Nigel Atkinson Photography

Equipment review: Canon EOS1V


Before reading this review please read my general introduction to reviews here


Lets be clear at the outset that I did not buy my EOS 1V new as even I couldn't justify spending 1200 on a camera body. However, I have always been curious as to how much better than the EOS3 the EOS 1V could be, and I therefore bought a slightly scuffed 1V on eBay to satisfy my curiosity. (As you're probably aware, prices for used film cameras are falling rapidly so there are plenty of bargains for those committed to film.)

As a long-standing EOS 3 user the things that stand out are:

- The body feels even more solid than the EOS3.

- The viewfinder is noticeably brighter, gives a 100% view, and is easier to manually focus. I wear specs, and find the viewfinder much easier to use.

- There is a prominent battery check on the top LCD - the EOS3 has a tendency to just die ...

- It is easier to insert the 2CR5 battery in the handgrip (I hadn't appreciated that the grips would be different given that the PB-E2 booster fits both.

- The shutter noise is more damped than the EOS 3. The noise of the EOS 3 has never really bothered me, but the sound of the 1V is quieter and seems to be longer too. There have been a few times already when I had to check the shutter speed as I thought I'd drifted into longish exposures by mistake.

- I haven't noticed any real-world difference in focussing speed, but the little button that activates a pre-set focussing point is really good!

So in short, the EOS 1V does have the expected advantages over the EOS 3, but its only the falling price of used examples that has made it possible to buy one. I sold the camera when I bought the 350D as I went from five film cameras to one EOS3. It seemed most sensible to keep the EOS3 that had just been serviced as I know little about the 1v's history. The great thing about EBay is that it sold for close to the price I bought it for and someone else is happily using it.

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Nigel Atkinson