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Canon EOS-3

by Philip Greenspun, 1999


Binion's Horseshoe. Downtown Las Vegas (Fremont Street). The owner of Binion's, Ted Binion, was murdered on September 17, 1998 by Sandy Murphy, Binion's 27-year-old girlfriend and former topless dancer, and her lover, Rick Tabish I own about a dozen Canon EOS lenses so I'm always at least a little bit interested in what body to stick behind them. I never really liked the EOS-1n so I mostly settled on a couple of EOS-5 bodies. Now [October 1998] Canon has announced the EOS-3 body. This article is my attempt to analyze the new product based only on Canon advertising literature (i.e., I've never held an EOS-3 body in my hands).

First the Warts

It is always more fun and interesting to complain than to praise. My first complaint is that the new body does not keep track of exposure information, so you'll be saying "uh, f/8 and something, I think" a lot. There are all kinds of great cameras out there that use their microprocessors to imprint these data between frames (the now-ancient Nikon F4 could do this), hold these data for later download (the rather old Nikon N90 does this), or, slickest of all, skip the first two frames on a roll and then imprint these data on them after rewinding (Contax AX).

My second complaint is that Canon did not license the Nikon D system for fill-flash. The EOS-3 has some slick flash stuff that is useful if you're willing to buy lots of new flashes, but to work accurately the Canon flash system still depends on having a subject that is 18% gray (or a photographer vigilant and lucky enough to dial in the correct flash exposure compensation).

My third complaint is that there is no built-in flash. These are nice to have in emergencies! (Given that the EOS-3 is water-sealed (see below), it probably would have been tough to do this.)

My final complaint is that the camera promises to be heavy. You might need the power booster E3 to get convenient vertical handling. In this case, weight is 1215 grams (just shy of the weight of the EOS-1 + power booster and nearly double the weight of a 675 gram EOS-5). The EOS-3 body alone is 780 grams.

A depth-of-field preview button

For this reason alone, I will buy a couple of EOS-3s. On the EOS-5, you have to choose between using the thumb button on the back for AF or depth-of-field preview. The EOS-3 has a dedicated DOF preview button right next to the lens mount where it belongs.

AF assist light from the flash

The EOS-5 is unique in the camera world in that there is no external flash that gives you an AF-assist light. The on-camera AF assist light doesn't work for serious photographers because the Canon L lenses are all too bulky and obstruct the light. With an EOS-3 you can just buy the 550EX flash and you've got a powerful AF assist light.

Water sealed

Canon claims that the EOS-3 is as well-sealed as the EOS-1. This would make it capable of operation in fairly heavy rain. The EOS-1 used to be the only camera in the world that could do this. I think the Nikon F5 has this kind of sealing as well so the EOS-3 would be the third camera on the market that can be used with confidence in the sort of weather that yields great photos. It will also be the cheapest and lightest sealed SLR.

Wireless flash control

Canon now offers wireless TTL control of off-camera flashes either from an on-camera flash or an on-camera IR transmitter. In this they've caught up to where Minolta was in the 1980s. Wahoo!! Anyway, it is a useful feature. Note that users of older Canon bodies can achieve most of the benefits of the new system by purchasing a Wein wireless base for their Canon flashes.

Better in-finder information

From the brochure it looks like you can see both an ambient exposure scale and a flash exposure scale in the viewfinder. Thus you can visually see the fill ratio when combining flash and ambient light.

The finder display also has a count-up or count-down frame counter.

Fancier AF system

The new AF system has lots more sensors (45) and allegedly lots better eye control. I was never able to get eye control to function usefully on my EOS-5 bodies so I'm not planning to rely on this feature. The central sensor works with lenses as slow as f/8 so someone with a 300/4 plus 2X teleconverter might be able to easily capture birds in flight (most SLR bodies can only do AF with lenses that are f/5.6 or faster).

Note that many of the most precise sensors only work with f/2.8 and faster lenses (and then another important AF sensor requires an f/4 lens). So don't think that the EOS-3 will make you a hero if you've got a slow consumer zoom lens!

Most of the good stuff from the EOS-5

If you get the PB-E2 power booster, you get the same control layout in horizontal and vertical orientation (since the booster/grip duplicates the most important camera controls). I'm not sure if you get this with the lighter/simpler BP-E1 battery pack/grip.

Comparison to Nikon

I put this in because so many people send me email asking for comparisons between bodies made by different companies. If you've got a big Nikon lens system, the EOS-3 is of little utility. If you've got a big EOS lens system, the F5's color-based metering system won't seem all that advanced.

And new photographers? Should they choose a system based on the features of the body du jour? Clearly not. For there will be an F6 and a N100 and an EOS-4.

Anyway, since I know I'll be asked, I'll say it now: I think the EOS-3 body, which I've never seen, is probably a slightly more effective machine than the Nikon N90, which I've used only once.

Motor Drive

Here's the in-camera motor drive at work:

Reenactment of Powell's trip. Lava Falls. Grand Canyon National Park. August 1999. Reenactment of Powell's trip. Lava Falls. Grand Canyon National Park. August 1999. Reenactment of Powell's trip. Lava Falls. Grand Canyon National Park. August 1999. Reenactment of Powell's trip. Lava Falls. Grand Canyon National Park. August 1999. Reenactment of Powell's trip. Lava Falls. Grand Canyon National Park. August 1999. Reenactment of Powell's trip. Lava Falls. Grand Canyon National Park. August 1999. Reenactment of Powell's trip. Lava Falls. Grand Canyon National Park. August 1999. Reenactment of Powell's trip. Lava Falls. Grand Canyon National Park. August 1999. Reenactment of Powell's trip. Lava Falls. Grand Canyon National Park. August 1999. Reenactment of Powell's trip. Lava Falls. Grand Canyon National Park. August 1999.

Gallery

Here are some pictures from the two EOS-3 bodies that I picked up in August 1999 before going rafting through the Grand Canyon:

View from Bright Angel Lodge. South Rim. Grand Canyon National Park Indian Gardens. Bright Angel Trail. Grand Canyon National Park. Tom Huntington in waterfall. Grand Canyon National Park. Slot Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park. Eve's muddy boot. Lower Havasupai Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park. Nancy Helin. Grand Canyon National Park. Eve Andersson kayaking with Tom Huntington. Grand Canyon Hoover Dam. Nevada/Arizona border View from helicopter taking us out of Grand Canyon Helicopter taking us out of Grand Canyon

some difficult metering ...

Bellagio Casion. The Strip Las Vegas. Downtown Las Vegas (Fremont Street) by night.

a little autofocus action ...

Harry and Katerina's wedding. Lake Placid. September 4, 1999. Harry and Katerina's wedding. Lake Placid. September 4, 1999. Harry and Katerina's wedding. Lake Placid. September 4, 1999. Harry and Katerina's wedding. Lake Placid. September 4, 1999. Harry and Katerina's wedding. Lake Placid. September 4, 1999.

Want to see more? Check my review of the 50/1.4 lens, which is illustated with EOS-3 output.

Now that I've used the EOS-3 ...

Now that I've put about 25 rolls of film through two EOS-3 bodies, I can say a little bit about the camera. It is noticeably heavier and noisier than the EOS-5. The autofocus seems to work a bit better. I haven't given the eye control feature a fair try but it isn't obvious that it works consistently. Using mirror lock-up with the self-timer for tripod photos is painful compared to the EOS-5. With the EOS-5, you simply push the self-timer button and touch the shutter release, leaving the "mirror-prefire when self-timer engaged" custom function on all the time. The EOS-3 provides real mirror lock-up. So to make a landscape image on a tripod, you have to

  1. engage the self-timer
  2. open the little side-door
  3. press the little CF button
  4. select the correct custom function
  5. press the little CF button again to engage mirror lock-up

Then repeat these steps to go back to regular picture taking.

I subjected both bodies to a fair amount of sand and water during my seven days on the Colorado River. One of the top deck buttons on one of the bodies became sticky. Otherwise the cameras and power booster have performed flawlessly. Metering seems to be accurate.

Bottom Line

Probably the best body for EOS users. The sad thing is that you'll need that power booster for vertical handling. Fill it up with 8 lithium AAs (instead of alkaline) and it won't make quite as big a dent in your neck. You'll also be able to burn 120 rolls of film before changing batteries!

Where to Buy

Adorama offers this camera in a gray market version and US version. You can also get the US version with the power booster at Adorama. Adorama is a retailer that pays photo.net a referral fee for each customer, which helps keep this site in operation.


Text and pictures (c) Copyright 1999 Philip Greenspun

Article created 1999

Readers' Comments


Add a comment



Paul Wilson , October 30, 1998; 10:14 A.M.

In the C vs. N vein, the N90s(not N90) is billed as being well sealed against rain. Of course this doesn't mean much if your lens isn't.

Also, Nikon now has wireless TTL flash by way of a new module called the SU-4. I haven't heard any detail of how it works, but it allegedly does.

Michael K. Gardner , October 31, 1998; 01:06 P.M.

The EOS 3 will fog infrared film. It used the same LED film advance/counting system as the EOS 5/A2/A2E.

Bob Atkins , November 09, 1998; 01:25 A.M.

Two comments:

(1) Don't give up hope of seeing a data back "one of these days". Canon are aware of the issue.

(2) You won't fog Konica 750 IR film, and the Kodak IR film will fog on the edge (perforations) but not far into the image. Some reports say the Canon bodies with IR film sensors are quite usuable even with the Kodak film. You just have to try it and see.

David Bindle , November 17, 1998; 10:26 A.M.

I'm glad the EOS-3 uses IR to count sprocket holes in the film. I'll glady trade a very slight fogging of IR film (which *most* people don't use) for the accuracy of the film registration. I use the tail out feature fairly often on my Elan IIe and when I put a partialy used roll back into the Elan, I don't have to advance a frame or two past for "saftey"... I can just advance to the exact frame that I left off and not be worried that I will double expose part of a frame or shift the frame spacing. It's very accurate. You don't waste any film. I'm all for IR sprocket counting on the EOS-3.

Richard Carlson , November 28, 1998; 01:37 P.M.

I was in a local photo store picking up some supplies, just as the Canon rep brought in the first EOS 3 to Canada. Wow! I was allowed to play with it for a few minutes and it is a very nice system. The AF system seems to work really well and without the booster pack is not too much heavier than an old manual focus camera. Now if only I had $2,400 Canadian . . . .

Herman Hiel , December 05, 1998; 12:35 A.M.

The EOS3 looks a lot like the 1N; I have a 1N and an Elan IIE( 50E); it's a shame the battery tester of the 1N (and the new 3) has to be checked, in stead off being displayed permanently as with the 50E; the 1N has a diopter meter, the 3 not. Also the 1n has very fidely small buttons, e.g. to swith on/off; I prefer the big knobs or the 50E. Some tests I read by photmags ( in France ) say : the 45 point autofocus is not practical, 45 autofocus points is too much. I also read a comparison of the autofocus speed based on a car driving 60 mi/hr, with the good 300/2.8 lenses between the 1N,3,5,50E for Canon and the 5 and 90S ( 90X in Europe ) for Nikon. Nikon won BIG time; the 1N had an 80 % mark ( number of pics in focus), the 3 had 90% - with the 50E a 100%, but only at 3frames per sec, but the Nikon 5 and 90S had 100% - also the Nikons continued to track the car a lot closer than the Canons. Canon has a big job ahead implementing this; so for sports and( fast) wildlife ... I've noticed myself that the 1N autofocus loses track after a while; very annoying.

Jon Robichaud , December 18, 1998; 10:35 P.M.

Well, since writing my above comments, my local dealer friend got in several EOS 3's, boosters and 550 flashes. I zipped over to check it, out hands on, and was prepared to purchase one. About 15 minutes confirmed to me that the camera was a significant improvement over the A2. I was, however, looking for a camera to upgrade my 1n (especially in the vertical shooting mode) It took about 30 minutes total, using custom functions and various experiments to give me full assurance that this camera is not going to replace my, or probably anyone elses, 1n's. Now I know that Canon never advertized the 3 as a replacement for the 1n, but I suspected that it might be a better camera. It feels much more like an A2 than a 1n, obviously much less brass/metal than the 1n, the 45 points were not very usefull on the examination. I was particullarly disturbed that the remote terminal (for T60 and other remote releases) has been changed, and is not compatible with my current radio and corded remote releases. The price was reasonable, I guess, ($1310 but on the handeling, I would advise folks like me who eagerly awaited the 3's arrival, hang on to your 1n's. The 3 is a great camera, obviously superior in every respect to the N90S and A2 (e), and that isn't taking into consideration most of the "bells and wistles". Just basic shooting, autofocus, metering (including spot) speed of handeling and feel. Much better than the Nikon line except the F5. I both liked and was dissapointed, no sale for me yet.

Alexey Merz , December 22, 1998; 09:55 P.M.

People! Stop comparing the years-old and cheaper F90x to the fresh new and more expensive EOS3!

