The 12 Finest Canon EOS Cameras Ever


July 26, 2022

To mark the thirty fifth anniversary of the launch of the legendary Canon EOS System, we’ve delved into our reminiscences to place collectively what we consider are the High 12 Finest EOS Cameras Ever, each movie SLRs and DSLRs.

Learn on to search out out what we selected and why, together with what makes these cameras particular…

When did Canon launched its EOS System?

On 2 March 1987 Canon launched its EOS System with the debut of the EOS 650 single-lens reflex (SLR) digicam and the brand new EF lens mount (with a trio of EF lenses).

On the time it was regarded by many as a dangerous transfer because it noticed the abandonment of the FD lens mount, which had been the optical pillar of Canon’s SLR system since 1958, spanning 29 years.

Canon's drawings for the EOS 1 series DSLRs

Canon’s drawings for the EOS 1 collection DSLRs, Picture courtesy: Canon

The brand new EOS period

The EOS period – which stands for Electro-Optical System, in addition to being the identify of the Greek Goddess of the daybreak – had begun, with a brand new EF-mount.

At launch, the EOS system had three core ideas – pace, picture high quality and ease of use. That trio of key components nonetheless holds true right this moment.

Because the March 1987 launch of the EOS System there have been 35mm movie cameras, digital cameras, mirrorless cameras, Cinema EOS cameras, Superior Picture System (APS) cameras, 50MP cameras, 8K video cameras and over 150 million lenses – uncover the perfect Canon EF lenses to purchase in 2022 – offered for the entire EOS programs.

So, with out additional ado, listed here are our decisions of The 12 Finest Canon EOS Cameras Ever…

Finest Canon EOS SLR movie cameras:

1. Canon EOS 650 (1987) 

The EOS 650 was the first ever camera in Canon's EOS range

The Canon EOS 650 was the primary ever digicam in Canon’s EOS vary

Canon’s first-ever EOS digicam took a lot of its design inspiration from the legendary handbook focus Canon T90 SLR (launched in 1986), which was nicknamed ‘The Tank’ by Japanese photojournalists.

Regardless of trying dated right this moment, it nonetheless has most of the attributes of later EOS digicam our bodies… akin to a sculpted handgrip, a multi-purpose digital management dial and a curvaceous physique design.

Held as much as modern-day cameras, the specs of the EOS 650 seem considerably primary but it surely did supply a single autofocus level and a 6-zone metering system.

The controls had been additionally barely unusually organized and it could take one other few years for Canon to totally develop the usual EOS management format that we recognise right this moment.

The 650 has stood the check of time and the physique works completely properly with modern-day EF-mount lenses.

Fascinating truth: an EOS 650 SLR was used to take the first-ever photographic picture uploaded to the World Huge Internet – an image of the band Les Horribles Cernettes. It was personally requested by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (the inventor of the World Huge Internet).

2. Canon EOS 100 (1991)

The 1991-launched EOS 100 established the design template for modern SLRs

The 1991-launched EOS 100 established the design template for contemporary SLRs

Designed for fanatic photographers, right this moment the EOS 100 seems standard and unremarkable, with twin digital dials to deal with publicity settings, a top-plate mode dial and a built-in flash. However, in actual fact, it was the primary EOS digicam to deliver all of those components collectively, thereby establishing the design template for many fashionable SLRs.

It additionally launched an idea of ‘silent’ operation, which was welcome in an age when autofocus motors buzzed away noisily, and shutter and film-winding noises precluded any discreet pictures.

Curiously, it additionally shot at three frames per second and drive may very well be disabled to permit as much as 9 a number of exposures.

The EOS 100 cemented Canon’s popularity as a maker of well-designed SLRs that supplied the options that lovers wished, with out getting sidetracked by gimmicky add-ons.         

Fascinating truth: the EOS 100 used a Barcode Program enter system (scanned by way of the EOS Barcode Reader E). You might select a capturing state of affairs from a EOS Picture Recordsdata barcode image e book (with 23 barcodes) or the EOS Barcode 101 e book (with 101 modes).  You might then retailer as much as 5 applications in Command dial positions.

3. Canon EOS-1N RS (1995)

The EOS-1N RS shot at 10 frames per second

The Canon EOS-1N RS shot at 10 frames per second

By the mid-Nineties Canon had established itself because the main digicam model for capturing motion photos, due to its fast-focusing, ultrasonic motor (USM) telephoto lenses.

