Panel
On top of the camera is a large LCD panel which provides a wide range of information about the
current camera settings and exposure. The main numeric section of the panel doubles up to provide
other types of information such as the 'Busy' warning, ISO setting and processing parameter set
when these are being changed. The panel has an orange backlight which is illuminated by pressing
the backlight button to the top left of the panel, the backlight stays on for approximately six seconds.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page4.asp (3 of 5)3/2/2005 4:37:17 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 4. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
A breakdown of information displayed on the LCD panel can be found on the diagrams below.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page4.asp (4 of 5)3/2/2005 4:37:17 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 4. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 5. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
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The EOS 20D's viewfinder is clear and
bright with a high quality eyepiece lens
(very little corner distortion). It has an all
new 'Precision Matte' focusing screen which
is supposed to have a more neutral color
response and provide better manual focus
with faster lenses thanks to a steeper
change in blur at the focus point (in use I
have to agree, it's a noticeable
improvement over the 10D which I never
considered 'bad').
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The rubber surround can be removed and the supplied eyepiece cover (on the shoulder strap) can be
slipped over to stop stray light from entering the chamber during long exposures. The eyepiece will
also take E-series dioptre adjustment lenses to further expand the dioptre correction range.
Viewfinder view
Through the viewfinder you'll see the partial metering circle and the nine focus points of the new AF
system. In automatic AF point selection mode the AF points chosen by the camera are highlighted
when you initiate AF (half-press shutter release / AF button), otherwise the selected AF point is
highlighted*. In the example below all AF points are illuminated, this would only occur if you had
pressed the AF point button with all points selected.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 5. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
* In automatic AF point selection mode the AF point will only highlight once an AF lock has been
achieved. With a single AF point selected it will blink once as you half-press the shutter release and
once more upon AF lock (or not if no AF lock was possible). In AI Servo AF mode (with the shutter
release half-pressed) the EOS 20D blinks the selected AF point once and then tracks AF, in this mode
it would certainly have been more logical to highlight the AF point only when the camera is sure of a
good AF lock.
Battery Compartment
The battery compartment on the EOS 20D is in the base of the hand grip, behind a simple cliplocked door. The door itself is removable (to make way for the optional battery grip). The EOS 20D is
supplied with the higher capacity BP-511A Lithium-Ion battery pack, it provides 1390 mAh at 7.4 V
which is 10.3 Wh vs. the older BP-511's 8.1 Wh, this will no doubt mean longer battery life. There's a
tiny door on the inside edge of the hand grip where the cable from the optional AC adapter's dummy
battery exits.
Battery Charger
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 5. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
As with the EOS 10D the 20D is supplied
with the CB-5L battery charger, it's
relatively small and lightweight and easy to
pack for trips. Charge time is around 90
minutes and the LED on the top of the
charger indicates charge progress.
Battery Grip (optional)
Because of its smaller dimensions the EOS 20D gets a new battery grip, the BG-E2. This provides
additional battery capacity as it can take two BP-511A (or BP-511/512/514) batteries. Also supplied is
a new six AA battery magazine which is described by Canon as for 'get you home' use only (this
basically means that the camera will soon suck a set of AAs dry).
The grip is attached to the EOS 20D by removing the battery compartment door (which fits neatly
into a slot on the edge of the inserted part of the grip), inserting into the battery compartment and
screwing tightly to the tripod mount. The grip and two batteries adds 374 g (13.2 oz) to the weight of
the EOS 20D with just one battery.
CompactFlash Compartment
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 5. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
The CompactFlash compartment on the EOS 20D is at the rear corner of the hand grip and is opened
by sliding the door towards you and flipping outwards. The door itself has a metal hinge and opens
with plenty of room to remove the CF card once ejected. It's worth noting that the CF activity light
has moved from a hole in the compartment door to just below the quick control dial on the rear of
the camera. The EOS 20D supports both Type I and Type II CompactFlash cards and cards greater
than 2 GB in capacity (FAT32).
The same old design flaw
I am dumbfounded as to why Canon still hasn't addressed a serious design flaw in operation of the
CF door, which has been a problem with this line of digital SLR's since the EOS D30. As soon as you
open the CF door the camera powers down and you lose any buffered images which haven't yet been
written to the CF card. What's even more amazing is that the ever-so-simple fix has been available on
the PowerShot G series since the G3 (and can be found on the latest, the G6). The fix is simply to
have a beep alarm which sounds if you open the door and images are still being written, this beep
sounds until writing has completed. Come on Canon, we need a firmware fix for this, it's
unacceptable. *
* Canon's response to this is that it's better to ensure the CF card is not corrupted by removal during
write rather than continuing to save buffered images. My solution is simply to do what they did on
the PowerShot G series and to have a loud alarm beep if the door is opened.
Connections
On the left side of the camera are all of the camera's connections, these are protected by a rubber
cover which allows you to expose the PC sync and remote terminals while keeping the USB and Video
out terminals covered. In summary from top to bottom: USB (2.0 Hi-Speed), Video Out, PC Sync
(left), Remote terminal (right; N3 type). Kudos to Canon for including USB 2.0.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 5. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
USB 2.0 speed test
To test the EOS 20D's USB transfer speed we used twelve standard images (six RAW, six JPEG)
totaling 76.2 MB and transferred them from a SanDisk Ultra II 1 GB CF card via four different
methods. As you can see from the results below the EOS 20D's native USB 2.0 interface performed
fairly well managing over two and a half megabytes per second and out-performing a typical USB 2.0
Card reader. However for real transfer speed there's still no beating Firewire or a CardBus 32 PCMCIA
adapter (if you're using a Notebook).
Method
Time taken
Transfer rate
USB 2.0 Card reader
36.6 sec
2.1 MB/sec
EOS 20D USB 2.0
28.9 sec
2.6 MB/sec
Firewire Card reader
18.0 sec
4.2 MB/sec
CardBus 32 PCMCIA adapter
16.8 sec
4.5 MB/sec
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 6. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
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6. Body & Design
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Side-by-Side
Tripod Mount
Galleries
On the bottom of the camera you'll find a
metal tripod socket which is aligned exactly
with the center line of the lens.
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As I've requested in previous reviews it
would have been nice to have had a rubber
'foot' on the base of the camera, although I
will speculate that this could cause the
camera to be incompatible with the
optional battery grip.
Glossary
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Internal flash
The EOS 20D features an all new E-TTL II pop-up flash, which raises much higher than the EOS
10D's unit which means fewer problems with lenses causing a shadow and will probably improve redeye performance. The internal flash has a guide number of 13 (approx. 3.3 m @ 17 mm / 2.3 m @
85 mm; ISO 100) and a wide angle coverage of 17 mm. Support for E-TTL II means that lens
distance information is now used to calculate the required flash power. Flash sync speed is up slightly
to 1/250 sec.
The EOS 20D also allows for FE-Lock (Flash Exposure Lock) which can be used to take a meter
reading of the subject using the flash before taking the shot. This can be useful for recomposing the
scene, with the flash up (or an EX flash attached) simply aim the center of the frame at the subject to
be metered, press the * button and the camera will fire the flash and take a meter reading, the next
shot you take will use this locked exposure.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 6. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
AF Assist
Unlike the EOS D30 and D60 the EOS 20D doesn't have a dedicated AF Assist lamp. Instead it will
strobe the flash which will assist the camera's AF system if required. The new AF system has a lowest
light detection of -0.5 EV compared to the EOS 10D's 0.5 EV, it's likely that AF assist won't be as
important on the EOS 20D.
External flash
The EOS 20D's hot-shoe can be used with
Canon and third party flash units (sync
only). As with the internal flash the hot
shoe supports the new E-TTL II metering
which uses distance information from the
lens to calculate flash power. This works
with all Canon lenses (although distance
information is only provided by lenses with
ring type USM motors).
Canon Speedlite 580EX
Introduced at the same time as the EOS 20D the new Speedlite 580EX which has several advanced
digital features including zoom linked to sensor sizes (takes into account the FOV crop caused by a DSLR sensor) and AWB switched to flash WB (causes the camera to switch to flash WB in certain
circumstances). In addition there is also a new battery belt pack for faster recharge and longer life.
Lens Mount
The EOS 20D has a standard metal EF / EF-S lens mount which means that it supports all Canon EF
and EF-S lenses plus some older as manual focus and compatible third party lenses. Because the
sensor is smaller than a 35 mm frame all lenses are subject to a field of view crop (sometimes called
focal length multiplier) of 1.6x, thus a 17 mm lens provides the same field of view of a 27.2 mm.
Interestingly to support EF-S lenses the mirror box and mirror are smaller than the 10D, this won't of
course make any difference to the image as the imaging circle required for the sensor is smaller than
35 mm. It also doesn't appear to have had any detrimental effect on viewfinder brightness.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 6. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
Shutter Release Sound / Continuous drive
In all of our digital SLR reviews we now provide a sound recording of a continuous burst of shots.
Below you can see waveforms of a recording made of the Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70 and Canon
EOS 10D shooting continuously for 30 seconds each. The cameras were set to manual focus, shutter
speed 1/250 sec and aimed at our standard resolution chart.Image quality was set to eight
megapixels JPEG Fine on the 20D and 6MP JPEG Fine on the 10D and D70. The CF card used was a
SanDisk Ultra II 1 GB (Type I).
The Canon EOS 20D shot 36 frames at full speed (5 frames per second), dropped to 1.7 frames per
second for 25 frames and then began a slightly erratic 'double shot' sequence for another 15 frames.
The Nikon D70 shot 12 frames at full speed (3 frames per second) then dropped to 2 frames per
second for 57 frames. The Canon EOS 10D shot 9 frames at full speed (3 frames per second),
dropped to 1 frame per second for 24 frames, after that it slowed considerably.
What surprised me the most is how much more amplitude the 20D sample has compared to the D70
and 10D, it's shutter sound is a louder than both of them but does appear to be exaggerated in the
diagrams below.