A fair comparison is to the F100, which looks to be the camera that may actually challenge the Canons on *every* front. The F100 may actually keep this lifelong Nikon photographer from converting to Canon, as he was on the verge of doing ;-).

Joshua -- , December 25, 1998; 03:59 P.M.

Two days before Christmas I traded in my Elan IIe (used for "backup" for 1n) for the much heralded EOS3. After two days of playing with it, I have to say that it will not replace my 1n; it does not have the solid feel of the 1n and it appears too plastiicky. It is probably best described as a glorified A2E or Elan IIe. I have been struggling with the Eye Focus systems since then; 45 focusing points are a lot and they are really too close together, at least for my eyes. Couldn't get it to work properly yet. I have to add here that I am an eye-glass wearer. The number of focusing point can be reduced to 11 (CF No. 13) but I fell I am missing out something if I don't take advantage of all 45.....Anyway, it is a good camere allright and the function layout is similar to that of 1n so I can get used to it in practically no time. I haven't purchased the EX550 flash yet, any comment on that?

William Castleman , December 31, 1998; 01:23 A.M.

I have had my EOS 3 almost a week and found Phil's "Preview" report and conservative analysis of the body data to be very helpful in focusing on the main points that I was interested in when I decided to upgrade from my EOS A2 and Elan II backup. Thank you, Phil. Main selling points to me in moving up from an A2 to an EOS 3 were: more durable construction; faster autofocus and retention of autofocus function to f8 lenses; wireless flash system; and dedicated depth of focus button. The improved autofocus to f8 lenses and improved wireless flash system curtailed my consideration of the EOS-1n over the EOS 3. I am an eyeglass wearer who also owns (and loves) a F4s for use with a manual-focus 500mm lens. I really appreciate the 100% viewfinder of the F4 and the adjustable diopter control on the F4 and A2. The 97% viewfinder of the EOS 3 is a big improvement over that in the A2. The frame count display and metering displays for both exposure meter and flash exposure compensation are a big plus. Although retention of the adjustable diopter control would be on my "wish list" and skepticism met the eye-control autofocus system, I have found that the eye-control AF system is easy to calibrate and use with glasses. It so far has worked reasonably well for me. It seems to be useful when photographing two or more people and autofocusing on eyes with my 70-200 f2.8 in low-lighted rooms and for photographing rooms that includes people off center with my 20-35 f2.8. Autofocus is as poor as ever with my 100 f2.8 macro, and I stick with manual focus for close-up work. The manual control of individual and patterned focusing points along both axes of the AF ellipse is easy. This system appears to be a major innovation that may be more useful than eye-control AF. The evaluative metering system of the EOS 3 has so far yielded much more consistent balanced exposures using flash indoors with ISO 100 slide film than I ever got with my A2 or Elan II. Exposures of high contrast macro images with flash so far have yielded balanced exposures of the subject that I would have needed to dial in compensation or use bracketing with my A2 to achieve. So far, the EOS 3 greatly exceeds my expectations, and I am very pleased that I moved up to it rather than to an EOS 1n. Thanks again for the preview information.

Danny La , February 04, 1999; 11:07 P.M.

The EOS 3 is an incredible tool for those who take the time to evaluate the whole sum of its parts. It is not meant to replace the 1N or compete with the F5 but I feel that it does both very well. I have used mine since purchasing it in Jan. of 1999 and made sure I read the instructions cover to cover. I not only use the Eye Control Focus (which works well so far) I make use of being able to select from 1 of 45 points. This camera works well on sports in any lighting condition. I used the top left AF sensor to focus on a short track speed skaters head instead of his body. It tracked beautifully with a ef 400mm 2.8 while the lighting was ISO 3200 @ 1/500 sec. The 550 EX does not sqeal as much as the 540 EZ does. In conclusion I would say to those people choosing Canon or Nikon, go with what feels right. Either way you will be happy, both companies leapfrog and copy each other anyway. I like Canon beacause I feel comfortable, not because somebody told me to. Danny La/Salt Lake Tribune/Salt Lake City UT

Sidney Tam , February 08, 1999; 09:54 P.M.

6 Years ago, I switched my gear to EOS5 because of the eye control and great L series lens. 3 years later, when I saved some more money, I added 1N-RS for sport and high speed picture. A month ago, I added EOS 3 which give me both RS and EOS5 features that I can capture fast motion picture with high speed motor. The eye control is great that it brings you to be part of the boby. However, I did not find any significant improvement on AF speed in compare with RS and EOS5, thought EF lens is still the fastest in the industry.Sidney Tam/ Hong Kong SAR

edric lawu , February 17, 1999; 04:51 P.M.

Dear Phil,

I know youre a Canon fan, but every camera has their good and bad sides. You seems very proud with your A2, and other cameras always have 'this and that' mistake. If those pro camera are'nt as good as you said ( eos-1n, n90s, and of course, your enemy F4), why almost all pros in the world use them, not the A2? ITS because those engineers in Canon and Nikon manufacturer ,carefully designed their top-of-the-line camera, makes them very realible, as perfect as possible. You cant blame F4 for its slow speed AF and this and that, because its a camera with 1988 technologies. For its era, of course F4 was king of SLR. If you want to compare for your A2e AF speed, pick an F5 with those AF-S lenses. Ow..of course its not an equal battle, because A2 have older technologies.. :p Thats what i want to explain.. every camera has its owm good and bad sides...

best regards

anonymous

Timothy J. Zdrale , February 21, 1999; 08:58 A.M.

I owned an A2E for about a year and I liked it very much. When I heard the EOS 3 was coming out in December or January of '99, I called a number of places trying to get a price. Finally, after looking and calling everywhere the best price on the EOS 3 was $1400 with no rebate. I was able to find the EOS 1N brand new after rebate for $1075. Since I am not a pro photographer money was certainly a deciding point for me. I am not sorry I bought the 1N. It looks and feels quite like a pro camera should. I purchased the battery pack and since I have big hands this was a perfect add on that helped me stabalize the camera. I had to purchase an extra book entitled "Canon EOS 1N" in order to fully realize the awesome potential of this camera. Although, a lot of the functions (14), that this camera has I will never use, they are there if I need them. The 1N is a proven technology that thousands of pro photographers have used over the past (4)years. Yes, I am sure that EOS 3 will be an excellent camera and will prove itself. I would say that I learned about economics, supply and demand, to my advantage!

Best regards,

Tim Zdrale February 21, 1999

Jim Roetzel , February 22, 1999; 12:44 P.M.

I have owned an EOS 3 for about a month and its truely a love/\hate relationship. Love the AF speed- the physical layout of the camera- the viewfinder is finally as good as Nikon's top level bodies. The hate is the meter- I have 2 bodies- both are off by 2/3rds of a stop. I have spoken with about a dozen other shooters who have expressed the same problem- 2/3rds underexposed- in every metering pattern. This is easily corrected via the ISO dial or exposure compensation---still it seems as if Canon let the first batch of bodies out without the quality control one would expect for a camera of this price and build-up.

Jim

Alexis Hadjisoteriou , February 23, 1999; 08:57 A.M.

This months Photo Technique (UK) confirms the problems with the EOS3's metering problems. I have recently sold my EOS5 in anticipation to purchasing the EOS3. On the basis of the metering problems, should my money be better spent on a EOS 1n.

Dave Mitchell , March 03, 1999; 01:20 P.M.

I purchased the EOS 3 in December and have found no problems with it as yet.The meter, as far as I can tell, is not off. I am using a grid screen and have programmed the CF to the appropriate setting. I f anyone has personal experience with this problem I would like to here from them.The feel of the camera, in my opinion, is as substantial as the 1N, and weatherproofing seems to be as good.I have just received a 550EX and am waiting on the film to be processed.Is it my imagination or does the EOS 3/550EX combination set the aperture to wide open as a rule?My 1N and 540EZ seem to pick smaller apertures than the EOS 3.

Alex Ng , March 07, 1999; 12:37 P.M.

I have 7 Canon L lenses in my cabinet so the EOS-3 would have been a logical addition to my EOS-1n. But in fact I will not pay USD1,400 for the EOS 3 after using it for a day. The EOS 3 is supposed to be a pro camera but it certainly feels flimsy and cheap (If it's USD 700, I wouldn't complain). At first I was attracted by the viewfinder's 45 blinking red dotsand the fast AF response, but man, a 1,400 camera with no dioptric adjustments? The test roll also gave less than optimal metering results. The built in motor drive's noise is both loud and weird, instead of quiet and crisp. The buying decision was further confirmed by a comprehensive test done by a renown Japanese magazine's Feb 1999 issue. The metering system will underexpose by 2/3rds of a stop from EV5 to EV15 for all 4 metering patterns. The 1/8000 shutter speed is also off by .36 Ev, which actually gave 1/6300 of a second. Take the new Minolta's Dynax 9 as a comparison, the 1/12000 setting gave a 1/11111 real value implies a -.06 error, even much less at the 1/8000 setting. Okay you might say possibly a Leica mechanical shutter will give a poorer result even at 1/1000. But let's look at the focusing test, in which the new camera is supposed to shine at. Well the camera also consistently outfocused when measured with a microscope and a EF 50 1.4 attached. The camera needs to be stopped down to F2.8 to give acceptable results with that lens. The camera gave better results with the 28-135 IS lens attached, but only marginal at the 135end. Also, the focusing system under different contrasts and vertical + horizontal lines situations gave fairly poor results under EV5. The above measurements were made with the center focusing spot which supposed to be the most sensitive out of all the 45 points. Well the camera's box certainly looks luxurious (gold lettering on black), but the camera's overall qualitative and quantitative factors will make it hard to justify the camera's high price.

Adam Thomas , March 08, 1999; 05:21 A.M.

Well, at $1400 US for the EOS-3, I think my A2 still has a few years of life left in it! As a prosumer camera, with its feature set, this thing should be priced at $995.

Frank Sheeran , March 11, 1999; 03:24 P.M.

I have a 1N. I spend alot of time changing lenses and re-rewinding film with the leader out, so I've been wanting a second body. I don't know how to focus an A2 with its lack of split circle screens and emasculated AF-assist. I was planning on getting the older EOS-1 as a second body (not needing too much AF) (or even a 1NRS for variety), but the better flash of the 3+550 convinced me to forgo a 1 or 1N.

Basicly, a 1N user will fit right into a 3. The controls are identical, and nearly identically placed. Display is about the same. The AF sensor lights spill over onto neighboring sensors and look a little cheap. The entire body is a bit lighter and doesn't emotionally feel as strong but if there are impacts that would break a 3 but not a 1N, they are probably very rare.

The best additions over a 1N: NiMH battery, remote control socket is a new bayonet connector and on the left so you can handle a camera even when a remote is attached. I think I might get some more good pictures with 45AFs and eye control (the galleries on my home page show that fast subjects aren't my forte, so I can find out if this is due to disposition or equipment).

Most mundane additional features: meter selection goes eval-> partial-> spot-> centerweight (the 1N only has the first three, I think had a CF to replace partial with centerweight or something). Adds spot reading averaging, which to me sounds like the worst possible way to get an exposure.

And that's all the differences I notice. If it doesn't sound like much you get the picture. I appreciate the continuity, though I laugh that they missed every bullet on my old 1N wish list (besides the RC connector) (see below). Prism size is insubstantial, compared to the damage of a slide mount. IR sprockets, whatever. I plan on trying some IR in the Alps this summer and will be glad to have a 1N for the duration of a brick of film, big deal. I can't think of a flash picture I've taken that was 1/250 and simultaneously required more power than the hi-speed sync can muster. I can't think of a picture I missed because I had 3fps instead of 4.3.

Scariest sentence in the manual, p.133: evaluative and center-spot-metering don't work with split circle screens (not direct quote). I am hoping that this proves to be mostly untrue, as I only ever shoot with eval or c-spot with a split. If it really can't do this, I will trade the 3 for a 1N or 1 (unless AF truly can be used for every shot, I'm pessimistic).

This 2
minute exposure still can't be done automatically with an EOS-3. My bitches are:

  • why can't you record exposure info on film, scads of Fuji MF, Contax MF and 35mm, and Nikons do this now

  • why can't you make a camera that can be operated by feel; the switches on the Leica R8 allowed this, a camera after my heart if the AE, flash and lens selection was on a par with Japan)

  • I want 5 or 7 brackets, just like an old Minolta

  • I want shutter speeds up to 8 hours without B or the new remote control. I know I'd use up to 2 minute exposures at least once a month, since I do night photos on RVP

  • why make silently focusing lenses on such loud cameras

john j. siegel , March 14, 1999; 01:54 P.M.

