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Canon's EOS-20D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Canon announces EOS 10D replacement
(Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 17:00 EDT)

Canon USA has today announced its new EOS 20D single-lens reflex digital camera, a replacement for the existing (and extremely popular) EOS 10D model that was announced back in February of 2003.

The EOS 20D is externally very reminiscent of its older sibling, but under the hood there have been a lot of changes, and a number of updates that made their debut on the professional EOS-1D Mark II model are now trickling down to the new model. You'll find full specifications and an in-depth comparison of the EOS 10D against the EOS 20D further down this news item, but the main highlights of the new model are as follows. The image sensor has been upgraded to an 8.25 megapixel RGBG CMOS type, but thanks to some clever tweaks to the sensor and overall camera design, Canon is actually claiming a full two stop improvement in noise performance, for an ISO 1600 that looks about as clean as the 10D was at ISO 400. The lens mount and mirror design has been updated to allow support for EF-S lenses, of which two new models are being announced alongside the EOS 20D. At the same time, the shutter unit has been upgraded to a new design with a semiconductor switch capable of 1/8000 second, X-sync at 1/250 second, and an acceptable trigger circuit voltage up to 250V max. The shutter unit, mirror box, main mirror, pentaprism, focusing screen and viewfinder optical unit have all been redesigned for an APS-C sensor size, and the new camera features 100 fewer parts (50 of them electrical) - resulting in a reduction in both size and weight. The camera now has dimensions of 144 x 105.5 x 71.5 millimeters, and weighs 685 grams (body only) - fully 100 grams lighter than the EOS 10D.

Despite the higher resolution, changes to the sensor's signal readout (now 4-channel 16MHz), the camera's processor and the way the buffer works now allow up to 5 frames per second in all modes, for a burst depth of 23 Large / Fine JPEG files, or 6 RAW / RAW+JPEG files. CompactFlash write speed is said to be greatly improved, the buffer now starts writing to CompactFlash during image capture, and the camera no longer has to wait for the buffer to clear completely before starting another burst of images or entering a menu. Start up time has been greatly improved, to just 0.2 seconds, and shutter lag / viewfinder blackout times have improved to 65 and 115 milliseconds respectively. Autofocusing has been totally reworked as well, with a new dedicated AF sensor offering nine AF points in a diamond pattern, and offering one stop greater working range ( EV -0.5 -18 ). The new AF system should also offer more precision, particularly with lenses that have f/2.8 or larger maximum apertures. A new viewfinder screen and AF Point Indicator LED system should offer better viewfinder brightness, more accurate viewfinder color, easier detection of the exact focus point, and easier AF point visibility in all lighting conditions.

The pop-up flash and external flash hot shoe now support E-TTL II, and the pop-up flash has a new mechanism that reduces the gap around the flash when closed, and cushions the flash better when popped up. The pop-up flash also has better wide-angle coverage, the same guide number as the old flash, and is now raised higher above the camera when popped up to reduce red-eye and shadows from larger lenses. A particularly interesting change is that the camera now records and accounts for variations in the color temperature of the internal flash, or the new Speedlite 580EX external flash, caused by variations in the length of the flash and the battery level - which should afford more accurate white balance in flash mode, or auto mode when flash is in use. A new long-exposure noise reduction function has been added, using dark frame subtraction, for even cleaner long exposures. White balance accuracy and stability has been improved courtesy of the new DIGIC II processor, and a new black and white (monochrome) mode has been added, along with five filter effects (none, yellow, orange, red and green) and five color tone options (none, sepia, blue, purple and green). White balance bracketing (three frames, up to 3 level increments per frame) has been added, and can be used in combination with automatic exposure bracketing.

The camera's external user interface is quite similar to the EOS 10D, but the Direction and Assist buttons have been removed, the Quick Control Dial switch has been combined with the main Power switch, and a new 8-way Multi-Controller (which when pushed inwards also acts as a button) has been added. The Access lamp has been moved from inside the battery compartment to the rear of the camera for better visibility, and the top LCD display has been redesigned to fit in a couple of new items (B&W / Monochrome mode and White Balance Correction). The camera's menus have been redesigned for better ease-of-use, and a couple of items have moved into the menu system, rather than being placed as custom functions. Adobe RGB is now a separate setting, which allows it to be used in combination with sharpening, contrast, saturation, or color tone adjustments. Several custom functions have been added or removed, for an end total of 18 Custom Functions, one more than the EOS 10D. USB connectivity has been upgraded from USB 1.1 to USB 2.0, and the EOS 20D now complies with EXIF 2.21 and DCF 2.0.

