Canon EOS 20D vs Canon EOS 550D

This is a full comparison between the cameras Canon EOS 20D and Canon EOS 550D. We compare them by looking at the categories you see below.

Manufacturing

These cameras are both manufactured by Canon.

Canon EOS 20D were released 2004 and Canon EOS 550D was released 2010. That is a 6 years difference. In tech, this period can be of interest since technology is always improving, etc.

Camera Released
Canon EOS 20D 2004
Canon EOS 550D 2010

Type of camera

Both these cameras are DSLR cameras. No difference there.

Sensors / crop factor

Both these cameras have the same sorts of sensor (called "Canon APS-C") which means that if you compare these cameras side by side the lenses will also have the same experienced focal length. Neither of the cameras has a Full frame sensor which means that you will get a "crop factor" where the camera's sensor size affect the focal length with a multiplier.

Camera Focal length, 50mm f/1.8 **
Canon EOS 20D 80 mm
Canon APS-C sensor
Crop factor/focal length multiplier by * 1.6
Canon EOS 550D 80 mm
Canon APS-C sensor
Crop factor/focal length multiplier by * 1.6

** Experienced focal length when using a lens such as a common "50mm f/1.8"

Learn more about crop factor and focal length multiplier here:
Camera selection can affect the focal length (Canon)

Resolution

Canon EOS 20D has a 8,2 MP (Megapixels) resolution while Canon EOS 550D has 18,7 MP. If we break down this in more detail this is the data behind the numbers:

Camera Megapixels
Canon EOS 20D 8,2 MP
8185344 pixels
3504 x 2336
Canon EOS 550D 18,7 MP
17915904 pixels
5184 x 3456

Canon EOS 550D has a 119 % larger resolution than Canon EOS 20D. This could give you more details in the picture but also a possibility to crop more in the pictures, afterward while editing the pictures, if needed that is.

ISO range

Canon EOS 550D has a larger ISO-range than Canon EOS 20D. Canon EOS 550D has an ISO range that stretches from 100 to 12800 while Canon EOS 20D has 100 to 3200.

Camera ISO Range
Canon EOS 20D 100-3200
Canon EOS 550D 100-12800

Autofocus and lens compatibility

Both of these cameras have a built-in autofocus motor. Some lenses, that support autofocus, do not have an autofocus motor of their own but this won't cause any problems with these two cameras.

Here is a complete overview of which lenses work with each camera:
Lens compatibility chart for Canon EOS 20D
Lens compatibility chart for Canon EOS 550D

Pictures per second

Depending on what you are shooting the FPS, or frames/pictures per second, can definitely be of interest. Canon EOS 20D can shoot up to 5 pictures per seconds and Canon EOS 550D can shoot up to 3,7 pictures per seconds.

Camera FPS (Frames per second)
Canon EOS 20D 5
Canon EOS 550D 3,7

Ability to record movies

It is becoming more and more popular to record movies with digital cameras.

It is only one of these two cameras that support recording movies and movie clips and that is Canon EOS 550D. Sadly, the Canon EOS 20D does not support this.

Weight

The weight of the camera can be an extremely important factor, especially if the camera is about to be used, or carried around, for several hours at a time.

Canon EOS 20D weighs 770 gr (equal to 1.7 lb) which is 51% heavier than Canon EOS 550D and its 510 gr (or 1.12 lb).

Camera Weight
Canon EOS 20D 770 gr
1.7 lb
Canon EOS 550D 510 gr
1.12 lb

Canon EOS 20D vs Canon EOS 550D Specs

Below you will find the complete and detailed technical specs for both Canon EOS 20D and Canon EOS 550D, next to each other. Each category of data is a link to an article covering the subject, giving you a deeper understanding so you can better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the two camera models.

Product
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 550D
Name Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS 550D
Manufacturer Canon Canon
Release Date and Price
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 550D
Release Year 2004 2010
Release Date 2004-08-19 2010-02-08
MSRP 1499 USD 899 USD
Buy it today
Camera Type
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 550D
Camera Type DSLR DSLR
Sensor
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 550D
Sensor Size APS-C (approx 22.3 x 14.9 mm) APS-C (approx 22.3 x 14.9 mm)
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Resolution 3504 x 2336 pixels 5184 x 3456 pixels
Megapixels 8,2 MP 18,7 MP
Image Processor DIGIC 2 DIGIC 4
Image
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 550D
ISO Range 100 - 3200 100 - 12800
White Balance Presets 6 6
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Image Stabilization CIPA Rating 0 stops 0 stops
Uncompressed format RAW RAW
Optics & Focus
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 550D
Autofocus Motor Yes Yes
Autofocus Phase Detect
Multi Area
Selective Single Point
Single
Continuous
Contract Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi Area
Selective Single Point
Single
Continuous
Face Detection
LiveView
Focus Points 9 9
Lens Mount Canon EF
Canon EF-S

See Compatible Lenses
Canon EF
Canon EF-S

See Compatible Lenses
Focal Length Multiplier APS-C Sensor
1.6x multiplier
Example:
24 mm becomes 38 mm
50 mm becomes 80 mm
100 mm becomes 160 mm
200 mm becomes 320 mm
APS-C Sensor
1.6x multiplier
Example:
24 mm becomes 38 mm
50 mm becomes 80 mm
100 mm becomes 160 mm
200 mm becomes 320 mm
Screen & Viewfinder
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 550D
Articulated LCD Fixed Fixed
Screen size 1,8 3
Screen dots 118000 1040000
Touch screen No No
Screen type N/A TFT color liquid-crystal LCD
Live view No Yes
Viewfinder Type Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder Coverage 95% 95%
Viewfinder Magnification 0.9 (0.56 35mm equiv.) 0.87 (0.54 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder Resolution N/A N/A
Photography features
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 550D
Frames per second 5 fps 3,7 fps
Minimum Shutter Speed 30 seconds 30 seconds
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000 seconds 1/4000 seconds
Built-in Flash Yes Yes
Built-in Flash Range 12 meters 13 meters
External Flash Yes Yes
Self-Timer Yes Yes
Time-lapse Yes Yes
Metering modes Multi
Center Weighted
Partial
Multi
Center Weighted
Spot
Partial
Exposure Compensation +/- 2 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps) +/- 5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
Videography features
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 550D
Video recording No Yes
Video format N/A H.264
Video resolution N/A 1280 x 720
1920 x 1080
Built-in Microphone No Yes
Built-in Speakers No No
Storage
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 550D
Memory Card Compact Flash
SD/SDHC
Connectivity
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 550D
HDMI Output No Yes
Microphone Port No No
Headphone Port No No
Wireless No Yes
Eye-Fi Connected
Remote Control Yes (N3 connector) Yes (E3 connector, InfraRed)
GPS No No
Body & Dimensions
Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 550D
Enviromentally sealed No No
Battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Details BP-511A Lithium-Ion battery pack
Lithium-Ion LP-E8 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 700 shots N/A
Width 144 mm 129 mm
Height 106 mm 98 mm
Depth 72 mm 62 mm
Weight 770 gram 510 gram