I am a lifelong Nikon fan with an extensive collection, including the F5. However, the best Nikon cameras and lenses are very heavy to lug around. I found this out to my dismay on a european trip when my back went out. What has this got to do with the EOS 3?. My brother in law was on the same trip. He has a Elan II/e setup which included the 75-300 IS lens. The light weight of this set up and the low light hand holding capacity of the lens. When the 28-135 IS was released, I was hooked! I bought the Elan II/e and the 28-135 and 75-300 lenses. This has become my travel outfit. However, I never liked the "feel" of the II/e. I like the "feel" of the Nikon 70 far better and have found that the metering and flash capacity including fill flash far superior to the II/e. Again, what does this have to do with the EOS 3? I purchased the EOS 3, and love the "feel". Like my Nikons. this body feels like a real camera. Its functionality is really unmatched by any camera I have ever used. Its metering, flash capacity and eye focus ability are fabulous. However, what sets the EOS 3 apart from any Nikon or any brand of camera, other than Canon, is the ability to use IS lenses. I would recommend purchasing the EOS 3 for its ability to use IS lenses, if for not other reason. I realize that other Canon bodies including the "lowly" Rebel can use these lenses. However, based on my experience with the II/e and my Nikons, I would unhesitatingly recommend the EOS 3 for its other features and state that this camera is an unparalelled technical tour de force.

Will Perlis , March 15, 1999; 05:22 P.M.

In my experience, before buying, it definitely pays to play with the EOS-3 and the F-100 a bit if you aren't already locked into one system or the other. I managed to rule the Nikon out in a minute or two based on my being left-eye dominant and discovering I couldn't use that back control pad without hitting my nose with my thumb. There is just no way for me to use it comfortably.

The EOS-3? It's a nice body, and I'm having fun with it, its 30 zillion settings, and the new zooms, but somehow I don't think my now requited technolust has much to do with taking good pictures.

Patrick Chase , March 22, 1999; 08:36 P.M.

One more observation w.r.t. the EOS-3: It's fairly noisy, particularly with the booster and NiMH pack installed (the faster motor sequences used with the booster impart a bit of screechiness to the noise). I don't think it'll be replacing my A2 for discreet indoor candids...

Patrick Chase , March 23, 1999; 04:46 A.M.

A couple items that haven't been mentioned by anybody else:

1. The EOS 3 turns on the 540EZ's AF assist light. This means that if you already have a 540, you don't have to spring for a new 550 to get that particular benefit.

2. The "AI Servo AF" mode on the EOS 3 appears to use release priority for the first frame of a motordrive burst, and focus priority after that. This is the same behavior as a 1n, but different from that of the lower-end EOS bodies like the A2. If you're working with a moving subject, you need to either track the subject with the shutter half-depressed for a half-second or so before starting to shoot, or make sure to take more than one frame per burst and accept that the first one WILL be blurred.

[An update: The body _does_ attempt to focus before the first shot, but doesn't do predictive AF until the second and subsequent shots in a burst. Thus, the first shot may be blurry if the subject is fast-moving].

3. Newer EOS 3 bodies don't seem to have the well-known 2/3-stop underexposure gremlin. To be on the safe side, you should still test against a trusted exposure meter before buying. The owner of the shop from which I acquired my EOS-3 also stated that Canon is accepting returns of EOS-3's with the 2/3 stop problem under warranty.

4. Multiple spot readings (captured using the "FEL" button) will only be displayed on the exposure bar graph when in the AE modes (P, Tv, Av, etc). It doesn't work in manual mode.

5. Regarding the gripe about lack of dioptric adjustment: It's an eye-control thing. If you had an adjustable diopter, you'd have to completely recalibrate eye-control every time you messed with it. The EOS-3 does accept the same Ed series external diopters as the 1n, and does maintain ECF with them (or at least it does with the -1 dpt. lens that I'm using).

6. I'm not going to spell anything out here because I don't want to be sued if you destroy your EOS-3 and kill yourself in the process,, but it is possible to get a charger suitable for use with the NP-E2 pack (including thermal and dV monitoring to prevent overcharging, trickle charging, automatic discharging, and all that other fun stuff) for about $50, vs $350 for the Canon part.

7. To the person who complained about the new, incompatible remote release socket on the EOS-3: B&H charges $44 for the "Remote Control Switch Adapter RA-N3", which converts old accessories to the new quick-release socket. The new socket is a _lot_ easier to operate; A big improvement IMO.

8. According to Chasseur d'Images (the French magazine that published the AF tracking tests wherein the EOS-3 got blown away by the F5 and F100), production EOS-3's have significantly better tracking capabilities than the pre-production unit they tested. Unfortunately, they haven't published updated results. From my own experience, I don't think that the EOS-3 is up to the F5's mark though I'm still learning how to make it work best (the whole shutter priority on first exposure thing being a prime example ;-)

9. For those who have trouble getting ECF to work acceptably with all 45 points: Try using CF-11 to reconfigure it for 11 points, and CF-17 to allow it to automatically use the sensors surrounding the selected focus point.

OK, I think I've plugged up Phil's server with enough useless garbage, so that's all for now ;-).

William Perlis , March 24, 1999; 02:51 P.M.

"2. The "AI Servo AF" mode on the EOS 3 appears to use release priority for the first frame of a motordrive burst, and focus priority after that. This is the same behavior as a 1n, but different from that of the lower-end EOS bodies like the A2. If you're working with a moving subject, you need to either track the subject with the shutter half-depressed for a half-second or so before starting to shoot, or make sure to take more than one frame per burst and accept that the first one WILL be blurred."

Patrick,

My interpretation of the EOS-3 manual is that the shutter is not linked to the autofocus at all in predictive+continuous mode.

Near as I can tell, that system is oriented towards getting *something* on film when you hit the release rather than waiting until the AF thinks it's going to get a good picture.

IMX, the automatic area AF does an excellent job of finding and locking on to whatever is out front unless I make a special effort to fool it. Given a light beige wall with a white piece of paper taped to it in my office, it happily locks on to the curl (or the shadow it casts) on one corner of the paper.

There are no under-exposure problems with mine either.

It's not perfect, but it's a very competent camera body. I'd like bigger displays in the LCD or more mode indicators showing in the view finder so I don't need to fool around with reading glasses, but I can live with that inconvenience.

Will

Herman Hiel , April 08, 1999; 08:27 A.M.

I tried out the EOS 3 over a weekend and - just as the EOS 50E (or Elan IIE)- the eye-control is not my thing. I don't seem to make it work efficiently. The camera is basicly the same as the 1N, so I guess I'll stick to that one. A French phtog mag ( Chasseur d'Images )tested the number of frames one can shoot before the camera breaks down; I'm not sure whether this has ever been done before with other types? The 1N is reputed to withstand at least 100.000 exposures. For the new Minolta and the Nikon 100 they came to less than 100.000 exposures ( whick is more than sufficient for most of us); the EOS 3 gave up after ... more than 400.000 exposures ! So there is no doubt that this camera is made to last! Herman Hiel

dan edwards , April 09, 1999; 03:36 P.M.

For Herman and anyone else: The EOS 3 has a few important things that the 1n doesn't, namely (1) much more advanced flash control, (2) multi-spot metering, (3) much more useful vertical control on the PB-E2.

Bryan Che , April 12, 1999; 01:15 A.M.

E-TTL speedlites like the 550EX or 380EX fire a pre-flash to help set the flash exposure. Alan is probably seeing this pre-flash rather than the actual flash--the pre-flash fires before the camera's mirror goes up.

Will Perlis , April 13, 1999; 07:00 P.M.

Phil said, "The sad thing is that you'll need that power booster for vertical handling. Fill it up with 8 lithium AAs (instead of alkaline) and it won't make quite as big a dent in your neck. You'll also be able to burn 120 rolls of film before changing batteries!"

The instructions for the plain old add-on battery pack that allows you to use and switch between four AA cells and the 2CR5 lithium battery that normally powers the body warns against using lithium AAs because they will supply too much voltage. I don't know if the same applies to the motor drive boosters, but it would probably pay to read ALL the way through the instruction sheet.

Will

alan mandel , April 14, 1999; 11:09 P.M.

the newer boosters will accept lithium batteries.

Edward C. Nemergut , April 19, 1999; 01:50 P.M.

I have now run about 20 rolls of films through my EOS-3 (mosly E100SW and Velvia) and have not noted the much described 2/3 stop under exposure.

The only negative comment I can make is that using the PB-E2 filled with AA battteries (i.e. not Lithium) I do not beleive it shoots the advertised 6 fps, even with shutter speeds >1/1000 and Servo Mode. Of course if you're not photographing race cars (as I was here in Indianapolis) it probably doesn't matter.

Overall, a vast improvment to the A2 and a fine piece of equipment.

john doe , April 19, 1999; 05:03 P.M.

Canon, Inc. in Japan has done extensive investigating and testing into questions about metering with the EOS-3, and determined that there was no general problem affecting EOS-3 production since the camera was launched in December. We've seen a report or two in foreign magazine articles, and heard from some customers saying they were getting results different from what they previously had, but we've also had some members of Canon's Explorers of Light program (sixty-five of the most renowned and influential pros in the world) who have had early production samples say it's got the best metering they've ever seen in an SLR.

Peter Goldman , May 03, 1999; 06:48 P.M.

I have recently purchased an EOS-3 and I had the unfortunate experience of ruining 5 rolls of Kodak E200 film and blowing a crucial shoot which can not be repeated due to meter underexposure. The latter was assessed by my local authorized supplier and the camera body was returned to Canon for meter "recalibration". I received the EOS-3 body today and have not yet had the opportunity to check the meter function out but I am quite shocked that Canon could have allowed this to happen. I would be most appreciative if anyone can confirm that Canon is accepting return and replacement of these defective bodies in-as-much as I have completely lost confidence in this particular piece of equipment.

Will Perlis , May 05, 1999; 06:10 P.M.

"I have recently purchased an EOS-3 and I had the unfortunate experience of ruining 5 rolls of Kodak E200 film and blowing a crucial shoot which can not be repeated ... but I am quite shocked that Canon could have allowed this to happen."

The basic rule for photographing "crucial" events is to test any new camera gear beforehand and I can remember that advice appearing regularly in photo and other magazines since the 1950's.

If that underexposure problem really exists shooting a roll of slide film would have revealed it. Canon may be at fault for a bad manufacturing run, but not for your ruined shots.

Dave Mitchell , May 15, 1999; 01:45 P.M.

A friend sent me this link http://www.picture-perfect.net/Eos3review.shtml. It is a comprehensive review of the EOS 3 including links to an EOS 3 and F5 comparison.

Keith Daniel , May 24, 1999; 03:03 A.M.

Have just run my first 8 rolls through a new EOS-3. The eye controlled focus works absolutely perfectly for me in all conditions from bright sunlight to almost dark with high and very low contrast. Works perfectly also with CF13 (11 focus points rather than 45 and focus point linked to spot metering) activated. I supsect that I am lucky by having:-

1. No glasses 2. Blue/grey eyes (high contrast to black pupil) 3. relatively small pupils most of the time

Of course, none of the above may be relevant (would have to have Canon comment) but for me the system has ZERO selection and focussing problems. It is a VAST improvement over the EOS-5.

Steven Hiu , October 04, 1999; 08:56 A.M.

I recently added and EOS-3 to my ageing EOS-1 4 months ago. I was seriously weighing up the merits of the 3 vs the 1N-RS, but decied that for what I wanted to do, I would much rather have the 45-point AF and E-TTL flash metering than a pellicle mirror and a 10 fps shooting speed. I have not regretted this decision, as I have shot a zillion rolls of film and they have all been astounding - not a single unintentionally over- or under- exposed frame.

It has been mentioned in passing in this thread, but I would like to explicitly state how great it is to be able to use ANY of the 45 AF points in AI Servo mode! You can even switch mid-way by quickly releasing and half-pressing the shutter/AE lock button and glancing where you want it to focus! Also, the flash output is astounding with the 550EX Speedlite - I now take slide film + flash with total confidence.

Lastly, I too saw the reports that early bodies were consistently underexposing by 1/3 of a stop (in Chasseur d'Images Dec '98), but these same tests ALSO revealed that the Nikon F100 (N100 in the US) was consistently OVEREXPOSING by 1/3 of a stop. Now I'm neither a rabid Canonist nor staunch Nikonist, so I really appreciate the humour and irony in this! ;-)

LOL, Seven.

BTW, The exposure problem has been fixed in the EOS-3, but does anyone know if the Nikon F100 haas also been fixed?

Ben Ross , October 07, 1999; 02:36 P.M.

We've had our EOS 3 for about a month and have put several rolls through it - Kodak E100VS, Fuji Velvia, and some print (both color and B/W). No problems with metering at all, and the subjects have been challenging as well ranging from sunsets on the beach directly into the sun, pics of cloud formations after the sun was down in the blue dusk sky, shots of my wife on the beach reading a book (skin tones came out perfect despite sand and water as potential metering complications), as well as many other varied subjects. User interface is outstanding and autofocus is dead-on and fast. Currently using 28-135 USM IS and 75-300 USM IS and 28-135 is a little quicker to focus. Both lenses are extremely sharp! No flash pics yet, but will be getting 550EX soon.

