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Canon 300D vs 20D

The Canon EOS 300D (called Canon Rebel in some regions) and the Canon EOS 20D are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2003 and August 2004. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 300D has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the 20D provides 8.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 300D   Canon 20D
Canon 300D Canon 20D
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor 8.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 ISO 100-1600 (100-3200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8" LCD, 118k dots 1.8" LCD, 118k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge700 shots per battery charge
142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g 144 x 106 x 72 mm, 770 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 300D and the Canon EOS 20D? 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.

Body comparison: Canon 300D vs 20D

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 300D and the Canon 20D. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 300D vs Canon 20D
Compare 300D versus 20D top
Comparison 300D or 20D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 20D is notably larger (9 percent) than the Canon 300D. Moreover, the 20D is markedly heavier (19 percent) than the 300D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 300D nor the 20D are weather-sealed.

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.

Concerning battery life, the 300D gets 400 shots out of its BP-511 battery, while the 20D can take 700 images on a single charge of its BP-511A power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 300D» 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899- i Canon 300D
 
Canon 20D« 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon 400D« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Canon 350D« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899- i Canon 350D
 
Canon XT« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
 
Canon 10D« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« » 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
 
Nikon D70« » 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 400 n Jan 2004 999- i Nikon D70
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 300D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the 20D, which puts it into a different 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 300D vs 20D

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 20D 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.

Technology-wise, the 20D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 2) than the 300D (DIGIC), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 300D and Canon 20D sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the 20D offers a higher resolution of 8.2 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the 300D. 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 6.42μm versus 7.38μm for the 300D). However, it should be noted that the 20D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the 300D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 20D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 20D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 17.5 x 11.7 inch or 44.5 x 29.7 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 14 x 9.3 inch or 35.6 x 23.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 11.7 x 7.8 inch or 29.7 x 19.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 300D are 15.4 x 10.2 inch or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inch or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inch or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 300D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 20D are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

300D versus 20D MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 20D has a markedly higher DXO score than the 300D (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 300D» APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.010.854455Canon 300D
 
Canon 20D« APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162Canon 20D
 
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
 
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659Canon 30D
 
Canon 400D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon 400D
 
Canon 350D« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760Canon 350D
 
Canon XT« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760Canon XT
 
Canon 10D« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.110.957157Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.010.854455Canon Rebel
 
Nikon D70« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-20.410.352950Nikon D70
Neither the 300D nor the 20D offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Canon 300D vs 20D

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 300D and the 20D 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 20D has a higher magnification than the one of the 300D (0.56x vs 0.55x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 300D, the Canon 20D, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 300D»optical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Canon 300D
 
Canon 20D«optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
 
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
 
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
 
Canon 400D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 400D
 
Canon 350D« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 350D
 
Canon XT« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon XT
 
Canon 10D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« »optical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Canon Rebel
 
Nikon D70« »optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D70

One feature that is present on the 20D, but is missing on the 300D is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 300D and the 20D write their files to Compact Flash cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 300D vs 20D

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 300D and Canon EOS 20D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 300D»Y-----1.1---Canon 300D
 
Canon 20D«Y-----1.1---Canon 20D
 
Canon 77D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 30D
 
Canon 400D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 400D
 
Canon 350D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 350D
 
Canon XT« »Y-----2.0---Canon XT
 
Canon 10D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« »Y-----1.1---Canon Rebel
 
Nikon D70« »Y-----1.0---Nikon D70

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 20D (unlike the 300D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 300D and the 20D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 300D was replaced by the Canon 350D, while the 20D was followed by the Canon 30D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.


Review summary: Canon 300D vs 20D

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 300D or the Canon 20D – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 300D:

  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 121g or 16 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2003).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 20D:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (8.2 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 14%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 2 vs DIGIC).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.56x vs 0.55x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (700 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 20D is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 3 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

300D 03:11 20D

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 300D and the Canon 20D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 300D and the 20D 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 300D vs 20D

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 300D»-+ +-o- Aug 2003 899- i Canon 300D
 
Canon 20D«-+ +-o- Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« »+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon 40D« »+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »+ ++ +oo- Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon 400D« »+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Canon 350D« »80/100+ +oo- Feb 2005 899- i Canon 350D
 
Canon XT« »80/100+ +oo- Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
 
Canon 10D« »-+ +-o- Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« »-+ +-o- Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
 
Nikon D70« »-+ +-o- Jan 2004 999- i Nikon D70
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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.

Canon 300D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon 20D:
Check Ebay offers

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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 300D vs Canon 20D

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 300D Canon 20D
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2003 August 2004
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 1499
    Sensor Specs Canon 300D Canon 20D
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 22.5 x 15.0 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 337.5 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 27 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 8.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 3504 x 2336 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 6.42 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 2.43 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100-3200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC DIGIC 2
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 55 62
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 21.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 544 721
    Screen Specs Canon 300D Canon 20D
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x 0.56x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 1.8 inch 1.8 inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 118k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 300D Canon 20D
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy50 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 300D Canon 20D
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 1.1
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 300D Canon 20D
    Battery Type BP-511 power pack BP-511A power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge700 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 142 x 99 x 72 mm
    (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
    144 x 106 x 72 mm
    (5.7 x 4.2 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 649 g (22.9 oz) 770 g (27.2 oz)

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