Camera review: Canon EOS-1 – by Juan Gauna
I brought the Canon EOS-1 a couple of years ago and among all of the cameras that I have had and have been able to use up until now, it is still my favorite in the original analogue EOS series.
Although I had previously considered models for non-professionals like the Canon 1000S or ELAN II, the EOS-1 is in another category. It shows in the weight and in the handling of the controls. My main use foir the EOS-1 is in the studio or outside in nature. I do not use it intensively for sports or “external hard work”, since it is a camera that I bought used and like a classic car deserves certain care in use.
The camera has similar features to some modern digital cameras: a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000, sync for studio flashes at 1/250 or less, quick dial wheel and a very intuitive operation.
It was the first model of the EOS-1 series and has been so successful that its descendants – both analog and digital – continue to maintain their design style based on it.
Sure that at the time it went to market, it wasn’t exactly cheap but luckily thanks to the passage of time I was able to get a very good price and as a user of Canon did not have much to adapt me to the management of the camera at all.
Here’s what’s covered in this article:
Table of contents
The EOS-1 in pictures
In the photo above we can see the front of the camera with its depth of field button (bottom left), the lens release (middle right) and the self-timer indicator (red light, upper left).
The booster pack at the bottom of the body has an additional trigger button (without the command wheel) and provides a second shutter release for vertical operation.
The left of the camera is quite bare, offering a few function buttons and PC-Sync flash cable connector port.
Things get interesting as on the right of the camera, where we find the access door for the battery level buttons, custom functions, trigger operation (S-Ch/Cl – Timer 2/10 seconds) and the reset all functions button.
Under all of this is the connector for the trigger cable (60-T3).
Moving to the rear we can see the 100% viewfinder with its and diopter correction, film rewind button, AE Lock button, Exposure compensation button (+/-), film window, quick control dial & quick control dial switch, main switch and in the booster pack, a vertical AE Lock button.
With the film door open you can see all of the things you expect in a professional film camera of its time: DX contacts and quick load guide (right).
On the top of the camera you can view the following buttons: Mode, AF, ISO, ME, Metering. In addition we have the hot shoe, LCD panel illumination button, the LCD panel, shutter button and control dial.
And finally, the bottom of the camera with the tripod socket, which is not so interesting…but also the contact points for the bootser back…which is.
The Canon EF lens system
The entire EF series of Canon lenses from 1987 to the present day work spectacularly with the exception of some IS lenses where the stabilization system doesn’t always work very well.
I have not personally used lenses from other brands like Sigma, Tamron, etc., with this camera so I cannot tell you about what kinds of issues you might expect with them
Canon EOs-1 pros and cons
- It’s an inexpensive camera.
- If it is in good working order it is a true tank, solid and well built.
- Resists some moisture, not torrential rain or deep cleaning in the shower.
- All full frame Canon “EF” mount lenses from 1987 to now can be used.
- I tested it with a Canon 580 EXII flash and a Yongnuo Yn-560ex in TTL and manual mode, without problems.
- It’s very comfortable in the hand Viewfinder has 100% coverage.
- A classic and legendary camera.
- Has a single point of focus (which for the use I have is more than enough, the rest readjust the framing and problem solved).
- The TTL flash system is somewhat old, but it does work.
- The grip has no main dial, so you have to adjust some functions in the body of the camera, that for sports has to be somewhat tedious but my use in studio and personal stuff is no problem.
- It’s old and spare parts are not available (forget getting an original eyecup, it is like finding the holy grail), but as you read through the web this Canon comes with double-everything, so if something internal has an issue, it is not always a problem because it has a double circuit that responds to keep it all working.
Please click or tap on a thumbnail to view the images in full screen.
Summary and conclusion
This camera is excellent for shooting film using the lenses I use with my digital Canon full frame body. It is a camera that is currently “price friendly” in the market and has a wonderdul “crush of noise” when advancing and rewinding the film.
This camera has made me rethink my way of approaching photography many times, as I have to take some time and rethink some things that the digital world has made me forget.
Long live film, long live the Canon EOS-1.
~ Juan Gauna
Canon EOS-1 technical specifications
|Manufacturer||CANON INC. - Tokyo, Japan|
|Camera name||Canon EOS-1|
|Camera type||Single Lens reflex|
|Viewfinder||0.72x magnification, near 100% coverage.|
"Laser Matte" standard focusing screen + 7 interchangeable options.
Built-in dioptric correction up to ±2 diopters, 20mm eye relief.
|Viewfinder||AF mark, in-focus indicator|
Spot metering circle (5mm dia. at center)
Partial metering circle (8mm dia. at center)
Shutter speed and aperture setting (digital readout in 1/3-stop increments).
AE lock, manual, flash ready, exposure compensation, exposure level scale, exposure level display (dots and bars), remaining frame count, and other indications.
|Lens mount||Canon EF lens mount|
|Lenses||The entire Canon EF series from 1987 to date.|
|Shutter||Vertical metal focal plane,30 seconds to 1/8,000 second.|
|Autofocus||TTL Phase Detection Autofocus (1 zone), One-Shot AF and predictive AI Servo AF|
|Metering||Metering range with evaluative or partial metering: EV 0 – 20. |
Metering range with spot metering at ISO 100 and f/1.4: EV 2 – 20.
Manual ISO selection from 6-6400, DX-coded film from ISO 25 to ISO 5000.
Composite SPC for TTL full-aperture metering (6-zone evaluative, 5.8% partial at center, and 2.3% spot metering at center) with shutter speed-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, depth-of-field AE, Intelligent program AE, and metered manual.
AE lock enabled for both auto and manual. Exposure compensation and autobracketing range of ±3 EV (in 1/3-stop increments).
Maximum 9 multiple exposures.
|Flash sync||1/250 or slower with dedicated hot shoe, PC terminal.|
|Self timer||2 or 10 seconds.|
|Advance modes||Single (2.5 FPS), Continued high / low (3 FPS).|
|Power||Single 2CR5 lithium battery or Booster Pack using 8x AA batteries.|
|Weight||890g (with battery)|
|Dimensions||161 x 107 x 72mm|
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