Battery life is apparently much improved on the EOS 20D, likely due to a combination of the reduction in the number of electrical parts, plus the fact that power to the output amp and circuit-driving standard current is cut off during long exposures. The EOS 20D also supports BP-511A batteries that offer 25% greater life than the BP-511 and BP-512 batteries from the EOS 10D (both types are still compatible with the 20D, however). The CR2025 button battery that lived in a separate compartment under the center of the 10D has been replaced with a CR2016 battery that is more easily accessed in a plastic tray inside the main battery compartment, and should have a five year lifetime. A new BG-E2 battery grip accepts all three main battery types (either two BP-511A, BP-511 or BP-512 batteries), or alternatively supports use of six AA batteries (Alkaline, NiMH or Lithium) with an attendant decrease in battery life.

All in all, the new EOS 20D looks like a major step up in image quality (thanks to a slight resolution increase and a major improvement in noise), in responsiveness (thanks to the reduced start-up time, shutter lag, and mirror blackout, and to the improved buffer usage), in utility (thanks to a better AF system, white balance, and flash, and a wider shutter speed range), and in ease of use (thanks to the overhauled user interface and menu system). All that, and the pricetag of $1499 without a lens, or $1599 with an EF-S 18-55mm lens sees the EOS 20D pretty much unrivaled at its pricepoint - although how long it will be until competitors announce their own updates, only time will tell. Still, considering the number of updates, and the fact that the EOS 10D was initially announced at a $1999 list price, we must confess to being pretty excited by this camera ourselves!

For those of our readers who are familiar with Canon's existing EOS-10D model (probably anybody who might be interested in the 20D), we have a list of updates in the EOS-20D, based on information provided by Canon:

