Nigel Atkinson Photography

Equipment review: Canon EOS 3


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



This is a fantastic camera, but it very recently became my last ever film camera.

I started into the Canon EOS system with the EOS 50E and the first version of the 28-105mm zoom. Coming from an Olympus OM system I was used to manual focussing, and treated the limited auto focus of the 50E as a bonus. However, I began to find the focus points very limiting for portrait use as the focus points fell nowhere near a subjects eyes. The body also suffered from my tendency to use a rucksack as a camera bag when trying to avoid attention.

The EOS 3 did everything I could have wanted and more. My main reasons for sticking with it were the fast auto focus and the ability to pick one of the 42 focus points very quickly. The weight of the body gives it a good balance with a large lens. It is obviously built to last Ė ignore all that waffle on it being plastic because it can take a good beating. Once you get into it the ergonomics are fantastic (at least for my moderate hand size).

Adding Canonís Power Booster E2 does give significant advantages for me (provided I have no restrictions on what I can carry). I use portrait orientation frequently, and the booster gives both a shutter button and an auto focus selection button. Battery life with eight AA lithium batteries is also fantastic even in the cold. With the 2CR5 battery I found the camera just dying on me without warning. This said the booster is pretty big, and I wouldnít (normally) take it on a family holiday.

 To add a little balance, my main beefs would be:

- Lack of a low battery warning. Without the booster the camera can just die without warning. (I guess Canon learned, because the 1V has a very prominent battery display.)

- Iíve never made the eye control focus work Ė presumably because I wear specs. Whatís more, I donít really see the point, and would much rather have the 100% viewfinder of the 1V.

In the switch to digital I kept one EOS3 just in case I regretted it. I decided that my days of film scanning were over and let it go. Its a shame that the EOS 5D doesn't have the focus system of the EOS 3 .....

Back to review index

Home    People    Places    Nature    About    Links    Tips    Contact

© Nigel Atkinson