Its top quality EOS-1 collection professional our bodies had additionally gained a popularity for toughness, reliability and pace.

By way of pace, the EOS-1N RS was peerless, able to capturing at a blistering 10 frames per second. Canon achieved this pace by means of utilizing a set, semi-silvered ‘pellicle’ mirror that didn’t have to flip up and down for the digicam to make an publicity.

The payoff for this pace, although, was that much less mild was reaching the movie (as some was being directed as much as the viewfinder), so photographers had to make use of quicker lenses, slower shutter speeds or greater ISO pace movies to attempt to make sure they maintained picture high quality of their 35mm movie photos.

Fascinating truth: the ‘RS’ within the EOS-1N RS identify stands for (R)eal-time (S)uper-high-speed steady capturing operation, resulting from its speedy time-lag pace of simply 0.006sec.

4. Canon EOS 50E (1995)

The Canon EOS 50E was the first camera to use Canon's E-TTL flash metering system

The Canon EOS 50E was the primary digicam to make use of Canon’s E-TTL flash metering system

There was a mini revival of retro-styled, 35mm SLRs within the mid-Nineties with designs transferring away from the black polycarbonate skins, that had change into the norm, to physique ‘skins’ that featured silver-coloured tops and base plates.

With the EOS 50E, Canon went a step additional and included top-plate analogue dials for autofocus, drive and metering modes rather than its traditional buttons.

A lot of the physique was plastic, aside from the lens mount and the highest plate, which was protected with an aluminium cowl.

Technologically, the EOS 50E was additionally revolutionary, being the primary mannequin to make use of Canon’s pre-flash-based E-TTL flash metering system, alongside eye-controlled focus (even when capturing vertically) and Canon’s distinctive depth-of-field mode. Collectively, this all added as much as some of the likeable 35mm AF DSLRs of its time.

Fascinating truth: the eye-controlled autofocus system within the EOS 50E used three totally different focus factors marked prominently within the viewfinder, so you may change focus level rapidly together with your eye.

5. Canon EOS-3 (1998)

The Canon EOS-3 included a 45-point, eye-controlled AF system

The Canon EOS-3 included a 45-point, eye-controlled AF system

To be trustworthy, few Nineties SLRs are ever prone to be thought of design classics, but when there’s one mannequin which may set the hearts of Canon customers to race… it’s the outstanding EOS-3.

When it was launched, this beast of a digicam really ‘out-specced’ the skilled EOS-1N SLR, with a near-identical physique design however skinned with light-weight plastic slightly than metallic.

It included an extraordinary 45-point eye-controlled autofocus system (which, sadly, may very well be fooled by spectacle wearers or contact lenses), capturing at as much as seven frames per second and a sophisticated multi-spot metering system.

Its standing amongst Canon customers grew to become so exalted that, for years after its launch, many had been hoping for a ‘digital EOS-3’, earlier than the EOS 5D Mark III lastly, successfully, stuffed that position when it launched in 2012. 

Fascinating truth: the EOS-3 remained on sale for about 9 years, till 2007, and was the final digicam exterior of the EOS-1 collection to boast Canon’s top-of-the-line AF system until the 5D Mark III.

6. Canon EOS-1V (2000)

The Canon EOS-1 V was a film camera that stored shooting data

The Canon EOS-1 V was a movie digicam that saved capturing knowledge

On the time of its launch the EOS-1V 35mm movie SLR was the quickest moving-mirror movie digicam in manufacturing, with as much as 10 frames per second capturing (with a PB-E2 energy drive booster hooked up).

The digicam’s physique design fashioned the premise for subsequent EOS-1 collection DSLRs, such because the EOS-1D and the EOS-1Ds ranges.

The ‘V’ within the identify was used for 2 causes – it signified the fifth era of Canon skilled SLRs and the corporate additionally claimed the ‘V’ stood for ‘imaginative and prescient’.

The spec included a 45-point space AF with predictive AI servo AF at 9fps, 20 customized capabilities and 31 ‘private capabilities’.

As its identify suggests, these private capabilities allowed photographers to arrange the digicam to their favorite settings, however this needed to be executed however utilising the ES-E1 software program and hooking the digicam as much as a pc.

