CANON EOS FAQ Version 2.4
Date: November 1993

All original material is Copyright © 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 Alvin Chia-Hua Shih and Robert M. Atkins.

7. Bodies:

  1. What's an EOS RT?:
  2. The EOS RT is a specialty camera based on the EOS 630. Features it shares with the 630 include: interchangeable focusing screens, 5ps motor drive, faster AF than the original 620/650. It also shares the limitation of not being able to use the fully dedicated off-the-camera flash cord for A-TTL. The EOS RT has a fixed mirror that allows the photographer to view the subject in "Real Time" as the exposure is being made. The viewfinder does not "black out" because the pellicle mirror is not moved out of the light path. This costs 2/3 of a stop of light. Other features over the 630 include: centre-weighted metering, 15 CF's.

    Main Uses for an RT:

    One point about the fixed mirror in the RT is that dirt on the mirror will affect the final picture! Since mirrors are difficult to clean properly, it is better to avoid changing lenses on the RT in a dusty environment.


  3. What's an EOS 1 HS?
  4. Nope. It's not an EOS 1-based RT. It's just an EOS 1 bundled with the Power Drive Booster E1.


  5. Why can't I get eye-controlled focus to work at the store?
  6. From Chuck Westfall:

    Eye Controlled Focus calibrations previously registered from one user must be cleared before that calibration number can be re-calibrated by someone else. To delete a previously registered calibration, simply press both the AE lock and focusing point selector buttons simultaneously while the command dial is set to the calibration number you wish to delete.

    It's easy to determine the status of a calibration number: if both the letters "CAL" and the calibration number are steadily lit, that indicates a user-set calibration has been registered in memory. If both numbers are blinking, it indicates that the system must be reset before it can be calibrated (see above). If the letters "CAL" are steadily lit and the number is blinking, it indicates that the system is ready to accept a user-set calibration.

  7. Is the EOS Rebel/1000 any good?
  8. This line of cameras is aimed at the consumer market and is considered a bargain considering the amount of technology that is included for the price. It does not have a metal lens mount ring, and so may be ill-suited to heavier lenses, or users who change lenses frequently.


    Note that the use of some heavier lenses on the Rebel is not necessarily a problem. These are the lenses with a built in tripod mount. Trouble will only occur when you try to support a heavy lens with the camera body, but there is no problem when the body is supported by the lens! Most of the big, heavy, long lenses have built in tripod support.


  9. What's an EF-M? The Rebel is only $30 more!
  10. An EF-M is a manual-focus only body which requires EF lenses. It features a split prism focusing aid with microprism collar. Most view this item as being a terrible idea since most AFD lenses don't MF that smoothly, and most of the EF lenses have too short a focusing throw.

    My guess is that these cameras were designed for the "educational market" for students who have instructors insisting that they get a Pentax K-1000, or something equally limited. Once the course is done, they could get an AF body(?).


  11. Can I use IR film in bodies with "Quiet Drive"?
  12. No. The bodies with Quiet Drive use an IR LED to detect the movement of the sprocket holes.


  13. What is in those bar codes?
  14. Thomas Greve has decoded some of the barcode information. His table is given in Appendix E at the end of this FAQ.

  15. Can I write my own barcode programs ?
  16. Yes, you can. Andrew Larkin has written a barcode generation program in Visual Basic. To run his program you need the Windows operating system (I don't know which version of Windows is needed. I use 3.1 and everything seems fine) and a copy of the Visual Basic run time library file VBRUN200.DLL (from Visual Basic V2.0). This file is not copyrighted, and is reported to be available on some BBS systems (does anyone know of a specific system where it can be obtained?). I have run the program and it seems to work, i.e. it generates nice bar codes. Since I do not have a bar code reader I have not been able to test it any further (!) but I have no reason do doubt that it works just fine. It allows setting of exposure mode (program, Tv, Av, manual), flash mode (none, fill, full], exposure compensation (+/- 4 stops], AF mode and winding mode. The bar code prints out via your windows printer. I use a postscript printer and the barcodes look just fine. Also printed are the settings you used to generate the barcode. Andrew's program is a Beta version at the moment (i.e. it is still under test and development). It is freeware, i.e it can be copied and distributed as long as no charges are made for it. He can be reached at v- Nice job Andrew. If you are really into barcodes you should get a copy of this program.


