Canon EOS 20DCanon has today revealed the EOS 20D, the eight megapixel successor to the EOS 10D. The new sensor is however only half the story the EOS 20D has a slightly smaller and lighter body, a brand new 9-point AF system, near instant power on time, 5 frames per second continuous shooting, support for EF-S digital lenses, true RAW+JPEG, a B&W mode and USB 2.0. In total we've counted approximately 30 noteworthy improvements on the EOS 20D. Naturally we have a detailed eleven page hands-on preview of the EOS 20D and will have sample images available in a few days time. Price on the street around US$1,500.

Phil: Although this announcement should be new to everyone the importance of it has been softened by a 'leak' of press images yesterday on the Canon USA website. As with almost every recent important Canon announcement here was another 'accidental' leak on a Canon website days before the embargo. All this does is punish us and reward those sites which aren't under NDA.

Click here for our detailed EOS 20D hands-on preview
(full specs, what's new, body, operation, menus)

Changes / improvements (detail in our preview)

  • 8.2 megapixel CMOS sensor - 1.6x multiplier, new NR, new microlenses
     
  • Near instant power on time - around 0.2 sec compared to the EOS 10D's 2.5 sec
     
  • 5 fps continuous, 23 frames - can actually shoot for longer with a fast card
     
  • All new 9 point AF system - better low light performance, much faster AF
     
  • DIGIC II processor - same as EOS 1D Mark II, improved image quality
     
  • Support for EF-S lenses - lens mount now has space for rear element of EF-S lens
     
  • Faster top shutter speed - fastest shutter speed now up to 1/8000 sec
     
  • Faster X-sync shutter speed - flash sync speed up to 1/250 sec
     
  • Modified parameter sets - two presets, three custom, default +1, +1, +1
     
  • Black & White mode - selectable color filter and toning
     
  • Separate color space selection - sRGB / Adobe RGB via menu option
     
  • True RAW + JPEG support - writes a .CR2 and .JPG for each shot taken
     
  • New WB shift / WB bracketing screen - WB shift on two axis, new setup screen
     
  • Control of Long exposure NR - long exposure noise reduction can be disabled by user
     
  • Menu hints - to ensure you're in the right mode after changing setting
     
  • Record review histogram via INFO button - menu option has been removed
     
  • USB 2.0 Hi-speed connectivity - the first Canon to support it, around 3.0 MB/sec
     
  • PictBridge direct printing support - standard direct print support
     
  • Support for DVK-E2 data verification kit - image authenticity with the verify kit
     
  • New BG-E2 battery grip - slightly smaller, includes a six AA battery magazine
     
  • Slightly smaller and lighter body - only a shave here or there but does feel smaller
     
  • Higher pop-up flash - for better wide angle cover and red-eye performance
     
  • Smaller mirror & new focusing screen - no need for such a large mirror, better MF
     
  • CF activity light moved - no more holes in the CF compartment door
     
  • Flush connectors cover - cover fits almost flush to the side of the camera
     
  • Combined power & quick control dial lock - power switch now controls quick dial lock
     
  • New multi-controller 'joystick' - nine-way joystick for AF point, panning, WB shift
     
  • Updated menu design - more in line with newest PowerShot's
     
  • Backup battery moved to compartment - inside battery compartment
     
  • Embossed Canon logo - last but not least!

Sample images @ Canon

Canon it appears don't mind post images, we have to make you wait...

Click here for EOS-20D sample images @ Canon.co.jp

Press Release (Canon Europe):

The EOS 20D – a new digital freedom

Canon EOS 20D

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 20 August, 2004. Canon, a leader in photographic and imaging technology, today announces its latest Digital SLR: the EOS 20D. With a newly developed second generation APS-C size 8.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor, 5fps shooting speed, 9-point AF and Canon’s new distance-linked ETTL II flash system, the EOS 20D is the first semi-professional camera to deliver all the performance, speed and flexibility of high-end film SLR cameras.

Replacing the critically acclaimed EOS 10D, the EOS 20D is powered by the same DIGIC II processor found in Canon’s professional series EOS-1D Mark II. Second generation DIGIC improves on Canon’s already class-leading colour rendition accuracy and speeds up processing and start-up times. A rugged magnesium alloy body completes the EOS 20D’s professional look and feel.

"The class-leading combination of 8.2 Megapixels and the best of EOS digital SLR technology now surpasses the performance, operability and image quality of film SLRs,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. “To the many semi-professional and serious amateur photographers who have been waiting for an affordable digital alternative to their familiar film bodies, the EOS 20D will represent digital photographic freedom – a digital coming of age.”

Improved performance

Many key elements of the popular EOS 10D have been re-designed to further improve performance and image quality. The second generation DIGIC II processor combines with an increased buffer size to deliver a 23 frame burst rate at 5 fps – ideal for action and nature shoots and nearly double the performance of the EOS 10D. Separate JPEG and RAW files can write simultaneously with no loss in performance.

