Canon EOS

Canon EOS

, and is often pronounced as a word, although some spell out the letters. There is no officially correct way, as both ways mean something logical.

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 most countries, EOS cameras have the largest market share of SLR cameras.

At the heart of the system is the EF lens mount, which replaced the previous FD lens mount. While introducing a new, non-backwards-compatible lens mount was considered a risky move at the time, the superior autofocus speed of EOS cameras in the late 1980s and 1990s also led most professional photographers, who had previously preferred Nikon SLRs, to move to the Canon system [ [ Nikon vs. Canon ] ] .

The EF lens mount

The bayonet-style EF lens mount is at the center 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 many ways to Nikon's 1983 F3AF (and to many of Nikon's more recent autofocus lenses), although 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.

EOS flash system

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.

EOS cameras

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 has also released two EOS cameras designed to use the APS film format, the EOS IX and the EOS IX Lite.

There is also a manual-focus EOS camera, the EOS EF-M. 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.

Eye-controlled 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.

ECF is a function that is usually either loved or hated. Some users feel that it is not reliable enough for common use. Others report that they are able to use it reliably. Much of this depends on the user. Eyeglasses can also reduce its accuracy for some.

EOS cameras equipped with ECF are the EOS A2E (U.S. model names are shown; see the table below for equivalents in other countries), EOS Elan IIE, EOS-3, EOS Elan 7E, and EOS Elan 7NE.

Quick control dial

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.

Multi-point autofocus system

The top-line EOS cameras have up to 45 autofocus (AF) points, the most in their class, until superseded by Nikon's D3 and D300 digital SLR cameras with 51 autofocus points. This 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 EOS-1D family feature a 45-point AF system, while most other EOS cameras in the last 3-5 years feature a seven-point AF system arranged in the shape of a cross. The EOS 20D and, later, the Rebel XTi (400D) feature a nine-point AF system in a diamond-shape formation. The EOS 5D 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.

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 offer a high degree of accuracy. The latest announced EOS-1D Mk III has 19 cross-type sensors for higher accuracy, as well as placing the cross-type sensors to complement the Rule of Thirds.

Model naming scheme

Canon's naming scheme for its EOS cameras is not straightforward, and thus the target market segment of a particular camera is not immediately obvious to a new EOS consumer. The fact that a model is marketed with different names in different parts of the world adds to the confusion. 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.

Canon uses a hyphen for the top-end cameras but not for lower end cameras: compare EOS-1Ds and EOS 10D. EOS-1 is printed on the cameras as if it were a separate camera range with the type separated, so EOS-1 is separated from Ds. However there is no space between the two when the name is written in a standard font, thus EOS-1Ds. Across the different regions within Canon there appears to be some confusion on the application of this rule: compare EOS-3 at Canon USA [ [ "EOS-3"] ] to EOS 3 at Canon Europe [ [ "EOS 3"] ] . On these cameras the EOS badge is clearly separate from the 3 badge which would imply that no hyphen should be used but Canon often refer to it as the EOS-3 on their own site.

The following table summarises which market segment a particular EOS name is targeted at.

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).

Unlike most other digital SLR manufacturers, Canon digital SLRs are equipped with a CMOS sensor (with the exception of EOS-1D that uses a CCD sensor). Canon design and manufacture their own CMOS sensors.

ee also


*List of Canon products
*Canon Corporation
*Canon FD lens mount
*Canon FL
*Canon EF lens mount

ingle lens reflex

*Single lens reflex
*Digital single lens reflex
*35 mm film

Notes and references

External links

* [ Canon EOS]
* [ EOS Camera Systems homepage at]
* [ Canon digital camera in Vietnam]
* [ Detailed and comprehensive reviews of almost all Canon lenses, digital bodies and speedlites]
* [ EF lens specification chart (pdf)]
* [ The Canon EOS FAQs]
* [ Information about EOS cameras]
* [ Chuck Westfall's (Canon USA) AF-point diagrams)]
* [ Advertisement introducing the EOS 650]
* [ Flash Photography with Canon EOS Cameras - Part 1] - [ Part 2] - [ Part 3]
* [ Canon Camera Museum]
* [ EOS Digital Photographer's Resource] - Index of useful articles
* [ Il mondo fotografico Canon]
* [ Canon EOS Feature Overview] - archived copy of Canon Model feature overview from at

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