|This article relies on references to primary sources or sources affiliated with the subject. (April 2008)|
The Canon EOS (Electro-Optical System) autofocus 35 mm film and digital SLR camera system was introduced in 1987 with the Canon EOS 650 and is still in production as Canon's current DSLR system. The acronym EOS was chosen for Eos, the Titan Goddess of dawn in Greek mythology, and is often pronounced as a word (UK // or US //), although some spell out the letters, reading it as an initialism.
It competes primarily with the Nikon F series and its successors, as well as autofocus SLR systems from Olympus Corporation, Pentax, Sony/Minolta, and Panasonic/Leica. In 2010, Canon held 44.5% market share in DSLRs.
The bayonet-style EF lens mount is at the centre of the EOS camera system. Breaking compatibility with the earlier FD mount, it was designed with no mechanical linkages between moving parts in the lens and in the camera. The aperture and focus are controlled via electrical contacts, with motors in the lens itself. This was similar in some ways to Canon's earlier attempt at AF with the T80 and Nikon's 1983 F3AF (and to many of Nikon's more recent autofocus lenses), and other manufacturers including Contax (with its G series of interchangeable-lens 35 mm rangefinder cameras) and Olympus (with its Four Thirds System) have since embraced this type of direct drive system. It is a large lens mount compared to most of its competition, enabling the use of larger aperture lenses.
The flash system in the EOS cameras has gone through a number of evolutions since its first implementation. The basic EOS flash system was actually developed not for the first EOS camera, but rather for the last high-end FD-mount manual-focus camera, the T90, launched in 1986. This was the first Canon camera with through-the-lens (TTL) flash metering, although other brands had been metering that way for some time. It also introduced the A-TTL (Advanced TTL) system for better flash exposure in program mode, using infrared preflashes to gauge subject distance.
This system was carried over into the early EOS cameras wholesale. A-TTL largely fell out of favor, and was replaced by E-TTL (Evaluative TTL). This used a pre-flash for advanced metering, and used the autofocus system to judge where the main subject was for more accurate exposure. E-TTL II, which was an enhancement in the camera's firmware only, replaced E-TTL from 2004.
Canon Speedlite-brand flashes have evolved alongside the cameras. They are capable of wired and wireless multi-flash setups, the latter using visible or infrared pulses to synchronise. Canon also produces Speedlite accessories, including the OC-E3 Off-Camera Shoe Cord which can be used to hand-hold the flash while allowing the camera to control it through the cord. The Off-Camera Shoe Cord is popular among portrait photographers who need to have more control over lighting than a camera mounted flash can offer.
As of 2007, Canon has released no fewer than 40 EOS SLR camera models, starting with the introduction of the EOS 650 in 1987. In the 1990s, Canon worked with Kodak to produce digital camera bodies, starting with the EOS DCS 3 in 1995. The first digital EOS SLR camera wholly designed and manufactured by Canon is the EOS D30, released in 2000.
Canon also sold a manual-focus camera, the Canon EF-M, which uses the same EF lens mount as the EOS cameras. It comes with all the automatic and manual exposure functions but lacks autofocus. However, it comes equipped with a split-screen/microprism focusing screen for precise manual focusing.
Through the tracking of eyeball movements, EOS cameras equipped with eye-controlled focusing (ECF) are able to choose the appropriate autofocus point based on where the user is looking in the viewfinder frame. ECF comes especially useful in sports photography where the subject may shift its position in the frame rapidly.
Canon has not continued its use of eye-controlled focusing with its digital SLRs, however. The EOS Elan 7NE is the last EOS camera to have this function.
Most prosumer and professional level EOS cameras feature a large quick control dial (QCD) on the camera back. Allowing easy operation of the camera using the thumb, the QCD is used for quick access to often-used functions that may otherwise require a more complicated procedure of button-presses and dial-clicks.
Cameras equipped with the QCD can easily be operated with one hand (forefinger on the main dial, thumb on the QCD) without taking the eye off the viewfinder.
Some useful functions that a QCD is programmed to do include setting exposure compensation, setting of aperture in manual exposure mode and scrolling of images and menus in digital EOS cameras.