  17. What about "obsolete" models? Are they any good?
  18. It depends what you mean by "obsolete". The EOS 10s was introduced in March 1990 but is no longer in production, but it is still a "state of the art" camera. It was "replaced" by the A2/A2E, but the 10s has some features missing from the A2/A2E, like the IR remote and built in intervalometer. The 10s is still (10/93) a strong contender in any choice of EOS cameras.

    The Rebel and Rebel S were the early versions of the Rebel II and Rebel II S. They are pretty much identical, but the earlier versions only have a 1/1000 second top speed and lack the "musical" self timer and "soft focus" features of the IIs. The "S" versions have built in flash. The original Rebel does, however have an analog metering display in the viewfinder, a very useful feature shared only with the EOS 1 in the US! For this reason alone some people might prefer the Rebel to the Rebel II. All the Rebels have a plastic lens mount. Some people don't like this idea much, but in practice it does not seem to be a real problem (see section 9.11), provided you don't do a lot of lens swapping. Note that all the other EOS cameras have metal lens mounts, so if it really worries you then consider the other models.

    The EOS 630 was introduced in March 1989 and has now been "replaced" by the Elan and is no longer in production. It is still a very good camera with features absent from most of the current EOS line. In some ways it is closer to the EOS 1 than to either the 10s or the Elan. It has interchangeable viewing screens, an illuminated LCD display. It can take data backs. It has a wired remote control which does not self cancel (like the 10s. Elan). It has an all-metal "sub frame" with metal film rails. It has all the exposure modes of the current EOS cameras (program, depth, Av, Tv, Manual, PIC). It is not as well designed erganomically as the later EOS cameras. To do much manual metering takes a lot of inconvenient "button pushing". To change modes needs two hands etc. Overall it is a good buy if you can live with the buttons! It is available at prices in the $230 - $250 range (8/93) from reputable discount stores, which makes it $75-$100 cheaper than an Elan or 10s. It does not have any kind of mirror lock up, or mirror prefire capability nor does it have a built in flash.

    The EOS RT was introduced in December 1989 and is not really obsolete or discontinued. It is just no longer in production. I'm not quite sure what that means, but maybe Canon would make more if they needed to? Apparently there are still quite a few "in stock" at Canon. It is the only current SLR with a fixed mirror (pellicle) system and as such is unique. It has some special applications (see section 7.1) which make it the only (and therefore the best) choice for some types of photography. Other than the fixed mirror it is very similar to the 630, with a few more custom functions and no PIC exposure modes.

    The EOS 700 was introduced in March 1990 and discontinued in September 1990. That may tell you something. It is sort of a slightly upgraded 750. It has built in flash. Exposure modes are program, depth, shutter priority and PIC. Film speed is DX coded with no manual override. The 700 also "prewinds" the film like the 750/850/Rebel.

    The EOS 750/850 are very simple "entry level" cameras, introduced in September 1988 and discontinued in 1990. They have no manual settings. Exposure is "program" or "depth" and film speed is DX set with no manual override. The cameras are identical except that the 750 has a built in flash. Neither is a particularly desirable camera. Think of them as P&S cameras with interchangeable lenses. Both cameras "prewind" the film like the Rebel.

    The EOS 620/650 were earlier "versions" of the 630, with less features, a slower CPU (slower AF) and slower film transport (3fps vs 5 fps). As such they are not particularly desirable. They were introduced in February 1987 and discontinued in 1990. The 650 is the more basic model, lacking the multiple exposure capability, auto exposure bracketing and an illuminated LCD display of the 620. The 620 also has the desirable feature of flash sync at 1/250. The only other camera in the EOS line with 1/250 flash sync is the EOS-1, so if you need it a 620 could be a good buy. The EOS 650 syncs at 1/125, like the 630. If you don't need the 1/250 sync speed, the 630 is a much better buy than the 620, more features, faster AF. The 620 also has a 1/4000 top speed, whereas the 650 (and 630) both top out at 1/2000. Both the 620 and 650 have intelligent program, Tv, Av and manual exposure modes, but no PIC modes (like the 630 has). The 650 also has the "depth of field" mode which is lacking in the 620, the only case where the 650 has a feature not present in the 620. There could be good reasons to buy a 620 (if shutter and sync speed are important to you), but I can't think of a reason to buy a 650 unless it was real cheap.

