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Using the Canon EOS Rebel 2000/EOS 300/Kiss III/Kiss IIIL cameras - an unofficial manual. DonationsCopyright © 2002 NK Guy

The information in this unofficial user manual applies to six different Canon EOS camera models. These cameras are the EOS Rebel 2000 (and Rebel 2000 Date), the EOS 300 (and EOS 300 QD) and the EOS Kiss III and Kiss IIIL, and they’re all variants of the same design. The minor differences exist for regional marketing reasons.

This manual does not apply to the EOS 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5, which has significant differences in its user interface. That shouldn’t matter, however, since Canon have made the manual for this camera freely available online.

Since it’s kind of annoying to refer to this basic camera as the EOS Rebel 2000/EOS 300/Kiss III/Kiss IIIL all the time I’ll generally refer to it as the Rebel 2000 except when it’s necessary to highlight actual functional differences between the various camera versions.

Table of Contents:

    About the EOS Rebel 2000/EOS 300/Kiss III/Kiss IIIL cameras
    Differences between the various models
    Total Beginner Guide to the Rebel 2000

    Loading and unloading film
    Shutter release button
    Installing/removing a lens
    Manual focussing
    Main dial
    Command (mode) dial
    Lock mode (L)
    “Image zone” (basic) modes

      Full auto.
      Portrait mode.
      Landscape mode.
      Close-up mode.
      Sports mode.
      Night mode.

    Winding, focussing and metering modes

      Single-frame wind
      Continuous wind
      One-shot AF (autofocus)
      AI (“artificial intelligence”) servo mode
      AI Focus mode
      Evaluative metering
      Partial metering
      Centre-weighted average metering

    “Creative zone” modes

      Program AE (auto-exposure) mode
      Adjusting program AE (program shift, exposure compensation)
      Shutter priority AE mode (Tv)
      Aperture priority AE mode (Av)
      Metered Manual mode (M)
      Automatic depth of field AE mode (A-DEP)

    Selecting focussing points
    ISO (film speed)
    Tripod socket
    Main dial shift (exposure compensation/aperture button)
    Partial metering/AE lock/Flash exposure lock button
    Multiple exposure
    Auto-exposure bracketing (AEB)
    Mid-roll rewind
    Film prewind
    Depth of field preview
    Date back
    The Rebel 2000 and high-speed infrared film
    Features unique to the Japanese Kiss III and Kiss IIIL
    Attaching manual-focus lenses or telescopes (stop-down metering)
    Some limitations of the Rebel 2000
    Accessories and whatnot

About the EOS Rebel 2000/EOS 300/Kiss III/Kiss IIIL cameras.

These cameras are very popular consumer SLR cameras sold by Canon. They’re marketed under the manly, tough and futuristic tradename “Rebel 2000” in the US and Canada, under the cute (“kawaii”) tradename “Kiss III” in Japan and under the sober series name “EOS 300” in the rest of the world.

They all feature extremely lightweight curved all-plastic body construction, fully computerized automation and simple controls aimed at beginners. They were the first Canon cameras to introduce 35 zone metering, and come with a surprisingly complete feature set, given their low price. They are usually sold as complete camera kits, bundled with an inexpensive and fairly low-quality 28-80 or 28-90 zoom lens.

These are Canon’s official Canon Museum pages on the cameras:

Note that the international name, EOS 300, indicates the position of these cameras in Canon’s marketing lineup. Canon identify their professional cameras as 1 series models (EOS 1, 1V, etc), their semi-pro cameras as one-digit models (EOS 3, 5), their advanced amateur cameras as two digit models (EOS 30, 50, etc), their advanced consumer cameras as three-digit models (EOS 300, 500, etc) and their low-end consumer models as four-digit models (EOS 1000, 5000, etc).

Differences between the various models.

EOS Rebel 2000/EOS 300
Introduced in April, 1999. These models are essentially identical aside from the oval-shaped nameplate on the front and are painted a silver and black colour. Versions with date-stamping capabilities are also available as the slightly more expensive EOS Rebel 2000 Date and EOS 300 QD models.

The Japanese market version of the EOS 300 was also introduced in April, 1999. The primary differences are that the Kiss III supports an optional wireless infrared remote control and has a panorama feature (a mode that fakes a panorama view by masking out the top and bottom of the negative), whereas the international versions do not. It also has a date-stamp feature by default - no version without date stamping was made available for the Japanese market. A black version, identical in technical specifications, was later introduced in September, 2000.

