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History of Canon Cameras

Canon have a virtual Camera Museum that has all the cameras and technology that Canon have brought to our loving hands over the years, there are a number of sections and one is called the Canon Camera Story, here is a brief synopsis

In the early thirties, the two most popular brands of miniature cameras were Leica and Contax, both made in Germany, the camera kingdom of the world. These two brands attracted the camera fans, receiving enthusiastic support throughout the world as super grade cameras…. in February 1936, the Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory released the “Hansa Canon (Standard Model with the Nikkor 50mm f/3.5 lens),” which was the first commercial camera made by Canon…..”Canon” became the new trademark of Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory. “Canon” has such meanings as “standard for judgement or biblical scriptures,” which was most appropriate for the company striving for precision as its motto. 

Hansa Canon (Standard Model) J 35mm Focal-Plane Shutter Rangefinder Camera.    In the middle of 1937, strong voices were raised calling for production of the company’s own lenses. Yoshizo Furukawa, the company’s first optical engineer, developed some lenses on a trial basis such as the 50mm f/4.5 lens,

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The Precision Optical Industry Co., Ltd., changed its name to Canon Camera Co., Ltd., on September 15, 1947. In 1951, the company introduced the “Serenar 50mm f/1.8” lens, which was accepted as a masterpiece lens. The first half of the 1950s was the years in which many new cameras were released one after another. These include the “III” camera equipped with a fast shutter speed of 1/1000 second, the first in Japan, and the “IV” camera that had a flash rail that enabled using a flash unit directly connected to the camera without a cable.

“IV Sb2”1954_4sb_kThe first half of the 1950s was the years in which many new cameras were released one after another. These include the “III” camera equipped with a fast shutter speed of 1/1000 second, the first in Japan, and the “IV” camera that had a flash rail that enabled using a flash unit directly connected to the camera without a cable.

The first Canon SLR camera was the “Canonflex,” introduced in May 1959. With subsequent advances in SLR camera technology, SLR lenses also evolved, from R-series lenses to FL-series lenses, which incorporated a fully automatic aperture control mechanism. And with this progress, debuting along with FL-lens technology, was the “FX” camera, introduced in April 1964, which featured a built-in CdS exposure meter, ushering in the era of TTL (Through the Lens) metering with the launch of such successive cameras as the PELLIX and FTQL.

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Since the fall of 1964, there had been growing calls from both inside and outside of the company that Canon should embark on production of a most advanced SLR camera to meet the requirements of professional photographers. After five years of development efforts, the “F-1” camera was unveiled in March, 1971. The “F-1” has left the most glorious footprints in the history of cameras.1971_f1

Developed exclusively for professional photographers, the “F-1” satisfied them with multiple functions and the systematic configuration. More than 180 accessories including lenses and filters were made available for this camera. It proved to be durable, highly reliable and performed well even under the harsh conditions professional photographers are often forced to confront. Thus, the camera gained wide popularity among professional photographers. The “F-1” wasthe official 35mm camera for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada, and the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, U.S.A.

Based on technology developed for the “F-1” camera, in 1972 the company succeeded in producing the “High Speed Motor Drive Camera” having the shooting speed of 9 frames per second.

Sixteen new FD-series lens were introduced together with the “F-1.” To compliment the professional “F-1” camera, its lens had been improved to ensure central resolution exceeding 100 lines per millimeter and to achieve high contrast. Good color balance throughout the series was achieved by careful selection of optimal glass materials and improved lens surface coating methods.

Unveiled in April 1976, the “AE-1” camera was the world’s first 35 mm Auto-Exposure (AE) SLR camera equipped with a Central Processing Unit (CPU). The camera integrated the latest electronics and optics technologies. Together with the “A-1” camera having five AE modes, which was introduced in April 1978

1976_ae1

When the AE-1 came out, TTL manual-metering models (including the Canon FTb and FTb-N) were still the mainstream in the 35mm SLR market. Autoexposure models were still at the very top end of the SLR market. They were expensive and produced in small numbers.

