EOS Film Cameras
The Beginning of the End for Film
With the advent of the EOS film camera the manual focusing FD lens mount was supplanted by the EF mount and later the EF-S mount. To date all EOS cameras have had one or the other mount. But it surprises many people that the first EOS cameras were film cameras. Auto focus predates the digital revolution in photography.
The first EOS was the EOS 650 which was introduced in March of 1987. Canon’s first difital camera, the D30 was not introduced until late 2000, 13 years later. And film continued for a while after that. Until you get to about 10 megapixels film is still the better medium. That did not happen til 2002 with the EOS 1D. The last film EOS was the Rebel T2 which was introduced in July of 2004.
Marketing of these cameras has caused great confusion in model designations. For reasons apparently known only to the marketing gurus the same camera was often called by different names in North America, Japan and the rest of the world. This gives rise to much confusion. In the cart below I try to clarify the names and dates. Three columns give the names in the various regions and one gives the approximate date of introduction.
Various Models of EOS Film Cameras
|EOS 650||EOS 650||EOS 650||Mar 1987|
|EOS 620||EOS 620||EOS 620||May 1987|
|EOS 750||EOS 750||EOS 750||Oct 1988|
|EOS 750 QD||EOS 750 QD||EOS 750 QD||Oct 1988|
|EOS 850||EOS 850||EOS 850||Oct 1988|
|EOS 600||EOS 630||EOS 630 QD||Apr 1989|
|EOS 1||EOS 1||EOS 1||Sep 1989|
|EOS RT||EOS RT||EOS RT||Oct 1989|
|EOS 700||EOS 700||EOS 700 QD||Mar 1990|
|EOS 1000||EOS Rebel||EOS 1000 QD||Oct 1990|
|EOS 1000F||EOS Rebel S||EOS 1000 QD-P||Oct 1990|
|Rebel S QD||Oct 1990|
|EOS 10||EOS 10S||EOS 10 QD||Aug 1991|
|EOS 100||EOS Elan||EOS 100 QD||Aug 1991|
|EOS 1000F QD||EOS Rebel S II||EOS 1000S QD||Mar 1992|
|EOS 1000F N||EOS Rebel II||Mar 1992|
|EOS 5||EOS A2||EOS 5 QD||Nov 1992|
|EOS A2e||Nov 1992|
|EOS 500||EOS Rebel XS||EOS Kiss||Sep 1993|
|Rebel X||Nov 1993|
|EOS 1N||EOS 1N||EOS 1N||Nov 1994|
|EOS 5000||EOS 888||Jan 1995|
|EOS 1N RS||EOS 1N RS||EOS 1N RS||Mar 1995|
|EOS 50||EOS Elan II||EOS 55||Sep 1995|
|EOS 50E||EOS Elan IIE||Sep 1995|
|EOS 500N||EOS Rebel G (Silver)||EOS New Kiss||Sep 1996|
|EOS Rebel G (Black)||Sep 1996|
|EOS IX||EOS IX||EOS IX E||Oct 1996|
|EOS IX 7||EOS IX Lite||EOS IX 50||Mar 1998|
|EOS 3||EOS 3||EOS 3||Nov 1998|
|EOS 3000||EOS 88||Mar 1999|
|EOS 300||EOS Rebel 2000||EOS Kiss III||Apr 1999|
|EOS 1V HS||EOS 1V HS||EOS 1V HS||Jan 2000|
|EOS 1V||EOS 1V||EOS 1V||Jan 2000|
|EOS 33||EOS Elan 7||EOS 7||Oct 2000|
|EOS 30||EOS Elan 7E||Oct 2000|
|EOS Kiss III L||Sep 2001|
|EOS 3000N||EOS Rebel XS N||EOS 66||Feb 2002|
|EOS 300V||EOS Rebel Ti||EOS Kiss 5||Sep 2002|
|EOS 3000V||EOS Rebel K2||EOS Kiss Lite||Jul 2003|
|EOS 30V/33V||EOS Elan 7 NE/Elan 7N||EOS 7S||Mar 2004|
|EOS 300X||EOS Rebel T2||EOS Kiss 7||Jul 2004|
So, looking at that does it make any sense? I would love to read an analysis of the marketing strategy at work here. I am sure a great deal of thought went into it but it escapes me. However, it creates a delicious situation for a collector! Look at all the targets I have to acquire.