We compared the Nikon F100 and EOS 3 before buying and found the two to be very similar with the EOS 3 having a few more items in the plus column (we did the plus vs. minus column summary for ourselves to help keep track of the differences). These plusses include eye controlled focus and the thumb wheel on the back (for easy control of both shutter and aperture without removing eye from viewfinder, but the biggest difference and the most important determining factor was the lenses. All other things being equal (and they are pretty close as I said) Canon has a big advantage over Nikon because of their IS lenses. Even though the 28-135 USM IS has a max aperature of only 3.5, you get two stops extra hand holding because of the IS. This allows you to effectively shoot at 1/8 sec at the 28mm position (1/focal length minus two stops), although to be on the safe side I only go one stop down. This allows for shooting in very low light situations without a flash and helps to bring these high level "consumer/prosumer" lenses up to the speed of the more expensive L lenses or even fixed focal length lenses.

I hope this helps some of you who are in the process of shopping the EOS 3. We have been very happy so far and continue to enjoy it more and more as we become more familiar/comfortable with all it features and capabilites. Remember, the lenses are key. Once you have a collection of lenses you know and enjoy, it's much easier to upgrade your camera body when new models come out with features you can't live without. Good luck, and remember - take lots of pictures.

Mars T.W. SIN , October 13, 1999; 10:57 P.M.

I have the EOS 3 for 1 month (I also purchase the BP-E2, 550EX and EF17-35 at the same time). I have tested it for about ten rolls of slides and negatives, I want to say that I need a re-calibration for the light meter for 1/3 to 2/3 stops. But that's not so important for me since I can use the exposure compensation. The best thing for owning the 3 is that even it is a lot heavier than the EOS 50E that I previously used (now as a back up body), but the handling and feeling in hand is excellent in both horizontal and vertical shooting positions with BP-E2 Booster. And now I can shoot in a much faster response than using the 50E. I have used it in my friend's wedding, I was happy that the 550EX can recycle really fast in 3 fps shooting mode. This give me an advantage to capture the decisive and exciting moments of the wedding.

Although the ECF doesn't work for me right now (every night I will try to spare 15 minutes to calibre the ECF function and hope that the camera can learn my pupil position well), the central focusing point is still fast enough for me to focus and re-compose the picture.

Mars SIN

on 14 Oct 99, Mars added:

After shooting more events for my church's activites and weddings, I need to say that the EOS 3 did so many excellent jobs. When shot with Fuji NPH film, the flash from 550EX balance the ambient light perfectly, I think that is much please watching than flash from my friend's F70 + SB26 + D lens from Nikon. For me the flash from Nikon is to artifical while the Canon flash is more natural. In one wedding, I had switched back to my backup EOS 50E for several rolls, now I think 50E is no match to 3's metering. The Evaluated metering performed very well when shooting group shots, much better than the 50E's meter.

Curtis Cleaves , October 21, 1999; 01:17 P.M.

Having used Canons for 20 years including F1n's and T90's I recently upgraded to an A2 and an EOS3 with 28-135 IS and 75-300 IS lenses. While photographing a soccer match on a bright sunny day I pointed both cameras at the same sunlit patch of grass using the same focal lenght on both lenses, first both at 100 and then both at 135 in order to check the sun exposure as I usually use manual metering if the soccer field is all in the sun. The EOS3 was reading 1 FULL stop under the A2, same film speed and exposure compensation set to 0. Afterwards I checked the metering of both cameras against a known meter, a Minolta flashmeter IV. The EOS3 was definitely under by 1 stop.

I e-mailed Canon's tech support with the problem and this is their response:

*********** CCSI response as follows: ***** > ****** > Dear Mr. Cleaves: > > The discrepancy is due to several factors: > > 1. the use of two different metering system in those cameras, > reading light in different ways. > 2. viewfinder information is always rounded off > 3. no two cameras will give matched readings. It is an > industry wide standard that exposures must be 1 1/2 stop in > tolerance. Canons standard is 1 1/4 stop. > > Thank you for your inquiry > > Canon USA

I called Calumet where the camera was purchased, at Canon's verbal response recommendation, and had a new EOS3 the next day (THANKS Calumet!) only 1/2 stop under the Minolta meter(which agrees with the A2) It seems that Canon's e-mail and verbal response is reminicent of "The Emporer's New Clothes". I only found out about the problem on the web after I was told by Canon "there is no problem".

Quang-Tuan Luong , November 02, 1999; 06:06 P.M.

This is edited from a post by Jonathan Kwok to the EOS mailing list which summarises the recent upgrades.

"Since the recent announcement that Canon had released a software upgrade for the Eos 3, namely version 1.6 and 1.7, many have been asking me how they would know if their recently purchased Eos 3 already have the software loaded.

I called up Canon and talked to a senior tech support manager and was told that all Eos 3 cameras with the manufacturing code ON 03 08 (meaning March 8, 1999) and those manufactured after this date, come loaded with the software version 1.6. By the way, the code is located in the film chamber.

He clarified that version 1.6 and version 1.7 are identical, except that version 1.7 adds Custom Function 19 to the list of original 18 CFs in the Eos 3.

CF-19 (1-4) concerns only the new IS superteles. (EF300 f/2.8L IS, EF400 f/2.8L IS, EF500 f/4L IS & EF600 f/4L IS).

[...]

As for the software patch, be it version 1.6 or 1.7, I was told they would improve the ambient light metering, flash exposure metering and AF algorithm in the Eos 3.

The Canon official said earlier production batches of the Eos 3 (manufactured before March 8) may have some underexposure problems or exhibit slight erratic behaviour in the ambient light or ETTL flash metering. The software patch will completely correct such problems while improving the Eos 3's overall performance. [...]"

Jonathan Hanson , November 02, 1999; 08:28 P.M.

I just returned from a two month assignment in Africa, in Zambia and Namibia, with a brand new EOS 3. The 1,500 images I am now editing contain a smaller percentage of toss-outs than any other group of pictures I have ever taken. The numerous three-shot exposure compensation sequences I took were nearly redundant, so accurate is the evaluative metering on this camera.

I experienced conditions ranging from splashing water on the Zambezi River to howling dust in the Namib. No problems. I used the eye-controlled focus almost exclusively, and got excellent results. I also used the 550EX flash, getting perfect fill-flash pictures, and also some really cool shots that I thought at the time were basically throw-away experiments. The program function knew exactly what I was hoping for.

This is the first camera I've used which I think realizes the potential of autofocus technology. I'll be adding a second EOS 3 to replace my A2 as soon as I can afford it.

By the way, I also experienced a horrifying accident with my 70-200 2.8 L lens, which took a cartwheeling tumble down a rock hill (with both caps attached, fortunately) and emerged scratched but functioning perfectly.

Jonathan Hanson

Aznam Omar , November 16, 1999; 03:58 A.M.

I must admit that I was the first few in Malaysia (where I live) to have bought the EOS-3. My camera body is (supposedly) manufactured in November 1998, but to get a hand on it would mean waiting for a few months later due to the shortage in supply allocation. However, I finally got one earlier this year (Jan/Feb)and would care to share some experience I've had accumulated since.

I must say that the EOS-3 is a must-have for Canon enthusiast (I own a FT-QL & A-1) looking for upgrade to autofocus camera. The build is exceptionally well, the looks are beautiful and the handling is an ease (provided you have the PB-E2). Coupled with the 550EX flash and a 28-135 IS lens (I'm an advanced amateur), I'm ready to go a full day's outing confidently. The functions of this camera are enough said for a person of my experience (the world of manual focus cameras).

So, as time went by and I began to read postings on newsgroup, there seemed to be some underexposure problems (by 1/3 to 2/3 stops). It was then when I relooked at my previous slides and took further slide pictures that I realised my EOS-3 needs to be checked by Canon Service Centre. By this time, it was all talk about a firmware upgrade of v1.6 and v1.7 where these upgrades corrects the underexposure problems and the add one more Custome Function.

My camera went to Canon Malaysia for a firmware upgrade v1.7. After a week of using the newly upgraded camera, it refused to recalibrate. Then it refused to calibrate at all. So, I took the camera back to Canon to have it checked. The service reps had the camera for two weeks and delivered it to me. They said that there was nothing wrong with the camera. So, I checked the camera and it was working fine for awhile until the ECF refused to calibrate, again. This time I called the Service Manager personally to have him take a look at the EOS-3. I told him that the camera has been having some "erratic" problems after the upgrade.

The manager took my EOS-3 plus PB-E2 plus 50mm f1.4 for checking. A few days later it came out and he told me that Canon had overwritten the previous v1.7 firmware with the same one; v1.7 and that the camera had no more problems. Their reason was that there could have been some problems at the first attempt of upgrading the firmware of the EOS-3.

So, now the camera is working fine, but I'm afraid that there may be some problems in the near future. I did hinted to Canon Malaysia that if there were any more "related" problems in the future that I'd want a new EOS-3 body (latest manufactured). I smiled and walked away thinking of the near future.

Philip Bartley , November 25, 1999; 06:37 P.M.

The weather-proof aspect of the EOS-3 may be good for some units, but not all. I used by EOS-3 with the 28-135 IS on Saint Lawrence Island, Alaska for about 4 hours in weather best described as Macy's Parade normal (windy, cold, slight rain). Even though I protected the body when not taking pictures, and particularly when changing film, the camera stopped working at the 4 hour mark. After a polite but protracted struggle with Canon, they replaced the failed part on the inside of the camera and absorbed the labor charge, but I had to pay for the part itself because the warranty clearly states that water damage is not covered. Unfortunately it makes me very hesitant to use my EOS-3 in other than dry weather.

Phil B

Tristan A , November 26, 1999; 11:38 A.M.

Some users insist that the polycarbonate construction of the EOS 3 is an issue fearing it might not be as strong as metal bodies. Although a die-cast titanium body is desirable, I have not encounter any durability problem with the so-called non-metal Canon SLRs under demanding conditions.

My EOS 3 has been with me for about half a year now and has been through some rather harsh treatment without the slightest fault. So far, it has sailed with me on a double seated canoe where I was at the front for the purpose of taking photo of a group of canoeist friends. I did not make necessary effort to protect the camera and lens (28-135IS) from the salt water and throughout the entire session, the camera, lens and speedlite (550EX for high sync) were so badly exposed to splashing wave that even I was losing faith. The real test came when I had to change film 4 times onboard the canoe in open sea. As anybody could imagine, it was impossible to keep the interior of the camera dry while doing so. At the end of the day, I expected the camera to shown some sign of failure but no, it did not fail. That canoeing incident happened over a month ago and until now, all equipment has shown no sign of damage. And yes, the harvest for that day was superb. Every shot came through well exposed (it was a bright sunny day) and not a single shot was unclear even when I was shooting on a constantly rocking canoe (well, all shots were fired at no less than 1/125s) .

After the watery encounter, I spent 3 days camping/hiking at one of the secluded area in this country with the camera. This time the camera, lenses (17-35L, 28-70L and 70-200L) and flash had eaten sands and soil and drank rain water. All my friends who saw the ordeal my Canon went through couldn't believe what their eyes saw. Mud finding its way into the viewfinder, tiny sand particles taking up position at all visible joints and indents. Not to mention a careless friend dropped the entire SLR onto concrete ground from about 1.5 metre. Except for the fact that the EOS 3 now looked well used, there is absolutely no symptom of problem after that.

One word of caution- check the contacts between the flash and body (the accessory shoe) for rust which took place after used.

More recently, I spent a day trying my hand at birds in a tropical nature reserve with another friend. He's a nice Nikon guy who has been shooting with F90X and some zooms for 2 years already. We are both curious about how good the AF tracking capability of the new SLRs are so we did a simple shootout with birds as our subject. For our purpose, I had my trusty EOS 3 and he used my half year old F100. Both cameras were fitted with the PB-E2 and MB-15 respectively. The lenses used were the 70-200 f2.8 and AFS 80-200. The lenses were also fitted with 2X extender to give them extra reach.

I've discovered how efficient it was to utilize all the 45 focusing cells in automatic focusing point selection mode to obtain focus. In focus priority, all I needed to do was to look into the viewfinder for target. When a bird was spotted in flight, I would then position the flying bird within the oval focusing area and engage the AF. 10 out of 10 times the bird would be locked tight anywhere within the ellipse. No thinking required. In AI Servo AF where tracking is possible, just cover the target with the centre focusing point and let the camera safely decide the focus. Even when the background was not clear blue sky, the focus had no problem tracking onto the bird(s). The point here is that with one huge focus area, shooting isolated, small objects has never been easier.

When I took my turn to use the F100, it was impossible to use the same method. I set the F100 in dynamic AF mode where all the 5 focus points were activated, and set to single servo autofocus priority (CF9 set to 1). The camera simply could not get the randomly flying bird in focus with any of the 5 AF points. Next I select only the centre cell (single area AF with no AF tracking ability). This time though I managed to lock on the bird with a little more success. Isn't it ironical? For subjects as small as birds flying, the focusing area on the F5/F100 system is not comprehensive enough for the task. The birds just got 'in-between' the 5 AF sensors and flew away without the camera firing a shot.