    To summarize, (as of 5/93) the 10s is still a good buy, as is the RT. The 630 is also excellent, and in some ways a more "professional " camera than some current EOS models. The 620 might be a good buy if you really need 1/250 sync speed. There would seem to be no really good reasons to choose a 700/750/850 over the much more functional Rebel II or II S, except perhaps their more rugged construction and metal lensmounts. Even the original Rebel could be a good buy if you want an analog metering scale in the viewfinder and don't want to spend the extra $1000 on an EOS 1!


  19. Is there any way to reprogram an Elan to leave out the film leader after rewind?
  20. I put this question to Chuck Westfall of Canon and here is his reply:

    There's no way (officially or unofficially) to program an Elan for leader-out rewinding. This was a marketing decision made when the camera was first designed, and Canon Inc. has no intention of changing their minds. If the feature is that important , I would suggest considering another EOS model that offers leader-out rewinding as a custom function. This includes: EOS 630 (600 in UK), EOS RT, EOS-1, EOS 10 series, and EOS 5 series (including A2 and A2E.) All of these cameras are currently available through dealers, though the 630 is officially discontinued [and the 10s is out of production - RMA]. Regards--Chuck RMA [Note: see section 9.2 for ways to get/leave the leader out on an Elan]

  21. What's the difference between a Rebel S and a Rebel IIS?
  22. Mike Coren sent in the following:

    The Rebel II (EOS 1000N) cameras have all the features of the original Rebel (EOS-1000) cameras, plus the following:

    - 1/2000 sec. fastest shutter (vs. 1/1000 sec)
    - Soft focus mode
    - "Whisper Drive" silent film transport system.
    - Musical self timer. In addition to the standard beep, the self timer can play one of three musical selections:
    Vivaldi's Four Seasons (Spring)
    Beethoven's Turkish March
    Bach's Minuet
    - Marginally more powerful flash ("S" version only) - GN 46ft/14m, versus 39ft/12m for the original Rebel S (100 ASA). This only works out to a little more than 1/3 stop difference.

    Michael D. Coren


  23. What viewfinder screens are available for the A2/A2E?
  24. Canon seem to list 6 screens, but with only 5 available in the US(?):

    Ed-Ne Screen with AF frames (standard)
    Ed-O Screen with actual focusing sensor marks ( | | + | | )
    Ed-D Matte screen with grid
    Ed-H Matte for close-up shooting and photomicrography
    Ed-C All matte screen
    Ed-P Matte screen with panorama lines, useful for panoramic shooting

    However, in the brochure, there is no Panorama screen. Instead, it shows two screens with AF frames:

    1. A2E standard screen. Has AF frames, dots in the extreme frames (calibration targets), and a DOF preview target in the top left.
    2. A2 standard screen. A similar screen but only with 5 boxes, no dots in the extreme frames and no DOF preview target.

    The Ed-P (along with a panoramic adaptor which fits in the film plane) are believed to be avaialable in Japan, but perhpas not in the US.

    There do not appear to be any "specialty" screens, like the split image rangefinder and aerial cross screens which are available for both the 630/RT and EOS 1.

    (thanks to ACS and BC for info on this topic)


