Canon EOS 5D vs Canon EOS 20D

This is a full comparison between the cameras Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 20D. We compare them by looking at the categories you see below.


These cameras are both manufactured by Canon.

Canon EOS 5D were released 2005 and Canon EOS 20D was released 2004. That is a 1 years difference. In tech, this period can be of interest since technology is always improving, etc.

Camera Released
Canon EOS 5D 2005
Canon EOS 20D 2004

Type of camera

Both these cameras are DSLR cameras. No difference there.

Sensors / crop factor

These cameras have different sensors. Canon EOS 5D has a "Canon Full Frame"-sensor while Canon EOS 20D has a "Canon APS-C"-sensor, and their difference in sensors will also affect the crop factor and experience focal length. See the table below.

Camera Focal length, 50mm f/1.8 **
Canon EOS 5D 50 mm
Full-frame sensor
No crop factor/focal length multiplier
Canon EOS 20D 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)


Canon EOS 5D has a 12,7 MP (Megapixels) resolution while Canon EOS 20D has 8,2 MP. If we break down this in more detail this is the data behind the numbers:

Camera Megapixels
Canon EOS 5D 12,7 MP
12719616 pixels
4368 x 2912
Canon EOS 20D 8,2 MP
8185344 pixels
3504 x 2336

Canon EOS 5D has a 55 % 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 5D has a larger ISO-range than Canon EOS 20D. Canon EOS 5D has an ISO range that stretches from 50 to 3200 while Canon EOS 20D has 100 to 3200.

Camera ISO Range
Canon EOS 5D 50-3200
Canon EOS 20D 100-3200

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 5D
Lens compatibility chart for Canon EOS 20D

Pictures per second

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

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

Ability to record movies

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

Though, neither Canon EOS 5D or Canon EOS 20D can shoot movies so if that is a functionality that you are really looking for you should look elsewhere.


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 5D weighs 895 gr (equal to 1.97 lb) which is 16% heavier than Canon EOS 20D and its 770 gr (or 1.7 lb).

Camera Weight
Canon EOS 5D 895 gr
1.97 lb
Canon EOS 20D 770 gr
1.7 lb

Canon EOS 5D vs Canon EOS 20D Specs

Below you will find the complete and detailed technical specs for both Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS 20D, 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.

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 20D
Name Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 20D
Manufacturer Canon Canon
Release Date and Price
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 20D
Release Year 2005 2004
Release Date 2005-08-22 2004-08-19
MSRP 3299 USD 1499 USD
Buy it today
Camera Type
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 20D
Camera Type DSLR DSLR
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 20D
Sensor Size Full Frame (approx 36 x 24 mm) APS-C (approx 22.3 x 14.9 mm)
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Resolution 4368 x 2912 pixels 3504 x 2336 pixels
Megapixels 12,7 MP 8,2 MP
Image Processor DIGIC 2 DIGIC 2
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 20D
ISO Range 50 - 3200 100 - 3200
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 5D
Canon EOS 20D
Autofocus Motor Yes Yes
Autofocus Phase Detect
Multi Area
Selective Single Point
Phase Detect
Multi Area
Selective Single Point
Focus Points 9 9
Lens Mount Canon EF

See Compatible Lenses
Canon EF
Canon EF-S

See Compatible Lenses
Focal Length Multiplier Full frame
No multiplier
24 mm remains 24 mm
50 mm remains 50 mm
100 mm remains 100 mm
200 mm remains 200 mm
APS-C Sensor
1.6x multiplier
24 mm becomes 38 mm
50 mm becomes 80 mm
100 mm becomes 160 mm
200 mm becomes 320 mm
Screen & Viewfinder
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 20D
Articulated LCD Fixed Fixed
Screen size 2,5 1,8
Screen dots 230000 118000
Touch screen No No
Screen type TFT liquid-crystal color LCD N/A
Live view No No
Viewfinder Type Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder Coverage 96% 95%
Viewfinder Magnification 0.71 0.9 (0.56 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder Resolution N/A N/A
Photography features
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 20D
Frames per second 3 fps 5 fps
Minimum Shutter Speed 30 seconds 30 seconds
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000 seconds 1/8000 seconds
Built-in Flash No Yes
Built-in Flash Range N/A 12 meters
External Flash Yes Yes
Self-Timer Yes Yes
Time-lapse Yes Yes
Metering modes Multi
Center Weighted
Center Weighted
Exposure Compensation +/- 2 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps) +/- 2 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
Videography features
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 20D
Video recording No No
Video format N/A N/A
Video resolution N/A N/A
Built-in Microphone No No
Built-in Speakers No No
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 20D
Memory Card Compact Flash
Compact Flash
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 20D
HDMI Output No No
Microphone Port No No
Headphone Port No No
Wireless No No
Remote Control Yes (N3 connector) Yes (N3 connector)
Body & Dimensions
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 20D
Enviromentally sealed Yes No
Battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Details Lithium-Ion BP-511A rechargeable battery & charger
BP-511A Lithium-Ion battery pack
Battery Life (CIPA) 400 shots 700 shots
Width 152 mm 144 mm
Height 113 mm 106 mm
Depth 75 mm 72 mm
Weight 895 gram 770 gram