My Nikon friend though skeptical about the EOS 3 in the beginning had to bow down in humble acceptance of the results. Not that the EOS 3 has better AF tracking ability, but rather its large dense area AF is second to none in achieving focus with small subject and keeping it there. We took turn to shoot 2 rolls each with each camera (8 rolls). Those shot by the EOS 3 gave consistently better result. So much talk about the 10-segment matrix metering with 30,000 picture database but from our experience, what counts is capturing the moment.

I'm fortunate my EOS 3 has not got the infamous underexposure problem. Since day one, it has been a well beaten work horse which could feed on cheap AA batteries (since AA are so cheap, I gave it a fresh set every now and then). Here I wish to say that to obtain good results there's nothing like knowing your camera's strength and weaknesses. Even my Rebel 2000 could do an adequate job majority of the time. Having used most modern SLRs to date (fr. elan 2e to F5), I could only say that the EOS 3 has been a most wonderful companion, and those excellent EF lenses. I now trust the EOS 3 more than any other cameras to take those once in a life time moments.

desmond Allen , December 11, 1999; 05:36 P.M.

Just purchased the EOS 3 and it's outstanding. Not quite as quiet as the A2. Metering is the best I've seen. The exposure problem has been taken care of . I think they recalled older models with this problem. Mine doesn't as it was made on July 17th of '99. In the film chamber it looks like this( ON 07 13). Any EOS 3s made on or after March 8th of '99 don't have the exposure problem (ON 03 O8).

Brad Daly , December 12, 1999; 03:36 P.M.

I've been using an EOS 3 since May, and I love it. It handles well, especially with the PB-E2, though it weighs about seven million pounds. ECF doesn't work too well for me, but I wear eyeglasses, which probably causes the problem.

I've not noticed any exposure problems, but I usually use a handheld meter and have shot absolutely nothing but b-w negative film with the camera. I've tested the meter with a gray card and compared it to a Minolta Flashmeter V in the same light and gotten identical exposure readings, so I'm thinking maybe it's okay. Mine was manufactured on November 11, 1998. Does that mean it most likely has the metering problem? Are they still only servicing this problem and doing the firmwear update at the two service centers in the U.S?

--Brad Daly

John Cothron , January 02, 2000; 09:54 A.M.

I just got a EOS-3, after A LOT of reading. Yes, I saw "the warts" and the rest of the positive and negative comments on the body. I can only say, after holding it in my hand and exploring it's capabilities....ummmmm, aren't you people a little harsh? I'm in LOVE with this body! The only REALLY valid gripe I see is the lack of a readily available mirror lock-up function, but other than that..NONE. Other than that comment, I'll leave it alone for now, except to add... DEBRA, my faithful browsing partner...THANKS!!!!!!!!

John Cothron , January 05, 2000; 12:37 P.M.

In response to the "plastic" feel I hear mentioned... take note. I spent over 10 years in the polymer industry. This body is molded from polycarbonate. For those of you not familiar with polycarbonate, it is the same material used to make "bullet-proof" glass. NO, do not shoot your camera with a rifle, but to say that it's not strong is a VERY misguided statement. Pound for pound, polycarbonate is much stronger than steel, will not corode, is easier to form intricate shapes with, has very good dimensional stability, and the aesthetic value will be longer lived. Canon did a GREAT thing in using this material, don't doubt it for a second. A material that stops a rifle bullet is more than capable of protecting your camera body. For those of you familiar with PC, and it's inherent UV light degradation after a few years, not to worry, the EOS 3 body is full of carbon black pigment, which basically insures you'll have no problem in that area either (carbon black a good UV absorbtion material)

Kevin Pullen , January 31, 2000; 10:19 A.M.

I haven't had time to read all the comments on the page, so this may have already been addressed. I have an EOS-3 I purchased a few months ago. It functions well except for one thing: I cannot keep batteries in it for more than 5 rolls. I thought at first that it was because I would forget to turn it off, but I've kept track and this is not the case. Temperature doesn't seem to make a difference. Is anyone else experiencing this problem? Anyone have any suggestions as to the cause and how to resolve it? Thanks,

--Kevin

Eric Ung , February 11, 2000; 10:23 A.M.


Sample

Regarding the battery problem, I have shot for more than 10 rolls of 36 films and fired more than thousand times without films (just to play around with the ECF), the battery is still full according to the battery test function. The lens I used was mostly 28-135 with the IS on.

Patrick Wong , April 07, 2000; 02:09 P.M.

I have the EOS 3 since December 27, 1998 and it has work great. Never had a exposure problem and I shot mostly Slides film. I even test against a hand held meter when I want exposure accuraccy. Find out some more info on the software/exposure problem on the EOS 3 last week.If you have a serial No. begin with 25,26,27 you need the software upgrade to correct the exposure problem. Luckily my EOS 3 start with 24 so I did not have a problem. You can double check the info at www.naturephotographers.net in discussion forum to make sure the serial number are correct. The only problem with the EOS 3 is the cover on the remote come loose and disapper, plus eye control is still not perfect, it works, but is not perfect. The EOS 3 is a great camera but I can not wait the the EOS1v. It fix all the problem of the EOS 3,No eye control,put in a tougher and more water ressistance body,100 percent viewfinder,and have storage for exposure data which can be downloaded to a computer THANK GOD! For those still interested in the EOS 3 the price have drop to $1899 Canadian at some store from a high $2299 Canadian. I ask the store why the drop, they said they are making room for the EOS IV.

Patrick Wong , April 09, 2000; 07:35 P.M.

I just purchase a EOS 1v yesterday. I think I am one of the first consumer in Canada to have one. I am going post my comment on the EOS 3 site till the boys at Photonet put up a EOS 1v site. In the next couple of weeks I will be test out the camera and giving you my comments. On first impressing it is very impressive and very similar to EOS 3. It is heavier them the EOS 3,but not overly heavy. To people who like a heavy feeliing Camera( Heavy = Durability) they will love the EOS 1v. especially compare to EOS 3. Just one word of caution, when purchasing the EOS 1v the salesman over the phone though the EOS 1v (body only) and the EOS 1v HS (body plus PB-E2) where two different camera. It is not. You can covert a EOS Iv to HS any time by adding PB-E2 any time. To make the sale look even more stupid he though he had just a EOS 1v in stock, when I went to pick it up I talk to an other saleman it was actually a EOS 1v HS. Good thing I remeber to bring my credit cards to cover the extra cost. The camera cost me $3299 CDN. at Vistek in Toronto and It was there on and only model in stock, they were going to use as a floor display. I call other Camera stores in Toronto to compare price everybodies said the camera would not be in till end of the month. I even e-mail B&H in New york and they don't even have it listed yet. The only other to have one was Henry's in Toronto but they want $3000 CDN for EOS 1v body only, Henry's has alway been badly over price.

Desmond Robinson , April 13, 2000; 05:53 P.M.

As to the solidity of the EOS-3, it's a non-issue. In my opinion the 3 feels as solid as the NIKON F100, the Nikon being a little heavier. This is one of the best cameras Canon has made. The eye control works very well(i have dark brown eyes too). The metering is excellent ,the auto focus is fast and accurate, and the durability of the body is also Very good in my opinion. I have shot in snow and rain with it with no problems. I found Phils "warts" insignificant. A supurb piece of equipment

Truc Bui , April 24, 2000; 07:40 P.M.

i just got my eos 3 with the pb-e2 today. i must say, this is one solid camera! the newspaper just got the new nikon D1 about a month ago, and that body (IMHO) is really solid. then i got the eos 3... for the people who commented on it's lack of solidity in its plastic (polycarb, might i correct you) is talking nonsense. this body is as solid as the all metal (magnesium alloy) body of the D1. sheesh! the only gripe i have about it is the palm door swinging open sometimes. they should bring back the old 630 idea and have it be magnetically held together instead of by spring. anyway, this camera is super duper cool! heh heh... i had to add that in there. oh yeah, eye control works pretty well, and that's only after one calibration. well, off to calibrate some more now. happy shooting, all!!!

Michael Giuliani , April 27, 2000; 03:23 P.M.

I just wanted to make some light about the underexposure problem that so many people is worry about! The claim that all the cameras with the serial number starting with 25-26-27 have to be reprogrammed is NOT TRUE! Before that you scramble and send out your camera to Canon have it checked by a local repair store. My Canon starts with the 25 and I just came back from a Canon authorized repair center (Kurt's Camera Repair in San Diego, CA) and they have electronically tested the camera. No underexposure problem at all. The Camera is within 1/5 (actually thay said even below than that) from the correct exposure. To be more accurate in my posting I just finished talking to Canon, and they told me that the serial numbers are not a factor. The exposure problem could be in some of the cameras, but again NOT RELATED TO THE SERIAL NUMBER. Canon is doing an upgrade of the firmware, and I will send my camera to the Irvine factory just to be double sure and to have the uprgrade done just to feel good about having the latest version.

Truc Bui , April 28, 2000; 04:09 P.M.

i am going to have to agree with that. my eos 3 starts with 27 for a serial number and there are absolutely no metering problems at all. in fact, the meter has proven to be more effective and more accurate than my eos 5. also, eye control focus and auto focus makes the already fast eos 5 seem like a snail when compared to the eos 3. as for focus tracking with my 80-200, single shot and AI Servo are significantly faster than the 5. for example, i shot a baseball player from the first base plate running straight at me from 90 feet away (home plate) all the way till the lens couldn't focus any closer (fist base) and every shot was in focus. he runs the distance in a mere 4.37 seconds as measured by the coach. that's pretty darn fast tracking, especially considering this lens is the older AFD L lens. can't imagine what i would be able to track with the new 70-200 usm... heh heh... time to save up for a new toy.

Nanette Staph , May 09, 2000; 04:57 P.M.

I just called Canon's technical support today (to ensure that when I buy an EOS-3 that I do not get one with metering problems). The rep told me that the metering problems only are in teh first few batches and that as long as your serial number does not start with 24, 25 or 26, you will be fine. But, even if your serial number does start with 24, 25, or 26, it may be fine regardless. Their number is 800-828-4040 and they are available M-F 9:30a-8p (I forgot to ask which timezone though...probably EST?)

Also, for those that question whether they are buying USA items, the serial number should end in "A" ...this designates a Canon USA product.....so you can be sure if you are buying a grey market item or not.

Gary Voth , May 14, 2000; 02:10 A.M.

I've been shooting with two EOS-3 bodies for about 9 months. My experience has been mostly positive. I have a couple of comments that might interest other current and prospective users:

Re. for people who have commented on the "plasticky" feel of the EOS-3: I don't think there is a durability issue here, but there are certain visual and tactile attributes of the camera that Canon did not get right, IMHO. In particular, the palm door and thumb rest on the camera back have this hard plastic surface that provides little grip. The fake leather-grain does not help; it looks cheap. In addition, the plastic top-plate has more of a matte finish than the plastic skin of the EOS-1n which is more glossy. The result is that the EOS-3 LOOKS more plastic. (I know this is subjective, but I had to rent the camera for a weekend before the sheer usability of the thing overcame my negative first impressions.)

If you have money to burn there is a simple fix for at least part of this problem: buy the DB-E2 date back. It has a great rubberized thumb rest that is identical to that on the back of an EOS-1v (it also fits that camera). This greatly improves the "feel" of the camera in the hand, IMHO. Try it, you will be surprised.

Re. Philg's comments on mirror-lock: I agree that using custom function 12 to toggle this on and off is more trouble than the "set and forget" mode on the EOS Elan II. But, it is a true mirror lock, and not just a mirror pre-fire that relies on the self-timer. With the 3, you don't engage the self-timer at all. Rather, pressing the shutter release once locks up the mirror; then pressing it again fires the shutter. The difference is, YOU are in control. No more last-second breezes kicking up and ruining your shot as your self-timer counts down...

Finally, re. ECF: Canon acknowledges that ECF will not always work for eyeglass wearers, particulary for those who have astigmatism, as I do. This is a damn shame, because when I take my eyeglasses off and do a calibration and test, ECF works flawlessly (though the image is blurry, I can still see that the "correct" focus point is lighting up). My sense is that ECF probably works great for the lucky members of the population who have better eyes.

Daniel Ho , May 15, 2000; 11:22 A.M.

I've had the EOS-3/PBE2/2 550EX/Quantum Turbo Z setup for 2 weeks now. Love it. I use the 28-135mm IS lens for candids, Sigma 70-200mm for portraits and Sigma 17-35mm for others. Luckily both Sigmas are compatible with the EOS-3. Not all 3rd party lenses are! The Turbo Z recharges the flash in 2 sec. max. -- love it; instantaneous in lower power shots. The EOS-3 manual is good; 550EX bad. Called Canon to resolve 2 questions:

Q1: If master flash is off, slave on, master flash still fires. Why? A1: Master flash fires preflash (ETTL).

Q2: If want master flash on and slave on, how do I control flash ratio between flashes? A2: Master flash becomes 'A' flash; single slave 'B'; then use Ratio A:B to control. Arrgh! Not in manual!