I am sure there are inaccuracies in this list and I will try to track them down and correct them as time goes by.
The “Rebel” was a very popular low-end consumer SLR sold in the early 90’s. To that point the EOS series, which began with the EOS 650 in March of 1987, had very advanced features and solid builds. They were advanced cameras for the day. Canon saw an opportunity with a less capable camera that would appeal to amaterurs and they introduced the 850 in October of 1988. But this was little more than a “point-and-shoot” in SLR clothing. It had no appeal to the amateur who wanted an iinexpensive camera with some advanced features.
This is where the Rebel came in. They were intended, on the other hand, for the amateur photographer looking for an entry level camera with sophisticated features or that person using a “point-and-shoot” who wanted something more. It was a good concept because here we are 27 years later and Rebels are still being sold as the entry level SLR in the Canon lineup.
The early film Rebels all featured very light weight curved black plastic body construction. They had fully computerized automatic functions but a reduced feature set. They used pentaprism viewfinders originally but later consumer models tended to go to the dimmer (and less expensive to manufacture) hollow mirror assemblies for the viewfinder.
But here the collector runs into a problem: the naming of the models. There were several models and each had several variations. And then there is the problem of different names in the Japanese, European and North and South American markets. To work through this we need a few conventions. The basic model name may have various suffixes.
|S||S signifies a model with built in flash|
|F||F also signifies built in flash in the European market|
|N||N is used to indicate a newer or improved model|
|QD||Stands for Quartz Date which is a feature that imprints dates on the film|
|P||P stand for Panorama which is a feature for producing panorama shaped images (this is a bit tacky because all it does is block the film top and bottom)|
In October of 1990 Canon released the first Rebel (the EOS 1000 in Europe and Japan). It was also released as the Rebel S (1000F) which had a built in flash. I have seen references to a 1000 F-QD and a 1000 F-QD-P as well. Unfortunately, the internet is not always accurate. I have found many camera references which are incorrect. For some reason the Canon Museum is not helpful here. These early Rebels do not appear in their lists. As a result I am not certain which models actually exist. That is part of the fum of collecting. I will believe when I have a copy in my hands.
In March of 1992 a new model was released, the Rebel II (1000 N ) and the flash models, Rebel S II ( 1000 FN). And of course, there were some models with QD and QD-P indicated on them.
And then came the Rebel X, the XS, the G, 2000 and so on. I am still a little confused about the very early models, and I find that confusion on the Internet as I try to figure this out. But, as I find them I will update this description and it will all become clearer. For now, I have the following in my collection:
Canon EOS 1000
the European Rebel
Canon EOS Rebel XS
also the EOS 500 or EOS Kiss
The Elan series, started with the Elan model in August of 1991 was aimed at the advanced amateur market. In this model, in addition to autofocus, special attention was paid to reducing the noise of the film transport mechanism. When it came out this line was the replacement for the Canon 630. The Elan series, and the Rebels, were Canon’s best sellers in their film lineup.
Canon EOS Elan II
(also called the EOS 50 in Europe and the Elan 55 in Japan)
September 1995 – October 2000
Other EOS Film Cameras in the Collection
I am not in any way connected to or supported by Canon. I chose their camera line and have stayed with it. I cannot recall why. But a Nikon camera is fine technology and takes a wonderful picture. So too with Sony and the others. But I have been happy with Canon and so I have begun my collection here. One day I may add other brands to my range interest. But that is for another day.