Currently, top-line EOS cameras have 61 autofocus (AF) points, the most in their class. Two Canon cameras have this system—the EOS 5D Mark III, on sale since March 2012, and the upcoming EOS-1D X, announced in October 2011 and originally scheduled for sale in April 2012, but now delayed until June 2012. The release of the 5D MkIII gave Canon the lead once again in this category; previously, its top-line cameras had 45 AF points, which led the industry until Nikon released its D3 and D300 DSLRs with 51-point AF systems.
A higher number of AF points increases the chances of a sharply-focused photograph in situations where the subject travels across the frame at high speeds (e.g. sports, birds). The number, type, features and performance of autofocus point array systems is likely to continue to evolve.
Having so many AF points also helps relieve the photographer from having to use the 'lock focus and recompose' method of framing a photograph, since the subject will most probably have been picked up by one or more of the AF points. Even though the camera is intelligent enough to select the correct AF point(s) most of the time, EOS cameras equipped with a multi-point AF system will still allow the photographer to manually select an AF point.
EOS-3, EOS-1v, and the current EOS-1D family feature a 45-point AF system. Almost all Canon DSLRs introduced since late 2005, starting from the EOS 20D and the Rebel XTi (400D), feature a nine-point AF system in a diamond-shape formation. The EOS 5D, released in 2005, takes this 9-point AF system a step further by introducing six more 'invisible' AF points (i.e. not user-selectable) in helping the camera acquire focus faster during subject tracking. There are four exceptions to Canon's recent rule of a 9-point AF system, three having been released and one soon to be released. The EOS 1000D (Rebel XS) has the 7-point AF system of most older Canon DSLRs. The EOS 7D, released in 2009, has a 19-point AF layout, fitting essentially within the same diamond-shaped area of the frame as the nine-point layout. The EOS 5D Mark III, released in March 2012, and the EOS-1D X (which will replace both the EOS-1D and EOS-1Ds at the top of the line), coming in June 2012, have 61-point AF layouts.
For the earlier generation of 45-point AF system, the central column of 1 or 2 sensors (7 in all up to EOS-1Ds Mk II, EOS-1D Mk II N) are cross-type sensors, which are sensitive to both vertical and horizontal lines to offer a high degree of accuracy. Canon's latest professional full-frame SLR, the EOS-1Ds Mk III, has 19 cross-type sensors for higher accuracy, as well as placing the cross-type sensors to complement the Rule of Thirds. The other current Canon professional SLR, the APS-H EOS-1D Mk IV, has 39 cross-type sensors, a major increase from the 19 of the Mk III. Of the 61 AF points of the EOS-1D X and 5D MkIII, 21 central points and 20 outer points are cross-type, and five central points are dual-cross-type (sensitive to diagonal lines in addition to horizontal and vertical).
Similarly, all nine AF points on later generations of the X0D series (beginning with the 40D and continuing through the current 60D) are cross-type sensors for higher accuracy, and the center sensor is dual-cross-type for even greater accuracy and sensitivity. In June 2012, the EOS 650D (Rebel T4i) became the first consumer-level Canon to receive this AF system.
Identical Canon models are sometimes marketed under different names in different parts of the world. For example, the EOS Rebel 2000 known in the Americas is also known as EOS Kiss III in Japan, and EOS 300 in other parts of the world.
|Target Market Segment||Typically Common Features||International||Americas||Japan|
|Entry-level/consumer||Pentamirror viewfinder, lighter and cheaper (plastic) build than other ranges, APS-C sized sensor on digital models. Built-in small pop-up flash unit.||3- or 4-digit model number.
E.g. EOS 350D, EOS 300X, EOS 1000D
|Rebel (used in North America since 1990)
E.g. EOS Digital Rebel XT, EOS Rebel T2.
|Kiss (used in Japan since 1993)
E.g. EOS Kiss Digital N, EOS Kiss 7
|Advanced amateur/midrange||Pentaprism viewfinder, higher frame rate and more rugged (typically magnesium alloy) construction than contemporary "entry-level" models. Partial weather sealing and crop APS-C sized sensor on digital models. Built-in small pop-up flash unit.||2-digit model number
E.g. EOS 33V, EOS 40D.
E.g. EOS Elan 7N (DSLRs share the same naming scheme as International)
E.g. EOS 7s
|Prosumer/high-end||Full frame sensor (APS-C for 7D), somewhat better weather sealing than the amateur enthusiast line, and tougher construction. No built-in flash unit (except 7D).||1-digit model number
E.g. EOS 3, EOS 5, EOS 5D, 5D Mark II
With the introduction of the 7D in 2009 the 1-digit (xD) formerly reserved for full-frame cameras is now also used to designate the continuation of the crop-sensor (APS-C) premium consumer line.