The AE-1, however, was designed from the ground up with five major units and twenty-five minor units. They were centrally controlled by a microcomputer. By incorporating electronics, the parts count could be reduced by 300. The manufacturing of the camera was also highly automated. This made it possible to produce a low-cost camera having high-end features.

In March 1983, the company released the T-Series cameras, which realized high-cost-performance through employing various automated functions and competitive pricing. The T-Series cameras include “T50,” “T70” and “T80,” culminating into the “T90,” which was marketed in February 1986 as a professional model.

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The T90 is a multi-mode SLR with built-in motor drive. The form of the pentaprism hump is a distinct characteristic. Instead of being sharp-edged like on previous cameras, it is rounded with smooth curves. The camera was designed to lessen the picture-taking burden on the user via automation. It aimed for seamless operation to respond to the user’s will. A lot of top-notch technology and thought went into the camera.

The camera has three metering systems to suit diverse shooting conditions. Eight autoexposure modes and two manual exposure modes also make the camera highly versatile.

Under the development project called “EOS (Electro Optical System), ” Canon confirmed that “a highly-refined AF SLR model deserving Canon’s name should be developed with the target market release date of March 1, 1987, the year of Canon’s 50th anniversary. ” The EOS development efforts bore fruit with the introduction of the “EOS 650” on March 1987 as scheduled

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The EOS 650 boasted incomparable autofocusing. Each EF lens has its own optimum built-in motor for autofocusing

With the advent of the new millennium came groundbreaking new EOS-series digital camera products. Launched in 2000 was the EOS D30, a full-fledged AF digital SLR featuring a high-resolution CMOS sensor. In 2001, EOS-1D hit the market as a professional digital SLR targeted at sports and news photographers, while the EOS-1Ds featured an 11.1 megapixel sensor and was designed to be the perfect high-end photographic tool. Canon’s efforts to enhance functionality without compromising on cost performance were crystallized in the EOS D60 in 2002 and EOS 10D in 2003.

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Premier AF Performance: The 45-point area AF gives predictive AI servo AF at about 9 fps (with the PB-E2 attached) for outstanding subject tracking and blazingly fast focusing, all automatically.

In 2005, Canon introduced the EOS 5D, a full-size 35mm digital SLR camera with a remarkably low price within reach of many consumers.

So the history of Canon from 1936 to today has been a road of innovation. Here we have only looked at the pivotal moments in that history and only at the more serious cameras so there are a wealth of compact cameras and video cameras as well in the Canon archive. If you want a more detailed history go here

Canon EOS 100D

One comes along and then immediately another. This little camera is a departure from the trend in DSLR cameras in that is attempting to offer a full DSLR experience but in  a smaller lighter camera. It is on sale at Amazon for about £700 with lens

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Last year Canon made its long-anticipated entry into the mirrorless camera market with the EOS M, taking aim at compact-camera upgraders who desire better image quality but don’t want the bulk or intimidating controls of a DSLR. Yet the company has long hinted that another path to competing with mirrorless entries from Nikon, Sony, Olympus and Panasonic lay in the miniaturization of its familiar SLR design. With the announcement of the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1, Canon has laid its cards on the table. Billed as ‘the world’s smallest, lightest APS-C DSLR’, the EOS 100D unabashedly merges the Rebel-series’ DSLR operational hallmarks with an impressively small body.

Thanks to a downsizing of internal components that has resulted in a smaller shutter mechanism, thinner sensor module and smaller-footprint circuit board, the EOS 100D is significantly smaller and lighter than the co-announced EOS 700D, while offering the same 18MP pixel count, DIGIC 5 processor and, presumably image quality. The EOS 100D is, in fact, comfortably the smallest DSLR we’ve yet seen, and not so far off ‘SLR-style’ mirrorless models such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5.

As attention-grabbing as the EOS 100D’s small footprint undoubtedly is, what’s equally impressive is that Canon has been able to retain most of the controls and features typically found on a Rebel-series camera. A front dial and dedicated ISO, exposure compensation and AF/AE lock buttons are among the controls that will be familiar to any Canon DSLR user. Its touchscreen is identical in resolution to that on the EOS 650Dand 700D, but is fixed, rather than articulated.

