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 Effective pixels AF Continuous (JPEG)
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