Comparing Canon's 20D, 30D, and 40D

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Recently, I bought a Canon 10D on craigslist, nearly new, with a basic Canon 75-300mm lens, 2gb card, and a case all for $180. I was so giddy that I didn't know what to do, getting a professional level DSLR for under 200$ with a lens and case??!? I was buying it as a backup for my 40D, and I often brought it along when I didn't want to take chances with my primary, like at the beach. It performed great there, and I even lent it to a friend to let him learn how to take photos manually, and it worked great for him. Until a couple weeks ago, though, I hadn't taken it to work in the nightclubs. This camera performed SO differently in low light, I wasn't sure it was the same camera. There was hardly any color reception even when I was working at 800iso, at the same time, the lights got really washed out, and the darks were really dark. The reason I brought it with me in the first place was because my 40D broke, and it's in New Jersey being repaired.

So basically, I'm selling that 10D because it's not at all even comparable to my primary camera, and I have to have a camera that performs similarly to my primary. I've been looking around, and haven't been able to find a comparison chart or something of the like comparing Canon's 10D, 20D, 30D, and 40D. What I would like to know is if the 20D performs more like the 10D or the 30D, and how the 20D and 30D compare in low light environments.

You can see the huge difference between the 40D and 10D in the images in low light environments by viewing the gallery. http://www.carolinedixey.com/073008/
The first two rows of images were taken with my 40D, the rest were taken with the 10D. All were taken in the same place.
Thanks for your help!
 

ksmattfish

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The 20D and 30D have the same sensor. It has often been commented that the differences between 20D and 30D are so slight that the 30D should have been called a 20D mk II.

I've never used a 10D. I've been using a 20D for about 4 years, and purchased a 40D early this year. The 40D has some new and improved features, but I find image quality is very similar at all ISOs. I'm shooting raw, and have never compared jpegs. The big difference between the two that I notice is that the 20D has a tiny LCD, and the 40D is a lot quieter.
 

Alex_B

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The 20D and 30D have the same sensor. It has often been commented that the differences between 20D and 30D are so slight that the 30D should have been called a 20D mk II.

Which would make no sense absolutely. Since the mk I, mk II and mk III versions of the 1-series cameras are very different.
 
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The 20D and 30D have the same sensor. It has often been commented that the differences between 20D and 30D are so slight that the 30D should have been called a 20D mk II.

I've never used a 10D. I've been using a 20D for about 4 years, and purchased a 40D early this year. The 40D has some new and improved features, but I find image quality is very similar at all ISOs. I'm shooting raw, and have never compared jpegs. The big difference between the two that I notice is that the 20D has a tiny LCD, and the 40D is a lot quieter.

That's really good to know that they have the same sensor. I can tell that the reason the 10D doesn't perform the same is because it was made in 2003, (and designed before that) and technology just wasn't there yet.
Yeah, the LCD is almost reason enough for me to go with the 30D. I'm using a Rebel XT for work now, and it has the same size screen as the 10D and 20D. Every time someone asks to see the photo, I just took, they have to kind of squint to see it. But the difference is like $200, so I'm not sure it's worth spending the extra cash just to see the photos better. We'll see what happens, but I appreciate your help.
 

Big Mike

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Yes, the 30D was basically a 20D with a few minor improvements. A bigger screen, spot metering, bigger buffer and a few others that I can't think of. If the price is close, go for the 30D...but if those extras are not important to you, the 20D is just as capable and probably a great deal.

As you probably know, the 40D was almost a complete redesign with many new features & functions including a new sensor and new processor...not to mention a better AF system.
 

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