Canon EOS-10 vs. EOS-20D Comparison
Camera EOS-20D EOS-10D
Sensor Type 22.5 x 15.0mm CMOS w/ RGBG filter 22.7 x 15.1mm CMOS w/ RGBG filter
Sensor Resolution (total) 8.8 megapixels 6.5 megapixels
Sensor Resolution (effective) 8.25 megapixels 6.3 megapixels
Sensor Improvements Incorporates improvements from the EOS-1D Mark II. Larger microlenses, size of gaps between microlenses reduced by 50%. Greater area of each pixel on the sensor sensitive to light, due to elimination of transistors in each pixel. Canon claims higher sensitivity, higher dynamic range N/A
ISO Sensitivity ISO 100 - 1600
(extendable to 3200)
Image Noise Higher sensitivity CMOS sensor and new second-generation on-chip 3-stage noise reduction circuit. Digital control circuit board has two dedicated ground layers and low-noise amplification. Noise is lower at all ISO ratings, especially above ISO 400. Canon claims ISO 1600 on the 20D is approximately equivalent to ISO 400 on the 10D, a two stop improvement. N/A
Noise Reduction New long-exposure noise reduction feature, using dark frame subtraction. Shoots a second identical shot after image capture with shutter closed, then subtracts this frame to remove fixed long-exposure noise. Can be enabled on exposures over 1 second with Custom Function 02-1. Power to the output amp and circuit-driving standard current is cut off during long exposures to reduce noise. N/A
White Balance Improvements Auto White Balance accuracy improved for more natural color. Auto white balance more stable, especially at high ISO settings. Skin tone accuracy and color reproduction of reds at low color temperatures such as tungsten improved. Variations in flash color temperature accounted for in color processing for Auto or Flash white balance. Magenta / Green and Blue / Amber white balance bias can be adjusted separately or in combination in nine single-level increments using the Multi-Controller. N/A
White Balance Bracketing White Balance Bracketing up to +/- 3 levels in 1-level increments. Bracketing sequence can be set with Custom Function 09. White Balance Bracketing can be used in combination with White Balance Correction and Auto Exposure Bracketing. No
Lens Compatibility EF and EF-S EF only
Reflex Mirror Improvements New high-speed mirror drive. New mirror swing-up mechanism and smaller mirror allow compatibility with EF-S lenses. N/A
Shutter Unit Improvements New APS-C sized high-speed compact shutter unit. Shutter blades have lower inertial mass, shorter travel distance and stronger magnets for better control. Semiconductor switch replaces traditional sync contacts, preventing scorching and frictional wear, and increasing acceptable trigger circuit voltage to 250V max. N/A
Shutter Speed 1/8000 sec. to 30 sec., bulb 1/4000 sec. to 30 sec., bulb
X-sync 1/250 sec. 1/200 sec.
Burst Speed 5 frames per second 3 frames per second
Burst Depth (Large / Fine JPEG) 23 frames 9 frames
Burst Depth (RAW) 6 frames 9 frames
Start-up Time (approx.) 0.2 seconds 2.3 seconds
Shutter Lag (approx.) 65 milliseconds 90 milliseconds
Viewfinder Blackout Time (approx.) 115 milliseconds 140 milliseconds
Autofocus Type TTL-CT-SIR with AF-dedicated CMOS sensor TTL-CT-SIR with a CMOS sensor
(TTL secondary image registration, phase detection)
Number of Focusing Points 9 points (1 cross-type, 8 single-axis). 7 points (1 cross-type, 2 horizontal-type, 4 vertical-type)
Autofocus Working Range (at ISO 100) EV -0.5 -18 EV 0.5 ~ 18
AF Point Selection Method AF Point Selection button, then Multi-Controller or Main Dial / Control Dial. If Custom Function 13-1 or 13-2 set, the Multi-Controller or Quick Control Dial can be used to select the AF point without using the AF Point Selection button first. AF Point Selection button, then Main Dial / Control Dial
Autofocus Improvements Central cross-type focusing point has two sets of vertical line-sensitive linear pixel arrays, and dual line vertical component with twice as many pixels for horizontal line detection. Uses a wider-baselength measurement system with f/2.8 or faster lenses. Triple the focusing precision with max apertures f/2.8 or larger, full cross-type performance with max. apertures as small as f/5.6. The 20D is the first camera to offer an f/2.8-compatible sensor outside of the EOS-1 and EOS-3 series cameras. Off-center focusing points feature a 30% longer baselength than the 10D, are sensitive to max. apertures as small as f/5.6. Focus system overall is more precise, more sensitive.
Viewfinder Improvements Newly developed Precision Matte focusing screen with optimised microlens layout and curvature. Increases viewfinder brightness, reduces viewfinder coloration, makes it easier to distinguish precise point of focus, particularly with lenses f/2.8 or faster. AF Point Indicator LED on upper rear of pentaprism shines light through SI prism and pentaprism, then projected on reflective acrylic plate between pentaprism and focusing screen. Results in AF points being easier to see in all light levels. N/A
Built-In Flash Rubber stopper cushions flash pop-up. New latch mechanism reduces gap around flash when closed. Flash height is 18.6mm higher than the 10D's built-in flash at center-line, reducing red-eye and chance of lens blocking flash. Positions of reflector and xenon flash tube optimised, transparency of fresnel flash panel increased for wider 17mm field of coverage (27mm equivalent in 35mm) with same guide number as 10D flash. N/A
Flash Metering E-TTL II E-TTL
Flash Metering Improvements Incorporates improvements from the EOS-1D Mark II. Ambient light measurement before pre-flash and distance information from lens helps to identify and ignore highly reflective or specular objects, avoiding underexposure. N/A
Flash White Balance Internal flash and Speedlite 580EX send color temperature data to the processor each time the flash fires. This corrects for slight variations in flash color temperature due to battery condition, flash duration, etc.
Image Processor DIGIC II DIGIC
Image Processor Improvements Incorporates improvements from the EOS-1D Mark II. New 4-channel 16MHz high-speed signal reading, new signal processing algorithm, lower power consumption. Canon claims "huge" increase in CompactFlash write speed, better handling of high saturation, bright subjects, improved auto white balance precision and stability (especially at high ISO), wider dynamic range in highlights. Direct Printing speed "significantly" improved. N/A
Data Writing Images written to CompactFlash simultaneously with image shooting, reducing buffer clear time. Buffer no longer needs to be empty for shooting to continue. Images written to CompactFlash after shooting stops. Buffer must clear before shooting can continue.
Control and Layout Improvements Direction and Assist buttons removed, replaced with eight way multi-controller with push-in central button function. Quick Control Dial switch gone, combined with main Power switch. Access lamp moved from inside battery compartment to lower right of Quick Control Dial. Top indicator LCD display icons rearranged, icons added for B&W (Monochrome) mode and White Balance Correction. N/A
Menu System Menu can be accessed while camera is writing to CompactFlash card. Camera ready to shoot "instantly" when shutter button is half-pressed in menu or playback. Three menu sections (Shooting, Playback, Setup). Tab (icon and color code) of current menu is shown at upper left of LCD. New indicator at upper right of LCD shows what will happen when the jump button is pressed. Menu cannot be accessed while camera is writing to CompactFlash card. Camera takes 0.28 seconds to return from menu or playback to being ready to capture an image. Single operating menu
Menu System Improvements Function to prevent shutter release when there is no CF card installed is now a menu item, not a custom function. White Balance Compensation feature added. Adobe RGB is now a separate setting, and can be combined with sharpening, contrast, saturation, or color tone adjustments. Image Review and Image Review Time settings from EOS-10D have been combined. Three new menu languages have been added. N/A
Processing Parameters 6, including B&W / Monochrome, with five filter effects (none, yellow, orange, red and green) and five color tone options (none, sepia, blue, purple and green) 5
Custom Functions

