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-   -   EOS 20D VS EOS 350D (XT) (

kamla Feb 15, 2006 10:15 AM

EOS 20D VS EOS 350D (XT)

Which one would you pick and why???

Hi guys..

I have choice to pick one of these cameras..

1) EOS 20D, 8.2 Megapixels, SLR, Digital Camera with Canon 18-55mm "USM" Lens
2) EOS Digital Rebel XT (a.k.a. 350D) 8.0 Megapixel, SLR, Digital Camera (Black) Kit with Canon 18-55mm EF-S Lens

Which one would be better suited to my needs.

I will be using the camera for taking pics of my family and fish tanks, during the day time and also night time. And macro shot of my fish and baby pics...

I will be taking a class @ the community college to learn how to use my DSLR... :)

Also what is the difference b/t a "USM" and "EF-S" Lens.

If I took the exact same shot with the 350D and 20D in Auto mode will I notice a difference?

Thanks for reading and taking time to answer...

Please try to explain as you would to a Child… (DSLR Newbie here)


JohnG Feb 15, 2006 12:50 PM

First, the easy question:

USM in this case refers to Canon's Ultra Sonic Motor focusing system. In general a Canon lens with USM will focus faster than a canon lens that does NOT have USM. An EF-S lens is a lens specifically made for the 300D, 350D and 20D cameras. A digital camera has a sensor in it that captures the light coming through the lens - the sensor takes the place of film in film cameras. Many lenses on the market today were designed around needing to capture light for 35mm film. Well, the sensor size in some DSLRs is actually smaller than 35mm film. So, the image captured on the outer edges of the lens really isn't used. EF-S lenses take advantage of this concept and actually have optics with a smallier diameter. This way, the lenses are lighter and require less materials to build. The down side to these lenses is they only work on cameras with a sensor size they were designed for (or a smaller sensor). If you tried to use an EF-S lens on the Canon 5d camera (which has a full sized sensor) you would get a dark ring around the outer edges of the picture because the lens couldn't capture an image large enough to cover the entire sensor.

Your other question is more challenging - which is better for you - the 350D or the 20D. The 20D has the following advantages:
  • Precision center point focusing with any lens with max aperture of 2.8 or better. In simple terms this means the center focus point is twice as accurate when a lens is 2.8 as opposed to say a lens that is 5.6. [/*]
  • 20d has slightly more pixels and slightly more resolution than the 350d - but I can't say that you would notice it.[/*]
  • 20d has ISO capability of 3200 - 350D only 1600. Also the 20D has better noise levels at ISO 1600 than the 350d.[/*]
  • 20d has 9 focus points as opposed to 7. [/*]
  • 20d has a max shutter of 1/8000, the 350 has max shutter of 1/4000[/*]
  • 20d has a burst rate of 5fps vs 2.8 fps for the 350[/*]
  • 20d has a more powerful and longer lasting battery
To me of these differences, the ISO 3200, burst rate and low noise capabilities of the 20d are the biggest spec differences.

However, an important difference between these two cameras is the ergonomics. The 20d is bigger and heavier than the 350. To some people that is a bonus for the 20d - to others it is a drawback. And although both camera bodies have a metal sub-structure, the outer shell of the 20d is alloy while the 350 is plastic.

Now - as to whether you could tell the difference between a picture from the 350 vs a picture from the 20d? The answer is it depends. The ISO 3200, burst speed can allow you to capture MORE images and images in worse conditions with the 20d. But, in conditions like you describe the answer is - no, I don't think you could tell the difference.

So, in your case I don't see a compelling reason to go with the 20d. But, I would let the ergonomics drive your decision. Go to a store and handle both cameras and see which feels better to you.

One final piece of information. There is a rumor going around that Canon is going to announce a replacement for the 20d at an upcomming trade show - PMA - which takes place at the end of February. If that replacement comes out, it is possible the new camera could offer compelling features or the price of the 20d could drop. Bottom line is - if I were going to buy a Canon dslr and didn't need it in the next week I'd at least wait to see what if anything is announced at PMA.

kamla Feb 15, 2006 2:08 PM

Thank you..

Your post is great.. I will stick to the XT..

Now should I just get the Kit lens or upgrade to a better lens right now.

Or should wait learn more on how to use the camera and then buy the extra lens..

Plus one more question???

I have a film SLR (Rebel also) it came with a lens.. Cannot rem which one 22 – 50mm I think.. Can this lens be used with the 350 D.. if so should still get the Kit lens..

Thanks again for taking the time to help me.. J

Homer J. Feb 15, 2006 6:32 PM

Search for a EF-S 17-85 kit. same kit,but one of the best all in onelens offered by canon. the EF-S 18-55 is a budget lens, and is only recomended when you are unable to buy a better lens. If you want to know wether you should use you old lens instead, multiply the focal lenght by 1.6, and you will get the focal length you will have on the XT. If you can live with your wide angle, you may want to save some money, and spend it on something like a accessory flash.

Usually, anything above 28mm (45mm on XT)will give you an almost worthless wide angle.

JohnG Feb 15, 2006 7:18 PM

kamla wrote:

Thank you..

Your post is great.. I will stick to the XT..

Now should I just get the Kit lens or upgrade to a better lens right now.

Or should wait learn more on how to use the camera and then buy the extra lens..

I have a film SLR (Rebel also) it came with a lens.. Cannot rem which one 22 – 50mm I think.. Can this lens be used with the 350 D.. if so should still get the Kit lens..

I'm fairly certain that any EF lens canon made will work on the 350. But I don't know if your lens is an EF or not. That one might be worth a call to Canon on.

As for the kit lens - I would agree with Homer in that the 17-85 is supposed to be a much better lens (I don't own either myself). So, if the extra money for the 350 kit WITH the 17-85 is not a problem, you'll get a lot more use out of the 17-85. I do,however recommend getting just a single lens to start with. Then you can decide for yourself where that particular lens falls short of YOUR needs. You may find you want to do a lot of macro OR you need more reach. Individual needs vary - and no matter how good a lens is technically, if it doesn't do what YOU need it to do it was a waste of money. So, don't get pressured by others into needing to 'build a lens kit' right out of the gate.

By the way, taking the course at your college is an excellent idea! It will really help force you to practice and learn and get some good feedback. Enjoy!

leeraff Feb 19, 2006 12:10 PM

Excellent replies. Wish I had seen this sooner.

From someone in your exact same shoes, I've spent hours in here and gotten great information. Still torn. I agree with everything stated here which makes ME lean in the other direction. Why? I'll be using mine more for children, sporting events, etc. The speedy little ones will make the 20d a better choice for me. Also having an aquarium, reef tank, I believe it's safe to say the demands on speed are not nearly as great as say a sporting event or lower light conditions. (At least this is what I'm learning.)

Believe me, I'm still debating the 350d too. Sounds like both are phenomenol cameras. I've debated getting the 350d and building up my accessories sooner. Then, if this grows beyond hobby and I need more camera, 350d becomes an EXCELLENT backup to a 20d, future 3xd, etc.

The lower initial cost will allow you to buy more accessories sooner. As stated, a better lens on that 350d may be better for your needs than the faster 20d. At around $999, you get to go spend $500 bucks on a better lens, or on an additional lens, or on a better flash, or on...

Good luck. Seems like you'll be happy with either if it feels right in your hand.

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