  25. What's an EOS 500/Rebel X?
  26. Canon have introduced the EOS 500 in Europe (9/93). In Japan it is known as the EOS Kiss. It has been described as a highly stripped down version of the Elan, or as a smaller, improved version of the Rebel. From the descriptions to date it seems to have more in common with the Rebel than the Elan. Manufactured in Taiwan, it has a top speed of 1/2000 with 1/90 sync. It has a 3 zone focusing system like the 10s (but the focus zone is not user selectable and not eye controlled!) and a multi segment flash sensor(Xs). Like the Rebel it prewinds the film but is physically smaller and lighter than the Rebel. It has no custom functions or rear quick control dial like the Elan nor does not have a true DOF mode or DOF preview, or mirror pre-fire. It does have a socket for a remote release (new type, not the same as any other EOS). It uses 2 3v lithium cells rather than a 2CR5 like other EOS models. As of 9/93 Canon USA have not made any offical announcements about its introduction into North America, but unofficially there are rumors that it will appear in 1994. Based on current pricing in Europe it should sell for around $300 in the US (discount). It would seem to be an entry level camera, slightly more advanced than the Rebel in terms of flash and AF ability, but nowhere near the Elan or 10s in terms of features. Unless you really need a smaller, lighter body, the 10s or Elan would seem to be a much better deal.

    [ Check the "eos-rebel-x-xs" file in the press-release archives for more information. ACS ]


  27. How can I change default metering modes on a 630 or 10s?
  28. The Elan allows the manual selection of ceneter weighted, partial or evaluative metering, but the 10s and 630 always default to evaluative metering (except as detailed below) unless the button which selects partial metering is pressed. There is no way to permenantly change the metering mode in the "creative" settings (M, Av, Tv, DOF). Both the 10s and 630 switch to partial metering in the manual exposure mode and in the "close up" position PIC mode. The "close up" PIC mode is the only way to get default partial metering and autoexposure on a 10s or 630. Use of this mode could be useful for other than "close up" pictures. On a 10s, for example, it keeps a fairly wide aperture (typically f/5.6) under most conditions (though it will stop down at close distances with lenses returning distance information e.g closer than 1.35m with a 35-135 USM at 135mm).


  29. Should I get a 630, 10s or Elan?
  30. So you want to know whether to buy a 630, and Elan or a 10s? Everybody seems to want the answer to that question, so here it is. Most of the text is from Panos, but I've added a few comments myself.


    From: Panos Tsirigotis

    The following comparison of the Canon 630, 10s and Elan is organized by feature (in no particular order), showing which cameras have it, followed by my opinion of how important I consider it to be. I am mostly into nature/outdoor photography, and this may be reflected in my comments of each feature (for example, someone interested in studio photography may priorize the features differently). While I own a 630 and an Elan, I do not have direct experience with the 10s, and my comments about it are based on the little brochure that Canon had for this camera.

    [editor's note: I have a 10s and have added a few comments to Panos' text - RMA]

    1) Autofocus

    1.1) Autofocus capability

    630: 1 sensor (requires that subject has vertical lines)
    10s: 3 sensors (side sensors require that subject has horizontal lines, middle sensor has no such limitation) + focus assist light
    Elan: 1 sensor (no limitations) + focus assist light

    In my experience, the 630 "hunts" for focus a lot more than the Elan (which very rarely has a hard time focusing). I don't have any experience with the 3 sensors of the 10s, but I don't think that the ability to focus on any of the sensors is very important (one can always focus and then reframe). However, I do consider important that the 10s evaluates flash exposure according to the sensor used for focusing.

    [For what it's worth I've had no problems with AF on the 630. Maybe it's not quite as good as the 10s or Elan, but it's good enough most of the time - RMA]

    1.2) Autofocus speed

    I am of the opinion that it is the lens that makes the difference in autofocus speed and not the camera. The camera makes a difference in autofocus accuracy (i.e. no "hunting"). The focus speed of the lens depends on its design and the mass that has to be moved for focusing. In general, USM lenses tend to be faster than non-USM lenses of similar design (i.e. both internal focus, or both with rotating front groups).

    [The camera does have an effect on AF speed, but probably not as much of an effect as lens type. I've used all three cameras and with a good USM lens, all focus very fast]

    1.3) Autofocus-assist light

    This feature is available only on the 10s and Elan (the range is 1-7m). It helps focusing in low-light conditions, although it can also be used when trying to focus on a featureless surface.