EOS-3 is much improved over my 4 yr. old A2: film counter, "real" mirror lockup, lighted LCD, better feel, ETTL. I think the real improvement of the EOS-3 is really the flash system. Can handle up to 3 slave groups. Expensive, though. The ST-E2 isn't worth it -- use a 550EX as a master transmitter because the ST-E2 can only handle 2 slave groups and is lacking of some features of the 550EX. Use Lumiquest on the flashes for better quality of light. Warning: 550EX flash works best on EOS-3 and EOS-1v systems; many caveats on other ETTL cameras and even more on ATTL/TTL cameras.

Patrick Wong , May 16, 2000; 07:13 P.M.

First Of I sorry if I miss led any one by suggestion that the exposure problem on the EOS 3 was related to the serial No. I have contact Canon Canada, they can't give me a straight answer but suggested I have the camera brought in to be check. I know for a fact there is nothing wrong with my camera, so I will not be wasting time or money to have it check. As for Gary Voth comment that ECF does not work with astigmatism is wrong. I have exactly the same problem and I can get the ECF to work on the EOS 3 with about 90% off time. If I am shooting something important I will re-calibrate for that area before I shoot and this increase to almost 95% off the time I will get the target. I would love to know what the prescription on the eye you shot with and what kind to eye glass you wear, especially the lens.

Gary Voth , May 17, 2000; 02:44 A.M.

Patrick's comment about successfully using ECF with his astimatism is interesting but I'm not sure that it contradicts my statement that ECF will not always work for eyeglass wearers--that is an empirical fact. The information about astigmatism came directly from a Canon tech rep in the Irvine Factory Service Center. To be fair, he did not say that ALL eyeglass wearers with astigmatism will have problems, merely that Canon was aware that SOME will.

My astigmatism is fairly pronounced (though I don't have the prescription handy). My lenses are manufactured by Rodenstock and are both high-index progressives and are anti-relection coated. I have a second pair of glasses, however, that are not coated and are not progressive, and my EOS-3s behave identically with THAT pair. This leads me to believe that the problem is related to my prescription and NOT to the type of coating on my glasses, etc., but I don't have enough data to say for sure.

Canon should come clean and make public its information about when ECF works and when it does not. I would buy a new pair of glasses if I knew that a different coating or lens material would make a difference with my prescription. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much verifiable information to go on.

Anthony Wong , June 07, 2000; 09:57 A.M.

I recently bought an EOS-3 and found it to be satisfactory, even though I have a few complaints and irritations with it. I bought it after reading all the reviews, articles and other user's comments, knowing well that it is not the "perfect" camera, but "adequate" for my needs. Here are my reviews:

Likes:

(1) Wide area Auto Focus (AF) (2) Eye-controlled focus (ECF) (3) Good layout and design (4) Great stuff when packaged with 550EX flash (5) Range of good quality ultrasonic lenses (6) Fast AF operation (7) Good metering (8) Good price (I think), US$1100/CDN$1600

Dislikes:

(1) Poor eye relief (for spectacle wearers) (2) Top & front feels solid, but back cover feels plastiky & flimsy (3) LCD panel too small & cluttered (4) Noisy shutter. What an injustice to the "silent" lens system (5) Mirror lock operation is complicated (6) Less than 100% viewfinder (7) ECF is only 90% effective (perhaps because I have pronounced astigmatism)

It is however, an adequate camera and is sufficient for my needs at this time. However I will be looking for a backup camera later, and I am seriously considering the EOS-1V. I hope someone will start a forum for the 1V soon. It seems to have very impressive features (although no ECF), when compared with my mediocre EOS-3. Can anyone tell me a good price for the EOS-1V? I have received quotations for the EOS-1V packaged with PB-E2 for US$2000/CDN$2900.

Preggy Chetty , November 11, 2000; 02:15 A.M.

EOS3 EYE FOCUSING works 100%.The trick to the focusing lies in first calibrating the system to various light conditions as stated in the manual. By trial and error we found that if you keep BOTH eyes open ie. the one that is not used for viewing through the viewfinder should be also open.When trying to focus use both eyes and the system will work 100%.My wife has poor eyesight and uses contacts , she is also able to operate eye-focus 100%.

With regards to the 1/3 stop exposure problem , it is sorted out with the new bodies .A software upgrade is not needed,The software upgrade to ver 1.7 will only help for certain IS lenses.The 28-135mm IS and 75 - 300 IS lenses do not need the upgrade , This info was obtained from Canon - South Africa where we live.

Preggy Chetty

Mike C , January 08, 2001; 04:02 A.M.

Preggy's excitement is admirable, but eye control didnt work 100% for me. I wear glasses and I'd have to say it ~barely~ worked.

toan Nguyen , February 06, 2001; 01:38 A.M.

I just bought this baby from one of the Photo.net members last week. Here are my impressions:

1.The camera is substantially more solid than my A2 and my former ElanIIE. It’s a tad heavier than my A2 and this balances well with my L zooms. I didn’t and won’t be getting the pb-e2. I have small hands so the camera alone already fits perfectly and comfortably. Besides, the addition of the PB-E2 would have added too much weight.

2.The rubberized grip is awesome. It makes the handling of the camera much easier either in vertical or horizontal shooting mode. The grip on my A2 tends to be slippery and wear off over time.

3.So far the ECF works 90% of the time for me and I wear glasses! The trick is to calibrate, calibrate and calibrate. I spent the first two days doing nothing but calibrate the camera. I also reduced the # of focusing points down to 11 with CF 13-1. The ECF response time of the EOS 3 is much much faster than the ECF on the ElanIIE. I especially like the extra rows of 6 focusing points (3 top, 3 bottom). It allows more flexibility in composition.

4.Ergonomically, the EOS 3 beats both the A2 and ElanIIE by a wide margin. The curvature of the EOS 3 makes the camera looks very “sexy” and appealing. The relocation of the cable release outlet from the right to the left side of the camera is another great plus.

5.The lack of built in flash is NOT a problem for me. I find this feature on my A2 and ElanIIE to be useless with my set of lenses. If the reason for not having a built-in flash is for seal protection, than I for it anytime.

6.The back door is a pretty neat idea. So far, I don’t have any problem with it being accidently flipped open. However, I will try to figure out a way to paste couple of magnetic strips inside the door to keep it tight and firm.

7.The viewfinder is much brighter and clearer. I like the meter scale on the right hand side of the viewfinder.

8.The Depth of View preview button is wonderful. It was a great idea for Canon to move it from the “*” button to a dedicated button down by the lens mount.

9.Now I don’t have to carry a small flash light around anymore because Canon have added the addition of LCD display light. This is another outstanding feature over the A2 and ElanIIE

10.The camera is a tad noisier than the A2 BUT not by much like users have reported! I think users on the net just exaggerated a little.:=) If you think it’s noisy, try standing in the same room with a professional using the Bronica SQ Ai. I know they are two separate systems but my point is that if a professional is using this “loud” Bronica during a wedding ceremony, than the noise of the EOS 3 is NOTHING.

Right now, I don’t see the need to have the 550EX yet. Probably will in the future when I want to do some wireless and high speed flashes. My experience of using the EOS 3 with the 540EZ yields great results for indoor shots. I have no complaint. Just set the camera in manual mode, set the Shutter speed at 1/15 to 1/30 (depend on the ambient light), set the Aperture at 5.6 or 8 and have the flash on a bracket set in TTL w/ the diffuser pulled down. With 100 speed film, just stand 5-10 feet away from your subject and I guarantee great results.

When the EOS 3 was first released couple years ago, I thought I would never traded in my A2 but after couple days of using the 3, I am glad that I did.

Greg Chappell , February 19, 2001; 01:22 P.M.

The eye control feature is great on these cameras. I'm sure the one on the EOS 3 works a lot like the one on my EOS Elan 7E I just purchased. The key to getting the system to work consistently is to continue adding to one profile so the system has several lighting conditions saved to refer to when trying to decide where you are looking. I've saved under one profile what my eye looks like in indoor low and bright light, outdoor bright and low light, backlight, etc. Don't just set up one calibration under a profile, but "build" a set of calibrations under one profile, and never let someone else calibrate the camera on your profile. This is what Canon says to do to increase the success of the system in the instruction manual. There does not seem to be a limit to the number of calibrations you can perform under a single profile, so if you're out shooting and come on a scene and the camera seems to be having a hard time tracking your eye, do a quick calibration right there.

des robinson , February 25, 2001; 03:43 P.M.

well guys, its been just over a year now. I've burned quite a few rolls in the EOS-3. My report?....excellent!.. the camera has, and is serving me very well. My only cmplaint is the shutter release on the pb-e2 booster is a hair trigger. I'ts been like that from day one. Others have commented on this as well. I think ill finally send it in to be adjusted. This is the best EOS I've ever owned, and I've owned jut about every EOS cameras except the 1n and the 1v. This camera has mad me alot of money this past year. I'ts an outstanding professional tool. I wish it was a little quiter though,i now use my newly aquired elan 7 for my "do not disturb" moments in photography

Chris M , February 28, 2001; 02:45 P.M.

My BRIEF summary in two words: DON'T Buy! Now to elaborate on that.... Since I bought the camera I have had maybe 1 or 2 decent shots from it. The meter constantly underexposes by 1-2 stops and if you get in a rush and don't remember that, then too bad for transparency shooters! The eye control focus is hardly more than a joke for people who wear glasses with non-reflective coatings. The sensor cannot track your eye through them. The camera feels like a toy compared to my 1V and 1N. I really dislike the viewfinder's coverage. For this type of camera and the price Canon should have given it 100% instead of 97%. On the positive side I give Canon credit the the autofocus speed and accuracy of this camera. Unfortunately, that is about the only good thing I can say. In my opinion, Canon rushed to get this camera out to try to compete with the F5. What was the purpose of this release besides that? It did not follow the Eos 1 line and yet is supposed to be in the same category as the other 3 bodies. I'm not approaching this from an amateur standpoint either. I shoot professionally and this has to be one of the worst Eos bodies I have ever been unfortunate enought to own and use!

Tom Just Olsen , March 02, 2001; 07:20 P.M.


DEER

I like to have 'the most hefty' of things. That's why I bought the EOS 3. My local supplier lent me a EOS1v for a weekend, obviously reckoning with I'll get hooked, - which I reckoned with myself. But I didn't.

After having turned the EOS1v around, and shot a few films,- paralell with the EOS 3, I saw little significant difference,- accept that more of my EOS1v pictures were flawed because they were slightly out of focus. Which shows that if you get used on eye control it is difficult to go back to 'focus by lottery'; 'automatic AF'. - And EOS3 got both. With the EOS1v I twisted my eyeballs around like a fiddle player, but the 'automatic' AF didn't focus on what I wanted to.

'It is of plastic', people say. Sure, of polycarbonate, the material mach 2 fighter cockpit-hoods are made of. Strong, light and durable. EOS1v is made of magnesium, but have this plastic coating over it which gets worn and ugly after a few years (months!) of heavy use. The old F1s looked beautiful when getting worn, with the brass showing, like a weared pare of blue jeans. But the EOS1v (as well as all the old EOS1n you see in 2.hand shops these days) look awful when getting old. Better then the EOS3-polycarbonate; glas hard and looks unused for years. Very much confirmed by the many 20 years old A1s you see around in shops looking flawless.

'The EOS1v is all weather-proof and strong like a tank', they say. 'Don't test it to it's limit', I say, 'it might get very expensive'. I am convinced that these 'heavy duty pro cameras', like Nikon F5 and EOS1, lure their owners into believing that 'they an take it all', which they can't. Sure, durability is fine, but I don't want to end up as a gold mine for a ciropractician. The EOS3 is heavy enough, thank you very much. And optimally dust- and humidity-protected.

Both have fantasticly bright and large viewfinders,- the best in the business, and one of the reasons I stuck with Canon. How elementary; a bright viewfinder so you can see if the images are sharp! Important for a guy who have passed 50. How else could I take pictures, I wonder. Some of the Nikon viewfinders are like looking into a dirty aquarium, - fine for young people, perhaps.

Both EOS3 and 1v are cameras for people who love reading thick manuals with lots of capabilities. I haven't tried all yet, after having my EOS3 for almost 2 years.

Among the best are the multi-flash-capabilities together with two, or more, 550EX flashes, which is 'highly reccommendable'. (another reason to settle for a EOS3 is that you than can afford two 550EXs). First now I have rid myself of 'amateur-like' flash pictures; flash pictures with E-TTL is simply awsome. Like when using one flash directly and one bounced from the ceiling, - or both bouncing from the ceiling; they create their own daylight. Like all powerful flashes, they 'eat' batteries, though, - it seems that I always have a set on charge.

Is the EOS3 all perfect then? No, largest disappointment is that it is heavy and bulky. Particularly with the winder. And that you actively have to push a button to check the batteries. It has happened to me once that they all went flat without warning. Had there been any Canon-representatives near by I might have turned into a killer.

This detail is better on the EOS1v, though, giving you a warning on the LCD-display when the batteries get close to empty. On the EOS3 you have to press a 'how are we today'-button underneath this plastic flap-door under your right hand. - Many complain about this door, that the spring is all too loose. Mine is 'just fine'.