JPEG
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 6. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
30 seconds, total 76 frames (JPEG)
30 seconds, total 69 frames (JPEG)
30 seconds, total 34 frames (JPEG)
Download the MP3 (EOS 20D then D70 then EOS 10D) 1,624 KB
* The results here are slightly different to those measured in our Nikon D70 review because we are
now using a resolution chart as a target which has increased the size of the JPEG files being stored.
RAW
Not long after publishing this article we were asked if we could publish a recording of the EOS 20D
shooting RAW continuously (not that I can imagine many people would want to). Here it is.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 6. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
30 seconds, total 27 frames (RAW)
Download the MP3 (EOS 20D RAW) 539 KB
Supplied In the Box
The EOS 20D will be offered as body only (as shown below) or as a kit with the EF-S 18 - 55 mm
F3.5 - F5.6 lens (same kit lens as the EOS 300D, a good enough lens if a little cheap feeling on an
expensive body such as this).
The EOS 20D body only is supplied as:
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
Canon EOS 20D Digital SLR body
Eyecup Eb
BP-511A Lithium-Ion battery pack
CB-5L Battery charger
Neck strap
USB Cable
Video Cable
CD-ROMs
❍
Canon EOS Solution Disk v8.0
❍
Digital Photo Professional v1.2
❍
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0
Manuals / Reg. card
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 6. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 7. Operation & Controls: Digital Photography Review
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7. Operation & Controls
Timeline
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Side-by-Side
Top of camera controls (left) - Exposure Mode Dial
Galleries
Situated on the top of the camera on the
left hand side is the exposure mode dial.
This controls the manner of exposure
operation be it fully automatic, a
preprogrammed scene composition, flexible
program or a range of manual and semiautomatic options.
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In the user manual Canon breaks these
exposure modes into two groups; Basic
Zone and Creative Zone.
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Basic zone exposure modes
Full Auto and the six scene exposure modes are collectively referred to as the 'Basic Zone'. In all of
these modes the following camera options are either disabled or limited:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Flash mode
AF mode
Drive mode
White Balance
ISO Sensitivity
Metering Mode
Flash Compensation
Exposure Compensation
Focus Point selection
Parameters
Custom Functions
AE Lock
AE / WB Bracketing
RAW image format
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
Refer to table below ]
Refer to table below ]
Refer to table below ]
Auto ]
Auto ]
Evaluative ]
0 EV ]
0 EV ]
Auto ]
Standard ]
unavailable ]
unavailable ]
unavailable ]
unavailable ]
In the basic zone the camera will indicate that blur may occur because of slow shutter speeds, it does
so by blinking the shutter speed on the LCD panel and viewfinder status bar.
Icon
Mode
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AF mode
Drive mode
Flash mode
Canon EOS-20D Review: 7. Operation & Controls: Digital Photography Review
Fully Automatic Exposure
• AI Focus
• Single
• Self-Timer
• Auto
• Red-eye
• One Shot
• Continuous
• Self-Timer
• Auto
• Red-eye
• One Shot
• Single
• Self-Timer
• Disabled
• One Shot
• Single
• Self-Timer
• Disabled
• AI Servo
• Continuous
• Self-Timer
• Disabled
• One Shot
• Single
• Self-Timer
• Manual
• Red-eye
• AI Focus
• Single
• Self-Timer
• Disabled
Camera has complete control over
exposure, point-and-shoot operation.
Portrait
Apertures are kept as large as
possible (small F number) to produce
a shallow Depth of Field (blurred
background).
Landscape
Apertures as small as possible (large
F numbers) for the largest depth of
field.
Close-up (Macro)
Aperture is kept to a medium setting
to ensure the subject DOF is deep
enough but the background is
blurred.
Sports
Shutter speed is kept as high as
possible to ensure capture of fast
moving objects.
Night Scene
Allows for slow shutter speeds
combined with flash to illuminate
foreground and background.
Flash off
Disables internal and external flash
for taking automatic slow exposures.
Creative zone exposure modes
The five exposure modes will be more familiar (and preferred) by most prosumer / professionals. All
menu functions and camera settings are available in these modes and can be used in any
combination.
Icon
Description
Program Auto Exposure (Flexible)
Very similar to AUTO exposure but you have access to all the normal manual controls,
can set the ISO, exposure compensation, use AE lock, bracketing etc. The Program AE on
the EOS 20D is flexible, that means that you can select one of a variety of equal
exposures by turning the main dial (top of camera). Example:
• 1/30 F2.8 (metered)
• 1/20 F3.2 (turn left one click)
• 1/15 F4.0 (turn left two clicks) etc.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 7. Operation & Controls: Digital Photography Review
Shutter Priority Auto Exposure
In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct
aperture for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Shutter
speed is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on the top LCD, turn the main dial to
select different shutter speeds. A half-press of the shutter release causes the camera's
exposure system to calculate the aperture, if it's outside of the camera's exposure range
the aperture will blink. Available shutter speeds below represent 1/3 stop increments, 1/2
stop increments can be selected via custom function 6.
1/8000, 1/6400, 1/5000, 1/4000, 1/3200, 1/2500, 1/2000, 1/1600, 1/1250, 1/1000,
1/800, 1/640, 1/500, 1/400, 1/320, 1/250, 1/200, 1/160, 1/125, 1/100, 1/80, 1/60, 1/50,
1/40, 1/30, 1/25, 1/20, 1/15, 1/13, 1/10, 1/8, 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1, 1.3,
1.6, 2, 2.5, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 20, 25, 30 sec
Aperture Priority Auto Exposure
In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the correct shutter
speed for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Aperture is
displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on the top LCD, turn the main dial to select
different apertures. A half-press of the shutter release causes the camera's exposure
system to calculate the shutter speed, if it's outside of the camera's exposure range the
shutter speed will blink. Available apertures will differ depending on the lens used, the list
below represent 1/3 stop increments, 1/2 stop increments can be selected via custom
function 6.
F1.0, F1.1, F1.2, F1.4, F1.6, F1.8, F2.0, F2.2, F2.5, F2.8, F3.2, F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0,
F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0, F9.0, F10, F11, F13, F14, F16, F18, F20, F22, F25, F29, F32, F36,
F40, F45, F51, F57, F64, F72, F81, F91 (exact range depends on lens used)
Full Manual Exposure
In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the
above (plus BULB for shutter speed, apertures limited by the lens used). Top dial selects
shutter speed, rear dial selects aperture. Half-press the shutter release and the meter on
the viewfinder status bar and top LCD will reflect the exposure level compared to the
calculated ideal exposure, if it's outside of +/- 2EV the indicator bar will blink either + or -.
Automatic Depth-Of-Field AE
This mode, seen before on other Canon EOS cameras automatically controls the depth of
field to ensure that all the subjects covered by the focusing points, from those close to
the camera to those far away from the camera remain sharply defined (are within the
depth of field).
Top of camera controls (right)
Top of the camera on the right side is the
status panel LCD, directly above this are
four buttons (LCD panel backlight, AF/WB,
Drive/ISO, Metering/Flash compen.) In
front of these buttons is the main dial and
shutter release button.
Settings buttons are press once, turn a dial
to change setting value and then half-press
the shutter release to return to shooting
mode (or press another button).
The table below shows the relationship between each of the settings buttons and the parameters
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 7. Operation & Controls: Digital Photography Review
changed by either turning the main dial (top) or quick control dial (rear).
Quick Control Dial
Main Dial
Button
Auto Focus Mode
White Balance Mode
• One Shot (focus lock on half-press)
• AI Focus (locks but monitors movement)
• AI Servo (continuous predictive focus)
AI Focus mode initially locks just like One
Shot mode but monitors the focused
subject, if the subject moves it will
automatically switch to an AI Servo
operation.
• Evaluative (35 zone)
• Partial (9.5% of screen)
• Center Weighted Average
Drive Mode
• +/-2 EV
• 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps (C.Fn 6)
ISO Sensitivity
• Single shot
• Continuous (5 fps, 23 frames JPEG)
• Self-Timer
Self-Timer delay is by default 10 seconds,
however if you use mirror lockup (C.Fn 12)
the delay is reduced to 2 seconds.
< Previous
Auto (3000 - 7000 K)
Daylight (~ 5200 K)
Shade (~ 7000 K)
Cloudy (~ 6000 K)
Tungsten (~ 3200 K)
Fluorescent (~ 4000 K)
Flash (~ 6000 K)
Custom (2000 - 10000 K sample)
Kelvin temperature (2800 - 10000 K)
Flash Compensation
Metering Mode
Actions:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Next >
•
•
•
•
•
•
100
200
400
800
1600
H (3200) (enabled via C.Fn 8)
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 8. Operation & Controls: Digital Photography Review
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8. Operation & Controls
Timeline
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Side-by-Side
Under your thumb
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On the right side of the camera "under
your thumb" are two buttons. The AE lock
button (press to read and lock exposure,
can be re-programmed) and the AF point
selection button (press to select AF point,
AF point selection can also be reprogrammed).
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Shooting mode
Button
Operation
AE / FE Lock
Press to trigger automatic exposure and lock the exposure for the next shot. Hold the
button to lock the exposure for more than one shot. The exact function of this button can
be programmed via custom function 4 (see below).
AF point selection button
Press to choose a single AF point, turn the main dial or the quick control dial to scroll
around the available AF points. Alternatively you can also use the new multi-controller to
select a point directly (press the selector for the center point). The exact function of this
button can be programmed via custom function 13 (see below).
Play mode
Button
Operation
Thumbnail index / reduce magnification
If in single view play mode, pressing this button will switch to a 3 x 3 thumbnail index. If
already magnified it will step back in magnification levels once.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 8. Operation & Controls: Digital Photography Review
Magnify
Press to magnify the current image, there are fifteen steps up to a maximum
magnification of 10x. Use the quick control dial to pan around the image, press the
direction switch button to change from horizontal to vertical panning. Note that it is
possible to change image while maintaining magnification, just roll the main dial.
Shutter button / AE lock button function (C.Fn 4)
Most sports photographers will prefer to use setting 1 or 3 where you can control WHEN the camera
AF executes, a simple press of your thumb will start AF, then you can fire off as many shots as you
like (more quickly obviously) without the camera refocusing, plus you can manual focus once the AF
has completed.