18 custom functions. New or changed functions are:

C. Fn-02, long exposure noise reduction, works with shutter speeds of 1 second or longer.

C. Fn-03, Flash sync speed in Av mode has had the flash sync speed changed to a fixed 1/250 sec.

C.Fn-05 on the EOS 10D, “AF-assist beam/Flash firing,” has been split in two, C. Fn-05 (AF-assist beam: Emits, Does not emit, Only ext. flash emits) and C. Fn-07 (Flash firing: 0: Fires and 1: Does not fire- that is, all flash units will not fire).

C. Fn-06, Exposure level increments, has been changed to 0: 1/3 stop and 1: 1/2 stop.

C. Fn-08, ISO expansion (to ISO 3200), off/on.

C. Fn-13, enables the AF point to be selected with the Multi-controller directly or with the Quick Control Dial / Main Dial.

C Fn-14, changes E-TTL II from evaluative metering to averaging of the entire image for flash metering.

C. Fn-18, adds original image verification data automatically, for use with the optional accessory Data Verification Kit DVK-E2.

Five Custom Functions deleted from the EOS 10D: Shutter release without a CF card, (moved to a menu setting); AF point registration and Assist button function, (the Assist button has been removed); RAW + JPEG simultaneous recording, (replaced by 13 Quality settings selected directly from the menu), Daylight fill-flash and auto reduction control of flash exposure (replaced by C. Fn-14, E-TTL II, evaluative or average.)

17 custom functions
Connectivity USB 2.0 USB 1.1
RAW File Format .CR2 (Canon RAW, Second Edition), as used on the EOS-1D Mark II. .CRW (Canon RAW)
Compliance EXIF 2.21, DPOF 2.0 EXIF 2.2, DPOF 1.1
Direct Printing Improvements In-camera image trimming possible (8 horizontal steps, 5 vertical steps). Direct Printing speed "significantly" improved. N/A
Power Source BP-511A, BP-511, or BP-512 main battery. CR2016 backup battery in main battery compartment. BP-511 or BP-512 main battery. CR2025 backup battery in separate compartment.
Power Source Improvements BP-511A has 25% more battery life than BP-511 or BP-512 (1390mAh vs. 1100mAh). Battery life is approx. 50% higher than EOS-10D as power to the output amp and circuit-driving standard current is cut off during long exposures. N/A
Battery Grip Compatibility BG-E2 (accepts two BP-511A, BP-511, BP-512 or six Alkaline / NiMH / Lithium AA batteries) BG-ED3 (accepts two BP-511 batteries only)
Bundled Charger CG-580 compact battery charger CB-5L compact battery charger
Size 144 x 105.5 x 71.5 millimeters 149.7 x 107.5 x 75mm
Weight 685 g, body only (thanks to smaller shutter unit, mirror box, main mirror, pentaprism, focusing screen and viewfinder optical unit, and 100 fewer parts than 10D.) 790g, body only
Finish Exterior paint pattern is finer than before. N/A

Following are full specifications for the EOS-20D from Canon (with a note that the information we were given was classified as a draft document, and we've not yet received any update to compare for changes):