Shooting with the mirrow up is all too complicated, with it's own 'custom function'. Why not 'just a button', Goddammit! This detail I find frustrating. Did a lot of 'mirror-up'-shooting before, but seldom get to do it anymore. I keep forgetting the 'function number' or 'how it really worked' and don't want to bother, or have the time to, go back to my car to find the manual.

Noicy! The EOS1v sounds a lot more beautitful and 'classy',- like a Leica. Comparing the EOS3-noice to the 1v is like a Chevy small block to these new BMW V8s. Haven't been bothered by it, though, having accepted 'the lack of class'.

Took a series of pictures of a proud deer bull last summer, - in early morning. In my underpants. Right outside my 'dacha' in Wärmland, Sweden. I was sweating like hell, thinking the camera-noice would chase him away, but he kept grassing peacefully and he was a problem to shoot the short seconds he kept his head up from the gras. In the end I had to whistle, like the hunters do, to catch him 'looking streight and consentrated'. 'Then' it ran away.

What lenses to buy with it? My 28 - 70mm/2,8 is an awsome tool; simply The Sharpest Zoom In The World. And solid as a hand grenade. You get far with this. If you are into teles; the 200mm/2,8 is a reasonable, light and compact alternaive. Simply one of the most concrasty and sharpest lenses around. Everything longer gets too expensive and bulky, - and difficult (impossible!) to use without a tripod. With a 1,4x converter, the one that gives the smallest loss of contrast, and a 25 mm extender-ring you have a very nice package.

I would be a lot more weary about the 17 - 35mm/2,8. It is smaller and lighter than the 28 - 70mm/2,8, but not all as sharp. It is reputed to be 'of variable quality' and many of the ones out on the 2.hand market are 'simply bad'. New ones are better, the Canon reps are bragging. Factum est: Canon really don't have a good 17 - 35mm that meets Nikon's alternative. We Canon-users simply have to accept it.

Others? The 300mm/2,8 is now around for less than 2,000 $, but is only of interest if you are dedicated bird- or wildlife photographer.

How to get this eqipment around? Buy a small padded 'Oriontrekker', it rooms the camera with winder and 28-70-zoom, the 200mm, two flashes, extender and converter, film and wallet etc. Works fine on 'city holidays' in Paris as well as on skiing trips.

Anthony Thornborough , April 29, 2001; 12:00 P.M.

Just acquired an EOS 3 with 27- serial and it works beautifully - major step-up from the EOS 5. Based on the Press' reviews, I was expecting something plasticky. Not true. It is true polycarbonate and feels very solid indeed. A basic question existing users might be able to answer: does the PBE2 grip have an 'off' switch like the old EOS 5's VG10? Without one I'm not buying it, in case the portrait format grip goes AWOL and trigger-happy. Secondly, has anyone had a Sigma 70-210 f/2.8 Apo [Zen] "rechipped" by Sigma, and are happy with that? Or should I go for a Canon EF 70-200 f/4 or f/2.8 USM L lens - I'm talking about body-lens compatibility here, only.

Gary Voth , May 28, 2001; 01:16 P.M.

Re. the 17-35L situation, there *is* an alternative, if you can live without a few modern conveniences: Canon has apparently made available a limited quantity of factory rebuilt 20-35mm f/2.8L zooms. I bought mine 6 months ago from B&H for around $900 (I think) to replace a "bad" 17-35mm. Build quality and feel is superb, optical quality is excellent, and focus is fast enough despite non-USM drive.

Since I rarely have need for focal length wider than 20mm (I'm not going to a digital SLR till they make a camera with a full-size CCD and no focal length multiplier) this solution has been great.

James Watts , June 04, 2001; 06:22 P.M.

My experience with the autofocus of the EOS 3 is that it is much faster than my A2e with USM lenses, and I believe considerably more accurate too. Surprisingly, I notice an even greater difference in speed between the 2 camera bodies with older non-USM lenses (specifically the 35 f2 and 100-300 f5.6L). These seem to focus at least as quickly on the EOS 3 body as USM lenses do on the A2e. I do wish it had the superb whisper-drive of the A2e, though, and eye-controlled focus is not predictable or accurate enough for me. Otherwise, I have a hard time finding fault with this camera. Right now, with a rebate from Canon, it is also a terrific bargain (at about $775 after rebate).

Joel Alves , September 21, 2001; 07:09 P.M.

AMAZING EOS 3... upgrade A2 (Joel Alves - From Rio de Janeiro , Brasil)

Few days ago I upgraded my Eos A2 and EOS 500 for EOS 3 and EOS 50e. I do love my EOS 3!! Now, I have a 550EX and a 420EX working together via E-TTL! I've improved my flash capabilities with EOS 3 and my job became easier.

I'm very very very happy with my 20-35L f/2.8 AFD, 28-70L and 70-200L f/2.8 USM I use for general photo. I'm in love with my 100 f/2.8 macro USM. A amazing tool for macro dental photo.

Sometimes I use my EOS 3 with my 100 macro f/2.8 USM and ML-3 Ring flash [ I'll upgrade for MR-14EX with E-TTL :-) ] for dental macro photo with fantastic results. I often use MF and the scene snaps in and out of focus sharply and quickly allowing for easy operation. Even in MF the ECF help me to find the better focus with the "audible beep" and luminous square sensor I choose. The viewfinder displays an incredible amount of information; it is very very clear for shot mouth and vastly better than a lot of others cameras I've used for macro dental photo and general. My EOS 3 has EC-D focusing screen specially suited for close-up and helps to keep the camera level.

The differences between 3 and A2 are simply giants: * Multi-spot metering * Dedicated DOF preview button. * 45-point Area AF * 21-zone Evaluative Metering * High-Speed Eye Controlled Focus. * Sophisticated E-TTL flash exposure system with optional EX-series Speedlites, including wireless flash with Speedlite 550EX, 420EX and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2. * Die-hard construction, tropicalization and water sealed like EOS 1(x). * Better information in-finder.

Recently I made a photo journalism job with EOS 3 plus 70-200L and 550EX ( amazing combo ) and EOS 50e plus 20-35L and 420EX ( great combo ). The EOS 3 and 50e showed me how they are fantastic tools for PRO use. Shooting fantastic landscapes, portraits and overall takes of the event with E-TTL and FP flash, FEL ( Flash Exposure Lock ) .... I'm a blessed man. The use of Mult Spot Metering of the EOS 3 in difficult situations of light ... I'm a blessed man again :-]

I don't regret each cent... This is a amazing tool for PRO use and for Dentist who take a serious job about scientific documentation .

Aaron Lam , December 05, 2001; 02:43 P.M.

Just a few quirks.

The palm door is forced open when changing rolls.

Viewfinder shutter would seem sensible since one of the main functions of the IR counter is midroll rewind.

Shutter is very plastically sounding.

I turned mine back in for the 1n.

Dan Todd , January 12, 2002; 09:52 A.M.

My first camera is an A2, I didn't get the A2E because it did not have the diaptor adjustment as the A2 has. I like my A2 very much. My wife's first camera is an Elan IIE. I like the eye control focus, but with only three focus spots it was not responive enough for me. My wife's second camera is the Elan 7E. Seven focus spots are great. It is a bit small for my liking, but my wife loves the camera. I finally bought an EOS 3. It is a great camera, though I am still learning it. The Elans were relatively easy to program for eye control focus, my big complaint so far is the the EOS 3 is not as easy to calibrate. I seem to have better luck with the eleven spot setting than I do with the 45 spot setting. Anybody have any sugestions.

The camera is a bit heavy, but I am a big man and do not have much problem holding it. The EOS 3 works well with our 28-135 IS lenses, but I need a monopod or a tripod with my Sigma 50-500 lens.

Dan Todd

John Lovda , February 07, 2002; 04:01 P.M.

I just purchased a beautiful, used EOS-3 for $550. It was actually about $1000 for an outfit but I turned around and sold all the lenses, etc. on ebay. I have been using an Elan 7e for about 12-15 months. I have not put any film in it yet. A few things hit me immediately; 1) is it just me, or is the damn thing hard to turn on? The protrusions on the on-off switch seem too shallow to grip with fingernail tips yet it won't easily rotate by pushing my thumb into it and turning. The dial on the Elan to go from off to P is a no-brainer. The beeper should also be controlled via a CF rather than a second detent. 2) With eye control on the Elan 7, I am used to aiming my eye at one of the seven black rectangles and placing my main subject behind the rectangle I choose. Then, with FEL, I move slightly to recompose and fire. With the EOS-3, there are no focus point marks so I really don't know which box will light up. In dim light, when you can't see the oval mark on the focusing screen, I don't really know where the outer limits of the sensars are. I think the number of focusing points is a marketing gimmick. Seven seemed quite ample. 3)pushing the shutter "half way down" to engage FEL, etc. is really a misnomer. Minute physical contact is more like it. With the Elan, there is a definite stop point requiring pressure before completing the shot by pushing all the way down.

John Lovda, Canton, OH

jody davis , June 26, 2002; 04:57 P.M.

I own an EOS-3 body w/ booster unit and I love it. It is well worth the additional $400.00 extra I spent for the boost just in the ability to get AA batteries anywhere, any time. Any one who has tried to find those funky little camera batteries at a 7-11, or an all night liquor store knows what I mean. Secondly, this camera is very water resistant. I was photographing some Army soldiers during an airdrop. Of course, the weatherman said sunny skies. It started raining, aside from my lens fogging up and me not having any rain X; the camera functioned great. I would not recommend using this, or any non-underwater camera in the rain, but if you get stuck out there like I did; you can be assured that you will not ruin your camera. I grew up on Canon equipment, so I have never really used a Nikon well enough to know how they compare to a Canon. Ford vs. Chevy, ya know. Take care Jody

John Clare , June 30, 2002; 06:55 P.M.

I don't think it's been expressed enough how intuitive the user interface on this camera is. All the buttons, icons and displays are self explanitory. I picked it up out of the box and worked out how to use 90% of the functions without consulting the manual once!

Superb.

I S , July 10, 2002; 05:42 A.M.

I came to the EOS 3 from the EOS 5 (and before that, the EOS 1000FN), and there is a big difference in the handling of the professional EOS bodies (EOS 1, 1N, 1V, 3, 1D) and the consumer bodies (anything with a mode dial). The learning curve I found to be quite steep (despite many years experience with the other two EOS I've had), but worthwhile. The EOS 3 is considerably more capable than the EOS 5. It just takes time to learn how to get the best from it. ECF on the EOS 5 was useless, since it was slow and only worked horizontally. On the EOS 3 (when limited to 11 points, through CF 13-2), it is instantaneous and perfectly accurate for me (although I don't wear glasses, and have grey eyes (the camera is said to be able to pick up on contrast between iris and pupil)). It is a leap of faith to just leave ECF on, and to forget about the focus point you want, and actually concentrate on the image you're working on, and the camera will get it right. On the EOS 5 you end up looking at the AF frame you want to select. On the EOS 3, you look at what you want to focus on. It is transparent. AF is much faster and more accurate than the EOS 5 when using lenses of F4 or faster (I use 24-85 USM, 70-200 F4L USM and 300 F4L IS). I find that AF on the EOS 3 with the 300 F4L IS + 1.4X TC is about the same speed as the EOS 5 was with the same lens without the TC. I intend to add the power booster, as well as a 550 EX to replace my 430EZ (on which the AF assist light is broken anyway). A shame that Canon haven't seen fit to release a BP-E2, battery pack like BP-E1 but with vertical controls. The EOS 1V is an even better camera than the EOS 3, and I'm sure that it is the best 35mm SLR there is right now (perhaps only until nikon release the F6), but the EOS 3 is 95% of the camera at 60% of the price. For the serious amateur, this is an amazing tool.

Roger B. Clark , September 27, 2002; 01:27 P.M.

Peter Goldman said "I have recently purchased an EOS-3 and I had the unfortunate experience of ruining 5 rolls of Kodak E200 film and blowing a crucial shoot which can not be repeated due to meter underexposure. The latter was assessed by my local authorized supplier and the camera body was returned to Canon for meter "recalibration". I received the EOS-3 body today and have not yet had the opportunity to check the meter function out but I am quite shocked that Canon could have allowed this to happen. I would be most appreciative if anyone can confirm that Canon is accepting return and replacement of these defective bodies in-as-much as I have completely lost confidence in this particular piece of equipment. "

Some other comments were made also, but I'm currently looking at getting an EOS 3 and a friend at work has one so I had him bring it in so I could handle it and read the manual. On page 3 (the first printed page in the manual) it says "Precautions: before using the camera for important events such as a wedding, be sure to take test shots to make sure the camera operates properly."

Seems like simple common sense, but it's interesting to note that it's even in the manual.

Brian Cincotta , July 04, 2003; 04:15 P.M.

I owned an EOS-3, for 6 months along with the power booster. I found the body to be very plasticky feeling and not all that professional. The 45 point metering is nice, and I never had a need for the "James Bond 007" eye focusing gadget built in to the body. I traded it in for the EOS1N body with booster as it is much sturdier and was more pleased with the photos that I took with it.