Custom Function 4
Setting
Shutter button half-press
AE Lock button
0
AE, AF
AE lock
1
AE lock (shutter release priority)
AE, AF
2
AE, AF
AF lock (no AE lock)
3
AE (shutter release priority)
AE, AF (no AE lock)
AF point selection method (C.Fn 13)
Personally I preferred setting 1 which allows you to simply press the multi-controller to select an AF
point or press the the AF point selection button to return to auto AF selection mode.
Custom Function 13
Setting
AF point selection method
0
Press AF point selection then use dial / multi-controller
1
Push multi-controller to select AF point, selection button for Auto
2
Quick control dial to select AF point, selection button has no function
Rear of camera controls
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 8. Operation & Controls: Digital Photography Review
The control layout at the rear of the EOS 20D has undergone several important changes from the
EOS 10D. Firstly there are now only four buttons to the left of the LCD monitor (direction switch no
longer required thanks to the multi-controller), the Erase button has been sunken further into the
body to make it less easy to knock, the power switch now doubles as a quick command dial lock and
lastly the new the multi-controller (the small 'joystick' type button above the quick command dial)
used for AF point selection, panning in magnify mode and WB shift.
Shooting mode
Button
Operation
Enter / Leave the Menu
The camera menu is described on the following pages of this review.
Information
Displays current camera settings / information (click here for an example).
Play mode
Button
Operation
Enter / Leave the Menu
The camera menu is described on the following pages of this review.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 8. Operation & Controls: Digital Photography Review
Information
Changes the play display mode: No information, brief information, detailed information
and histogram.
Jump mode
Enters jump mode which allows you to skip through images by 9 frames forward or
backward.
Play
Displays the last image shot (the last image on the card). The EOS 20D is a shooting
priority camera, which means that no matter what is displayed on the rear LCD this will be
canceled if any of the camera's photographic functions (example half-pressing the shutter
release) are accessed.
Erase
Press to erase the current image, displays an OK / Cancel dialog. In play mode you also
get the option to erase all images (except those protected).
Lens mount controls
On the side of the lens mount are the final
set of camera controls. First is the flash
open button, a press of this (in the right
mode) will pop-up the onboard flash. Next
down is the lens release button and below
this the depth of field preview button which
stops the lens down to the indicated /
selected aperture to give a preview of DOF
in the viewfinder.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 8. Operation & Controls: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 9. Displays: Digital Photography Review
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Camera information display
Galleries
Pressing the INFO button with no
reviewed image displays an overview of
the current camera configuration (most of
which are not on the status LCD.
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Current Date / Time, No AE Bracket, +1
EV compensation, No WB-Shift or
Bracket, sRGB, Parameter 1, Review time
2 sec, No flash compensation, 8 min
power off, Auto rotate on, Kelvin WB set
at 5200 K, 1.8 GB free on CF card, ISO
1600 sensitivity.
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Record review & Play
If enabled the EOS 20D will provide a review of the image shot immediately after the shutter release.
By default the record review display mode will be a single image with a basic information overlay
(folder, filename, shutter speed, aperture, frame number & count). You can choose between the
three display modes by pressing the INFO button, these are the same in record review and play
mode. During record review you can press the erase button to immediately erase the image (click
here for an example).
Display modes
Single image, no overlaid information.
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Single image, basic information overlay.
Canon EOS-20D Review: 9. Displays: Digital Photography Review
Thumbnail image, histogram, overexposed
highlights and detailed exposure information.
Play mode
In play mode you can browse images by turning the quick control dial, examine them under
magnification or erase them. As with record review a half or full press of the shutter release
immediately cancels play mode.
Press the enlarge (AF point select) button to
magnify the image, the first level of
magnification is 1.5x, there are ten further
magnification levels up to 10x.
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Here we can see a 10x magnified image, use
the new multi-controller to move around the
image.
Canon EOS-20D Review: 9. Displays: Digital Photography Review
Press reduce / thumbnail (AE lock) button to
switch to a 3x3 thumbnail index view. Browse
through images using the quick control dial.
Press the JUMP button to enter a mode where
you can flip through pages of nine images at a
time. This could have been implemented by
another press of the reduce button (and
hence the JUMP button could be removed).
Press the erase button to display this erase
prompt which allows you to erase the current
image or all images on the CF card (except
those protected).
If the orientation sensor is enabled images are
displayed in their correct orientation in play
mode.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 9. Displays: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 10. Menus: Digital Photography Review
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Feedback
Camera Menus
The EOS 20D's menu system has a very similar layout to the EOS D30/D60/10D apart from bringing it
a little more in line with the appearance of the latest PowerShot digital cameras. The menu is still
split into three categories (red, blue, yellow) which is indicated by the colored scroll bar down the
right edge of the menu. You can press the JUMP button to skip to each section.
Shooting Section (Red)
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Option
Values / Actions
Large / Fine
Large / Normal
Medium / Fine
Medium / Normal
Small / Fine
Small / Normal
RAW + Large / Fine
RAW + Large / Normal
RAW + Medium / Fine
RAW + Medium / Normal
RAW + Small / Fine
RAW + Small / Normal
RAW
Notes
-
3504
3504
2544
2544
1728
1728
3504
3504
3504
3504
3504
3504
3504
x 2336 JPEG Fine
x 2336 JPEG Normal
x 1696 JPEG Fine
x 1696 JPEG Normal
x 1152 JPEG Fine
x 1152 JPEG Normal
RAW + 3504 JPEG Fine
RAW + 3504 JPEG Normal
RAW + 2544 JPEG Fine
RAW + 2544 JPEG Normal
RAW + 1152 JPEG Fine
RAW + 1152 JPEG Normal
x 2336 RAW
Quality *
[clip]
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Red-eye on/off
• Off
• On
Enables the use of the AF / red-eye
lamp just before a flash shot.
Beep
• On
• Off
Enables auto focus confirmation
beep. Also used for self timer.
Shoot w/o card
• On
• Off
Allow shot to be taken without CF
card inserted.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 10. Menus: Digital Photography Review
AEB
• +/-2 EV
• 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps (C.Fn 6)
Configures auto exposure
bracketing.
WB Shift / BKT
[animation] *
• Shift: B9-A9, M9-G9
• Bracket: BA+/-3, MG+/-3
Configures WB shift and WB
bracketing.
Custom WB
[clip]
• Set custom WB
Select image for custom WB.
Color temp.
• 2800 - 10000 K in 100 K steps
Select Kelvin WB temperature.
Color space *
• sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Parameters *
[animation]
•
•
•
•
•
•
Parameter 1
Parameter 2
Set 1
Set 2
Set 3
B&W
-
Preset: con +1, shp +1, sat +1
Preset: neutral
User definable
User definable
User definable
User definable (inc. filter & toning)
Playback Section (Blue)
Option
Notes
Protect
[clip]
Protect mode, allows you to browse images either in a single image or
thumbnail view and mark each image as protected (or un-protect). This simply
sets the read-only flag on the CF card filesystem.
Rotate
[clip]
Rotate mode, again, this can be performed in either single image or thumbnail
index view. This option allows you to rotate an image on-screen by 90 or 270
degrees. Doesn't actually rotate the JPEG file, but marks its orientation.
Print Order
[animation]
Allows you to create a DPOF print order file, this defines which images will be
printed, how many copies of each, what format etc. For use with compatible
printers or photo finishers.
Auto Play
[clip]
Start an automated slideshow of images on the CF card, delay between each
image is preset at four seconds.
Review time * Select the record review time: 2, 4, 8 sec or Hold (as long as the shutter
release button is held down).
Setup Section (Yellow)
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 10. Menus: Digital Photography Review
Option
Values / Actions
Auto power off
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Auto rotate
• Off
• On
When enabled the camera will
display shots taken in the vertical
orientation rotated.
LCD Brightness
• -2 to +2
Sets the LCD backlight strength.
Date/Time
• Set Date & Time
• Set Date format
File numbering
• Continuous
• Auto reset
Controls the numbering method
used for filenames.
Language
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Select menu language.
Video system
• NTSC
• PAL
Select video system for video out
connector.
Communication *
• Normal
• PTP
Sets USB communication protocol.
Format
1 min
2 min
4 min
8 min
15 min
30 min
Off
Notes
English
German
French
Dutch
Danish
Finnish
Italian
Norwegian
Swedish
Spanish
Chinese
Russian
Portuguese
Japanese
Sets camera power off time, this is
the amount of "idle time" before the
camera powers itself off. In the
power off state the camera can be
woken by half or fully depressing
the shutter release (or turning the
power switch to Off and back to
On).
Format the CF card
Custom Functions Set up custom functions
(See below)
Clear settings
Clears camera settings and or just
custom functions
• Clear all camera settings
• Clear all custom functions
• Cancel
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 10. Menus: Digital Photography Review
Sensor clean
• Cancel
• OK
Firmware
Select OK to flip up the mirror and
open the shutter to allow you to
clean the sensor. Power Off once
done.
Select to load new firmware from CF
card
Also shows current version, on our
pre-production camera; 1.0.2
* New or changed
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 11. Menus: Digital Photography Review
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Option
Values
01: SET button function
0:
1:
2:
3:
4:
02: Long exposure noise reduction *
0: Off
1: On
03: Flash sync speed in Av mode
0: Automatic (slow sync)
1: Fixed at 1/250 sec (when using flash) *
04: Shutter button / AE lock button
0:
1:
2:
3:
05: AF-assist beam / Flash firing *
0: Emits
1: Does not emit
2: Only ext. flash emits
06: Exposure level increments
0: 1/2 stop increments
1: 1/3 stop increments
07: Flash firing *
0: Fires
1: Does not fire
08: ISO expansion
0: Off
1: On
09: Bracket sequence / auto cancel
0:
1:
2:
3:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page11.asp (1 of 3)3/2/2005 4:36:15 AM
Default (no function)
Change quality
Change parameters
Menu display
Image replay
Shutter half-press: AE, AF. <*>: AE lock
<*>: AE, AF. Shutter half-press: AE lock
Shutter half-press: AE, AF. <*>: AF lock (no AE lock)
<*>: AE, AF (no AE lock). Shutter half-press: AE
0, -,
0, -,
-, 0,
-, 0,
+
+
+
+
/
/
/
/
Enable
Disable
Enable
Disable
Canon EOS-20D Review: 11. Menus: Digital Photography Review
10: Superimposed display
0: On (highlight AF points on focusing screen)
1: Off
11: Menu button return position
0: Previous (top if camera is powered off)
1: Previous
2: Top
12: Mirror lockup
0: Disable (normal)
1: Enable (first press of shutter release flips mirror up,
second press takes exposure - reduces vibration)
When enabled camera's self-timer reduces to 3 secs
13: AF point selection method *
0: Normal
1: Multi-controller direct
2: Quick control dial direct
14: E-TTL II *
0: Evaluative
1: Average
15: Shutter curtain sync
0: 1st curtain sync (flash fires after shutter opens)
1: 2nd curtain sync (flash fires before shutter closes)
16: Safety shift in Av or Tv
0: Disabled
1: Enabled
17: Lens AF stop button function
0:
1:
2:
3:
4:
5:
18: Add original decision data *
0: Off
1: On
AF stop
AF start
AE lock while metering
AF point:M -> Auto/Auto -> ctr.