    2) Built-in flash

    630: not available
    10s: available, covers up to 35mm lenses
    Elan: available, zoom ability (28-80), red-eye reduction, flash exposure compensation, second curtain sync

    Initially, I was of the opinion that a builtin flash is worse than useless, since it has a very limited range and is powered by the costly lithium battery of the camera. Since I have bought the Elan, my opinion has shifted somewhat. There are situations when having the builtin flash is a real bonus. It typically happens when I go out with friends and just carry along the Elan + EF28-70, in case I want to take some pictures to remember the occasion. In such situations the builtin flash can serve either for fill-in during daytime or as standard flash for low-light shots. For the latter type, there are 3 features of the Elan that are missing from the 10s, and which I think are very useful:

    a) red-eye reduction; given how close the flash is to the lens, this is a necessity. b) flash exposure compensation; my experience is that Canon's algorithm tends to overxpose the subject. c) zoom flash; this allows longer flash distances, and it does makea difference since the builtin flash is weak .

    So, the bottom line is that the flash is nice to have, and when used conservatively it does not have an appreciable impact on the Elan's battery life (check the section on battery consumption for more comments).

    [Note that the 10s can use its TTL flash on off center subjects if they fall on one or other of the outer focus zones. TTL flash exposure on the Elan meters off whatever is in the center of the frame. RMA]


    3) Bar code programs

    630: not available
    10s: 1 custom program at a time
    Elan: 5 custom programs at a time

    My opinion of this feature is that it is completely useless. I would never spend the money to get the bar code reader plus the "booklets" with the bar codes. For that money, a better investment would be a book on how to determine proper exposure. However, as a small caveat I would like to add that one may be able to put the bar code reader to good use, if one can design one's own bar codes. [This is possible - see FAQ - RMA].


    4) Motor drive

    630: 5 fps (2.5 fps with predictive autofocus)
    10s: 5 fps (3.3 fps with predictive autofocus)
    Elan: 3 fps (2.5 fps with predictive autofocus)

    [Note these are the Canon specs. I've seen reports which suggest that the Elan might run slower than the spec'd speed with film in the camera. If the speed is critical to you then check it for yourself to be sure the camera you chose meets spec.]

    Note that the difference in speed drops when the cameras have to autofocus continuously. In particular, the difference between the 630 and the 10s can be probably attributed to the faster electronics in the latter. In all the time I have had the 630, I have used it to take pictures in quick succession (aka, continuous mode) only twice. None of them worked very well. It is far better to learn to anticipate the moment when to press the shutter button.

    [Anticipation is not always possible and difficult to judge because of the typical shutter lag on most cameras (RT excepted) which may run from 100ms to 250ms. Continuous mode may be of more use to action photographers than others - RMA].

    The only real advantage of the faster drive is when doing autobracketing on a subject that is prone to move (like a bird). On the other hand, one may want to have a slower drive in extreme-cold environments, when the film becomes brittle and the stronger motor may rip it apart.

    Finally, the Elan has a more quiet drive. I have not found this important so far.


    5) Custom functions

    The 10s has the more custom functions of the 3. However, in my opinion there are only two custom functions that need to be seriously considered:

    a) leaving the film leader out on rewind The 630 and 10s have this feature but the Elan doesn't. This is useful for changing film at midroll and then using the rest of the original film some other time. I have mixed feelings about this custom function, since there are cheap tools to extract the film leader from the canister. Having the custom function is of course more convenient. However, I would not consider this capability a deciding factor in making a choice among these cameras.

    b) mirror lockup [actually 2 second mirror pre-fire, not true MLU - RMA] The 10s and Elan can do it; the 630 can't. This feature is very useful when using long telephoto lenses at slow speeds (1/4-1/30), when mirror vibration is likely to affect picture quality. Unfortunately, one has to buy the remote controller RC-1 to take advantage of mirror lockup.

    [The RC-1 is so useful as to be an essential accessory for the Elan and 10s in my opinion - RMA]
    [I would also add custom function 4, transfer of AF from the shutter release a back button on the camera to the list of very desirable functions - see section 16.7]


    6) Remote release

    The 10s and Elan require the remote controller RC-1, while for the 630 one has to buy the GR-20 grip and the 60T3 remote switch. I find that I would like to have both systems. The advantage of the remote controller is that it is more convenient to carry around, as it can be permanently attached to the camera strap. Its disadvantage is that the camera will shut off reception automatically after 4 minutes of inactivity to preserve the battery. Obviously, the 60T3 remote switch does not have this limitation, but it has 2 user-interface disadvantages:

    a) it is difficult to hold the camera normally if the switch is attached to it.

    b) the GR-20 is not a very comfortable grip so I have bought the GR-10 grip (which has a much better feel), and have it on the camera most of the time. So, it is very inconvenient to have to change grips if I want to use the remote switch. Unless I need to use "bulb", I typically elect to use the timer instead of switching grips.