The EOS 100D introduces version two of Canon’s Hybrid CMOS AF system, originally seen in the EOS 650D. While Canon is making no claims about focus speed improvements of its hybrid phase/contrast detect system, the new version covers a significantly greater portion of the live view area (80% of the area). This should make it a significantly more useful option than the version found on the EOS M and 650D. FROM DP REVIEW SEE MORE HERE

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This front view shows that the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 is substantially smaller than the co-announced EOS 700D / Rebel T5i – itself not exactly a giant.

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However, the 100D retains the majority of the external controls found on the larger camera. Although both cameras feature the same rear touchscreen, the 100D’s screen is fixed, not articulated.

The EOS 100D achieves its notable size reduction without sacrificing much in the way of external control compared to the EOS 650D. On the 100D the button at the center of the 4-way controller does double-duty as both the Q menu and Set button, and the surrounding buttons have lost their dedicated functions. The 100D has a lower capacity flash, with a guide number of 9m (versus 13mm on the 650D) and houses a mono versus stereo microphone, though it does retain a stereo mic input. And while the handgrip is not as deep as the one on its larger sibling, the 100D still provides a distinctly DSLR handling experience.

Canon EOS 700D

Canon have released details of the new camera added to their stable, this is effectively a replacement for the 650D, improvements keep coming and new cameras offer better facilities and quality and this one is no different.

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With the EOS 700D/Rebel T5i, Canon’s made an early move to replace last year’s 650D/Rebel T4i, though one with only very minor refinements. Indeed the changes over the 650D are so subtle that it’s the olderT3i/600D that stays on alongside the 700D – while the too-similar 650D fades into the sunset. The only real changes are that the 700D offers real-time preview of Creative Filters in Live View mode, includes a redesigned new mode dial that turns 360 degrees, and has a new ‘upmarket’ body finish.

Apart from those additions, the 700D is essentially identical to the 650D, making this the least distinct upgrade we’ve seen in this range of cameras. Elements carried over include the 18MP CMOS sensor, a 9-point cross-type AF sensor, 3-inch, a 1.04m-dot vari-angle LCD screen, and Full HD video mode. Its Hybrid AF system was also brought over from the 650D, and while the simultaneously announced 100D/Rebel SL1’s Hybrid AF II covers a wider area than the one here, neither is said to be any faster than the rather slow implementation on the 650D.

Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i key features

  • 18MP APS-C ‘Hybrid CMOS’ sensor
  • Phase-detection AF from imaging sensor for Live View and Video
  • Continuous autofocus in movie mode with subject tracking
  • New 18-55mm STM kit lens with stepper motor for improved live view/video autofocus
  • 14-bit DIGIC 5 processor
  • ISO 100-12800 standard, 25600 expanded
  • 5 fps continuous shooting
  • 9 point AF system, all sensors cross type, central sensor F2.8 (from 60D)
  • 63 zone iFCL metering
  • 1080p30 video recording, stereo sound with internal or external mics
  • 1.04m dot 3:2 touch-sensitive vari-angle ClearView II LCD (capacitative type, multi-touch support
  • more information can be found of the excellent DP Review site here
  • Amazon are currently offering this camera at £930

 

The Smart Threat: How mobile phones are forcing camera manufacturers to evolve

From Olivier Laurent at the BJP a very interesting article plotting the advances in smartphone camera technology and the response by camera manufacturers.

The rising popularity of smartphones is now forcing traditional camera manufacturers to reassess their strategies by offering devices that can, for example, connect to the internet easily. Nikon, for example, released the S800c, a compact camera powered by Google’s Android system, which allows users to download applications that can help email and share images on social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr….A few years ago, the Nikon and Canon brands used to dominate the charts on Flickr’s Camera Finder, which tracks the most-used cameras on the image-sharing website. But since the release of Apple’s iPhone, as well as many other smartphones by the likes of HTC and Samsung, camera phones have taken over. Last month, the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 were ahead of Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II and 550D, with compact cameras failing to appear in the top 10 of the most-used cameras on Flickr..…MORE

galaxy-camera-rightSamsung’s Galaxy Camera offers 3G, 4G and Wifi connectivity and is powered by the latest version of Android, making it a truly connected camera.