Canon EOS 20D
Canon's EOS-20D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera Type
Type Digital AF/AE SLR
Recording Medium Type I and II CF card
Image Size 22.5 x 15.0mm (0.89 x 0.59 in.)
Compatible Lenses Canon EF lenses including EF-S Lens. (Focal length conversion factor: Equivalent to approx. 1.6x indicated focal length compared to 35mm format.)
Lens Mount Canon EF mount
Imaging Element
Type High-sensitivity, high-resolution, single-plate, color CMOS
Effective Pixels Approx. 8.25 megapixels
Total Pixels Approx. 8.8 megapixels
Aspect Ratio 2:3 (Vertical : Horizontal)
Color Filter System RGB primary color filter
Low-pass Filter Fixed position in front of the image sensor
Recording System
File Format Design rule for Camera File system 2.0 (JPEG) and RAW. Exif 2.21 compliant.
Image Formats JPEG and RAW
File Size (on CF card)
  1. JPEG Large/Fine:
    Approx. 3.6 MB (3504 x 2336)
  2. JPEG Large/Normal:
    Approx.1.8 MB (3504 x 2336)
  3. JPEG Medium/Fine:
    Approx. 2.2 MB (2544 x 1696)
  4. JPEG Medium/Normal:
    Approx. 1.1 MB (2544 x1696)
  5. JPEG Small/Fine:
    Approx. 1.2 MB (1728 x 1152)
  6. JPEG Small/ Normal:
    Approx. 0.6 MB (1728 x 1152)
  7. RAW:
    Approx. 8.7 MB (3504 x 2336) RAW+Large/Fine: 12.3 MB
    RAW+Large/Normal: 10.5 MB
    RAW+Medium/Fine: 10.9 MB
    RAW+Medium/Normal: 9.8 MB
    RAW+Small/Fine: 9.9 MB
    RAW+Small/Normal: 9.3 MB
Folder Setting Automatic
File Numbering
  1. Continuous numbering
  2. Auto reset
Processing Parameters Parameters 1, 2; Custom Set 1 to 3, monochrome
Interface USB 2.0 High Speed
White Balance
Settings Auto (Auto, daylight, shade, overcast, tungsten bulb, fluorescent light, flash), Manual (Custom: read off photo quality gray card or white subject, color temperature)
Type Eye-level SLR (with fixed pentaprism)
Coverage Approx. 95% vertically and horizontally (Coverage against JPEG Large)
Magnification 0.8x (-1 diopter with 50mm lens at infinity)
Eyepoint 20mm
Built-in Dioptric Correction -3.0 - +1.0 diopter
Focusing Screen Fixed
Mirror Quick-return half mirror (Transmittance: reflectance ratio of 40:60)
Viewfinder Information AF points, AE lock, FE lock, AEB in progress, flash ready, improper FE lock warning, high-speed sync, flash exposure compensation, shutter speed, bulb, FE lock, processing data, aperture, exposure level (exposure compensation, manual exposure level, AEB level, flash exposure compensation, red-eye reduction lamp-on indicator), Max. burst during continuous shooting, AF/MF focus confirmation, CF card full, CF card error, no CF card
Depth-of-field Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Eyepiece Shutter None
Type TTL-CT-SIR with AF-dedicated CMOS sensor
AF Points 9
AF Working Range EV -0.5 -18 (at ISO 100)
Focusing Modes One-Shot AF, Predictive AI Servo AF, AI Focus AF (Automatically selects One-Shot AF or AI Servo AF), Manual focusing (MF)
AF Point Selection Automatic selection, manual selection
Selected AF Point Display Superimposed in viewfinder and indicated on LCD panel.
AF-assist Beam Intermittent firing of built-in flash, effective range: approx. 13.1 ft/4m at center, approx. 11.5 ft/3.5m at periphery
Exposure Control
Metering Modes Max. aperture TTL metering with 35-zone SPC. (1) Evaluative metering, (2) Partial metering at center (approx. 9% of viewfinder), (3) Centerweighted average metering (in manual exposure mode)
Metering Range EV 1-20 (at 20°C with 50mm f/1.4 lens at ISO 100)
Exposure Control Systems Program AE (shiftable), Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Auto Depth-of-field AE, Full Auto, Programmed Image Control modes (Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, and Flash OFF), E-TTL II Autoflash Program AE, and Manual.
ISO Speed Range

Equivalent to ISO 100-1600 (ISO 3200 available via menu selection)

Up to +/-2 stops in 1/2 or 1/3-stop increments

  1. AEB (Auto exposure bracketing).
  2. Manual exposure compensation.
AE Lock

Auto: Operates in One-Shot AF mode evaluative metering when focus is achieved.

Manual: Enabled with AE lock button. No AE lock in Basic Zone modes.