    [I have no problems with the GR-20 grip - RMA]


    7) Construction

    The 630 definitely feels more sturdy than the Elan. Whether that actually translates to more resistance to harsh handling, I don't know. I don't usually abuse my cameras. My only data point is that I have had the 630 for about 4 years without any problems. I don't have any experience with the 10s.

    [The 630 has a metal mirror box, with metal lens mount and film rails. Both the 10s and Elan are entirely plastic except for the metal lens mount and tripod bushing. One would think that a metal mirror box is desirable for stability and accuracy, but so far the plastic of the 10s and Elan seem to be just fine - RMA].

    [I would say the 10s feels slightly sturdier than the Elan, but there is not much to chose between them. The 630 is definitely sturdier than either]


    8) Ease of use

    I rate this as very important since it can make the difference between getting the shot or not. Unfortunately, it is also very difficult to quantify.

    Here the Elan wins hands down over the 630. The 10s should be somewhere in between. The most annoying feature of the 630 is the little back door which hides buttons that control functions that I do need to change often. On the Elan, everything is immediately accessible. I have had no trouble operating it while wearing ski gloves. The quick-control dial in particular is very handy, particularly in the manual metering mode. Using the manual metering mode on the 630 is a job for an octopus (especially if you also want to use the depth-of-field preview button).

    [Agreed. The Elan is an improvement over the 10s, but both are a big improvement over the 630]


    9) Max Shutter speed

    630: 1/2000
    10s: 1/4000
    Elan: 1/4000

    Since I typically opt for slower film if the conditions allow it, I very rarely take pictures even with 1/1000. So, the faster shutter is not important to me.


    10) Metering

    10.1) Center-weighted metering

    630: not available
    10s: not available
    Elan: always available

    I don't consider center-weighted metering very important because so far I haven't felt limited using evaluative+partial which are the only ones available on the 630.

    10.2) Partial metering (as % of frame area)

    630: 6.5%
    10s: 8.5%
    Elan: 6.5%

    Partial metering allows for measuring exposure only from a small part of the picture, which is useful when you want accurate exposures of a specific subject, or when there is a big difference in brightness in the picture which may cause an incorrect evaluative-metering exposure. Since one wants to take readings from small areas, the smaller this number is, the better. However, the difference between the above numbers is meaningless if one mostly uses print film, because the exposure latitude of that type of film can compensate for small errors in exposure.


    11) Automatic exposure bracketing

    630: +/-5 stops
    10s: +/-5 stops
    Elan: +/-2 stops

    I have never used more than 2 on the 630 (which goes up to +/-5) so the I don't consider the Elan's AEB range a limitation.


    12) Exposure compensation:

    630: +/-5 stops
    10s: +/-5 stops
    Elan: +/-2 stops

    The same comments as for AEB apply here. Also, one can always change the ISO of the film for 1/3-stop exposure compensation, and this is very easy to do on the Elan (as opposed to the 630 where the little back door is involved again).


    13) Price

    630: $260
    Elan: $370
    10s: $340

    The above prices are from the ad of B&H in Pop. Photo (10/93). I have included these prices only as order-of-magnitude indications of the the actual camera prices. Don't forget to add the cost of the RC-1 to the Elan and 10s, and the cost of the GR-20 and 60T3 to the 630.

    [Note that new 630s (especially USA warrany versions) are now quite hard to find. They have been out of production and discontinued items for several years. They mat be in the ads, but they are not in many stores!]


    14) Viewfinder

    14.1) Viewfinder coverage

    630: 94% (88.36%)
    10s: 92% (84.64%)
    Elan: 90% (81%)

    The first number is the percentage of the vertical and horizontal viewfinder coverage (the numbers for vertical and horizontal happen to be equal). The numbers in parentheses are the percentages of the frame area visible in the viewfinder.