155 Cameras Tested and Reviewed 2012

Techradar are very good at what they do, testing, reviewing and recommending cameras, if you are thinking about getting a camera make sure you have a look here first

In-depth reviews from TechRadar’s team of experts. To find out how we review products and calculate our scores

Best compact system camera 2012

Techradar has done a good job of pulling together a list of the best cameras in each sector, no mean feat considering the array of different camera types that now exist. The popularity of compact system cameras (CSCs), the sort of small mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses, has exploded over the last year, due to the quality images and flexibility of use they deliver. If you like to keep up with the latest advances in camera technology, you will have had your hands full for the past year, since the popularity of compact system cameras has resulted in even more new models being released and more manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon, including Nikon and Fuji. Although choice is generally a good thing, the vast array of CSCs on the market today can make choosing the right one a daunting prospect. See their full report here

Panasonic are pretty heavily into this type of camera and there are a number of Panasonic Lumix CSC typr cameras, have a look here to see the range and read reviews

This is the Amateur Photographer take on the best CSC cameras of 2012

and What Digital camera choose their best 5 here

 

Best compact camera 2012

There are hundreds of digital compact cameras out there, with advanced, superzoom and rugged camera options all being available.The right choice, of course, depends on what you want from your digital camera. Maybe you’re looking for a high-end compact camera or perhaps you want something more basic to help someone else get started in photography. The term compact camera covers such a wide range of camera types, Tech Radar have done a good job here in bringing together 33 recommended camera

I think it is always a good idea to cross reference reviews and here is a list of the cameras What Digital Camera recommend, as they say

Given that all the cameras we’ve listed here scored over 90% they earned a WhatDigitalCamera.com ‘Gold’ award – our equivalent of an Oscar award. Put simply they’re the best compact cameras on the market today. Go here for the full review

Another trusted source is Amateur Photographer, I think I first read this magazine when I was about 15, so decades ago follow this link to find their views

Finally Digital Cameras Top Ten Reviews have an easy to understand chart with links to fuller reviews, go here for their wisdom

Canon 6D First Review

Hot on the heels of the new Nikon D600 comes the Canon 6D, bit like buses…. Calumet Photo are quoting about £1800 for the body only

The 6D is apparently not a replacement for the 5D but a stable mate designed with features for landscape, travel and outdoor photographers. It is lighter than the 5D so easier to carry around and has geo-location GPS facilities so you can tag images with their exact location and built in wifi for transmitting and sharing images. Here are some details

A 20.2-megapixel DSLR featuring a full-frame sensor and compact design. Ideal for portrait, landscape and travel photography, offering tight control over depth of field and a large choice of wide-angle EF lenses.

  • Enjoy the full-frame advantage with a 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, for a wider choice of wide-angle lenses, great image quality, and more depth-of-field control
  • Tough magnesium-alloy body and compact design
  • Great in low-light. Shoot at max ISO 25,600 (expandable to ISO 102,400) and with precise AF, even in conditions as dark as -3EV
  • Follow the action with 11-point AF and 4.5 fps shooting
  • Built-in GPS geotags images with location
  • Wirelessly control and download from your camera with built-in Wi-Fi • 14-bit DIGIC 5+ processor for accurate colour reproduction
  • Shoot Full-HD video
  • Live View composition on a 1,040,000-dot 7.7cm (3.0″) ClearView LCD screen
  • The ever reliable people at DP Review have a full preview available here

The EOS 6D is best seen as a full frame version of the EOS 60D – indeed it’s very similar in both control layout and dimensions. Its front profile is very similar to the Nikon D600, but it’s rather slimmer front-to-back, and lighter too. However it differs from the Nikon in a number of key respects; for example it has Wi-Fi and GPS built-in, while the D600 offers a distinctly higher spec’ed autofocus system, dual card slots and a built-in flash.