One Shot <> AI Servo
IS start
* New or changed
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 11. Menus: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 12. Timings & Sizes: Digital Photography Review
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Timings & File Sizes
Numerous internal improvements in the development of the EOS 20D make it a noticeably faster
camera the EOS 10D. Some more important differences are the sub half-second startup time (EOS
10D was around 2.3 seconds), RAW record review of 1.3 seconds (EOS 10D was around 2.3
seconds), playback browsing speed, much faster CF write speeds and faster continuous shooting rate
(with a larger buffer). The sum of these improvements is a camera which feels much more responsive
and is pretty much always ready to shoot no matter what you throw at it.
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Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all
timings were made on a Large (3504 x 2336) JPEG image (approx. 2,700 KB per image).
Media Notes: The 4 GB SanDisk Ultra II card was formatted at the default FAT32 cluster size (4
KB), formatting with the larger 32 KB cluster size produce only a 3% write speed improvement.
SanDisk Ultra II cards have the same performance as the SanDisk Extreme cards sold in North
America.
The media used for this test were:
■
■
■
256 MB Canon High Speed Type I CF card
1 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I CF card
4 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I CF card (FAT32)
Action
Details
Power Off to On *1
Power On to Off
Time, seconds
(Canon)
Time, seconds
(SanDisk 1 GB)
Time, seconds
(SanDisk 4 GB)
0.3
0.3
0.3
<0.3
<0.3
<0.3
Record Review *2
RAW
1.3
1.3
1.3
Record Review *2
JPEG
1.0
1.0
1.0
Play *3
RAW
0.3 (0.8)
0.3 (0.7)
0.3 (0.6)
Play *3
JPEG
0.6 (1.9)
0.6 (1.2)
0.6 (1.1)
Play Image to Image
RAW
<0.5
<0.5
<0.5
Play Image to Image
JPEG
<0.5
<0.5
<0.5
*1
This timing was taken from the moment the power switch was turned to on to the moment a
shot was taken (by holding down the shutter release from power on).
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page12.asp (1 of 5)3/2/2005 4:36:13 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 12. Timings & Sizes: Digital Photography Review
*2
This is the amount of time between pressing the shutter release and the image being
displayed on the LCD monitor. Different display modes (single image / histogram) don't affect
this timing.
*3
The EOS 20D caches images which have been viewed recently to speed up browsing. The first
timing is the best case (image has been viewed and cached), the second (in brackets) the
worst case (image is first to be displayed after power on).
Continuous Drive mode
To test continuous mode the camera had the following settings: Manual Focus, Manual Exposure
(1/250s, F3.5), ISO 400. We observed that no matter what the image quality setting, ISO or CF card
used the initial frame rate was always 5.0 fps (+/- 0.1 fps). The tests carried out below measured the
following parameters for both JPEG (Large/Fine) and RAW:
■
■
■
■
Frame rate - Initial frame rate, this was always 5.0 fps
Number of frames - Number of frames in a burst (full speed; 5.0 fps)
Buffer full rate - Frame rate if shutter release held down after burst (buffer full)
Next burst - How soon after a burst of shots you can take another full burst *
* As soon as the 'Max Burst' display on the viewfinder reaches 9 (JPEG) or 6 (RAW)
The media used for these tests were:
■
■
■
256 MB Canon High Speed Type I CF card
1 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I CF card
4 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I CF card (FAT32)
Burst of JPEG (Large/Fine) images
Timing
256 MB Canon
1 GB SanDisk
4 GB SanDisk
5.0 fps
5.0 fps
5.0 fps
24
25
25
1.3 fps
1.4 fps
1.2 fps
16.0 sec
7.2 sec
9.0 sec
256 MB Canon
1 GB SanDisk
4 GB SanDisk
5.0 fps
5.0 fps
5.0 fps
6
6
6
0.3 fps
0.7 fps
0.5 fps
21.0 sec
9.1 sec
12.3 sec
Frame rate
Number of frames
Buffer full rate
Next burst
Burst of RAW images
Timing
Frame rate
Number of frames
Buffer full rate
Next burst
The EOS 20D's continuous shooting capability is very impressive, especially when combined with a
fast CompactFlash card. The EOS 20D processes RAW buffered data into the output format and
places back in the buffer, this queue of images is then written to the CF card. Because of this system
the camera releases enough buffer space for another burst before all images have been written to
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 12. Timings & Sizes: Digital Photography Review
the CF card. In JPEG mode with a decent card you can fire off 25 frames in five seconds and then
another 25 just over seven seconds later (and on and on).
File Flush Timing
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the
storage card. The EOS 20D will begin writing images as soon as it can and continue to write 'in the
background' while you take further shots / change settings. You cannot browse other images or enter
the camera menu while images are being written to the storage card.
The media used for this test were:
■
■
■
256 MB Canon High Speed Type I CF card
1 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I CF card
4 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I CF card (FAT32)
Store
Time,
(Canon)
Time,
Time,
(SanDisk 1 GB) (SanDisk 4 GB)
Approx.
size
3504 x 2336 RAW *1
3.5
1.7
2.1
7,500 KB
3504 x 2336 RAW + JPEG *2
4.7
2.3
2.8
10,200 KB
3504 x 2336 JPEG (L/Fine)
1.4
0.7
0.8
2,700 KB
2544 x 1696 JPEG (M/Fine)
0.9
0.5
0.6
1,600 KB
*1
The EOS 20D uses a lossless compression (similar to Zip compression) on RAW files, thus they
can vary slightly in size depending on ISO sensitivity and the amount of detail in the image.
*2
File size reported here is the size of the RAW and JPEG files added together. For our tests we
chose Large, quality 8 (default).
What difference a good CompactFlash card can make, with SanDisk's 1 GB Ultra II card the EOS 20D
takes just 1.7 seconds to write a RAW file, and around three quarters of a second for a Large JPEG.
Indeed this performance is almost as good as the EOS-1D Mark II and more than twice as fast as the
EOS 10D. It also is clearly worth investing in a good fast CF card.
Card performance: JPEG burst
Card
Canon EOS 20D, write speed (JPEG L files)
256 MB Canon High Speed CF
2,132 KB/sec
1 GB SanDisk Ultra II CF
4,708 KB/sec
4 GB SanDisk Ultra II CF
3,622 KB/sec
Card performance: RAW burst
Card
Canon EOS 20D, write speed (RAW files)
256 MB Canon High Speed CF
1 GB SanDisk Ultra II CF
4 GB SanDisk Ultra II CF
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page12.asp (3 of 5)3/2/2005 4:36:13 AM
2,362 KB/sec
5,434 KB/sec
4,139 KB/sec
Canon EOS-20D Review: 12. Timings & Sizes: Digital Photography Review
Firewire Reader Benchmark
Card
Firewire Reader, write speed (RAW files)
2,229 KB/sec
256 MB Canon High Speed CF
1 GB SanDisk Ultra II CF
3,804 KB/sec
4 GB SanDisk Ultra II CF
2,909 KB/sec
Battery life
The EOS 20D's new BP-511A Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery provides approximately 25% more
capacity than the EOS 10D's BP-511. This in combination with a new generation of the DiGiC
processor equates to longer life, indeed Canon quotes an impressive 1,000 frames without the flash.
Our experience was that in a days shooting it was fairly difficult to run the battery completely flat.
Canon supplied battery life data
Temperature
Actions:
Shooting conditions
No flash use
50% flash use
Normal (20°C / 68°F)
Approx. 1000
Approx. 700
Low (0°C / 32°F)
Approx. 750
Approx. 550
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 13. Features: Digital Photography Review
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Output image file quality / JPEG artifacts
The EOS 20D provides seven different image size / quality
combinations. You can choose from image sizes of 3504 x 2336
(Large), 2544 x 1696 (Medium) or 1728 x 1152 (Small) in
combination with either Fine JPEG or Normal JPEG quality settings.
In addition of course the EOS 20D also provides a RAW capture
mode which in effect dumps the RAW data direct from the CMOS
sensor into a losslessly compressed file (around 9.0 MB per image).
Note that RAW files are in the new .CR2 file format.
Standard Test Scene
Below you will find crops of the same 240 x 180 portion of the
center of a sequence of images taken at some of the available combinations of image size and
quality. Crops shown are at 100%, saved as extremely high quality JPEG. The RAW file was
converted to a TIFF using Canon EOS Viewer Utility 1.1.
3504 x 2336 RAW (Uncompressed)
8,861 KB .CR2 (not for download)
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3504 x 2336 (L) JPEG Fine
3,496 KB .JPG
Canon EOS-20D Review: 13. Features: Digital Photography Review
3504 x 2336 (L) JPEG Normal
1,758 KB .JPG
2544 x 1696 (M) JPEG Fine
2,027 KB .JPG
1728 x 1152 (S) JPEG Fine
1,115 KB .JPG
The EOS 20D's Fine JPEG mode delivers very clean images with no detectable artifacts. Images (at
Large size) that are in fact very difficult to distinguish from a default converted RAW file (although
obviously you shoot RAW for reasons of flexibility). Surprisingly the Normal compression mode which
effectively halves the size of the output file also appears clean with no obvious artifacts at 100%
view.