Fascinating truth: the EOS-1V saved capturing knowledge for 100 rolls of 36 publicity movie (normal settings) in its reminiscence – this might then be learn and edited on a pc utilizing EOS Hyperlink ES-E1 software program.

Finest Canon EOS DSLR cameras:

1. Canon EOS D30 (2000)

The Canon EOS D30 was the first-ever 'all Canon' digital SLR model

The Canon EOS D30 was the first-ever ‘all Canon’ digital SLR mannequin

With its first ‘home-grown’ DSLR the Canon EOS D30 (following an alliance with Kodak that mixed Kodak digital backs with Canon SLR digicam our bodies), Canon gave us a glimpse of the longer term.

What was the primary Canon DSLR? The Canon EOS D30, launched in 2000, was the primary Digital SLR made solely by Canon.

No greater than a traditional 35mm SLR, it was the primary industrial digicam to be outfitted with a big APS-C CMOS sensor, with a 3-million-pixel-resolution and sensitivity settings all the way in which as much as ISO 1600.

At round £1,850 physique solely, it was reasonably priced to many professional photographers and didn’t look solely unreachable to amateurs both – the very definition of a ‘prosumer’ digicam.

Its three-point autofocus was slightly primary and its rear display was tiny (it was 1.8 inches, 46mm) and had low decision.

However, regardless of its flaws, the Canon EOS D30 was actually one of many key milestones within the transition from movie cameras to digital cameras.

Fascinating truth: the D30 was initially provided with a 16MB CompactFlash card that would solely maintain 10 giant/advantageous JPEGs, though a lot bigger capability CF and CF Sort II playing cards may very well be used with the digicam.

2. Canon EOS 300D (2003)

The Canon EOS 300D was notable as the first ever sub-£1,000 DSLR

The Canon EOS 300D was notable as the primary ever sub-£1,000 DSLR

Arguably the turning level within the digital revolution, the EOS 300D was the primary ever sub-£1,000 DSLR.

By putting a six-million-pixel sensor in a stripped-down plastic physique, Canon put an interchangeable lens digital digicam into the arms of customers for the primary time.

It additionally debuted a modified lens mount, that took a brand new vary of EF-S optics designed particularly for the APS-C sensor.

The 300D was launched with an EF-S 18-55mm zoom as its package lens – this optic was out there in a USM model in Japan however was a non-USM lens in every single place else on the planet.

Nevertheless, with extreme restrictions on the number of settings, akin to autofocus and metering mode, Canon got here in for some criticism for ‘crippling’ the 300D. The corporate subsequently reinstated these options in its successor, the 8-million-pixel Canon EOS 350D (which arrived in 2005).

The Canon EOS 300D line-up continued with the 350D, 400D, 450D, and so-on, with new fashions launched yearly, till the newest mannequin, the 24MP Canon EOS 850D in 2020/2021. 

Fascinating truth: the 300D polycarbonate our bodies had been initially solely out there in North America in silver, with the Japanese model additionally in black. Black variations got here later to the US and Europe.

3. Canon EOS 5D (2005)

The Canon EOS 5D was an affordable, 13MP, full-frame DSLR

The Canon EOS 5D was an reasonably priced, 13MP, full-frame DSLR

The EOS 5D was one other iconic mannequin within the growth of digital, because it was the primary reasonably priced full-frame DSLR.

With a 12.8MP (13-million-pixel) sensor, it value round £1,800 – lower than the D30 that was launched 5 years earlier.

With few crop-sensor lenses but to seem available on the market this was an enormous deal, as professionals and severe amateurs may use their current EF lenses as they had been designed. In addition they benefitted from the digicam’s glorious decision and excessive ISO efficiency (with an ‘H’ setting of ISO 3200).

The 5D additionally integrated Canon’s proprietary DIGIC II imaging engine, offering detailed and pure colors in addition to high-speed picture processing.

Autofocus was one thing of a weak spot – solely the central of its 9 factors labored reliably with quick lenses – however this was a sacrifice that many customers had been prepared to make.

You’ll be able to choose up a Canon EOS 5D, second-hand, in good situation for round £200, making it a particularly low cost option to get the full-frame look!

Fascinating truth: the 5D was the primary Canon ‘prosumer’ DSLR the place 9,999 pictures had been saved to at least one folder (beforehand unique to EOS-1D cameras), not like its predecessors that saved 100 pictures.