The EOS 6D is built around a new Canon CMOS sensor, which offers a pixel count of 20.2MP (compared to the D600 and A99’s 24MP, or the 5D Mark III’s 22MP). In concert with the DIGIC 5+ processor it offers a standard ISO range of 100-25600, expandable down to 50 and up to 102,400. The AF system has 11 points, but only the central one is cross-type (i.e. sensitive to both vertical and horizontal detail). However according to Canon to will operate at extremely low light levels; right down to -3 EV – a stop dimmer than the 5D Mark III.

The EOS 6D’s most eye-catching additions are integrated GPS and Wi-Fi – their first appearance on a Canon SLR. The GPS unit includes exactly the same functionality as on the company’s compacts – it can embed location data into every image, and has a logging function that can keep track of where you’ve been through the day. This, we suspect, will be most-popular with landscape and travel photographers.

The integrated Wi-Fi unit has the basic functionality you might expect, allowing transfer of images to a smartphone or tablet, and direct upload to social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube. You can also send images directly to a Wi-Fi-enabled printer. But we think more photographers are likely be interested by the fact that it can also be used to turn your smartphone into a wireless remote control via Canon’s EOS Remote app for iOS or Android, complete with live view and full control of exposure settings.

The EOS 6D gains Canon’s silent shutter mode that we saw on the 5D Mark III, which offers quieter, more discreet shooting. It gets in-camera HDR and Multiple Exposure modes, but disappointingly these are JPEG only, unlike on the 5D Mark III that also records RAW files. There’s also a single-axis electronic level to check for wonky horizons. READ THE FULL PREVIEW

You may find this comparison site useful as well as the DP Review pages, this lists the differences between the Nikon D600 and the Canon 6D

Canon EOS 5D MkIII Hands-on Review

From Photo.net by Bob Atkins, comes this in depth review of the Canon 5DM3.

On March 2nd 2012 Canon announced the Canon EOS 5D MkIII, (compare prices) as an upgrade of – but not a replacement for – the EOS 5D MkII. Among the major new features of the EOS 5D MkIII are:

  • A new 22.3MP CMOS sensor with a gapless microlens, 8 channel readout and low noise
  • A new 61 point AF system with 41 cross sensors (same as EOS 1D X) with AF to -2EV
  • A 63 Zone iFCL metering (same as EOS 7D)
  • Native ISO settings of 100-25600 with expansion to 50-102400
  • A new Digic 5+ processor (30% faster than Digic 5, 17x faster than Digic 4)
  • 6fps continuous shooting
  • In-camera HDR. 3 images taken at +/- 3 stop intervals with in-camera image alignment

Currently (July 2012), the EOS 5D MkIII sells for around $3450 and the EOS 5D MkII sells for around $2100

There were a host of other features that were upgraded or added, but the new sensor, new AF system and new processor are the major advances which enable many of the other upgrades such as faster shooting (6 fps vs 3.9 fps) and more extensive in-camera processing. With a processor 17x faster than that in the EOS 5D MkII, real time chromatic aberration correction is now available for JPEGs, and in video modes the extra processing power enables better moire fringing correction.

Bob Atkins - HR_5D_MARKIII_BODY_BACK_CL

Bob Atkins

Outwardly the EOS 5D MkIII resembles the EOS 5D MkII quite closely, but the user interface is closer to that found on the Canon EOS 7D, with a similar menu structure and control layout….MORE of this extensive review here

and for comparison here is the review on the DP Review site

 

How to Select Lenses for DSLR Filmmaking

Lightstalking has a tutorial By on using a DSLR for making video and the way you may choose the most appropriate lenses.

DSLRs with video capabilities has really democratized filmmaking, putting cinematic quality video within financial reach of amateur and independent filmmakers. The best feature that most have found is the ability to utilize interchangeable lenses for different shooting environments and techniques.

While there are many lenses out there, a lot of them are still designed for still photography, especially lower end kit lenses. There are a couple of things that you should take into account when selecting lenses for DSLR videography that can really help enhance your filmmaking, and things you should avoid as to not hinder your work.….MORE