Canon Elph 300 HS vs Canon 20D


TPF Noob!
Mar 12, 2012
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Firstly forgive me for my lack of knowledge in photography but your responses will help me a lot, so thank you for that. I recently purchased a Canon Elph 300 and the quality is remarkable but I can't imagine anybody taking me seriously taking portrait shots with the Elph 300. so my question is pretty straight forward:

How much better is a camera like the Canon 20D w 24-70L compared to the 300 HS? Can the image quality really be that much better?

I know the 20D is a older camera but I'm on a budget and heard its a great setup for starters. I went out with a friend that had a SLR camera and I was constantly shooting better pics with the 300.

What I want to do:

-Close up shots with blurred background

Again, after your done laughing at my post :sexywink:, I'd appreciate your insight to my question. Thx in advance.
I still have my 20D. The sensor size on it is approxmately 22.2mm x 14.8mm, or 329 square millimeters; the anon Elph 300 probably has what is called a 1/1.7" sensor, or 7.6mm x 5.7mm for a 43mm square area; or,perhaps it has the very common 1/1.8" sensor which is 7.18mm x 5.32mm, or 38 square millimeters--smaller than the size of a pencil eraser's top...

With decent exposure, the 20D can do fine portraiture...I did not use mine for portraiture too's a simple, one-light, 50mm photo done with the 20D.

_MG_2451_As-Shot_1000x.jpg photo - Derrel photos at
Nice shot :) So basically the Elph 300 cannot produce these types of pictures?

20D and 24-70?

Blow it out of the water with a 1V (full frame), 50mm f/1.4, and some Portra 400 or 400H. Way within the budget of a 20D and 24-70 and will shoot portraits 100x better than what an elph can do.
As Derrel mentioned, the big difference between a DSLR and 99% of other digital cameras, is the size of the image sensor. The larger the better, and most digital cameras (point & shoot etc.) have very tiny sensors.

The 20D is indeed an old camera (by today's standards) but it was probably the best camera, in it's class, for 3-4 years. (it's predecessor the 30D, was basically the same camera with a face lift).
So as long as you don't have to push the ISO past 800, it's a perfectly acceptable camera. Although, brand new entry level DSLR cameras can be had for around $500 these days, and technology has improved a fair bit since the 20D came out.

Another big difference between a DSLR and a P&S, is the lens. Some P&S cameras have a decent lens, but they are almost always built-in and they are almost always a compromise of convenience over quality. With an SLR, you can change the lens to something with a higher quality or that is suited to your specific needs.
You mentioned the 24-70mm L lens....a very good lens, but also very expensive.
but I'm on a budget
Good luck finding that lens for less than $900 (used). Well, it might be a bit cheaper since there is a new version out...but still not a 'budget' lens by any means.
Check out the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 or Tamron 28-75mm F2.8. Good quality lenses, at much lower prices than the Canon equivalent.
The 17-50mm F2.8 was my primary lens on my 20Ds for years.

-Close up shots with blurred background
For portraits, you'll usually want a longer lens. The 85mm F1.8 would be ideal for a decent price. The 50mm F1.8 is a 'budget' lens and would would be usable...although, not the best long-term investment.
For really close up stuff; most P&S cameras can get closer than a DSLR with standard lens. So if you're talking macro, your current camera might be easier...but you could always get a Macro lens for a DSLR (or extension tubes or close up filters). But part of the problem with the tiny sensors in P&S cameras (and the short focal length of the lenses), is that it gives you a very deep DOF, which makes it hard to blur the background.
So if you want portraits with a blurred background, it will be much, much easier with a DSLR and a lens with a large aperture.

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