This is the EOS 650, the first EOS camera introduced in 1987. The 650 was aimed at the “Enthusiast” market and contained many features we accept today as standard. In use, this camera will feel very familiar to any Canon digital DSLR user.
EOS FILM CAMERAS
The Beginning of the End of Film
It is often forgotten in the age of EOS digital and mirrorless cameras that when the EOS lens mount was introduced in March of
1987 it was on a film camera, the EOS
650, and that it was not until July of 2004,
21 years and over 25 models later, that
the last of the EOS SLR film cameras was introduced. And the joy of it is that all
of these cameras will mount all of the fine EF lenses we have today and we can shoot film with them!
Autofocus, TTL metering, exposure bracketing, and many other advanced features predate the digital revolution.
Shooting film with the last of the FD mount cameras, the Canon T90, is very much like shooting with a digital camera. Exposure is automatic and film advance is automatic and almost silent and instantaneous. The difference is that you have to focus the lens and you cannot see the image you just took on an LCD on the back. It is an amazing camera to shoot with.
The T90 was the last (save for one) of the FD SLR’s. In styling and performance it is very similar to the EOS cameras to follow.
The smooth round styling of the T90 clearly anticipates the EOS cameras to come. Without the pop-up flash over the pentaprism this camera looks very much like the EOS 650 and other EOS models without the flash.
The first EOS was the EOS 650 which was introduced in March of 1987, a year after the T90. Canon’s first digital EOS 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 until 2002 with the EOS 1D. The last film EOS was the Rebel T2 which was introduced in July of 2004 (Yes, the Rebel cameras started out as film cameras!.)
Canon’s marketing of their EOS cameras has made model designations very chaotic. 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 chart below I try to clarify the names and dates of introduction of the cameras. Three columns give the names in the various regions and one gives the approximate date of introduction. Cameras I have in the Collection are indicated with a blue background and those I am still seeking have a white background.
|EOS 650||EOS 650||EOS 650||Mar 1987|
|EOS 620||EOS 620||EOS 620||May 1987|
|EOS 650 QD||EOS 650 QD||EOS 650 QD||Sep 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 1000F N QD||–||–||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)||New EOS Kiss (Silver)||Sep 1996|
|–||EOS Rebel G (Black)||–||Sep 1996|
|–||EOS Rebel G QD||–||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 3000 QD||–||EOS 88 QD||Mar 1999|
|EOS 300||EOS Rebel 2000||EOS Kiss III||Apr 1999|
|EOS 300 Date||–|
|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 Rebel G II||–||Mar 2003|
|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|
The problem with this chart is that all of the EOS film cameras are lumped into one basket. This is confusing because the cameras were targeted to specific markets which is not obvious here. And the dates of introduction are somewhat hard to visualize.
Another way to look at this chart is to divide the cameras by target market and then show the dates of introduction graphically. This gives a chart that is much more easily grasped. As you work your way through the EOS film cameras you will refer to this chart often to see where particular cameras fit in. Click on the chart to enlarge it to see it clearly.
Some Naming Conventions
When I began to figure out the naming conventions of the new EOS film cameras I found it very confusing. The cameras before EOS had simple names that everyone knew them by. But with EOS it was irritatingly complex. First of all, for marketing reasons that escape me, the cameras were given different names in Japan, North America and Europe/Asia. And then there are the suffixes. What do all those letters mean?
The different names are set out in the chart above. As for the letters, here’s what I have found:
|S||S signifies a model with a built in flash|
|F||F is for a camera with a 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)|
So the “Rebel S” is a Rebel with a built in flash. An EOS “1000F QD” is a European named Rebel camera with built in flash and a back that can imprint dates on the film. So, as you can see, it does make a certain amount of sense. Although not too much.
The “QD” cameras a have a sepecial back for imprinting date right on the negative. Some of these backs were affixed and not user removeable which meant that “QD” is in the name of the camera. But some were add ons that you could purchase. So this feature may be found on some cameras that do not have “QD” in their name. These backs are discussed in the Accessories section under Date/Data Backs.
Cameras in the Collection
There are a lot of cameras to be dealt with and to bring order to them I am dividing them into “Entry Level”, “Enthusiast”, and “Professional” and listing them by date, following the layout in the Canon EOS Film Cameras chart above. Clicking on an image will take you to a page about the camera, if I have done one, otherwise it will just give you an expanded view of the image of the camera.
Entry Level EOS Film Cameras in the Collection
“Entry Level” does not mean cheap. Yes, they are less expensive cameras targeting people who what to get into a more serious camera without spending too much money. Cost is kept down by reducing features, using injectin moulded plastic, skipping the weather sealing found on more professional cameras. But for the intended audience they are excellent cameras. And as the category has matured they have become amazing cameras.