September 19th, 2004

mmm, new camera

My new Canon EOS 20D arrived on Friday. (Luckily, the burglar didn't happen to open the box it came in.) It's an incremental improvement to the 10D, but the increment is nice. Here are the main upgrades:
  • 8 megapixels instead of 6
  • Instant startup time (the 10D takes a few seconds to start up)
  • Instant photo review (the 10D doesn't show you the review photo until it's written the photo to the card, which can be slow for RAW photos)
  • Faster writes to the CF card (this is partly because I got a faster card, too)
  • Mini-joystick for setting AF points and panning in playback (way more convenient than the two-wheel interface on the 10D--I basically never used AF points on the 10D because it was so hard to control; though in practice I'll probably stick to just using center AF and recomposing, out of habit)
  • Seems like autofocus lock is much faster overall, especially in low light. Can't tell yet if it's more accurate.
  • Better focus screen in the viewfinder--it looks a little more "grainy", making it easier to tell what's not in focus
  • Super-clean high-ISO photos--800 is very clean (about as clean as 400 on the 10D), and even 3200 is totally usable (cleaner than ISO 400 on my old Nikon CoolPix 990!).
The only downside (on paper) is that the RAW shot buffer is smaller, only 6 pictures instead of 9 (probably due to the increased resolution). However, with the increased write speed, it actually ends up being faster overall (with the 10D, after taking 9 pictures, I'd be stuck for something like 15-20 seconds; with the 20D and my new card, it seems to only take about 2-3 seconds to flush a RAW photo).