At the smaller image sizes the EOS 20D's downsampling interpolation is very good, nice clean aliasing
with no noticeable 'jaggies'.
Image parameter Presets
The EOS 20D now has two preset and three user definable parameter sets. Parameter 1 preset has a
contrast, sharpness and saturation setting of +1, Parameter 2 preset is neutral (0 for all settings).
This means that (a) by default you get a punchier image out of the EOS 20D compared to the EOS
10D and that (b) if you wish to compare the two cameras you need to set the EOS 20D to Parameter
2 (neutral).
Scene parameter preset samples
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 13. Features: Digital Photography Review
Parameter 1
Parameter 2
GretagMacBeth ColorChecker parameter preset samples
Below is GretagMacbeth ColorChecker shot in the two preset modes as well as EOS 10D equivalent
shots. The first thing that we notice is that the EOS 20D's images (despite being the same exposure
as the EOS 10D) are lighter, this is true across the tonal range (hence this isn't a contrast difference).
Secondly color response and saturation is very similar. Place your mouse over the label below the
chart to see that image.
EOS 20D Parameter 1
+1, +1, +1, 0
EOS 20D Parameter 2
0, 0, 0, 0
EOS 10D Set 1*
+1, +1, +1, 0
EOS 10D Standard
0, 0, 0, 0
* A custom user set was created with a contrast, sharpness and saturation setting of +1
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 13. Features: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 14. Features: Digital Photography Review
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Color space
In another improvement over the EOS 10D the selection of color space has now been separated from
image parameter. This means that you can independently select the sRGB or Adobe RGB color spaces
and also have parameter settings applied. Note that images taken in the Adobe RGB color space have
their filename prefixed with an underscore (_) this complies with DCF 2.0 (Exif 2.21). Place your
mouse over the label below the image to see the GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart taken in each
color space.
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sRGB
Adobe RGB (converted to sRGB)
Color space: CIE u'v' Color Distribution chart
Note that in these samples the Adobe RGB image has not been converted to sRGB and so to view it
correctly you will have to load it into a color space aware photo application and assign the Adobe RGB
color space. Below each sample is the CIE u'v' Color Distribution chart; larger gray triangle
approximately represents the range of color which the human eye can resolve, the inner triangle the
available gamut in each color space (sRGB or Adobe RGB).
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 14. Features: Digital Photography Review
sRGB
Adobe RGB
Custom Parameter Sets
The EOS 20D allows you to create up to three user defined custom image parameter sets. Just like
the EOS 10D the 20D provides five levels of adjustment (plus or minus two levels) for parameters
contrast, sharpness, saturation and color tone. While useful it's perhaps not as flexible as it could
have been with a wider latitude of adjustment and increased number of steps.
Contrast adjustment
Adjusting the tone alters the shape of the 'S curve' used to map the linear image data captured by
the sensor into the correct gamma. A lower contrast setting maintains more of the original data's
dynamic range but leads to a flatter looking image. A higher contrast setting stretches the grayscale
(dark to light) of the image and could lead to clipping of both shadow detail and highlights.
Contrast
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Luminosity histogram
Canon EOS-20D Review: 14. Features: Digital Photography Review
-2
0
+2
Color saturation adjustment
Saturation adjustment allows you to control the strength of color in the final image. The latitude of
adjustment in this case is probably about right without getting into really de-saturated images or
'Disney color'.
Saturation
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page14.asp (3 of 6)3/2/2005 4:36:03 AM
50% crop
Canon EOS-20D Review: 14. Features: Digital Photography Review
-2
0
+2
Color tone adjustment
Color tone subtly adjusts the hue of the image, a negative setting makes color appear more reddish,
a positive setting makes color appear more yellowish.
Color tone
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page14.asp (4 of 6)3/2/2005 4:36:03 AM
50% crop
Canon EOS-20D Review: 14. Features: Digital Photography Review
-2
0
+2
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 15. Features: Digital Photography Review
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Custom Parameter Sets (contd.)
Sharpness
As we have come to expect from Canon's digital SLRs the EOS 20D's default sharpening level (0) is
fairly conservative, although this time if you use the camera 'out of the box' it will use a sharpening
level of +1 (default preset Parameter 1). As I commented in my EOS 10D review I think that this
setting needs the widest range of adjustment (and doesn't yet have it).
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Sharpness: -2
Sharpness: -1
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 15. Features: Digital Photography Review
Sharpness: 0 (Parameter 2 default)
Sharpness: +1 (Parameter 1 default)
Sharpness: +2
Black & White mode
The EOS 20D features a new Black and White parameter set. In this mode you can choose the B&W
filter and toning effect in addition to contrast and sharpness. The sample below was produced from a
single RAW file converted by EOS Viewer Utility with different B&W settings (the same result as
taking multiple shots in each B&W mode). In addition you can also add toning to these filters. Place
your mouse over the label below the chart to see that image.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 15. Features: Digital Photography Review
Color
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 16. Features: Digital Photography Review
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Auto focus accuracy
When we reviewed the Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) I added this page which attempts to check
the accuracy of auto focus both of the camera and lens used. This test is designed to check for front
or back focusing defined as:
Where the camera indicates an auto focus lock but the actual focus position produced
is slightly in front or slightly behind the actual ideal focus position. This can be caused
by errors in the camera or a problem with the lens.
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For this test we are using a variation of various 45 degree tests
seen elsewhere. Ours uses a simple rule print with a focusing target
placed at 45 degrees from the rule and facing the camera directly.
This target was designed to be easy for the camera to pick out as
well as being large enough (3 x 2 cm) not to allow the AF sensors
to pick up background detail. The camera is placed at exactly 45
degrees from the chart (facing the AF target) at a distance of 0.5 m
(from the AF target to the focal plane).
AF Test Target
The chart is then shot at both wide angle and telephoto at a large
aperture (to keep the DOF as small as possible) with center point
AF selected. It is then possible to examine the image and see whether the AF target is in focus, it is
also possible to see the DOF on this chart. Each small line on the ruler is 1 mm, larger line is 10 mm.
The crops below are from a 50% downsized image (to make more of the chart visible).
Canon EF-S 17 - 85 mm F4.5 - F5.6 IS USM
Wide angle, at 17 mm, F4.5: Good
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos20d/page16.asp (1 of 4)3/2/2005 4:35:51 AM
Canon EOS-20D Review: 16. Features: Digital Photography Review
Telephoto, at 85 mm, F5.6: Good (slight back focus)
Canon EF 24 - 70 mm F2.8 L USM
Wide angle, at 24 mm, F2.8: Good (slight back focus)
Telephoto, at 70 mm, F2.8: Good
Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 USM
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 16. Features: Digital Photography Review
At 50 mm, F2.8: Good
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 17. Software: Digital Photography Review
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Software
The EOS 20D is provided with three software CD-ROMs containing (Windows & Mac versions):
●
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CD 1: Canon EOS Solution Disk 8.0
❍
EOS Viewer Utility 1.1
❍
EOS Capture 1.1
❍
PhotoStitch 3.1
❍
Canon Camera WIA Driver *w
CD 2: Canon Digital Photo Professional 1.1
CD 3: Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0
*w Windows only
Canon EOS Viewer Utility (1.1.0.15)
After starting EOS Viewer Utility the main window is displayed, it is divided into four panes; Folder list
(top left), Bookmark (bottom left), Thumbnail display (center), Histogram / Information / Notes
(right). Additionally the Tool Palette Window may also be displayed which allows you to make RAW
adjustments in thumbnail or single view modes (see below).
Thumbnail index view
Thumbnails shown can be from your computer (or network) or connected camera. Double click on a
single image to open the single image view window (see below). Images can be organized or
manipulated individually or as a group (by selecting more than one image). Icons along the toolbar
allow you to rotate, check / uncheck, protect / unprotect, modify IPTC data and erase images (among
other functions). Select a single / multiple RAW images, right click and select 'Convert and save in
file...' to display the save dialog.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 17. Software: Digital Photography Review
Single image view
The single image view window enables a large view of the chosen image and can be manipulated on
its own, this includes RAW adjustments provided by the Tool Palette window (see below). You can
change the magnification level and pan around the image. Select the 'Save File' icon or right click and
select 'Convert and save in file...' to display the save dialog.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 17. Software: Digital Photography Review
Tool Palette Window (RAW adjustment)
Press CTRL+T or select 'Tool Palette' from the View menu to display the RAW adjustment tool
palette. This window allows for adjustment of RAW parameters for RAW images. This small floating
window can be used in both the main window thumbnail view (with one or more RAW images
selected) or in single image view. Settings applied to an image are memorized by EOS Viewer Utility.
You can also copy and paste settings between RAW images.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 17. Software: Digital Photography Review
Example of as-shot RAW settings (inherited
from camera settings at time of exposure),
these are indicated by bold and italic text.
Here we have made several adjustments:
digital exposure compensation, white
balance, contrast, saturation and color
space.
RAW adjustments which can be applied from the Tool Palette:
Digital Exposure Compensation
+/- 2.0 EV in 0.1 EV steps
White balance
Auto, Presets, Kelvin, White Point
White balance fine tuning
Blue - Amber & Green - Magenta
Contrast
Low, Mid Low, Standard, Mid High, High
Color mode
Standard, B/W
Color saturation
Low, Mid Low, Standard, Mid High, High
Color tone
-2, -1, 0, +1, +2
B/W filter
None, Yellow, Orange, Red, Green
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 17. Software: Digital Photography Review
B/W toning
None, Sepia, Blue, Purple, Green
Color space
sRGB, Adobe RGB
Sharpness
Low, Mid Low, Standard, Mid High, High
EOS Capture
Select EOS Capture from the Option menu to launch the EOS Capture remote control application
which allows you to control camera settings and trigger exposures on a tethered camera. Images are
saved to the local hard disk (and optionally also the storage card). Settings are adjusted by clicking
on the setting on the display panel and pressing the left or right adjustment arrows. Additionally you
can also execute 'Timer Shooting' (time lapse) which can be configured to take an exposure at
specific intervals.
