Canon Rebel XTI vs. 20D

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by lindsay_drake, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. Hello everybody! I have been comtemplating about buying a Rebel XTI for
    awhile...and then I read about the 20D's and many people suggested that over
    the XTI...what is the main difference and which one do you suggest? I am
    going to do many portraits and some long distance wildlife...deer, coyotes,
    bobcats etc...I live in Kansas. not much out here for exotic animals!
    Any help would be appreciate...I am new to the DSLR world!
  2. I've had my 20D ever since it came out. I love it. I pair it with
    24-70 2.8L and get great results. Can't say much about the XTI. never used it. Sorry. I've held the XTI, and in comparisons to the 20D. the 20D seems more solid. hope that helps.

  3. I prefer the XTi because I travel a bit and appreciate it's small size. If size is not an issue (and many people like the 20D because it is bigger) then get the 20D. It has a better viewfinder, better ergnomics, a better autofocus, a faster frame rate and more solid build. Image quality from either camera will be excellent, the 20D will just make it a bit easier to do things.
  4. The 20D feels better in the hand. The XTi is more current, and thus has better imaging electronics. Personally, I feel the XTi is the better buy.

    "...deer, coyotes, bobcats etc...I live in Kansas. not much out here for exotic animals!"

    Pretty exotic if one's only used to the occasional dive bombing pigeon. It's all relative, eh.
  5. You can take fine photographs with either...

    ... which may be enough to convince you to take the XTi seriously.

    The XTi has a 10MP sensor (instead of 8, though that is perhaps a smaller advantage than
    you might imagine), dust reduction technology built in, and most of the other
    technological features of the 30D. (The 30D is the newer, upgraded verson of the 20D.)

    The XTi is smaller and lighter than the 30D. Some regard this as a disadvantage while
    others regard it as an advantage. (I'm in the latter camp.)

    In term of image quality, the 20D (along with the 30D) has no advantage over the XTi. Both
    use the same high quality lenses.

    If you frequently photograph high speed action sports then the 30D's slightly faster burst
    mode (5fps instead of 3 fps) and deeper buffer (it captures more images before it has to
    slow down to empty the buffer) might be an advantage. But, unless you really push this
    feature, the XTi is likely to be sufficient for most users. (I've used the slightly slower XT to
    photograph bicycle track racing and birds in flight. Oh, and the expensive full-frame
    Canon 5D has the same burst rate as the XTi...)

    Some people like to point out that the 20D/30D provides spot metering. However, very
    photographers know how to effectively use this feature, and even those who do rarely use
    it. (The histogram feature found on these cameras is more useful in the majority
    of cases.)

    Good luck!

  6. The only advantage I could see with the XTi would be the 10mp, and the 2.5" lcd screen (and sensor cleaner). If you're not going to print over an 8x10, my choice would be, hands down, the 20D.

    That being said, I have both the 20D, and the Rebel XT. (Not I). The 20D has the control wheel, and joystick on the back panel, which means you don't have to go rooting around in the menues, and sub menues to select functions. It has a little larger viewfinder, and faster auto focus (Comes in handy for wildlife). The 20D is much more user friendly if you're not shooting in the automatic modes.

    If all you do is use the green square, that theory can be tossed. If you forsee keeping this camera for quite a while, and using the learn as you go process, I'd get the 20D, if not the 30D. It's much more user friendly.

  7. Mike-
    If I plan to print larger than 8 x 10...then what do you prefer?
    Thanks! Lindsay

    As for the exotic animals...we live in the boonies..kinda like Jed Clampit from the Beverly Hillbillies! (But with a modern toilet..haha..) Just kinding but I do live in a town with a population of 527 people!
  8. Lindsay, the practical difference between 10MP and 8MP is almost negligible. 2 million pixels sounds like a lot, I know, and the early digital cameras used sensors in that size range... but the actual difference in print size you can achieve is roughly 10% bigger on a side at 300DPI (a popularly accepted 'photo quality' standard), equivalent to about an inch or so in each direction- not that much bigger at all. That said, good technique and processing skils will make much more difference in how your large prints look than the extra 2MP from the XTi. The dust control feature is a gimmick. The sensor density of the XTi is higher, so theoretically the noise performance should be better on the 20D. The build of the 20D is solid, with a metal body. The controls are easier to access and more intuitive on the 20D. The 20D is slightly bigger, but not as much as you might think, especially if you're planning on adding high quality lenses to it. The size difference won't be measured by how much space the camera takes up in your bag, because there's not a big difference, but you'll notice it when you hold the camera in your hand. The Rebel platform felt really dinky to me comparatively, though some people say they like the smaller, lighter body. Oh, yeah, and the 20D has a longer expected life span for the shutter mechanism. I haven't heard of anyone wearing out either camera yet, or what real-world difference can be expected, but the build quality of the 20D is more robust and intended for heavier duty than the Rebel series.

    I will say that, as always, lenses are the key to quality. Image quality wise, the 20D and the XTi should be very very similar. Both these cameras should provide excellent images with good photographic technique. The camera bodies, however, are evolving rather quickly. Each year brings new improvements to imaging and features, more megapixels, better metering, etc. What you don't see big leaps in is lens technology. Most of today's lenses are relatively old designs, and they hold thier value over the years. I've seen Canon's L series lenses sell on eBay, in used condition, several years old, for more than a new one costs through reputable dealers on the internet. Now, this can be attributed to people not really doing thier homework, but the truth is that the $1000 lens you buy today is likely to be worth $950 next year, and the year after that, and the year after that... not so much with a camera bodies, as they are evolving so fast that the Rebels and the 20D/30D are likely to be replaced by bigger, better options at the same price point in the next couple years. There's no substitute right now, and I'm not saying the body is not worth what you pay for it, but long-term the body will depreciate very much faster than the lenses. Heck, even the old FD lenses are still fetching handsome prices (L series, that is) while the old film bodies go for negligible amounts and are often 'giveaways' in that the price for a lens/body combo is more dependant on the lens than the body it's attached to. I'm rambling... just things to ponder...
  9. Re noise of 20D vs XTi - from what I've read the sensor in the XTi/400D is of a new design which takes into account the possible detrimental effects of higher pixel density = more noise. Apparently Canon engineers have addressed this problem.