Type Vertical-travel, mechanical, focal-plane shutter with all speeds electronically-controlled.
Shutter Speeds 1/8000 to 30 sec. (1/3-stop increments), bulb, X-sync at 1/250 sec.
Shutter Release Soft-touch electromagnetic release
Noise Reduction Settable with C.Fn-02 (Noise reduction for long exposures)
Self-Timer 10-sec. delay.
Remote Control Remote Control with Remote Switch RS-80N3, Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3 or Wireless Controller LC-4.
Built-in Flash Type: Auto pop-up, retractable, built-in flash in the pentaprism. Guide No: 13/43 (at ISO 100 in meters/feet), Recycling time: Approx. 3 sec., Flash ready indicator: Flash-ready icon lights on in viewfinder.
Flash Coverage Up to 17mm focal length (equivalent to approx. 27mm in 35mm format).
EOS-dedicated Speedlite E-TTL II auto flash with EX-series Speedlite. PC Terminal provided.
Drive System
Drive Modes Single, Continuous, Self-Timer
Continuous Shooting Speed Approx. 5 fps (at 1/250 sec. or faster for all recording qualities)
Max. Burst During Continuous Shooting 23 shots (JPEG Large/Fine) / 6 shots (RAW)
LCD Monitor
Type TFT color LCD monitor
Monitor Size 1.8 inches
Pixels Approx. 118,000 pixels (Displayed pixels)
Coverage Approx. 100% (for JPEG images)
Brightness Adjustment 5-levels (settable with menu’s “LCD brightness”)
Image Playback
Image Display Format
  1. Single image,
  2. Single image with information,
  3. 9-image index,
  4. Enlarged,
  5. Auto play
Highlight Alert In the single image with information display mode, the highlight portions containing no image information will blink.
Image Protection and Erase
Protection A single image can be protected or unprotected
Erase A single image or all images stored in a CompactFlash card can be erased if they are unprotected.
Menu Categories
  1. Shooting Menus [8],
  2. Playback Menus [4],
  3. Setup Menus [14]
LCD Monitor Language English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Chinese (simplified), and Japanese.
Firmware Updating Enabled by the user
Power Source
Battery One Battery Pack BP-511A/511/512 (lithium ion rechargeable battery)
Number of Shots


Body (BP-511A)

No Flash Used 50% with Flash
Normal temp (68°F/20°C) 1000 frames 700 frames
Low temp (32°F/0°C) 750 frames 550 frames

Body w/ BG-E2 (BP-511A x 2)

No Flash Used 50% with Flash
Normal temp (68°F/20°C) 2000 frames 1400 frames
Low temp (32°F/0°C) 1500 frames 1100 frames

Body w/ BG-E2 (Size-AA NiMH x 6)

No Flash Used 50% with Flash
Normal temp (68°F/20°C) 250 frames 120 frames
Low temp (32°F/0°C) 50 frames 40 frames

Body w/ BG-E2 (Size-AA Alkaline x 6)

No Flash Used 50% with Flash
Normal temp (68°F/20°C) 80 frames 60 frames
Low temp (32°F/0°C) 0 frames 0 frames

Dimensions and Weight
Dimensions (W x H x D) 5.7 x 4.2 x 2.8 in. / 144 x 105.5 x 71.5mm
Weight 24.2 oz. / 685g
Working Conditions
Working Temperature Range 0 - 40°C / 32-104°F
Working Humidity 85% or less
More Photos
Canon's EOS-20D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS-20D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:


New 8.2-Megapixel EOS 20D Digital SLR Features DIGIC II Image Processor, 9-Point Autofocus and Up to 23 Consecutive Frames at Five Frames Per Second

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. Aug. 19, 2004 – Designed for advanced amateurs, photojournalists, wedding photographers and professionals who purchase their own equipment, Canon's new EOS â 20D digital SLR combines speed, image quality, ease-of-use, and ruggedness with compact size and light weight to deliver the highest performance in its class. Available in September, the EOS 20D digital SLR will carry an estimated street price of $1,499* without a lens; $1,599* with the EF-S 18-55mm f/ 3.5 –5.6 zoom lens; and $1,999* with the new EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Wide Angle Zoom lens † .

The EOS 20D SLR has a new APS-C (15.0 x 22.5 mm) 8.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor designed and manufactured by Canon. It is the first mid-range digital SLR to offer high-speed continuous shooting of five frames-per-second with a burst of 23 frames at highest JPEG resolution. Uncannily responsive, the camera starts up in 0.2-second and has a shutter release time lag of only 65 milliseconds.

The all-new 9-point AF unit with high-precision cross-type sensor raises the bar on speed, accuracy and precision in mid-range SLRs. The new AF system has one full stop better low-light performance than its EOS 10D predecessor. The new E-TTL II autoflash metering system, inherited from Canon's EOS-1D Mark II professional model, takes into account the distance, reflectance and position of the subject for highly stable, accurate and intelligent exposure calculations.