    14.2) Dotted exposure scale

    This is useful for keeping track of the exposure compensation. It is available on the Elan but not on the 630 or the 10s. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in manual mode, being replaced by the '+','-' to indicate how to adjust exposure (when both '+' and '-' light up you have reached the correct exposure). This would be very useful on the Elan where the Quick Control Dial on the back adjusts the aperture while the main dial adjusts shutter speed (this analog scale in manual mode may be available on the EOS-100, Elan's name outside the US. [It is also available on the Rebel [not the Rebel II] and the EOS-1 - RMA])).


    15) Battery consumption

    The following table shows how many 24-exposure rolls can be shot with each camera as reported by Canon. The first number is the number of rolls at a temperature of 68F/20C, and the second number is the number of rolls at a temperature of -4F/-20C.

                without flash  |  50% flash   | 100% flash   |  Lens used
    10s      |     60/15       |     25/8     |     13/4     |     ???
    Elan     |     100/28      |     30/13    |     15/7     |     28-80 USM
    630 (I)  |     75/8        |              |              |     50 f/1.8
    630 (II) |     150/15      |              |              |     50 f/1.8

    A few notes about the above numbers:

    a) The Elan numbers were obtained without any film in the camera (i.e. no film rewind was necessary). The 630 numbers do include rewind. I don't know about the 10s numbers.

    b) There are 2 sets of numbers reported for the 630. They correspond to the 2 Canon Standard Test Methods. For method I, the shutter is released after AF is completed and just before the 6-second metering stops. For method II, the shutter is released just after AF is completed. Film rewind is included for both methods.

    c) It is not clear what is the test method for the 10s/Elan numbers

    d) Different lenses should yield different results

    e) Canon reports the number of 24-exposure rolls. It is likely that they always stop after the 24th exposure. Since one can get 25 exposures out of most 24-exposure rolls, Canon's numbers may be more optimistic by x/25 rolls (where x is the number of 24-exposure rolls). For the above numbers, x can range from 0 to 6.

    My actual experience with the 630 and the Elan using the lenses EF100-300L, EF28-70, and Sigma 21-35 is between 30 and 40 24-exp. rolls for the 630, and between 20 and 30 rolls for the Elan. On the Elan, the builtin flash was used for approx. 1% of the exposures.


    16) Special features

    16.1) Infra-red film

    Infra-red film cannot be used on the Elan. I don't care much about this since I haven't used any infra-red film so far anyway.

    16.2) Intervalometer

    Only the 10s has this. I don't know how useful it is.

    [Very useful if you ever need it. I've never needed it though! - RMA]

    16.3) LCD illumination

    This feature is really useful for night shooting and only the 630 has it. At least the Elan has the exposure scale on the viewfinder so exposure compensation is still possible in very low light situations.

    16.4) Flash exposure warning

    Only the 630 will give a warning if the flash exposure will be incorrect (most likely because the subject is too far).

    16.5) Interchangeable screens

    Only the 630 has interchangeable focusing screens. Why this is important to me:

    a) I want to be able to focus manually and the standard screen is not very good for this

    b) When using very wide angle lenses, the area covered by the sensor is likely to be featureless, thus making autofocus difficult. I have this problem with the 630 + Sigma 21-35, when used at anything wider than 28.


    [I have added the following additional points - RMA]

    16.6) Databacks

    Only the 630 can take a databack. There is a simple time/date/frame counter back (ca. $60) and a very powerful, do everything Technical Back E (ca. $500) which gives a lot of power to a 630. It includes intervalometer functions, long time exposures, records shooting data (speed, aperture, metering mode, lens type, focal length, exposure compensation, bracketing, flash mode, frame number, exposure mode etc.). It can also download data to a PC and record notes which can be imprinted on the film. You can also design your own programs for "program" exposure modes.

    The 10s and Elan are available with databacks in Japan and Europe. Sometimes these models show up here in the USA as "grey market" items.