A lightly updated version of the Kiss III, introduced to the Japanese market in November, 2001. The IIIL is painted a metallic charcoal and black colour, ships with an infrared remote control (the RC-5), has an illuminated (backlit) top-deck LCD, and has a shiny metal shutter release button and silver-painted mode dial. Canon never announced plans for selling this version outside Japan and probably never will, now that the EOS 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5 has been announced.

Total Beginner Guide to the Rebel 2000.

To start, here’s a total beginner’s guide to the cameras.

  1. Turn the camera off, if it was on, by turning the left-hand dial (looking from the back of the camera) to the red square marked L for “lock.”

  2. Make sure the camera has working batteries installed. The battery cover is on the bottom of the camera.

  3. Open the camera back. The sliding release catch to the camera back is on the left side of the camera when viewed from the back.

  4. Take a fresh roll of 35mm film and slot it into the space on the left. The exposed bit of film should protrude out to the right and the plastic cylindrical end should be at the bottom.

  5. Pull the film tongue out as far as the orange mark on the right side of the camera. Be extremely careful not to poke the fragile shutter with your finger. (the shutter is the black rectangle with the sort of Venetian-blind panels in the middle of the camera)

  6. Close the camera back. The camera will whir and wind for a half minute or so.

  7. When the camera has finished prewinding, the film icon and the total number of shots available on the film will be displayed on the top screen, meaning everything’s ready to go. (film icon) If the flashing circle icon appears on the panel on the top then the film did not load correctly and you’ll probably have to open the camera back and line up the film with the orange mark.

  8. Turn the left-hand dial to the green rectangle. (full auto icon) This is the beginner mode.

  9. Make sure the AF/MF switch on the lens is set to AF, for autofocus. Remove the lens cap if necessary.

  10. Look in the viewfinder and push the shutter release button halfway down. Whatever is in the very centre of the viewfinder should snap into focus.

  11. If a green dot in the viewfinder blinks it means your subject is not in focus. Try refocusing again. You may need to find an object with a vertical line to focus on.

  12. Push the shutter release button all the way to take the picture.

  13. Have fun!

More in-depth information.

The rest of this page contains more detailed information on how to use this camera. Note that this document is not meant to be a general-purpose photography manual. I’m going to assume you know the basics of how cameras work and what standard terms (aperture priority, etc.) mean.

If you want to learn more about this sort of beginner information please consult my Canon EOS Beginner FAQ, which is full of frequently asked questions that photography novices actually ask. And don’t forget that I have a complete online photographic dictionary available as well which can provide you with definitions of most of if not all the common technical terms you’ll find in this document.

Loading and unloading film.

The Rebel 2000 uses standard 35mm film (sometimes referred to as 135 film). Any 35mm film canister will work in this camera. Colour, black and white, slide, print, 24 shots per roll, 36 shots per roll... whatever you like. The only limitation involves certain types of infrared film.

Naturally other film formats, such as APS, 110, Polaroid instant, medium format, etc., cannot be used with this camera, just as you can’t play an LP in a CD player.

Loading film.

Unloading film.

Shutter release button.

The button under your right index finger when you hold the camera is, of course, the shutter release. Pushing it halfway will turn metering on, will lock AE and also start autofocus if your lens isn’t set to M or MF mode.

The round in-focus dot lights up in the viewfinder when automatic focus is achieved or, in manual focus mode, when the camera thinks you’re focussed correctly. It will blink if AF can’t achieve focus or if it thinks your manual focussing is wrong. (note: the in-focus dot will not illuminate if you’re using a lens that doesn’t contain EOS-compatible electronics, such as an old M42 screwmount lens with an EOS adapter. Such a lens also causes the aperture value to be displayed as 00.)

Pushing the button all the way will take the photo. (unless the subject isn’t in focus and the lens is set to AF, in which case the camera will refuse) The best way to do this is to hold the camera firmly, put your forefinger lightly on the button and then squeeze down. Don’t jab your finger down on the button as doing so tends to result in camera shake, which can cause blurry pictures.

Installing/removing a lens.

All EOS cameras support interchangeable lenses of the Canon EF (“electro-focus”) lens mount type. Any Canon EF lens can be used with any EOS camera - there are almost no incompatibility issues, and those problems that exist are minor ones that don’t affect newer cameras like the Rebel 2000.