Learn our ‘second-hand traditional’ take a look at the Canon EOS 5D

4. Canon EOS 5D Mark II (2008)

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II brought Full HD 1080p video shooting to DSLRs

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II introduced Full HD 1080p video capturing to DSLRs

When the time got here to replace the EOS 5D, the market was rather more aggressive, with reasonably priced full-frame fashions from Nikon and Sony additionally out there.

However Canon had an ace up its sleeve, as a result of the 21MP EOS 5 D Mark II was the primary DSLR that was able to recording Full HD (1080p) video.

In hindsight, it’s clear that only a few producers had any concept of simply how essential this characteristic – basically a spin-off of Stay View know-how – would transform.

It was apparent that filmmakers instantly grew to become entranced by the digicam’s low-light and shallow depth-of-field qualities, and no mass-market DSLR digicam has been in a position to neglect video since.

Additionally of notice, was the use of the DIGIC IV processor (first seen within the 50D), which enabled picture processing options, akin to lens peripheral illumination correction.

You could find the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, second-hand, in good situation, from round £360, making it nice worth for cash!

Fascinating truth: the US medical drama Home (starring Hugh Laurie) was the primary TV programme solely shot by EOS 5D Mark II DSLRs. The episode, Assist Me, was first broadcast in Might 2010.

Learn our Canon EOS 5D Mark II evaluation

5. Canon EOS 5DS & 5DS R (2015)

The 50.6-megapixel Canon EOS 5DS R (left) and EOS 5DS (right) cameras

The 50.6-megapixel Canon EOS 5DS R (left) and EOS 5DS (proper) cameras

Canon’s EOS DSLR vary had comfortably been protecting the wants of just about all beginner {and professional} photographers, however there was one space it hadn’t… ultra-high decision, medium format-style picture high quality for capturing industrial, promoting, advantageous artwork, landscapes and trend.

In impact, Canon was placing medium format picture high quality in a DSLR physique.

The February 2015 launch of the 50.6MP cameras meant Canon was widening the enchantment of the EOS DSLR vary. The ‘R’ mannequin successfully did with out an optical low-pass filter with a view to maximise the sharpness of the digicam’s sensor.

Key specs included the full-frame 50.6MP CMOS sensor, twin DIGIC 6 processors and a 61-point AF system in what was very clearly a stills digicam, slightly than a DSLR to shoot video.

Although it’s price noting the cameras supplied steady AF for film capturing.

You could find a Canon EOS 5DS R, second-hand, from round £1250 physique solely, relying on situation.

Fascinating truth: the 5DS contains a built-in intervalometer operate that can be utilized to shoot stills, which, in a primary for Canon, may very well be mixed in-camera to create a 1080/24p timelapse film.

Learn our Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R subject check

6. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (2016)

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR (full-frame)

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR (with a 30MP full-frame sensor)

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, launched in 2016 was the fourth model of the Canon EOS 5D, and launched a brand new 30.4 megapixel full-frame sensor, with Twin Pixel CMOS-AF know-how. The digicam affords 7fps steady capturing, which could be very respectable for a full-frame DSLR, with 61 AF factors.

Designed to supply each excessive image-quality for stills and video, Canon’s DCI 4K video output from the 5D Mark IV upset many with a whopping 1.74x crop! When you can dwell with this, you rise up to 30fps, and FullHD video at as much as 60fps.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV continues to supply glorious build-quality, with a troublesome physique, weather-sealing, and twin reminiscence card slots.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is well probably the greatest DSLRs from Canon, with spectacular picture high quality.

There’s a big and vibrant 100% optical viewfinder, in addition to a big 3.2inch 1.62m-dot touchscreen. You’ll additionally discover there’s built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS.

You could find the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV out there, second-hand, in good situation for round £1400 physique solely.

Fascinating truth: Twin Pixel CMOS-AF features a “Twin Pixel uncooked” capturing possibility that allows you to alter the AF level after capturing.

Learn our Canon EOS 5D Mark IV evaluation

The Canon EOS R mirrorless system was launched in 2018, with the full-frame 30MP Canon EOS R, introducing a brand new RF lens mount, that means the EF-mount has lasted a formidable 31+ years.

For mirrorless choices, take a look at the perfect Canon EOS mirrorless cameras. 

Associated articles:

Canon EOS system celebrates its thirty fifth anniversary

Finest Canon EF lenses to purchase in 2022

Canon has rolled out 150 million RF and EF lenses

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