20D vs Digital Rebel XT

20D vs. Digital Rebel XT

Now that the Canon EOS 30D has been announced and slowly making it to the hands of early buyers, the EOS 20D should be much cheaper than it was a few months ago. For sure, the price of used 20D bodies will go down as well as more first–time owners succumb to the latest in the Canon DSLR line.

This situation will surely lead this matchup: 20D vs Digital Rebel XT. First time SLR buyers taking the EOS path will find it even harder to choose between an XT, a cheap used 20D, or a cheaper–than–it–used–to–be brand new 20D. And that’s not considering the latest 30D.

Bob Atkins has compared these models several months ago and outlined each models pros and cons. Here are some points that I find really worth considering:

  • The 20D has a rear control dial. Though this has nothing to do with image quality, it has everything to do with usability and ease of use. For professionals, the rear control dial is a necessity.
  • The XT is much smaller and lighter. Depending on the size of your hands, this can either be an advantage or a disadvantage. The size allows it to be easily packed in a small bag for anywhere, anyday use. On the other hand, the small grip introduces some handling problems, and the reduced weight results in awkward balance when used with heavy lenses.
  • The 20D can shoot more frames in less time. 24 frames at 5 frames per second is much faster than 3 frames per second up to 14 frames. For sports shooting, the 20D definitely has more chances of capturing the action.
  • The 20D goes up to ISO 3200, while the XT maxes out at ISO 1600.
  • The 20D has a larger viewfinder.
  • The 20D was designed for increased reliability. It has shutter rated for 100,000 cycles while the XT is designed for 50,000 cycles only.

If I were to make the choice now, I’d lean towards a brand new 20D, or even a 30D. Coming from a D60, I know I wouldn’t be able to survive without the rear control dial, and added shutter life is definitely worth the money. But always remember, both cameras are capable of capturing great images. You’ll have much more fun shooting with either of them than wondering which one you’d rather have. Go out and get shooting!