Canon 20D vs Samsung NX1
The Canon EOS 20D and the Samsung NX1 are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2004 and September 2014. The 20D is a DSLR, while the NX1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the Samsung provides 28 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 20D||Samsung NX1|
|Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Samsung NX mount lenses|
|8.2 MP, APS-C Sensor||28 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)||ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200)|
|Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)|
|1.8 LCD, 118k dots||3.0 LCD, 1036k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting touchscreen|
|5 shutter flaps per second||15 shutter flaps per second|
|not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|700 shots per battery charge||500 shots per battery charge|
|144 x 106 x 72 mm, 770 g||139 x 102 x 66 mm, 550 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 20D and the Samsung NX1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 20D and the Samsung NX1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear 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 Samsung NX1 is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Canon 20D. Moreover, the NX1 is markedly lighter (29 percent) than the 20D. It is noteworthy in this context that the NX1 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The power pack in the NX1 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon 20D||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Samsung NX1||5.5 in||4.0 in||2.6 in||19.4 oz||500||Y||Sep 2014||1,499|
|Canon 7D II||5.9 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||32.1 oz||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|Canon 60D||5.7 in||4.2 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|Canon 7D||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||30.3 oz||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|Canon 50D||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Canon 40D||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|Canon 30D||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.9 in||27.7 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|Canon XT||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||19.0 oz||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|Canon 10D||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|Canon Rebel||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2||5.6 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||17.5 oz||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699|
|Fujifilm X-T2||5.2 in||3.6 in||1.9 in||17.9 oz||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599|
|Nikon D5300||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799|
|Nikon D200||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||32.5 oz||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699|
|Samsung NX500||4.7 in||2.5 in||1.7 in||10.1 oz||370||n||Feb 2015||799|
|Sony A7||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.7 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.
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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the NX1 is 9 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (20D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 28MP, the NX1 offers a higher resolution than the 20D (8.2MP), but the NX1 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.63μm versus 6.42μm for the 20D). Yet, the NX1 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. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the NX1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Samsung NX1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NX1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 32.4 x 21.6 inches or 82.3 x 54.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 21.6 x 14.4 inches or 54.9 x 36.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 20D are 17.5 x 11.7 inches or 44.5 x 29.7 cm for good quality, 14 x 9.3 inches or 35.6 x 23.7 cm for very good quality, and 11.7 x 7.8 inches or 29.7 x 19.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The NX1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
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 Samsung NX1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 NX1 offers substantially better image quality than the 20D (overall score 21 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.3 bits higher color depth, 2.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon 7D II||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|Sony A7||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The NX1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 20D does not. The highest resolution format that the NX1 can use is 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the NX1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the 20D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the NX1 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 20D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the NX1 has a higher magnification (0.69x vs 0.56x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 20D and Samsung NX1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon 7D II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The NX1 has a touchscreen, while the 20D has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The Samsung NX1 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The 20D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the NX1 uses SDXC cards.
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 Samsung NX1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon 7D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the NX1 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 provide wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 20D (unlike the NX1) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 20D and the NX1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 20D was replaced by the Canon 30D, while the NX1 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Samsung websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 20D and the Samsung NX1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 20D:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 500) on a single battery charge.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2004).
Advantages of the Samsung NX1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (28 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 85%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (21 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.3 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.2 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.69x vs 0.56x).
- 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 (1036k vs 118k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (15 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 220g or 29 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 1.1).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 10 years of technical progress since the 20D launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the NX1 is the clear winner of the contest (25 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 20D and the Samsung NX1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 20D or the NX1. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Canon 20D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Samsung NX1||..||87/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,499|
|Canon 7D II||+||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|Canon 60D||+||79/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|Canon 7D||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|Canon 50D||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Canon 40D||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|Canon 30D||+ +||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|Canon XT||80/100||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|Canon 10D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|Canon Rebel||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2003||899|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699|
|Fujifilm X-T2||+ +||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jul 2016||1,599|
|Nikon D5300||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799|
|Nikon D200||+ +||+ +||o||5/5||..||Nov 2005||1,699|
|Samsung NX500||..||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||799|
|Sony A7||+ +||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 20D vs Canon 750D
- Canon 20D vs Leica X-U Typ 113
- Canon 20D vs Olympus E-520
- Canon 20D vs Olympus E-M1 II
- Canon 20D vs Panasonic L1
- Canon 20D vs Sony NEX-C3
- Canon G3 X vs Samsung NX1
- Canon T6 vs Samsung NX1
- Fujifilm X-T100 vs Samsung NX1
- Nikon D3400 vs Samsung NX1
- Nikon W300 vs Samsung NX1
- Samsung NX1 vs Sony HX95
Specifications: Canon 20D vs Samsung NX1
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 20D||Samsung NX1|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Samsung NX mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2004||September 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 1,499||USD 1,499|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 20D||Samsung NX1|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||23.5 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||337.5 mm2||368.95 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||8.2 Megapixels||28 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3504 x 2336 pixels||6480 x 4320 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.42 μm||3.63 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.43 MP/cm2||7.59 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 2||DRIMe 5|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||62||83|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.9||24.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.0||13.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||721||1363|
|Screen Specs||Canon 20D||Samsung NX1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||1036k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 20D||Samsung NX1|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||15 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||50 000 actuations||150 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 20D||Samsung NX1|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 20D||Samsung NX1|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||700 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
144 x 106 x 72 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 2.8 in)
139 x 102 x 66 mm
(5.5 x 4.0 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||770 g (27.2 oz)||550 g (19.4 oz)|
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