E.g. EOS 7D.
|Same as International, except EOS A2 (EOS 5)||Same as International|
|Professional/flagship||More rugged build and better weathersealing than premium models, larger build with vertical grip, 100% viewfinder field of view, faster performance. APS-H sized sensors on 1D models through the Mark IV and 35mm "Full-frame digital SLR" sensors on 1Ds models; the upcoming Canon EOS-1D X will be full-frame. Double card slots for redundancy/backup.||Model number 1
E.g. EOS-1D Mark II, EOS-1V, EOS-1Ds Mark III
|Same as International||Same as International|
This is a list of the 35 mm Film and APS Canon EOS models in order of introduction:
|Model (US)||Model (Europe)||Model (Japan)||Release date|
|EOS 650||EOS 650||EOS 650||March 1987|
|EOS 620||EOS 620||EOS 620||May 1987|
|EOS 750||EOS 750||EOS 750||October 1988|
|EOS 850||EOS 850||EOS 850||October 1988|
|EOS 630||EOS 600||EOS 630 QD||April 1989|
|EOS RT||EOS RT||EOS RT||October 1989|
|EOS 10S||EOS 10||EOS 10 QD||March 1990|
|EOS 700||EOS 700||EOS 700 QD||March 1990|
|EOS Rebel/Rebel S||EOS 1000F QD||EOS 1000 QD||October 1990|
|EOS 10S commemorative kit||EOS 10||EOS 10 QD||August 1991|
|EOS Elan||EOS 100||EOS 100 QD||August 1991|
|EOS Rebel II/SII||EOS 1000FN QD||EOS 1000S QD||March 1992|
|EOS A2/A2e||EOS 5||EOS 5 QD||November 1992|
|EOS Rebel XS||EOS 500||EOS Kiss||September 1993|
|EOS Rebel X||–||–||November 1993|
|EOS-1N||EOS-1N/1N HS/1N DP||EOS-1N/1N HS/1N DP||November 1994|
|–||EOS 5000||EOS 888||January 1995|
|EOS-1N RS||EOS-1N RS||EOS-1N RS||March 1995|
|EOS Elan II/IIe||EOS 50/50e||EOS 55||September 1995|
|EOS Rebel G||EOS 500N||New EOS Kiss||September 1996|
|EOS IX||EOS IX||EOS IX E||October 1996|
|EOS IX Lite||EOS IX 7||EOS IX 50||March 1998|
|–||EOS 3000||EOS 88||March 1999|
|EOS Rebel 2000||EOS 300||EOS Kiss III||April 1999|
|EOS Elan 7/7e||EOS 33/30||EOS 7||October 2000|
|–||–||EOS Kiss III L||November 2001|
|EOS Rebel XS N||EOS 3000N||Canon EOS 66||February 2002|
|EOS Rebel Ti||EOS 300V||EOS Kiss 5||September 2002|
|EOS Rebel GII||–||–||March 2003|
|EOS Rebel K2||EOS 3000V||EOS Kiss Lite||September 2003|
|EOS Elan 7N/7NE||EOS 33V/30V||EOS 7s||April 2004|
|EOS Rebel T2||EOS 300X||EOS Kiss 7||September 2004|
Prior to the introduction of the EOS D30 digital SLR, Canon in collaboration with Kodak produced four digital SLRs by modifying the internals of the EOS-1N film SLR. These four digital SLRs had a Canon EOS body and thus can accept EF lenses, while the image sensor and associated electronics were designed and built by Kodak. The four cameras were:
|EOS DCS3||July 1995|
|EOS DCS1||December 1995|
|EOS D2000/Kodak DCS520||March 1998|
|EOS D6000/Kodak DCS560||December 1998|
In addition, Kodak produced the Kodak DCS Pro SLR/c in 2004, which was compatible with most EF lenses but was not produced in collaboration with Canon.
The following digital SLRs, starting from the D30, had bodies and sensors completely designed and manufactured by Canon (except for the Canon EOS-1D, which uses a Panasonic sourced CCD sensor).
|Canon EOS Film SLR timeline|
|Canon EOS Digital SLR timeline (comparison)|
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