George Vida , November 24, 2003; 07:50 P.M.

I bought my EOS-3 in february, and shot approximately 200 rolls of film since then. This camera is a love at first sight to me since it handles pretty well, works always as I want it to. The autofocus system is pretty fast and accurate, moreover it is completely silent (using 28-70 2.8L USM lens), and its motor is not that loud at all. Battery life is also excellent, I'm on my third bettery so far. It's weight might be a little too much when you climb up a hill, but I quickly realized that it allows for long exposures from free hand. Usually 1/20 sec at 70mm is possible. I only use Fuji Velvia 50 and provia 400, and all my exposures are excellent, although you must use exposure compensation a lot. Flash photography is also fair enough, (I'm using speedlight 550EX) but my flash does not seem to like close subjects at all (closer than 3-4 ft). From a range of 10+ ft exposures are almost 5/5 at all times (which means that they are rangeing within 1/2 f-stop). Indeed it is sealed agains moisture, I had to shoot in very heavy rain in Italy two weeks ago, and I thought that this would be the end of my camera, but it kept working without any problem. The only thing I miss is the longer that 30sec expo. option and the expo. value recording feature. Eye controll works 100% for me and it is a LOT faster than adjusting focus point manualy and a LOT more precise than relying on the automatic point selection mode. Vertical photography is just as good. A highly recommended semi professional camera.

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Gabriel M. A. , December 07, 2003; 11:20 A.M.

I have strong reservations about reviewing something without having had a direct experience with it; it would be like writing a first-hand account of what Churchill's smoking habits were by saying that I've smelled cigars before and that I've seen some pictures of him with a cigar in his mouth. Mix in some comments about menthol cigarrettes and the dangers of smoking at a gas station, and voila! A concise and balanced review. Perhaps this is how Microsnot reviews competitor's software...

People that criticize this camera for not being something it is not usually sound like me during that time that I woke up at 3 o'clock in the morning to get some orange juice, and I spit my glass on the floor for it was the worst horrible taste in my mouth. What happened was I poured myself some mango juice, and some excellent mango juice it was...just not the tangy, biting thirst-quenching snap I was expecting. I see the same happening here.

The EOS 3 is a beautiful camera; no, it doesn't have a pop-up flash; yes it is not quiet (my main reservation about this camera so far) compared to, say, the Elan 7 or II (although those bodies' mirror slap annoys me even more); no it doesn't record your shooting info; no it doesn't read your mind; no it doesn't leap above tall buildings and it certainly doesn't have X-ray vision. On the plus side, it is incredibly resistant to kryptonite.

It is light enough to carry all day, but certainly not Rebel-light. The shell is mostly polycarbonate (to snobs it spells "crap", to good engineers it spells "element-resistance"); it is very well built and it can take some rather cold temperatures, so if you have the right lenses, you can take this baby out in the snow. This is the body I take out during Winter, for very few other (nonmechanical) bodies can operate reliably in the cold; the choice for cold weather photography is either this, the 1v, or the Canon F1, or even the Nikon F2n.
Autofocus is fast; the meter scale is a full 6 stops, from -3 to +3, in 1/3 steps, which is very welcomed by those of us who use the Zone System (or variations of it). You have evaluative, center-weighed, partial and spot metering. Spot metering can be linked to some focusing spots other than the center, which is EXCELLENT news.
The battery compartment is not easy to open: you need a coin or the like to unscrew the compartment, but it was made this way for both weatherproofing, and to better protect the battery (read: cold, hot and not-so dry photography). Do not mistake this for water photography...do not think about it.
I do not use the Eye Control feature, but it is more reliable than the Elan II's, which I had, and that body's EC accuracy was pretty good (I knew how to operate it, but stopped using it for other reasons, not because it didn't work).
The battery check and custom function buttons are in the awkward side compartment, but that's all it is: awkward if you are not used to compartment doors; the EOS 630 also has a compartment (below the film back) so this wasn't a shocker like it's been to other people.
The shutter button is nice and smooth; multiple exposures are blinding fast, and with the power booster they are meant to be over twice as fast; certainly a feature I don't use, but sports photographers would love.
The body is very comfortable to hold, and all buttons (except the compartment) are easily accessible while shooting; if you're used to the dial for shooting modes, be ready for a workflow shift: there's no dial. There is a rear dial, but no top dial, something that I find perplexing when given the argument for weatherproofing. In any case, one must press a button on the top left, and can rotate the top right dial to change modes; it will take little to get used to the flow, though. All in all, this is an excellent body, worth what I paid for it. If you need a pop-up flash, with programmed exposure functions and are in a budget, get either of the Elan bodies (I prefer the II over the 7 because of the rear dial). Need metal? Consider Leica (excellent lenses too). Need something quiet? Use a digital P&S (with the beep turned off, if you can manage) The Elans are marginally quieter (the mirror slap bothers me on those).
Do you need an ultra-reliable, light (yet not Rebel light), splash/light rain/snow resistant, fast focusing (AND manual if you have FTM USM lenses), spot-metering, 6-stops scaled, midroll change capable, comfortable, highly customizable camera for your very advanced photographic needs? But can you still manage to remember how you are shooting (it won't write your shooting settings on the roll or anywhere else) like every other not-too-lazy dedicated photographer can? Good, you can count on this camera.

Marc Goyan , June 09, 2004; 12:13 P.M.

Regarding the mirror lock-up, I found it quite easy to use. With the remote control, all you have to do is set CF-12 to 1, compose, fire the remote once to set the mirror, than fire again for the shutter. For landscapes and macro, it is not that time consuming or inconvienient.

Markus Malmqvist , August 10, 2004; 03:23 A.M.

There seems to be alternate views about the weather sealing of EOS 3. Of course I currently can not locate the manual to check if sealing is even mentioned in it.

I have used the camera in rain a few times. Got problems two times. And local Canon service center says that EOS 3 essentially is not weather sealed.

Has anyone taken apart EOS 3 to see the sealing? :-)

Don Farra , September 01, 2004; 04:49 P.M.

I have owned the EOS-3 now for over a year and have used it quite a bit during that time. My opinion of the camera is not so good. Once in awhile the battery compartment has loosened and caused a power failure. Yes, I have tightened it, but it still a problem. The BP-E2 might be the solution for the problem. The viewfinder is not 100% which is bothersome to me, after using the MF Canon F-1 (new) for some time now. The 45 point eye following feature doesn't work with my glasses as such reduced the camera to a single auto focus point. Which is a shame since it appears to be a good feature. While others have complained about the EOS-3 metering I am not. I checked the EOS-3 against my Sekonic dual spot meter and found no such metering error, my slide film exposures are dead on and bear witness to that fact. All in all the EOS-3 is not worth $800 instead I would say it is worth about $400, so shop ebay if you are in the market for one. Why? For now film still rules the resolution game and is much cheaper than a full frame digital camera but that might change over time.

grzegorz z , September 09, 2004; 08:23 A.M.

I bought my EOS3+PB-E1 as used for +/- 600 euro (previously my eos 3 was used by a professional PJ day by day, but fortunately for me, after a year of using it, he was forced by his newspaper to switch to digital, so sold me his 3, to get more money for his new digital baby ;))).

I'm just after my first 20 rolls of negatives (Fuji for color and Kodak Tmax for b-w) made with my "3" and I'm very impressed with the AF speed and quality of work with this camera. My ex-camera was EOS 5 (known as A2(e) in USA) which was almost impossible to hear it, but AF was much slower - I was able to notice it while taking picture with the bird(s) and squirrel(s).

Getting "3" was not a good move for my wallet I think. Previously having "5" I made 1-2 enlargements (from each roll of film) I could be "proud" of. From the "3" I made 14 from the initial roll and the more rolls I develop I add few new enlargements from each roll. God ! What have I done ! I should stay with my eos 5! I suspect I can live till November like this and first of December I'm forced to move to a new house because there would be no more space on the walls for new enlargements at all ;)))

As we speak of birds - EOS3 is much noisier and my first thought was that's the end of my bird hunting, but after first test I was surprised. Birds instead of running with the first camera shot looked curious and didn't run. Good for me ...

Seriously - my firsts steps with EOS 3 were strange - the camera behaves slightly different than my old 5, so it was like learning new habits and finding differences and learning to live with this new behave. I felt a lack of CF20 - "behave like this was your good old friend eos5" ;)

45 points of focus - thanks god for the ability to limit it to 11. It makes EOs 3 to focus noticeably faster and I really have to admit I really love Canon for PB-E1 - 6 frames/sec .... with 11 focus pints and PB-E1 you are able to make clear shots of bird's landing to get some seeds I left intentionally at the other end of my lens ;)

grzesiek

Terry Smith , January 21, 2005; 07:02 P.M.

I've had my EOS 3 for about a year now. I also have a BP-E1 that I got a little later. I do some action stuff and it's great for that with fairly fast motor and very fast AF. I don't like the Eye Control and don't use it. I just use the five points across the middle of the finder and they are selected by the control wheel. The camera is solid and has a great feel to it. It is somewhat noisy, but you get used to it. I detest the palm door cause you can't make it stay open when you want it to and who was the monkey that made you open that door and fumble around for the little button for the battery check? Before this I was using an EOS 10s/10, but that seems like a toy compared to the EOS 3. I just may get another one later on, but maybe I'll get lucky and they will make an EOS 3V

Aaron Zapf , May 20, 2006; 04:39 P.M.

I've had my EOS 3 for 3years now and put through over 100 rolls through it. The camera has a great feel to it and has some great features. My only compaint would be that the exposure can be tricky to get right when using slide film. I recently went skiing in France and took rolls of fuji velvia 100. I came back and almost all the shots were under exposed because of the snow. I did some research and found out that I should have spot metered on something that was at least 30% grey before recomposing the pictures. This is a common fault that would have occurred had I been using any camera. (so I was told). Nevertheless, I was annoyed with my EOS3. The camera is really for someone who takes time their time to think about the focus, depth of field and most importantly exposure settings for nearly every shot. In fully automatic mode I tend to get incorrect exposure so I have it on spot metering most of the time. Overall however I am very pleased whith the camera. I would give the EOS3 8.5/10. Aaron London.

John Falkenstine , January 24, 2007; 08:33 P.M.

The EOS-3 appears to be at the end of its life span as a NEW film camera being sold by Canon. The Camera is being discounted. But; I got mine in "as new" condition off Evilbay for app the same price as a cheap digital snapshot camera with a bag of Fuji 100 slide film (4 rolls), a fresh battery, and the original neckstrap and manual. Beautiful camera, and it has been put to work immediately.

Kevin Blow , February 11, 2007; 07:27 P.M.

I bought my EOS 3 off Ebay about 9 months ago, cost 200 pounds. The camera was in what I would describe as mint condition. Who ever owned it previously certianly took good care of it. The only downside was that I told the wife about it after it was purchased (initially on the phone) - if looks could kill (even down a telephone line), she would now be living off my life insurance - needless to say she was not impressed. I think she has forgiven me, she no longer wants to hit me with it - just joking about the hitting bit.

I have used the camera to shoot mainly slide (velvia 50) and I have had some good results even on auto everything. The only irritation I have is that my sigma 28-70 EX 2.8 will only work in manual whereas my sigma 105 macro works fine in both auto and manual. Consequently, I use the 28-70 on my Elan 7, which is certianly quieter than the EOS 3.

The EOS 3 is the only film camera that I have ever really wanted and I can honestly say that I am very pleased with mine.

Peter Martin Schulz , May 03, 2007; 08:26 A.M.

Hello.Could enyone tell me please how to decode the serial number is inprinted in the film holder I would like to find out the date the camera was made I have just received a nice mint EOS3 I got it from Ebay this camera is absolutley new condition I am trilled with it, Will use it for B&W only Thanks if you can help me out Peter

Art Wheelan , May 05, 2007; 01:29 A.M.

It's true - they're practically giving these things away on eBay. I just bought one that's in great shape w/PB-E1 for $232.

Sergiu M , November 01, 2007; 02:42 P.M.

I've bought an EOS 3 from a local online shop... The main reason was that I never had a "serious" film camera. So I was curious. And now the price was right enough for me. The EOS 3 is incredible - it has an amazing AF - it worked very well in some tricky nightshots. Compared with this camera, my 400D looks like a cheap compact; I know, i know, no point in comparing apples with pears but... I will use it mainly for b&w photos, combined with some Ilford stuff. And things are not ending here. After some time, I've bought the PB-E2 - forget about the camera, now I have a machine gun - this thing is fast, damn fast. As long as I don't need (yet) a Mark III, I think this camera is more than enough (when coupled with the right lenses) for my needs. Who said that film is dead?!?

Nikos Koravos , May 20, 2009; 05:09 P.M.


Rome, 2009

I started bw film photo seminars about 2 yrs ago, so I bought this baby to replace my parents' Zenit (which was quite nice by the way). EOS 3 combined with a nice lens and a high-res bw film like the Kodak T-Max 400 really kicks butts. I absolutely love this camera!


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