EOS Capture immediately after startup
displaying current camera settings. Click on
the camera icon to take a shot.
Click on any of the 'adjustable' settings
(such as aperture, white balance, ISO etc.)
and use the left / right arrows to change.
Camera Settings
With the camera attached to the computer you can select the Camera Settings option, this displays
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 17. Software: Digital Photography Review
various items of information including the camera Body ID, Firmware version, Battery status. It also
allows you to set the owner's name, date & time and also format the CF card.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 18. Software: Digital Photography Review
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Software (contd).
Canon Digital Photo Professional (1.1.0.2)
Upon starting Digital Photo Professional you could be forgiven for thinking it is the same as EOS
Viewer Utility (EVU), and to a large degree it is. However there are some subtle differences. Firstly
the thumbnail view looks subtly different, the folder view is still there on the side but along the top is
the oversized tool bar with big 'press here to adjust' buttons (mostly for RAW manipulation). There
are also several things you can't do in DPP, you can't connect to an attached camera, you can change
the camera settings, nor can you use DPP to transfer images from the camera to your hard disk. DPP
also doesn't appear to understand RAW+JPEG and displays the two as separate images. Nor does it
provide EVU's B&W mode.
Thumbnail index view
The main thumbnail view has three different size options as well as an interesting thumbnail with
information view as seen below. Note that adjustments such as brightness and white balance can be
made to single or multiple files (just like EVU) and are remembered across multiple sessions
(although EVU and DPP don't appear to share this database of adjustments).
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 18. Software: Digital Photography Review
Edit image window
Select one or more images and click on the 'Edit image window' (or simply double click on a single
image) to switch to the edit window where you can carry out various RAW adjustments such as
digital exposure compensation, white balance, tone curve and color. Curiously DPP's sharpness
setting is on the save dialog which means you can't tune (or store) a sharpness setting for each
image. The shot below shows the oversized toolbar running along the top of the window, selected
thumbnails down the left side (this can be turned off), a before and after (optional) view of the image
in the center and adjustments to the right.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 18. Software: Digital Photography Review
On the right side of the edit window are two pages of adjustments accessed by two tabs labeled
'RAW image adjustment' and 'RGB image adjustment'.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 18. Software: Digital Photography Review
RAW image adjustment page
RGB image adjustment page
RAW adjustments which can be applied from the adjustment tabs:
RAW image adjustment
Brightness
+/- 2.0 EV in 0.01 EV steps (digital exposure compensation)
White balance
Auto, Presets, Kelvin, White Point
White balance fine tuning
Hue & Saturation
Dynamic range adjustment
Black point & White point (similar to 'levels')
Tone curve
Shot, Linear, Custom (-2 to +2)
Color adjustment
Shot, Faithful, Custom (Hue -2 to +2, Saturation -2 to +2)
RGB image adjustment
Tone curve
Multi-point (up to 8) luminance or individual channels
Brightness
-100 to +100
Contrast
-100 to +100
Color adjustment: Hue
-30 to +30
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 18. Software: Digital Photography Review
Color adjustment: Saturation
0 to 200 (default 100)
* Note that sharpness setting is made at the time of output (the last thing to be carried out), and can
be set in the range of 0 to 5 (click here).
DPP 'Faithful color' reproduction
Digital Photo Professional has two standard color adjustment modes of 'Shot' and 'Faithful'. These can
produce quite different color responses from images, in some circumstances the Faithful setting
delivers very impressive results (although in others can mean the clipping of color channels).
According the the DPP manual "a feature of EOS DIGITAL cameras, are settings that are faithful to
the original image. This setting adjusts colors so that the images that are taken in an ambient light of
approx. 5200 K can be colorimetrically faithful to the subject's color tones."
All the samples below were originally 20D RAW files output from DPP as JPEG and reduced to XGA
dimensions. Each file was converted with both the 'Shot' and 'Faithful' color adjustment settings. It's
probably worth knowing that DPP's 'Shot' color adjustment setting is less saturated than straight out
of the camera JPEG and default output from EOS Viewer Utility (see next page).
DPP color adjustment 'Shot'
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DPP color adjustment 'Faithful'
Canon EOS-20D Review: 18. Software: Digital Photography Review
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Five RAW converters compared
In the comparisons below the JPEG and RAW images were taken within seconds of each other. The
labels beside each sample equate to:
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■
JPEG - JPEG straight from the camera (Large, Fine)
EVU - Canon EOS Viewer Utility 1.1.0.15
DPP Shot - Canon Digital Photo Professional 1.1.0.2 (Color 'Shot setting')
DPP Faithful - Canon Digital Photo Professional 1.1.0.2 (Color 'Faithful setting')
C1 Pro - Capture One Pro 3.6 Beta * (click here)
Bibble Pro - Bibble Pro 4.0 (click here)
Adobe RAW - Adobe Camera RAW 2.3 (unofficial support) * (click here)
* These two converters are not final versions or did not officially support the EOS 20D, as soon as we
can we will update this page with results from final versions.
Color reproduction
Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart
converted using each RAW converter. What's interesting is the fairly significant difference between
JPEG / EVU and DPP in 'shot' mode (which is clearly nothing like a standard 'shot' from the camera).
Also interesting is that the actual color hues of DPP Faithful, Adobe RAW and Bibble Pro are relatively
similar. My personal preference (and visibly the most accurate) is DPP Faithful. The most balanced
and least likely to slip into over-saturation or clipping are JPEG / EVU.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 19. Software: Digital Photography Review
JPEG
EVU
DPP Shot
C1 Pro
Bibble Pro
Adobe RAW
DPP Faithful
Sharpness and Detail
In the samples below the sharpness setting for each RAW converter was set to its default setting
(except in the case of DDP where sharpness was set to 2; its default is no sharpening).
●
●
●
●
●
●
JPEG - 'Mid High' (EOS 20D's Parameter 1 default)
EVU - 'Mid High' (EOS 20D's Parameter 1 default)
DPP - Sharpness: 2
C1 Pro - Sharpening: Soft look, Default
Bibble Pro - Sharpening: Standard
Adobe RAW - Sharpness: 25 (default), Color Noise Reduction: 25 (default)
The immediate impression from these 100% crops is that JPEG straight out of the camera and EVU
appear the sharpest but closer examination reveals that they also suffer from the most noticeable
sharpening artifacts (halos). DPP, C1 Pro and Adobe RAW deliver good sharpness with almost none of
the halo artifacts we're used to seeing.
J
P
E
G
E
V
U
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 19. Software: Digital Photography Review
D
P
P
S
h
o
t
C
1
P
r
o
B
i
b
b
l
e
P
r
o
A
d
o
b
e
R
A
W
Resolution
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 19. Software: Digital Photography Review
Out of camera JPEG and EVU deliver good sharpness although with obvious sharpening halos.
Capture One Pro and Adobe Camera RAW deliver detail images with no sharpening artifacts. DPP
once more has trouble with the resolution chart and exhibits some demosaicing and moire artifacts.
JPEG from camera
Canon EOS Viewer Utility
Canon Digital Photo Professional
Capture One Pro
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Bibble Pro
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 20. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review
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ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels
ISO equivalence on a digital camera is the ability to increase the
sensitivity of the sensor. The works by turning up the
"volume" (gain) on the sensor's signal amplifiers (remember the
sensor is an analogue device). By amplifying the signal you also
amplify the noise which becomes more visible at higher ISO's. Many
modern cameras also employ noise reduction and / or sharpness
reduction at higher sensitivities.
To measure noise levels we take a sequence of images of a
GretagMacBeth ColorChecker chart (controlled artificial daylight
lighting). The exposure is matched to the ISO (ie. ISO 200, 1/200
sec for consistency of exposure between cameras).
Standard Test
The image sequence is run through our own proprietary measurement tool which measures the
standard deviation (normalized) of the middle gray patch (indicated by the red rectangle above).
Additionally we now have a 'detail crop', this is currently a postage stamp (lots of fine detail) but we
may replace this at a future date. Note that noise values indicated on the graphs below should not be
compared to those in other reviews.
Canon EOS 20D: Parameter 2
The EOS 20D's default parameter set is now 'Parameter 1' which sets contrast, sharpness and
saturation to +1, this provides punchier 'out of the camera' performance but in this test we're looking
to compare the 20D's with its "neutral" setting which is 'Parameter 2'; this is the same as the EOS
10D's default setting.
Test notes:
■
■
Shots taken at approximately 25°C (~77°F)
Lighting was simulated daylight measured as 10.1 EV (at ISO 100)
Canon EOS 20D vs. Canon EOS 10D (ISO 100 - 3200)
■
■
Canon EOS 20D : Canon 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority (F4), Manual WB,
Parameters 2 (neutral), 50 mm F1.4, JPEG Large / Fine
Canon EOS 10D: Canon 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority (F4), Manual WB,
Default Parameters (neutral), 50 mm F1.4, JPEG Large / Fine
Canon EOS 20D
ISO 100, 1/100 sec, F4
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Canon EOS 10D
ISO 100, 1/100 sec, F4
Canon EOS-20D Review: 20. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review
Crops
Canon EOS 20D
ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F4
Canon EOS 10D
ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F4
Canon EOS 20D
ISO 400, 1/400 sec, F4
Canon EOS 10D
ISO 400, 1/400 sec, F4
Canon EOS 20D
ISO 800, 1/800 sec, F4
Canon EOS 10D
ISO 800, 1/800 sec, F4
Canon EOS 20D
ISO 1600, 1/1600 sec, F4
Canon EOS 10D
ISO 1600, 1/1600 sec, F4
Crops
Crops
Crops
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 20. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review
Crops
Canon EOS 20D
ISO 3200, 1/3200 sec, F4
Canon EOS 10D
ISO 3200, 1/3200 sec, F4
Crops
Despite a two megapixel increase in pixel count (and hence a reduction in photosite size) the EOS
20D manages to deliver lower noise with better sharpness at higher sensitivities than the EOS 10D.