News Photography/Photojournalism

The new camera's combination of speed and available light shooting capability make it especially appealing to newspaper photographers. Aside from the five frames-per-second burst rate, the EOS 20D digital SLR delivers superb low light performance and exceptionally low noise, even at high ISOs. In fact, images taken at ISO 1600 are approximately equal in noise to those taken with the EOS 10D model at ISO 400. The EOS 20D digital SLR can be used as a backup camera for the high-performance EOS-1D Mark II digital SLR. It is also an excellent choice in its own right for many professional imaging applications where its smaller size and lighter weight give it an edge.

Wedding/Portrait Photography

The Canon designed and manufactured CMOS sensor has a maximum resolution of 3504 x 2336 pixels, which is sufficient for very large prints (up to 16 x 24 inches) with fine detail. Like its big brother, the Canon EOS-1D Mark II, the EOS 20D digital SLR satisfies the wedding photographer's benchmark: facial details in group-shots. The wedding photography business is changing. Consumers are now looking for more natural and candid documentary coverage of their weddings. With the speed and large buffer of the EOS 20D digital SLR, wedding and portrait photographers have a cost effective solution for capturing both posed and candid event photographs.

“Canon continues to endow advanced amateurs, photo enthusiasts and professional photographers with the highest-quality digital SLR cameras available by combining sophisticated camera features with the latest digital imaging technology innovations,” said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc ., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ). “In addition, Canon is one of the only companies in the indust ry that designs and manufactures the three primary components of its digital SLRs: Optics, Image Sensor, and Image Processor.”

Canon uses design and technology for customers' sake, not for the sake of technology. Canon has listened to owners of the EOS 10D and has considered their opinions carefully. This accounts for the new menu format, the color-coded menu display icons, the reduction of buttons and the addition of the highly efficient Multi-controller, among many other features.

When Size Matters

The EOS 20D digital SLR is both smaller and lighter than the 10D model. The 20D camera is about 3.6 ounces lighter and Canon reduced the width, height and depth by 5.7, 2 and 3.5 mm, respectively. The shutter unit, mirror box, main mirror, pentaprism, focusing screen and viewfinder optical unit have all become smaller as they were optimized for the APS-C sensor. The 20D digital SLR has nearly 100 fewer parts than the 10D model. The new camera retains the rugged stainless steel chassis and magnesium alloy body covers of its predecessor for outstanding durability.

New 9-Point Autofocus System

The sophisticated 9-point autofocus system has a high-precision cross-type sensor in the center position. This new design seen for the first time in the 20D provides full cross-type performance with maximum apertures as small as f/5.6, yet it achieves up to 3 times the standard focusing precision when used with EF lenses featuring maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/2.8. A new, convenient Multi-controller provides fast and easy AF point selection.

New High Speed Shutter

The EOS 20D has a newly developed shutter with a top speed of 1/8000 sec., user-settable in 1/3 and 1/2 stop increments (in shutter speed priority AE and manual modes) and a maximum flash synchronization speed of 1/250 sec. First or second curtain flash sync is possible. The shutter's APS-C configuration allows a reduction in the size of the unit, smaller shutter blades with lower inertial mass, and shorter travel distance. Stronger magnets are used for each shutter curtain, permitting better control of the blades. A semiconductor switch replaces the traditional sync contacts, ending scorching and frictional wear while at the same time increasing the limit for trigger circuit voltage to 250V. The result of these changes is a more rugged and reliable shutter unit with substantially improved performance.

EF and EF-S Lenses

Particularly among advanced amateur and professional photographers, there has been a growing need for affordable zoom lenses that support true wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle photography. In response to this market demand and to provide users with a truly comprehensive lens system, Canon has expanded its EF-S lens offerings to now include four lenses – the new EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM and EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM zoom lenses as well as standard and USM versions of the EF-S 18-55mm f/ 3.5-5.6 zoom lens. (Canon U.S.A., launched the standard EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens in August of 2003 in conjunction with the EOS Digital Rebel SLR.) The EOS 20D digital SLR is also fully compatible with all Canon EF lenses and with the entire system of Canon EX Speedlites and accessories, including the new Speedlite 580EX flash.

White Balance Compensation

The EOS 20D camera has professional level white balance controls. In addition to Auto, it has six presets, a Custom setting and direct specification of color temperature. White balance can be corrected for blue, amber, magenta or green; white balance bracketing, up to +/- 3 whole stops, can be performed for magenta-green as well as blue-amber.

Flash Forward: Canon Speedlite 580EX

When the EOS 20D digital camera is used with the built-in flash or the new Speedlite 580EX, color temperature data transmission is enabled. The camera has an extensive complement of white balance controls, processing parameters, bracketing options, shooting modes and custom functions that permit the camera to be configured for any situation; the revised menu format, simplified control layout and clever new Multi-controller make the camera easy to use.

