Canon 20D vs 7D Mark II
The Canon EOS 20D and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2004 and September 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 20D has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the 7D Mark II provides 20 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon 20D||Canon 7D II|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|8.2 MP, APS-C Sensor||20 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-1600 (100-3200)||ISO 100-16000 (100-51200)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|1.8" LCD, 118k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|700 shots per battery charge||670 shots per battery charge|
|144 x 106 x 72 mm, 770 g||149 x 112 x 78 mm, 910 g|
Body comparison: Canon 20D vs 7D Mark II
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 20D and the Canon 7D II is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 7D II is notably larger (9 percent) than the Canon 20D. Moreover, the 7D Mark II is markedly heavier (18 percent) than the 20D. It is noteworthy in this context that the 7D Mark II is splash and dust-proof, while the 20D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Canon 20D»||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 7D II«||5.9 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||32.1 oz||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon T6i« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon 70D« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon SL1« »||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon 60D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||30.3 oz||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.9 in||27.7 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon XT« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||19.0 oz||400||n||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon XT|
|Canon 10D« »||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999||-||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D200« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||32.5 oz||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 20D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the 7D Mark II, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
Sensor comparison: Canon 20D vs 7D Mark II
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 7D Mark II is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the 7D Mark II offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 8.2 MP of the 20D. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.10μm versus 6.42μm for the 20D). However, it should be noted that the 7D Mark II is much more recent (by 10 years) than the 20D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The 7D Mark II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Canon EOS 20D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II are ISO 100 to ISO 16000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the 7D Mark II has a markedly higher DXO score than the 20D (overall score 8 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.5 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 20D»||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.9||11.0||721||62||Canon 20D|
|Canon 7D II«||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70||Canon 7D II|
|Canon T6i« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||22.7||12.0||919||71||Canon T6i|
|Canon 70D« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||22.5||11.6||926||68||Canon 70D|
|Canon SL1« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon T5i|
|Canon 60D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.5||813||66||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.0||11.7||854||66||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||-||21.8||11.4||696||63||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.3||703||64||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.5||10.8||736||59||Canon 30D|
|Canon XT« »||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||-||21.8||10.8||637||60||Canon XT|
|Canon 10D« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.1||10.9||571||57||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.0||10.8||544||55||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D200« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.5||583||64||Nikon D200|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 7D Mark II indeed provides for movie recording, while the 20D does not. The highest resolution format that the 7D Mark II can use is 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Canon 20D vs 7D Mark II
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 20D and the 7D Mark II are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 20D and Canon 7D II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 20D»||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 20D|
|Canon 7D II«||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||8000||10.0||Y||n||Canon 7D II|
|Canon T6i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6i|
|Canon 70D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n||Canon 70D|
|Canon SL1« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||4.9||Y||n||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon T5i|
|Canon 60D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||n||8000||5.3||Y||n||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||8.0||Y||n||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||6.3||Y||n||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||6.5||Y||n||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 30D|
|Canon XT« »||optical||n||1.8||115||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon XT|
|Canon 10D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||optical||n||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D200« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D200|
The 20D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the 7D Mark II uses Compact Flash or SDXC cards. The 7D Mark II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 20D only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 20D vs 7D Mark II
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 20D and Canon EOS 7D Mark II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 20D»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 7D II«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D II|
|Canon T6i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon 70D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon SL1« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon 60D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon XT« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XT|
|Canon 10D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D200« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D200|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
The 7D Mark II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the 20D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 20D was succeeded by the Canon 30D.
Review summary: Canon 20D vs 7D Mark II
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 20D better than the Canon 7D II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 20D:
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 140g or 15 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2004).
Advantages of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 56%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 118k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 1.1).
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More modern: Reflects 10 years of technical progress since the 20D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 7D Mark II is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 3 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 20D or the 7D Mark II handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
Expert reviews: Canon 20D vs 7D Mark II
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 20D»||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 7D II«||Rec||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon T6i« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon 70D« »||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon SL1« »||Rec||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon 60D« »||Rec||79/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||HiRec||HiRec||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||HiRec||HiRec||4.5/5||rev||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 30D« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2006||1,399||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon XT« »||80/100||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon XT|
|Canon 10D« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Feb 2003||1,999||-||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D200« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||5/5||-||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Canon 20D vs Canon 7D II
|Camera Model||Canon 20D||Canon 7D II|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2004||September 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 1499||USD 1799|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||22.4 x 15.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||337.5 mm2||336 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||27 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||8.2 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3504 x 2336 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.42 μm||4.10 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.43 MP/cm2||5.94 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||100-16000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-3200 ISO||100-51200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 2||DIGIC 6 (Dual)|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||62||70|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.9||22.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.0||11.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||721||1082|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||n/a||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||BP-511A power pack||LP-E6N power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||700 shots per charge||670 shots per charge|
144 x 106 x 72 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 2.8 in)
149 x 112 x 78 mm
(5.9 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||770 g (27.2 oz)||910 g (32.1 oz)|
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