    Re focus speed - the XTi/400D uses the same 9-point AF system as the 30D so I'd imagine that it would perform as well as the 20D in that area.

    Cheers, Bob
  10. I suggest you go to a shop and handle both. Many find the 20D more comfortable to hold and operate but you should try this yourself.

    Happy shooting,
  11. If you plan on keeping your next camera for a while, go with the 20D. The only advantage of the XTi is the 1.8 more MPs, which as Grayson said, is negligable.I also consider the "anti-dust technology" to be little more than an entry-level gimmick. The viewfinder of the 20D is much better and it's rated for 100,000 shutter bumps compared to 50,000 for the Rebels. It's a metal body, not plastic and the control layout is much more logical and intuitive. It's a real camera and feels like one in your hands. Between the two, long term, IMHO, it's the way to go. Good luck.
  12. Be careful about falling into the "it cost more, so it must be better" trap. You really need to do a feature for feature comparison, compare prices, and then ask whether the feature differences are actually significant for your photography or not.
    Regarding the difference in pixel dimensions... 10MP versus 8MP is not completely insigificant, though it does not turn out to be a huge difference either. For example, a 10MP image will give you a print that is 12.5% longer on the vertical and horizontal dimensions with the same dpi resolution as an 8MP camera. So an 8MP image that worked at 12"x18" would have the same pixel resolution at roughly 13.5"x20". That is not a huge difference, but I think that if you try to print at this size (or larger) you are already pushing the boundary so extra pixel resolution may not hurt. And don't forget, you don't pay any extra for this - the XTi's extra resolution comes in a less expensive body.
    I've happily used a 350D/XT for over a year and a half now and I, too, agonized over the choice between it and the 20D when I made my purchase. The short story is that if you offered to trade me a 20D for my 350D I would not accept the trade today. The long story is posted at my web site</ a>.
    Take care,
  13. I used to have a 20D and now have an XTI. Most of my recent photography has been car racing photos. Lenses are 24-105 F4L IS, 70-300 DO IS & 400mm F5.6L

    I do not miss the 5 FPS of the 20D. I found 5 FPS is too fast. The 3 FPS setting of the XTI is fine.

    I find the XTI focus clearly beats out the 20D. The is expecially true with "AI intelligent mode" or "AI servo" mode. The 20D focus was good but failed too often. I get more reliable focus with

    The focusing on the 5D clearly beats out both the 20D & XTI.

    results may vary. This is what I have observed.
  14. XTi is generally a better camera even if it's FPS rate is less then the 20D. Better to get the XTi unless you shoot fast sports that demand higher FPS.
  15. The XTi is best if you shoot occasionally, although most reviewers seem not to like its simplified controls as well as the older 20D system. The eBay price is almost exactly same for a used 20D or a new XTi, so the market clearly values the latter for its greater ruggedness, faster shooting, and larger size and heft. After much conmtemplation, I just bought my daughter, who is a film student, the 20D.
  16. I bought a 30D in mid-November after going into the shop set on buying the 400D. The cheaper camera's price and feature set was tempting. I saw no practical reason why I needed the more expensive camera when I was only just rekindling my interest in photography after a two-year dry spell. Except for one small thing.

    The 400D is small. Some people love that. I used to shoot with a Pentax ME and MX. They're tiny by today's standards and I didn't mind them, but I've become used to shooting with the Canon Elan 7 and it's vertical grip. It's a bulky combination, sort of like carrying around a shoebox. So when I picked up the 400D in the shop it nearly fell out of my hand. I just didn't like it. No. Not good. The 30D, by comparison, fit in my hand perfectly--even better than my old Elan 7. And the 30D was what I really wanted anyway. I like its solid feel, its excellent grip, its fast motor drive for sports photos. Everything is there. The pixel count may be slightly lower, but chasing technology is a tiring endeavour.
  17. Judging from the last couple of posts, I have learned that failure to close an href tag makes a very long link...
    ... which may have ended in the previous paragraph?
    Sorry about that.
  18. To me, the choice of XTi vs 20D is purely one of EROGNOMICS.

    The viewfinders and physical handling of the cameras are pretty different. And these differences outweigh the technical differences. Once you have the cameras in your hand. . then the choice will be obvious.

    As to the technical stuff: I have not seen a comparsion of the 2006 XTI 10mp sensor to the 2004 20D/30D sensor. I hear people talk about "noise", but the truth is that I have not seen any real comparison between the two sensors (DpReview did not do this comparison). I have no real way to judge. .. so I assume quality is the same.

    All else being equal (and all else is NOT equal). . it should be clear that 10mp is better than 8mp. An analogy would be the simple fact that a Pentium 2.4ghz processor is superior to a 1.8ghz processor . . .but true performance is dominated judged by the RAM and the video card. And both are equal when it comes to email.
  19. I am only posting to close G. dan mitchell's HTML tag:
  20. Hope that worked.

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