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Canon 300D versus Canon 20D

The Canon EOS 300D (called Canon Rebel in some regions) and the Canon EOS 20D are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, 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 megapixel, whereas the 20D provides 8.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 300D vs Canon 20D

The physical size and weight of the Canon 300D and the Canon 20D are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions 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 side – the 300D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 300D vs Canon 20D
300D versus 20D top view
300D and 20D rear side
Body view (300D on the left)

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 find an overview of suitable optics 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 table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon 300D (⇒ rgt) 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 no 2003 899discont. check
Canon 20D (⇒ lft) 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 no 2004 1,499discont. check
Canon 77D (⇒ lft | rgt) 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 no 2017 899 latest check
Canon 7D II (⇒ lft | rgt) 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 YES 2014 1,799 latest check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 no 2014 799 latest check
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 no 2013 649discont. check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 no 2012 799discont. check
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 no 2012 849discont. check
Canon 30D (⇒ lft | rgt) 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 no 2006 1,399discont. check
Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 no 2006 799discont. check
Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 no 2005 899discont. check
Canon XT (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 no 2005 899discont. check
Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt) 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 no 2003 1,999discont. check
Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt) 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 no 2003 899discont. check
Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt) 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 no 2004 999discont. check

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 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 Canon 20D

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 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 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.

Canon 300D and Canon 20D sensor measures
Sensor size

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the 20D offers a higher resolution of 8.2 megapixel, compared with 6.3 MP of the 300D. This megapixel 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.

300D versus 20D MP
Sensor resolution

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 300D (⇒ rgt) APS-C 6.3 3072 2048 no 21.0 10.8 544 55
Canon 20D (⇒ lft) APS-C 8.2 3504 2336 no 21.9 11.0 721 62
Canon 77D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p .. .. .. ..
Canon 7D II (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 22.4 11.8 1082 70
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 3120 1080/30p 21.5 10.8 581 58
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 681 61
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 3264 1080/24p 21.7 10.8 644 60
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 722 62
Canon 30D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 8.2 3504 2336 no 21.5 10.8 736 59
Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 10.1 3888 2592 no 22.1 11.0 664 62
Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 8.0 3456 2304 no 21.8 10.8 637 60
Canon XT (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 8.0 3456 2304 no 21.8 10.8 637 60
Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 6.3 3072 2048 no 21.1 10.9 571 57
Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 6.3 3072 2048 no 21.0 10.8 544 55
Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 6.0 3008 2000 no 20.4 10.3 529 50
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 Canon 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 300D and Canon 20D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 300D (⇒ rgt) optical no 1.8 118 fixed no 4000 2.5 YES no
Canon 20D (⇒ lft) optical YES 1.8 118 fixed no 8000 5.0 13 no
Canon 77D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 6.0 12 no
Canon 7D II (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 1040 fixed no 8000 10.0 11 no
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 5.2 6.8 YES
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 13 no
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 922 Swivel no 4000 1.9 7 YES
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 YES no
Canon 30D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 2.5 230 fixed no 8000 5.0 13 no
Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.5 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 YES no
Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 1.8 115 fixed no 4000 3.0 YES no
Canon XT (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 1.8 115 fixed no 4000 3.0 13 no
Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 1.8 118 fixed no 4000 3.0 13 no
Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 1.8 118 fixed no 4000 2.5 13 no
Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 1.8 130 fixed no 8000 3.0 11 no

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.

Review summary: Canon 300D vs Canon 20D

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 300D better than the Canon 20D or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


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).

Advantages 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).
  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) 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.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 20D is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 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.

300D 03:08 20D

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 300D and the 20D in practical situations. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
.com
dp
review
.com
ephoto
zine
.com
imaging
resource
.com
photography
blog
.com
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon 300D (⇒ rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2003 899discont. check
Canon 20D (⇒ lft) - HiRec - reviewed - 2004 1,499discont. check
Canon 77D (⇒ lft | rgt) .. 82/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2017 899 latest check
Canon 7D II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 84/100 Silver 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2014 1,799 latest check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 799 latest check
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 649discont. check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 79/100 Rec 76/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 799discont. check
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 849discont. check
Canon 30D (⇒ lft | rgt) 87/100 HiRec HiRec reviewed reviewed - 2006 1,399discont. check
Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt) 85/100 HiRec HiRec reviewed 4.5/5 4/5 2006 799discont. check
Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt) 80/100 HiRec reviewed reviewed - 2005 899discont. check
Canon XT (⇒ lft | rgt) 80/100 HiRec reviewed reviewed - 2005 899discont. check
Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2003 1,999discont. check
Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2003 899discont. check
Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2004 999discont. check

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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