Upgraded sensor

The second generation 8.2 Megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor is purpose built for the EOS 20D. An extremely high ISO 3200 setting is selectable to further extend the camera's wide ISO 100-1600 speed range. High pixel density is made possible by the introduction of smaller area photo-diodes with a better S/N ratio and equivalent sensitivity to those of the EOS 10D. Improved high-performance micro lenses positioned above each photo-diode increase the percentage of light reaching the pixels, enhancing high-ISO performance and improving image quality. A new on-chip noise elimination circuit amplifies the signal in slow-read steps to eradicate fixed pattern and random noise, while a 3-layer optical low-pass filter placed in front of the sensor reduces false colour effects.

Better focusing

A new focus sensor and algorithm, and an increase from 7 to 9-point wide-area AF improves auto focusing speed and accuracy, particularly evident with off-centre subjects. Auto focus points not only cover a broader area of the frame, they are distributed such that focusing is fast and sharp when the classic ‘rule-of-thirds’ or ‘golden section’ composition technique is employed. The centre focussing point functions as a cross-type sensor when using lenses with an f/2.8 or faster aperture.

Lens mount

The newly developed APS-C sized 8.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor gives the camera a 1.6x magnification advantage over 35mm format cameras. While this creates an obvious advantage for telephoto lenses, it is less beneficial when meeting wide-angle requirements. The EOS 20D is compatible with more than 60 Canon EF lenses, including Canon’s new EF-S lenses. The camera’s launch is supported with the announcement of two new EF-S lenses, the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM . These provide photographers with ultra-wide 16-35mm effective, and 5x wide-tele 28-135mm effective ranges. The new lens’ quality and inclusion of ultra-sonic motors is in line with that expected of a semi-professional camera system.

Distance-linked flash

The EOS 20D features Canon’s new E-TTL II distance linked flash algorithm for both its built-in and external Speedlite units for vastly improved flash results. Rather than relying solely on pre-flash metering and focus points, the system takes into account such factors as lens distance information, ambient light readings and the detection of reflective objects in order to calculate flash output. Results improve considerably in circumstances such as recomposed shots, or where the appearance of high or low reflective objects in the frame would otherwise throw off flash exposure. The camera is compatible with the entire EX series Speedlite flash range. This includes Canon’s new Speedlite 580EX, which auto zooms when fitted to the EOS 20D to provide optimum flash coverage for the camera’s APS-C sensor size, and transmits colour temperature information for improved colour stability.

Black & White

In a first for digital SLR, the EOS 20D features a new Monochrome mode, making it possible to shoot in black and white. A range of filter effects (yellow, orange, red and green) can be digitally applied in much the same way that advanced black & white photographers use colour filters. Toning effects (sepia, blue, purple and green) add a colour to the final result, providing the same effect as conventional chemical toning.

Connectivity

The EOS 20D is the first DSLR model from Canon to feature a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface, making it viable to shoot with the camera tethered to a computer in a studio environment, recording images straight to hard disk and circumventing the need for post-shoot card downloads. USB 2.0 Hi Speed is approximately 40 times faster than standard USB 1.1, which was used on the previous EOS 10D. The EOS 20D also has a Video out interface to allow monitor viewing, and the camera is PictBridge compliant to support direct printing to any compatible photo printer without the need for first downloading to a computer. It takes both CompactFlash Type I and Type II cards, including cards of 2Gb and larger capacity.

Data Verification

The EOS 20D is compatible with the optional DVK-E2 data verification kit, used in fields such as insurance, reporting and police work to verify the authenticity of images taken with the camera.
Software

New image processing software Digital Photo Professional v1.1 provides high-speed processing of lossless RAW files. Processing with Digital Photo Professional is approx. 6 times faster than the previously supplied File Viewer Utility. It allows real-time display and immediate application of adjustments to images and includes a wide array of RAW, TIFF or JPEG image editing functions, which give control over variables such as white balance, dynamic range, exposure compensation and colour tone. The camera JPEG images can be recorded in sRGB or Adobe RGB colour space, and the Digital Photo Professional application supports sRGB, Adobe RGB and Wide Gamut RGB colour spaces. An ICC (International Colour Consortium) profile attaches automatically to RAW images converted to TIFF or JPEG formats. This allows faithful reproduction of colours in software applications that support ICC profiles, such as Adobe Photoshop. Image processing of various parameter changes can now be batched rather than carried out sequentially, vastly increasing the efficiency when applying a number of changes to the same images.

Also provided is Canon EOS Solution Disk 8.0, containing EOS Viewer Utility 1.1, EOS Capture v1.1 and PhotoStitch 3.1. Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 is included to allow comprehensive image manipulation when needed.

The EOS 20D includes membership of Canon’s online photo album, CANON iMAGE GATEWAY with 100MB of space for image uploads and photo sharing.

Accessories

To partner the EOS 20D and provide additional shooting options there’s a new BG-E2 battery grip. Dedicated to the EOS 20D the BG-E2 takes two powerful Lithium-Ion battery packs increasing enabling up to 2000 shots to be taken between charges. The new battery grip can also be used with six AA batteries in the supplied BM-E2 battery magazine. The BG-E2 provides additional shutter release, main dial, AE lock/FE lock and AF point selection controls for easier vertical shooting.

Click here for our detailed EOS 20D hands-on preview
(full specs, what's new, body, operation, menus)