Evolved E-TTL II Flash Exposure Control

Though still compatible with all EX-series Speedlites, the “smarter” E-TTL II system captures the subject as a “plane” and ensures that images containing various colors and levels of reflection are captured accurately and optimally. The system compares the ambient light with the reflected pre-flash off the subject reported in all 35 metering zones and selects the areas with a small difference to be weighted for flash exposure calculation. This system also eliminates or under weights areas with large difference recognizing them as an extremely reflective object in the background or as a highly re f lective subject , smartly ensuring it by considering the distance information data provided from compatible EF lenses. The system similarly prevents over-exposure when photographers lock focus and recompose the shot by considering the flash output level calculated according to the broader distance. T he camera also allows users to select an average metering pattern by using its custom function settings.

New CMOS Image Sensor and DIGIC II Image Processor

The EOS 20D digital SLR includes Canon's latest CMOS image sensor technology as well as the new DIGIC II Image Processor. The CMOS features high-speed 4-channel data reading, brilliant new microlens technology, a 2 nd generation, on-chip noise-reduction circuit, and low-noise, high-speed amp, which produces accurate color, extremely low noise and fast recording even at ISO's of 400 and above. Canon's DIGIC II image processor is without question, the most powerful imaging processor that the company has ever put into a digital camera. It boasts improved color reproduction of high-saturation, bright subjects, improved auto white balance precision, and wider dynamic range in highlight areas. In addition to its image quality improvements, the DIGIC II chip is also responsible for speeding up camera performance in areas such as start-up time, autofocus calculation, card-writing speed, direct printing and data transfer speed through the new USB 2.0 High Speed interface.

New .CR2 Raw Format

The Canon EOS 20D digital SLR incorporates the same new RAW format featured in Canon digital cameras from the EOS-1D Mark II model onward. The file extension is .CR2 (Canon RAW, 2 nd edition). The RAW data records the white balance data, processing parameters, and other settings. All these settings can be edited freely with compatible RAW file conversion software such as Canon's EOS Viewer Utility and Digital Photo Professional software, which are supplied with the camera.

Exif 2.21 Metadata and Adobe Color Space

There is no need to worry about color space any longer. The EOS 20D complies with DCF 2.0, revised to support Adobe RGB, and Exif 2.21. Images taken in Adobe RGB will have the Adobe RGB color space information, not the ICC profile, appended to the Exif information. (If Adobe RGB is selected from the 20D digital camera's Color Space menu, all processing parameters are available.) Therefore, applications and devices compatible with DCF 2.0 and Exif 2.21 will be able to handle Adobe RGB in the same way as sRGB. When software compatible with Exif 2.21 is used, images captured with the EOS 20D will open automatically in the Adobe RGB color space. When a printer that complies with Exif 2.21 is used, the printer will adjust the color saturation of the print suitably.

Camera Direct Printing

As with the EOS 10D model, the EOS 20D digital SLR is compatible with PictBridge, CP Direct and Bubble Jet Direct print transfer protocol. It also enables DPOF Print Ordering, Version 1.1. The basic specifications are the same as those of the EOS-1D Mark II digital SLR. Printer communications can be set to Normal or PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) with the menu's Communication setting (PTP is required for PictBridge direct printing). PictBridge compliant and Compact Photo Direct printers allow up to eight steps of horizontal trimming, up to five steps of vertical trimming, and a range of print sizes.

Updated Software

The EOS 20D will be supplied with the latest versions of Canon's popular Digital Photo Professional and EOS Viewer Utility software, as well as Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 for image editing.

Kit Configurations

The EOS 20D will be available in body-only or two separate zoom lens kit configurations. All three kits include the camera body as well as the BP-511A lithium-ion battery pack, Battery Charger CG-580, USB Cable IFC-400PCU, Video Cable VC-100, a wide neckstrap, 3 software CDs, printed instruction manuals, and a 1-year Canon U.S.A. limited warranty. The first zoom lens kit includes the standard EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and the second kit † includes the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Wide Angle Zoom lens.

Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The Company is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America, and is ranked #35 on the latest Business Week list of “Top 100 Brands.” Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent holder of technology, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2003. Canon Inc. achieved global revenues of $29.9 billion in 2003; 9.8 billion of which came from Canon Americas. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com .

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All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.

* Prices subject to change at any time. Actual prices are determined by individual dealers and may vary.

†Limited Availability. May be purchased through photo specialty stores

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