Canon Rebel II
Canon EOS Rebel II Camera

Except for the name on the front of the camera this model looks the same as the original Rebel.

Canon EOS Rebel II Camera

The EOS lens mount is still plastic to keep the camera light. Although many of us have an aversion to plastic, it is probably as durable as metal and certainly lighter.

EOS Rebel II

The First Rebel Upgrade

The camera market has been feature driven for decades. Competition from the other companies has driven a push for newer and better features and new models have appeared regularly from all manufacturers. The Rebel is still with us today but it is a far cry from the first model. The Rebel II was the beginning of the evolution of the Rebel series to what it is today.

The Canon EOS Rebel II was introduced in April of 1992. But when we talk about the Rebel II we are actually talking about a family of cameras, some with a flash and some without. But all are essentially identical.

Just as with the original Rebel the Rebel II is a camera without a built in flash. The model with the flash was the Rebel S II. And, of course, it was available with a Date Back so there is the Rebel S II QD.

In Europe, in the same order, these were the 1000 N (“N” presumably for New), 1000 FN, and the 1000 FN QD. In the Japanese home market there was the 1000 S which was the Rebel S II, the 1000 S QD and the 1000 S QD-P.

I had difficulty researching this group of cameras. The Canon museum is not much help and information on the Internet is all over the place. However, what follows is what I have found.

Since we are dealing with the first upgrade to the Canon Rebel film camera we should go back and have another look at the original Rebel. That, too, was a group of cameras.

If we were to organize these cameras into a table they would be easier to visualize.

Canon EOS Rebel II Camera

A good way to distinguish this model is to look for the SF setting on the Command Dial. It is not on the original Rebel.

Canon EOS Rebel II Camera

The bottom of this model and the original holds no clues as to which you are looking at.

Canon EOS Rebel II Camera

The backs of this and the previous model are identical. Of course when we get into the command backs the differences become apparent.

Instruction Manual for Canon EOS 850 or 750 Camera
Date US Europe/Int Japan
1990 Rebel EOS 1000
1990 Rebel S EOS 1000 F
1900 Rebel S QD EOS 1000 F QD EOS 1000 QD/QD-P
1992 Rebel II EOS 1000 N EOS 1000 S
1992 Rebel S II EOS 1000 FN EOS 1000 S QD
1992 Rebel II QD EOS 1000 FN QD EOS 1000 S QD-P


To review, “N” means the model is new or improved, or both. “F” or “S” means the camera has a built in flash. “QD” means the camera has a back that will imprint the date on the edge of the image. “P”  refers to a camera that takes a panorama picture. This is a bit of a fraud because it simply shaves off some of the image area from the top and bottom of the frame and, in my opinion, it is never good to lose perfectly good pixels. You can trim to panorama shape in post if you want to but you should retain the option.

The Rebel II looks, outwardly, like the original Rebel. If you open the Manuals side by side at the specifications page you will see little difference. The top shutter speed is up from 1/1000th to 1/2000th. And apparently the focus is faster by about 50%.

Canon EOS Rebel II Camera

Internally, there are no changes of note. The original and this model look the same.

I see references as well to a quieter film advance and rewind. Apparently the flash is stronger in the flash models.

An unusual feature is a soft focus setting which I really have to try. This would normally be for portraits. The camera takes a picture but it then kicks the lens slightly out of focus and snaps a second image on top of the first: a double exposure. This is the “SF” setting on the Command Dial.

The camera usually came with a 35 – 80mm f/4-5.6 kit zoom lens.

For details on using any of these cameras you should use the Manual on the left. It will tell you all you need to know.


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