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30 Years of EOS: The Anniversary of an Icon

Often when we think of cameras, our minds unconsciously drift to Canon. For a lot of us, myself included, Canon represents our first experience in the world of photography, whether it was a point-and-shoot camera or your dad’s old camera, it feels like they’ve always been there.
After recently celebrating the 30th anniversary of the EOS System, it’s no wonder the two thoughts are so closely linked for so many people.

The ultimate collection of Canon cameras and lenses over the years

March 1987 marked the debut of Canon’s legendary EOS system that would change the way we take photos forever. Short for ‘Electro-Optical System’, it describes the full electronic communication between camera and lens, creating autofocus. Eos is also the name of the Greek goddess of dawn which is some interesting and fitting trivia in its own right.

The EOS 650, a 35mm film camera, was the first to sport the EOS branding, redesigned from the ground up to support autofocus EF mount lenses.

It was packed with state of the art technology, like Canon’s high-precision BASIS sensor and a microprocessor. The EF lenses it used supported electronic focusing and aperture control and came equipped with built in AF motors to form an unrivalled focusing system. With the EOS 650 camera at the helm, it was the dawn of a new era.

Canon EOS would continue to evolve and make headway in photography for the next several years. In 1991, the EOS 100 featured a motorised drive belt to wind and rewind film for nearly silent operation. In 1995, Canon released their first Digital SLR; the EOS DCS 3, a 1.3 megapixel giant that makes today’s DSLRs look tiny. 1998 saw the EOS 3 give us the world’s first 45 point AF system which is impressive even still.

A side by side throwback comparison, from past to present.

The real breakthrough came a few years later though, in September 2003 when Canon introduced the EOS 300D, the first of Canon’s cameras to bring digital sensors to the consumer range. The impressive (at the time) 6.3 megapixel 300D was also the first Canon camera to support EF-S lenses, boasting amazing image clarity. 

Featuring a compact body, professional features with user-friendly controls, and a very attractive price point, the 300D earned well-deserved attention worldwide.
Ultimately, it would prove to be an important step not only for the Canon, but for photography in general, finally putting affordable high-quality image capture into the hands of many.
Over the years to come, Canon would continue to push boundaries and raise the bar of what we’ve come to expect from digital SLR cameras. They’ve been around for a long time and a good browsing session through the Canon Camera Museum, my latest addiction, proves that without a doubt.

Well-loved and fondly remembered, the EOS 5D Mark II redefined video making

In 2008, the game changing EOS 5D Mark II came along, ushering in a new standard for professional imaging and video making, even becoming the first digital camera to take an official presidential portrait. With a newly developed 21.1 megapixel sensor, it was also the first full-frame DSLR with a Full HD video recording option. I’m sure we all remember the episode of House that was filmed using the 5D Mark II which, at the time, sounded unbelievable, but went on to reveal yet another side to the Canon we thought we knew.   

Later in 2012, the Cinema EOS System would be introduced in Hollywood, proving once more how versatile DSLRs had become. The Cinema System is now made up of 24 different cameras with an impressive range of 97 EF lenses to choose from, providing a solution for all kinds of media producers.

All of this is only a part of what makes us truly appreciate the things Canon and the EOS system have brought to the photographers and enthusiasts of today.

The 2017 released Canon EOS 77D is the perfect entry level powerhouse.

A great example is the recently released EOS 77D; a perfect gateway to DSLR photography for those who want more than a compact camera, but might be reluctant to take that next step.
This little 24.2 megapixel camera fits nicely in hand and, with its 3 inch flip-out multi-angle touch screen, provides an intuitive experience. The new menu uses visual guides and icons that are easy to understand and navigate, providing a real ‘learn as you go’ vibe. It’s a true blend of the professional quality and features we expect from Canon all wrapped up in a user-friendly package that makes taking photos fun.

Finally, the big gun, with a top of the line 30.4 megapixel sensor, the much anticipated EOS 5D Mark IV has shown once again what Canon has to offer, producing beautifully sharp detail with lighting fast focus and tracking.  The most exciting feature was perhaps the addition of true DCI 4K video recording, expanding on the previous models popularity for video applications. The ability to create ultra-high resolution footage is accompanied by a range of incredible post-production features never before seen in a DSLR camera, making the 5D Mark IV stand out even further.

EOS Cameras through the years.

Looking back over 30 years of EOS, it’s amazing to see the leaps and bounds in technological advancements that have brought Canon into 2017 still going strong. They’re easily one of the most recognisable brands out there, constantly striving to bring us bigger and better things. They remind us that photography is not only fun, but a journey to be shared and remembered.
Since March 1987, EOS has pushed photography forward and brought us all along for the ride.



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