    16.7) Focus Lock

    Custom function 4 on the 10s and 630 transfers AF start to a button on the back of the camera. This gives focus lock capability. You hit the back button to focus and the regular shutter release to get exposure and release the shutter. Very useful for off center subjects - you don't need to keep the shutter release 1/2 pressed (and draw 100mA+ all the time you keep it held down!). I would rate this as one of the most serious omissions on the Elan, but some people would never miss it.

    16.8) Tripod socket

    Now we are really getting down to minute differences...The tripod sockets on the 630 and 10s are in line with the axis of the lens, but on the Elan the tripod socket is offset (presumably so as not to interfere with some internal part). Not likely to make a big difference to most people, but it could be a problem in some specialised applications I guess (custom brackets and that type of thing).

    16.9) Beep

    There is no AF confirmation beep in the Elan. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on the user. The 10s and 630 have a selectable AF beep. The EOS 100 (non US version of the Elan) does have the beep available.

    16.10) Shutter/Focus Priority

    There are some esoteric differences between the 10s/Elan and 630 when it comes to continuous shooting. The 10s/Elan always have focus priority, i.e they won't take a picture if the AF has not gotten good focus. This applies to all modes of operation. To get shutter priority you have to use manual focus. On a 630 in continuous winding mode, the first shot of a sequence is shutter priority, i.e.the shutter fire when you tell it to, focus or not. This can actually be useful in some situations. If you hold down the shutter release, all subsequent shots are focus priority, just like the 10s and Elan.

    16.11) Extension Tubes

    Both the 10s and Elan have built in exposure compensation to adjust exposure when the EF25 extension tube is used. The EF25 was brought out after the 630, so the 630 lacks this automatic compensation. For more on this (and why you need exposure compensation despite TTL metering, see the FAQ section 9.14).


  31. Why doesn't the EOS-1 have mirror lock-up?
  32. From Chuck Westfall:

    First and foremost, neither the EOS-1 nor the EOS A2/A2E has any problem producing tack-sharp images without mirror lock, even at shutter speeds of 1/15, 1/8 or 1/4 second when used with lenses shorter than 300mm. This should apply to the vast majority of conventional work. However, the EOS A2/A2E has less mirror-induced vibration than the EOS-1.

    >>...why doesn't the EOS-1 doesn't have any sort of mirror lock-up?

    It gets back to the combination of high-speed predictive AF and 1/250 X-sync. One requirement for fast flash sync (in addition to a high-torque shutter cocking mechanism) is a multi-bladed shutter. Unfortunately, multi-blade focal plane shutters are relatively inefficient at blocking light for long periods of time. (If it's strong enough, stray light can make its way around the edge of the individual blades.) One way of getting around this is to leave both shutter curtains down while the shutter is at rest (ala EOS RT and EOS A2/A2E). With this design, the second set of blades can be slightly offset relative to the first, thus blocking light effectively. However, for the EOS-1, Canon elected to use a more conventional shutter mechanism, in which the second set of shutter blades remains retracted, in a standby position, until the exposure begins.

    Why did we do this? Mainly in order to achieve the fastest possible predictive AF shooting rate. The mirror drive mechanism of the EOS-1 has to operate more quickly than that of other EOS models including the EOS A2/A2E *under every condition* including single frame shooting in order to achieve its top framing rate for predictive AF. This results in a higher degree of mirror-induced vibration for the EOS-1. Try to imagine how fast the mirror, shutter and diaphragm mechanisms must operate in order to provide the AF system with enough mirror-down, full-aperture viewing time between frames to see the subject, calculate and adjust the focus and still achieve 4.5 fps.

    Since one of the most important design priorities for the EOS-1 is the fastest possible predictive AF system, there has to be a trade-off somewhere. It's another one of those "you can't have your cake and eat it too" scenarios. I have no qualms in suggesting the use an EOS A2, A2E, 10s or Elan instead of an EOS-1 for slow shutter speed work with long telephoto lenses. It's a little bit like the situation of owning 2 different lenses with overlapping specifications, say for example an 80-200/2.8L and an 85/1.2L USM or 85/1.8 USM. They each have their strong points. Why should it be any different for camera bodies?


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