Very interestingly the final production camera we had for review wasn't quite as good as the preproduction unit, however it's fair to say that at higher sensitivities (above ISO 800) the EOS 20D has
between a two thirds and one stop noise advantage over the EOS 10D.
What we have observed visually is pretty much supported by our noise measurements, that from ISO
100 to 400 noise levels are virtually the same (which means very low) and from ISO 800 upwards the
EOS 20D is cleaner. The considerably more expensive (and more capable) EOS-1D Mark II (8 MP
Canon CMOS) delivers a similar level of noise at ISO 100 (ie. virtually nothing) but maintains a lower
noise level at ISO 200, 400 and 800. Only at ISO 1600 and 3200 does the level of noise from the EOS
20D begin to match the 1D Mark II.
Luminance noise graph (ISO 100 - 3200)
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 20. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review
Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of luminosity
(normalized image) on the vertical axis.
RGB noise graph (ISO 100 - 3200)
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 20. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review
Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of each of the red,
green and blue channels (normalized image) are on the vertical axis.
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White Balance
As per the EOS 10D the 20D delivers an almost identical automatic white balance performance that is
very good in natural light, acceptable in fluorescent light (cool bulb in this case) but poor in
incandescent light. It's once more a disappointment that Canon still hasn't been able to get even
close to delivering good incandescent (tungsten) automatic white balance. In addition to automatic
white balance there are of course a range of WB presets, manual WB and Kelvin temperature. You
can also now fine-tune the WB presets in the same manner as the EOS-1D Mark II (although with a
nicer user interface).
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Outdoor - Auto WB
Red: -0.0%, Blue: 0.7%
Excellent
Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red: 2.1%, Blue: -4.4%
Average
Incandescent - Auto WB
Red: 10.5%, Blue: -16.4%
Poor
Long Exposure noise reduction / Night shots
The EOS 20D now allows you to enable or disable long exposure noise reduction via custom function
2. However once enabled the long exposure noise reduction works differently than the EOS D60 /
EOS 10D in that it takes a 'dark frame' exposure immediately after the main exposure, this doubles
the time taken.
Typical night exposure
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 21. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review
30 sec, F5.6, Noise Reduction Off
5 sec, F6.3, Noise Reduction On
The five minute exposure (with and without NR)
The five minute exposures below turned out better (less noise) than the four minute test exposure
we carried out in our EOS 10D review. Enabling noise reduction does appear to take care of most of
the hot pixels although did leave small black 'pits' where a very strong hot pixel was removed. On the
downside the second exposure actually took a total of 10 minutes. (PS. Apologies for the dirt visible
on these shots, the sensor needed cleaning).
Noise reduction Off
Noise reduction On
5 minutes, F22
5 minutes, F22
Flash
The 20D features the new version of Canon's E-TTL flash metering system. E-TTL II now utilizes
additional 'distance information' provided to the camera by the lens (not all lenses provide this, see
list earlier in this review).
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 21. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review
Built-in flash
Canon 550 EX direct
Canon 550 EX bounced
Built-in flash
Overall Image Quality / Specifics
As expected the EOS 20D performs extremely well, its CMOS sensor delivering those trademark silky
smooth clean images at ISO 100 and 200 with only a slight increase in noise at ISO 400 and 800. At
higher sensitivities the EOS 20D continues to impress with visibly less noise than the EOS 10D at ISO
1600 and 3200. In the field the 20D provides you with full flexibility to shoot at any sensitivity without
ever having to worry too much about noise.
One change over the EOS 10D is that the default image processing parameter set ('Parameter 1') has
+1 values for contrast, saturation and sharpness. This produces 'punchier' images straight out of the
camera which have slightly better immediate 'appeal' when viewed. However purists can still put the
20D into a 'neutral' setting by selecting 'Parameter 2' and get results which are very similar to the
EOS 10D.
In-camera processing / sharpening (there's more detail in there)
Our only gripe if we were to isolate one would be that the EOS 20D's in-camera demosaicing /
sharpening algorithms don't get the most out of the data delivered to them by the sensor. Close
examination of JPEG's from the EOS 20D show us that the sharpening algorithms used are very
similar to those in the PowerShot series of digital cameras. You can't deliver visibly more detail into
the image (by increasing sharpening) without also making sharpening halos more visible. (Canon EOS
Viewer Utility appears to use the identical processing / sharpening).
The flip side of this is the type of processing / sharpening used in the professional EOS-1D series of
digital SLRs (and also in Canon's Digital Photo Professional RAW converter) which has the ability to
sharpen the image without introducing halos (you just get crisp edges). When you see the difference
between in-camera and shooting RAW and converting via DPP you realize that it's a pity Canon
couldn't have implemented this more advanced processing / sharpening algorithm into the EOS 20D
for in-camera produced JPEGs.
Note: The samples below were converted in DPP using a sharpness setting of +4 to demonstrate the
higher end of DPP's sharpness, typically we preferred +2 or +3.
In camera JPEG
Sharpness +1 (default)
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Canon Digital Photo Professional
Sharpness +4
Canon EOS-20D Review: 21. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review
100% crop
200% crop
Canon EVU vs. DPP
Canon EOS Viewer Utility
Sharpness +2 (High)
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Canon Digital Photo Professional
Sharpness +4
Canon EOS-20D Review: 21. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review
200% crop
200% crop
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Eight versus Six megapixel
When Canon announced the EOS 20D they raised the megapixel bar for affordable digital SLRs. With
all other digital SLRs at or around the same price point having six megapixels Canon will certainly
want to use the numerical advantage to sell cameras. However the truth is that going from six to
eight megapixel isn't a particular significant jump and may only be noticeable on very large prints.
What the EOS 20D gains over the EOS 10D (output image size only):
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1.89 million more output pixels
432 more pixel columns (horizontal)
288 more pixel rows (vertical)
Approx. 26 dpi more when printed at A3
Clearly this isn't the end of the story, the EOS 20D has many improvements over the camera it
replaces which address complaints EOS 10D users had as well as introducing new features.
Outdoor scene comparison
Canon EOS 20D vs. Canon EOS 10D @ ISO 100
The following shot is of Tower Bridge, London. All shots were taken from the same tripod.
Camera settings:
■
■
Canon EOS 20D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Auto WB, Parameter 2 (neutral), Self-Timer
Canon EOS 10D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Auto WB, Standard Params (neutral), Self-Timer
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 10D
ISO 100, 1/320 sec, F9
ISO 100, 1/320 sec, F9
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 22. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
3,618 KB JPEG (3504 x 2336)
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2,752 KB JPEG (3072 x 2048)
Canon EOS-20D Review: 22. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 22. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
A scan down these selected 100% crops shows that the EOS 20D has a very similar 'look' to its
images as the EOS 10D (not a bad thing), the EOS 20D's tonal response is the same although it may
have a little more dynamic range than the 10D, color is similar although I did note a slight difference
in the color of the foliage in the last crop. The 20D's resolution advantage can be seen and certainly
allows the camera to 'reveal' more detail in certain areas of the image although as I hinted above it's
not a major leap forward.
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Outdoor scene comparison
Canon EOS 20D vs. Canon EOS 10D @ ISO 800
The following shot is of Tower Bridge, London. All shots were taken from the same tripod.
Camera settings:
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■
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■
Canon EOS 20D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
ISO 800, JPEG Large/Fine, Auto WB, Parameter 2 (neutral), Self-Timer
Canon EOS 10D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
ISO 800, JPEG Large/Fine, Auto WB, Standard Params (neutral), Self-Timer
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 10D
ISO 800, 1/2000 sec, F9
ISO 800, 1/2500 sec, F9
4,130 KB JPEG (3504 x 2336)
3,282 KB JPEG (3072 x 2048)
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 23. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 23. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
These two shots were taken approximately three minutes apart and in that time a cloud had
darkened the area behind the bridge. Hence the 20D metered a third stop slower shutter speed than
the 10D, in addition the 10D's image appears slightly brighter and exhibits slightly less dynamic
range. Noise wise the 20D image looks cleaner especially in shadow areas.
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Studio scene comparison
Canon EOS 20D vs. Canon EOS 10D
This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position within
minutes of each other. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a
white ceiling reflector. Crops magnified 200%. Ambient temperature was approximately 24°C (~75°
F). Camera settings:
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■
■
Canon EOS 20D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Parameter 2 (neutral), Self-Timer
Canon EOS 10D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Standard Params (neutral), Self-Timer
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 10D
ISO 100, 1 sec, F9
ISO 100, 1 sec, F9
2,859 KB JPEG (3504 x 2336)
2,146 KB JPEG (3072 x 2048)
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 24. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 24. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
As with our outdoor comparison the EOS 20D image has the same color response, a slightly lighter
tonal response and the same sharpness. You can see the extra detail that those two million extra
pixels provide but again it's not a significant leap forward in resolution for anyone who currently owns
a six megapixel digital SLR.
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Studio scene comparison
Canon EOS 20D vs. Nikon D70
This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position within
minutes of each other. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a
white ceiling reflector. Crops magnified 200%. Ambient temperature was approximately 24°C (~75°
F). Camera settings:
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■
■
Canon EOS 20D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Parameter 2 (neutral), Self-Timer
Nikon D70 : Nikkor 50 mm F1.4 D, Aperture Priority (F9),
ISO 200, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (neutral), Self-Timer
Canon EOS 20D
Nikon D70
ISO 100, 1 sec, F9
ISO 200, 1/1.6 sec, F9
2,859 KB JPEG (3504 x 2336)
2,751 KB JPEG (3008 x 2000)
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 25. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 25. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
The D70's color response is certainly stronger than the EOS 20D and reminds me of the output of a
20D RAW image run through DPP in 'Faithful Color' mode. Resolution wise the 20D takes the
advantage (although as mentioned previously not by any significant margin) it's also noticeably
sharper than the D70.
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Studio scene comparison
Canon EOS 20D vs. Olympus C-8080 WZ
As our 'benchmark' prosumer level eight megapixel digital camera the C-8080 was a natural choice
for a quick comparison to the eight megapixel EOS 20D. An important difference between the two
cameras is the aspect ratio of their sensors, the 20D has a film-like 3:2 ratio sensor, the C-8080 has a
monitor-like 4:3 ratio sensor. To compensate for this difference we attempted to ensure that the
vertical framing of the subjects was the same between the two cameras, although obviously this
means we lose part of the frame on the left and right side for the C-8080.
