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The Canon EOS 20D is an 8.2-megapixel prosumer digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) released in 2004.

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20D still worth it?

My wife wants to get into photography, ive already got a bunch of lenses etc... for my EOS, so ive been looking aroiund for a cheap used body for her too.

Does £40 for a 20D in pretty mint condition with battery+charger seem ok? Its 8.2MP and takes CF cards, no live view or filming mode, but it takes EF-S lenses and seems modern enough otherwise (usb interface etc).

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For reference, I am going to refer to this camera in USD ($52.85). Any USD->Sterling Pound translations are done online, so bear in mind my numbers may be off.

Since this camera is so old and has been superseded multiple times, they are generally worth very little as you have found out. It doesn’t make them “bad” cameras, but if something happens to the camera it’s generally cheaper to buy another one. If it breaks, do not be surprised if you find out that’s what you are told.

The most common issue on Canon DSLRs is the shutter failing (noted by constant clicking with Error 99, if the CF card/adapter and lens contact cleaning/replacement fails) - many of the older entry level cameras are rated for 25k actuations while the newer ones are generally good for 50k before the shutter is *officially* EOL per Canon and you are considering one of the 25k ones. If you take care of the camera, it usually lasts much longer (Canon is conservative), but if it’s been abused it may not even make it to official rated lifetime that Canon says it will. If it is possible to get the shutter count (Impossible on cameras like the T3, but may be possible on the 20D), find out how many logged actuations it has. If the seller refuses to disclose it (or find out how to give you an idea) they’re probably hiding a high shutter actuation count - do not buy it if it’s high or the seller is hiding the number. The number you want to see is 8-10k or less. The reason is a bad shutter requires a total teardown to replace and WILL cost more then the residual (used) value of the camera; it’s usually $100 (£76.40)-150 (£114.60) plus part cost (usually used since the part is almost certainly obsolete as far as Canon sees it), give or take depending on the shop and area you live in just to give you a rough idea of how quickly a major service like that totals out an old camera like this (and when it fails). Again, even they’ll tell you flat out it’s not worth it.

To be honest you’ll probably never see it fail, but you want something that’s not near the official lifetime that is known just in case it sticks around for a longer then anticipated time period.

Other then the shutter problems and bent/broken CF card pins, there is not much that goes wrong with the 20D and many other Canon DSLRs. It is still an excellent camera today as well since you need to focus more on lenses then megapixels as all of these high megapixel sensors are noisy and you usually need on camera filtering to combat the issue. These old low megapixel cameras aren't prone to such issues. Get a good CF->SDXC adapter as well - these are cheap and SD cards are much more common than CF cards are today. However, these are (sometimes) error prone, so you may want to carry a real CF card for memories that may be hard to revisit and replace any lost photos.

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