Canon EOS 20Da DSLR Announced

February 14, 2005 | Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras | 7 Comments | |

Canon EOS 20DaCanon EOS 20Da is quietly introduced by Canon Japan. The 20Da is a new version of the Canon EOS 20D digital SLR camera that has been modified to make it suitable for astro or infra-red photography. The “hot mirror”, which filters out the infrared part of the colour spectrum, has been removed from the 20D a, and it also has a partially transmissive mirror, which allows for live focusing on the LCD monitor on the rear of the camera. The Canon EOS 20Da als has a new noise reduction capability specifically for high ISO use. No news yet on availability and price outside of Japan (stay tuned!).

Website: Canon Japan - Canon EOS 20Da

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#1 Oleg Kikin

Now, that's an interesting camera. Especially, the part that the mirror is partially transparent, that would allow much more precise metering with histogram. Now, the only thing they have to improve is focusing screen.

4:44 pm - Monday, February 14, 2005

#2 phule

What an interesting move by Canon. I never would have thought they would have such a specialty camera for such a high-end model.

Double plus good for consumers

5:31 pm - Monday, February 14, 2005

#3 Bill Matlock

Is this the same basic idea (transparent mirror) they used with the EOS RT many moons ago? I shoot production stills for feature films and before the switch to digital shot the RT because it eliminated the mirror, making it so quite I could shoot it without a sound blimp 90% of the time and I've always wondered why they dropped the idea on later EOS models.

5:40 pm - Monday, February 14, 2005

#4 Bob Atkins

There's some misinformation here due to bad translations and early (unchecked data) propagating on the internet

The 20Da does not have a partially transmitting mirror any more than the 20D does (they both do, but only for AF purposes). The 20Da actually locks it's mirror up for the "live LCD preview" mode. It also has to open the shutter. This is similar to the sensor cleaning mode on the 20D, but with the sensor and LCD activated.

It's NOT a pellicle fixed mirror as has been suggested on some sites. That would cause light loss which is the very LAST thing you want in a camera designed for very low light level (astronomical) photography!

Also the "hot mirror" has not been removed. It's been changed to one that allows deep red transmission at 656nm (hydrogen-alpha line) for astrophotography. It probably still blocks most of the IR light, so the 20Da isn't an IR camera (though it may be slighly better than the 20D itself).

It appears to be a special order item with a 3 month delivery time and only available for order in Japan.

Hope this sets the record a little straighter!

There's more info on my website ( for those really interested!

12:04 am - Wednesday, February 16, 2005

#5 Bill Matlock


Thanks for the clarification, I knew it was to good to be true but one can always hope for the return or at least the availability of the pellile mirror rig to help with the noise that seems to have been built into the 20D. I'm willing to scrafice a little light loss to make it quiter, a major concern in my profession, even when using sound blimps.


Bill matlock

1:49 am - Wednesday, February 16, 2005

#6 Bob Atkins

One problem with a fixed pellicle mirror in a DSLR is that you wouldn't be able to get to the sensor to clean it. I suppose if you could totally seal the system so there was no dust in there in the first place and no possibility of getting any in there, then you might get away with it, but I imagine that might be difficult.

I don't know if the mirror or the shutter is the major source of noise in the 20D, but it certainly isn't a silent camera!

3:51 am - Wednesday, February 16, 2005

#7 Bill Matlock

What I was hoping to see was a pellicle system which would be stationary when shooting but with the capability to raise, lock up and return to base position when cleaning was necessary.

The mirror flapping up and down, even with the dampning system, contributes a lot of noise and eliminating the mirror moving would certainly help and I'll take all the help I can get.

Bill Matlock

4:55 am - Wednesday, February 16, 2005