The C-8080 also carries a 112 pixel rows (vertical) advantage over the 20D, if its sensor were scaled
to the same aspect ratio as the 20D (3:2) it would have 3672 x 2448 pixels (9.0 million). Note that
the C-8080's aperture of F5.0 was selected for optimum sharpness and equal DOF.
This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position within
minutes of each other. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a
white ceiling reflector. Crops magnified 200%. Ambient temperature was approximately 24°C (~75°
F). Camera settings:
■
■
Canon EOS 20D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Parameter 2 (neutral), Self-Timer
Olympus C-8080 WZ: Aperture Priority (F5),
ISO 50, JPEG Large/SHQ, Manual WB, Default Parameters (neutral), Self-Timer
Canon EOS 20D
Olympus C-8080 WZ
ISO 100, 1 sec, F9
ISO 50, 1/1.6 sec, F5
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 26. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
2,859 KB JPEG (3504 x 2336)
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3,798 KB JPEG (3264 x 2448)
Canon EOS-20D Review: 26. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 26. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
A similar tonal but slightly different color response from the C-8080. It's fair to say that the C-8080
fares very well against the EOS 20D showing good resolution, detail and sharpness (perhaps a little
over-sharpened by default but that can be changed). It's not as silky smooth as the EOS 20D (despite
being set to ISO 50) but it's certainly not noisy. However turn the sensitivity up a little and we start to
see the advantage of the 20D's big CMOS sensor.
Canon EOS 20D vs. Olympus C-8080 WZ (Higher sensitivity)
Camera settings:
■
■
Canon EOS 20D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
ISO 1600, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Parameter 2 (neutral), Self-Timer
Olympus C-8080 WZ: Aperture Priority (F5),
ISO 400, JPEG Large/SHQ, Manual WB, Default Parameters (neutral), Self-Timer
Canon EOS 20D
Olympus C-8080 WZ
ISO 1600, 1/15 sec, F9
ISO 400, 1/13 sec, F5
3,461 KB JPEG (3504 x 2336)
3,798 KB JPEG (3264 x 2448)
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 26. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
Here's a fairly clear demonstration of the difference between a large digital SLR sensor and a tiny
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 26. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
compact digital camera sensor. Bear in mind that the C-8080 has been handed a two-stop sensitivity
advantage (ISO 400 vs. ISO 1600), but it still can't get close to the EOS 20D's relatively clean image.
In addition the C-8080 also appears to be suffering from 'hot pixels' which are sprinkled liberally all
over the image.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 27. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
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Resolution Chart Comparison
Shots here are of the PIMA/ISO 12233 standard resolution test chart (more of which are available in
our comparison database). This resolution chart allows us to measure the actual performance of the
lens and sensor system. It measures the ability of the camera to resolve lines at gradually higher
resolutions and enables us to provide a definitive value for comparison purposes. Values on the chart
are 1/100th lines per picture height. So a value of 15 equates to 1500 lines per picture height. For
each camera the relevant 50 mm prime lens was used. The chart is shot at a full range of apertures
and the sharpest image selected.
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Studio light, cameras set to auto, all settings factory default. Aperture selected for optimum
sharpness. Exposure compensation +0.7 EV to +1.3 EV.
About
Canon EOS 20D (2,537 KB; 8 MP)
Canon EOS-1D Mark II (1,935 KB; 8 MP)
Canon EOS 10D (1,904 KB; 6 MP)
Olympus C-8080 WZ (3,089 KB; 8 MP)
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 27. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS-1D Mark II
Canon EOS 10D
Olympus C-8080 WZ
Canon EOS 20D
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Canon EOS-1D Mark II
Canon EOS-20D Review: 27. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
Canon EOS 10D
Olympus C-8080 WZ
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS-1D Mark II
Canon EOS 10D
Olympus C-8080 WZ
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 27. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS-1D Mark II
Canon EOS 10D
Olympus C-8080 WZ
Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):
Camera
Measurement
Canon EOS 20D
Horiz LPH
1850
+ 2000
Vert LPH
1650
+ 2000
+ 1000
n/a
Horiz LPH
1850
+ 2000
Vert LPH
1650
+ 2000
+ 1000
n/a
Horiz LPH
1600
1900
Vert LPH
1450
1850
+ 1000
n/a
Horiz LPH
1700
+ * 2000
Vert LPH
1650
* 1950
+ 1000
n/a
5° Diagonal LPH
Canon EOS-1D Mark II
5° Diagonal LPH
Canon EOS 10D
5° Diagonal LPH
Olympus C-8080 WZ
5° Diagonal LPH
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
*
Moiré is visible
+
Chart maximum
LPH
Lines per Picture Height (to allow for different aspect ratios the measurement is the
same for horizontal and vertical)
5° Diagonal
Lines set at 5° diagonal
Absolute res.
Point at which all lines of a resolution bar are still visible and defined, beyond this
resolution loss of detail occurs (below Nyquist frequency).
Extinction res.
Detail beyond camera's definition (becomes aliased)
n/a
Not Available (above the capability of the test chart)
n/v
Not Visible (not visible on test results)
The EOS 20D produced as-good-as identical resolution to the EOS-1D Mark II, the only noticeable
differences were the lighter EOS 20D image and more noticeable sharpening halos. We can of course
see a clear resolution increase over the camera it replaces, the six megapixel EOS 10D. Once more
the 'prosumer' Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom doesn't put in a bad performance.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 27. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 28. Conclusion: Digital Photography Review
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Conclusion - Pros
■
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■
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Links
■
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About
■
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Excellent resolution, a match for the EOS-1D Mark II
Good color, virtually identical response to the EOS 10D, lighter overall tone
Now trademark Canon CMOS noise free 'silky smooth' images
Very low noise levels even at high sensitivities, fully usable ISO range (100 - 3200)
Excellent long exposure capability, better with noise reduction on (some black pits)
Near-instant power on time, more responsive overall, reduced write times
Five frames per second continuous shooting, up to 23 JPEG in a burst
Another step improvement in auto focus, 9 point, noticeably faster, better in low light
Dual-purpose buffering means there's always space for the next shot
Good metering, but still no specific 'spot metering'
In-camera programmable 'parameter sets' to control image processing algorithms
Selectable color space (sRGB / Adobe RGB)
Now supports new smaller EF-S 'digital' lenses
Very solid body build, feels extremely robust, almost a 'baby EOS-1D'
Built as a Digital SLR from the ground up
Much less of a 'dust problem' than CCD-based digital SLRs
Remote capture software for studio setups
Playback magnification up to 10x (perfect for checking focus), easier panning (joystick)
Excellent battery life, light weight and small batteries (now more powerful)
Very good supplied software suite (EVU, DPP, Remote Capture and Elements)
Higher pop-up built-in flash, should make red-eye less of a problem
E-TTL II flash metering, includes distance information from lens
USB 2.0 Hi-speed connectivity
Conclusion - Cons
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Opening the CF compartment door shuts camera down, loses any buffered images
Average automatic white balance performance, still very poor under incandescent light
PowerShot-like sharpening algorithm (same as EOS 10D) could be improved
Not a major leap forward in output size, this is not a reason for 10D owners to upgrade
No spot metering
Louder shutter release noise
Can't adjust continuous shooting frame rate (always 5 fps)
Flash sync 1/250 sec (compared to 1/500 sec for the Nikon D70)
Confusing sequence of lights in AI Servo auto focus
Still only five levels of adjustment for image parameters, should be more flexible
Only 1.8" LCD monitor (time for a high resolution 2.0" I would think)
ISO sensitivity not displayed on viewfinder status bar while being changed
Overall conclusion
As soon as we got our hands on the Nikon D70 it became fairly clear that it was a camera which
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 28. Conclusion: Digital Photography Review
although priced nearer to the EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) could compete with the more expensive EOS
10D. Canon knew this and obviously also knew that they would have to raise the bar still higher to
stay ahead. They should then be fairly proud that with the EOS 20D they have certainly done that.
That's not to say the EOS 20D is perfect, the camera still shuts down when you open the CF
compartment door which can mean losing buffered images (my pet peeve), it's still missing the
flexibility of adjustment of its professional brothers and image processing could be better still (notably
sharpening).
Back on the positive, a swathe of improvements and changes from the EOS 10D; faster startup and
in-use performance, five frames per second continuous shooting, increased buffer space, an all new
improved AF system, white balance fine tuning, USB 2.0 connectivity, improved design and control
layout all add up to a camera which is formidable competition for anyone trying to place a digital SLR
in the $1500 to $2000 price bracket. Stack that up with the new eight megapixel CMOS sensor and
continuing low noise performance across the sensitivity range and the EOS 20D maintains Canon's
edge over other manufacturers in this prosumer / semi-professional digital SLR market.
The real question is how many current digital SLR owners will see real value upgrading to the EOS
20D. It's certainly a better camera than the 10D (faster, better AF, more features) however when you
see side-by-side image comparisons it becomes clear that the increase from six to eight megapixels
doesn't make a very large difference to resolution and for the majority wouldn't add any more value
to their photographs.
New entrants to this segment of the market however, those upgrading from the likes of the Digital
Rebel or from prosumer level digital cameras, should have the EOS 20D high on their list, it's the best
in its class.
Highly Recommended
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 28. Conclusion: Digital Photography Review
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 29. Samples: Digital Photography Review
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Samples Galleries
There are 44 images in the samples galleries. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a
website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make
the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination
or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.
Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. A reduced size
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the original untouched image is available by clicking on this reduced image.
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About
Canon EOS 20D Samples Gallery - Posted 3 November 2004
Pre-production camera samples
The images below were posted in our preview article and were taken with a pre-production eOS 20D
with Firmware 1.0.2. In our opinion they are as good as identical in quality to the final camera.
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 29. Samples: Digital Photography Review
Canon EOS 20D Beta Samples Gallery - Posted 23 August 2004
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Canon EOS-20D Review: 29. Samples: Digital Photography Review
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