Canon 20D vs Nikon D750
The Canon EOS 20D and the Nikon D750 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2004 and September 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (20D) and a full frame (D750) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24.2 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||Nikon D750|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|8.2 MP, APS-C Sensor||24.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-1600 (100-3200)||ISO 100-12800 (50-51200)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|1.8" LCD, 118k dots||3.2" LCD, 1229k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||6 shutter flaps per second|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|700 shots per battery charge||1230 shots per battery charge|
|144 x 106 x 72 mm, 770 g||141 x 113 x 78 mm, 750 g|
Body comparison: Canon 20D vs Nikon D750
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 20D and the Nikon D750. 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 20D – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D750 is somewhat larger (4 percent) than the Canon 20D. However, the D750 is slightly lighter (3 percent) than the 20D. It is noteworthy in this context that the D750 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (20D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D750).
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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|
|Nikon D750«||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||26.5 oz||1230||Y||Sep 2014||2,299||Nikon D750|
|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 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|
|Leica SL« »||5.8 in||4.1 in||1.5 in||29.9 oz||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450||Leica SL|
|Nikon D5« »||6.3 in||6.3 in||3.6 in||49.9 oz||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499||Nikon D5|
|Nikon Df« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.6 in||26.8 oz||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D610« »||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.2 in||30.0 oz||900||Y||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D600« »||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.2 in||30.0 oz||900||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Nikon D600|
|Nikon D200« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||32.5 oz||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 markedly lower price (by 35 percent) than the D750, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 Nikon D750
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 20D features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon D750 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D750 is 155 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. 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.
With 24.2MP, the D750 offers a higher resolution than the 20D (8.2MP), but the D750 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 6.42μm for the 20D). Yet, the D750 is a much more recent model (by 10 years) than the 20D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
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 Nikon D750 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-51200..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the D750 offers substantially better image quality than the 20D (overall score 31 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.9 bits higher color depth, 3.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon 20D»||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.9||11.0||721||62||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D750«||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/60p||24.8||14.5||2956||93||Nikon D750|
|Canon 7D II« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70||Canon 7D II|
|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|
|Leica SL« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88||Leica SL|
|Nikon D5« »||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88||Nikon D5|
|Nikon Df« »||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||-||24.6||13.1||3279||89||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D610« »||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.4||2925||94||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D600« »||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.2||2980||94||Nikon D600|
|Nikon D200« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.5||583||64||Nikon D200|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The D750 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 20D does not. The highest resolution format that the D750 can use is 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Canon 20D vs Nikon D750
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 20D and the D750 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 20D, the Nikon D750, and comparable cameras.
|Canon 20D»||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D750«||optical||Y||3.2||1229||tilting||n||4000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D750|
|Canon 7D II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||8000||10.0||Y||n||Canon 7D II|
|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|
|Leica SL« »||4400||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||8000||11.0||n||n||Leica SL|
|Nikon D5« »||optical||Y||3.2||2359||fixed||Y||8000||14.0||n||n||Nikon D5|
|Nikon Df« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||4000||5.5||n||n||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D610« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||4000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D600« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||5.5||Y||n||Nikon D600|
|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 D750 uses SDXC cards. The D750 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 Nikon D750
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 Nikon D750 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 20D»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D750«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D750|
|Canon 7D II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D II|
|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|
|Leica SL« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||-||Leica SL|
|Nikon D5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5|
|Nikon Df« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D610« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D600« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D600|
|Nikon D200« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D200|
It is notable that the D750 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 20D does not offer wifi capability.
The D750 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. 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 Nikon D750
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 20D or the Nikon D750 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 20D:
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (35 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2004).
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D750:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.2 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 72%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (31 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.9 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (3.5 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 118k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1230 versus 700) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- 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 D750 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 20D and the D750 in practical situations. 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 Nikon D750
This is where reviews by experts come in. 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). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 20D»||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D750«||HiRec||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||2,299||Nikon D750|
|Canon 7D II« »||Rec||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|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|
|Leica SL« »||-||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450||Leica SL|
|Nikon D5« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499||Nikon D5|
|Nikon Df« »||-||81/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D610« »||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D600« »||HiRec||87/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Nikon D600|
|Nikon D200« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||5/5||-||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 5D Mark III vs Canon 1D Mark II
- Canon 70D vs Canon XC10
- Canon 77D vs Sony RX10 IV
- Canon D30 vs Sony A9
- Canon T7i vs Olympus E-M10
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm XP130
- Leica X2 vs Leica T
- Nikon D5600 vs Sony A7
- Olympus E-M1 II vs Panasonic FZ330
- Olympus E-PL2 vs Olympus E-PL5
- Panasonic GF3 vs Fujifilm X-A1
- Sony RX100 II vs Panasonic LX100 II
Specifications: Canon 20D vs Nikon D750
|Camera Model||Canon 20D||Nikon D750|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2004||September 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 1499||USD 2299|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||35.9 x 15.0 mm|
|MP Resolution||8.2 Megapixels||24.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3504 x 2336 pixels||6016 x 4016 pixels|
|Pixel Size||6.42 μm||5.97 μm|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-3200 ISO||50-51200 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8 inch||3.2 inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||BP-511A power pack||EN-EL15 power pack|
|Battery Life||700 shots per charge||1230 shots per charge|
144 x 106 x 72 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 2.8 in)
141 x 113 x 78 mm
(5.6 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||770 g (27.2 oz)||750 g (26.5 oz)|
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