Mar 8, 2005

Canon 20D Compared to Nikon D70

I had a lot of interest in my recent posting titled-
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT Compared to Nikon D70 DSLR
so I thought I would search the web for a similar comparison article, and here it is.

Compared to



"Both cameras are excellent. A year ago the world had never seen anything like either of them at any price. Either is an excellent choice and you'll love it. If you already own a Nikon or Canon system just get that camera and you'll love it.

If you're starting from scratch, or will be buying a few lenses and flash anyway, which is better depends on your application. Image quality and overall ease of use are about the same. The 20D costs more because it's more solid, bigger, heavier and has a much higher frame rate for sports. The D70 is smaller, lighter, a little easier to adjust quickly in the field and costs less.

I suggest the D70 for portability, use in fast-changing conditions and fill flash and the 20D for sports or places with extremely low light. For most other uses the choice depends on personal preference and I'll spend a lot of time below detailing it all. Don't worry about it. Don't become a victim of analysis paralysis. Just go get one and have a blast making photos.

PICTURE QUALITY: THE SAME

Both have excellent image quality. Which one you prefer is a matter of taste, not technology. They each offer many different adjustments to allow you to get the look you want. Image quality differences are a function of your skill in fine tuning each camera's adjustments and not the quality of each camera.

The parameters that can be measured objectively, like resolution and noise, are so close that only by shooting test charts or using special instruments can one find any difference among digital cameras. You'll never see any difference in actual photos. If you squint you may see insignificant differences at some commercial websites, but that's because they've magnified the images out of all proportion to show you the details which are easy for them to measure quickly and can't show the subtle things photographers care about which takes a lot more time to uncover. Ignore the other websites out there written by non-photographers loaded with all this info. Even a 20% difference from one camera to the next is still invisible. You and I just can't see this in real photos. There are much more important things to worry about like ease of use and whether or not you can adjust the color of the camera to give you the look you want. That's a difference you can see. "


Ken Rockwell is an avid photographer who runs a popular digital photography website.
Some other points Ken touches on are:

  • What do you have today?

  • Resolution: The Same

  • Color: Possible Advantage to Nikon

  • Flash Sync: Strong Advantage: Nikon

  • Sharpness: a Matter of Taste

  • Aliasing (vernacularly called MoirĂ© ): Advantage: Canon

  • White Balance: a Matter of Taste

  • ISO Settings: Strong Advantage: Canon

  • Noise: a Matter of Taste

  • Contrast

  • Spead and ease of use: similar

  • General Operation: Advantage: Nikon

  • Vertical Grip: Advantage Canon

  • Menus: Strong Advantage: Nikon

  • Autofocus: Strong Advantage: Canon

...and the list goes on, and on. This is quite an extensive comparison.
Read the full article here...