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-   -   Canon EOS 20D (

luckygyrl Apr 12, 2006 9:26 AM

Just curious on how well this camera performs with fast-moving sports...ex...paintball,soccer.etc..

Also curious how well it works in doors

any opinions will help


eric s Apr 12, 2006 9:40 AM

I had mixed results with my 20D.
In one-shot mode (not focusing tracking mode) it worked quite well. It would some times hunt for focus in the wrong direction, but when it went the right way it worked well. When it didn't, it would hunt to the end of the focus range then turn around and go back until it focused properly.

It would rarely stop focusing in the wrong place (my 10D did this some.)

In AI-Servo, I had worse results. Note, though, that I'm shooting small wildlife (birds) and therefor it would be different for you. If I was trying to photography a flying bird against the sky it worked as well as I could expect. If it flew with trees or maybe a house behind it, the camera would often lock on the background and not the bird. I have some shots where the bird is clearly over the AF point yet the background across the river is perfectly in focus. Drove me nuts some times.

For larger subjects (people) this might not have been an issue.

Even with this problem. I would not have upgraded to the 1D MkII N except I went on a vacation to florida and therefor it was worth upgrading. It would have cost me shots that I otherwise would never have been able to get.

I rarely use it indoors, but when given enough light it worked well. I shoot in RAW mode, so the complex lighting/white balance issues don't really apply. It does seem to do a better job than the 10D. For indoor work I would suggest you eventually get a hot-shoe flash like the 420EX, 580EX or a Sigma equivelent.

Does that help? I don't know if the 30D's AF system was improved over the 20D.


JohnG Apr 12, 2006 9:44 AM


The 20d (and presumably it's 30d replacement) is probably the best consumer-level DSLR for sports. Both Canon and Nikon make better sports cameras but they are professional level and cost about $3,0000.

The Nikon D200 would be another option as the feature set (with regards to sports) matches the 20D but there appear to be issues with noise levels at high ISO which is a problem for sports (which often requires high ISO).

Many of the entry level DSLRs can do a commendable job (Canon 350, Nikon D50, Nikon D70, KM 5d - i think that's the number) but they don't have the feature set the 20d does for sports. If you were considering just entry level DSLRs I think all three manufacturers are about equal. For Pro level sports cameras both Nikon and Canon have outstanding cameras.

But mid level - the 20D/30D is still the best on the market IMO.

JohnG Apr 12, 2006 9:48 AM

One other note - Eric hit the flaw on the head. The 20d still doesn't compete with the pro level cameras on focus ability (45 point focus vs. 9 point). From my own research, from a sports shooting standpoint that is the single greatest benefit in jumping up to the pro level cameras. I believe the 30d still uses the 9 point system but unsure whether they've done any tweaks to get more reliability out of AI-Servo. My guess is: without more fine tuned focus (i.e more focus points) there's probably a limited amount they can do.

luckygyrl Apr 14, 2006 12:47 PM

Thank you for all your help. Canon EO 20D is most likely the camera that i will be purchasing. For the price difference for right now, until i save enough $ for a pro.

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