Most third party (ie: not built by Canon) lenses that are designed to support the EF lens mount system will also work, though occasional electronic incompatibilities can arise. Such third-party lenses are usually marked “Canon EOS compatible” or “Canon autofocus compatible.” Lenses designed for other camera systems, such as Nikon, Pentax, Minolta, etc., are not compatible with EOS cameras, though older manual-focus lenses can sometimes be adapted to EOS cameras through the use of special metal rings - see the section on manual lenses below. Old Canon manual-focus FD lenses are also incompatible with EOS cameras.

EF lens mounts are of the bayonet style. That is, you insert the lens into the camera mount and rotate it just a partial turn to lock it in place.

Installing EF mount lenses.

Find the red dot on the lens barrel. Align it to the red dot on the top of the camera body lens mount. Insert the lens squarely into the camera’s lens mount and then rotate the lens to the right (clockwise) until it clicks into place. Once the lens is properly mounted you will not be able to turn it again, though a tiny bit of play (wiggle room) is normal.

Removing EF mount lenses.

When you look at the camera from the front you will notice a large pushbutton to the right side of the lens mount. Press this button and rotate the lens to the left (counter-clockwise) while keeping the button held down. When the lens has rotated as far as it can go and the red dot on the lens barrel is aligned with the top of the camera you can pull the lens off the camera body.

Store the lens carefully. You should have both a front lens cap and a rear lens cap - such caps ship with all new lenses. Be careful not to scratch or fingerprint either the glass of the lens or the gold-coloured metal contacts on the bottom of the lens. Placing the lens contacts-down is thus not recommended. The camera should also have shipped with a plastic body cap to protect the camera when the lens is not in place. If you bought the camera and/or lens used you can buy both lens caps and body caps from any camera dealer.

Manual focussing.

There is usually a switch on the lens barrel marked AF/MF, or AF/M on older lenses. Turn this switch to MF or M and the camera will be in manual focus mode, as indicated by the MF symbol in the top-deck LCD panel. Then you can turn the focussing ring on the lens to focus manually. Note that if your lens is a Canon EOS lens with full-time manual focussing (FTM) then you can adjust focus manually at any time that the autofocus motor isn’t actually working.

A handful of very old inexpensive EOS lenses lack this switch since they don’t support manual focussing. If that’s the case (such lenses are usually marked with the letter A, such as the EF 35-70mm f 3.5-4.5 A) you’re out of luck and can only use autofocus, I’m afraid. And a small number of specialized and expensive Canon EOS lenses (the MP-E 65mm macro and the three tilt-shift lenses) support manual-focus only and do not contain autofocus motors.

Main dial.

The small dial on the grip, under your right index finger and next to the shutter release button, is the main input dial. It’s used for adjusting various camera settings.

Command (mode) dial.

The primary control knob on the camera, located on the left side of the top deck, (looking from the back) and marked with a variety of letters and icons. It doesn’t have a locking mechanism, so it’s possible to power up the camera accidentally by bumping the dial.

Lock mode (L).

The red L mode means “off” in Canon parlance. In this position there’s no risk of taking a photo accidentally. You’ll notice that the top deck LCD panel displays the number of shots left on the roll if the camera is loaded with film. This obviously takes power, but don’t worry about draining the battery. Just as LCD wristwatches can run for ages on a single tiny battery the camera can display the frame count information for quite a long time. I would only remove the battery if the camera is to be stored for many months or more.

“Image zone” (basic) modes.

Clockwise from the centre lock position are the six basic (image zone) modes, each identified by a small icon. These are various beginner modes that have different shooting assumptions built-in. Some EOS cameras refer to them as PIC (Programmed Image Control) modes.

Winding, focussing and metering modes.

The camera has a number of winding, focussing and metering modes mentioned above. Here’s what they mean. Note that you can’t arbitrarily specify which of these modes you want to use as you can on midrange and pro EOS cameras - you can only use these modes insofar as they’re built into each of the basic modes above.

“Creative zone” modes.

Counter-clockwise from the centre lock position are the five “creative zone” modes - P, Tv, Av, M and A-DEP. These modes afford varying degrees of control over your camera’s settings, unlike the basic (icon) modes, which are meant for rank beginners.

Program AE (auto-exposure) mode (P).

Turn the command dial to P. The camera will automatically select shutter and aperture settings according to its built-in basic program. Program AE mode uses continuous wind and also evaluative metering unless you push the partial metering button.

Unlike the green mode you can program shift by turning the main dial and adjust the exposure compensation by turning shift-main dial. You also have access to a variety of features disabled in green mode, such as AEB, manual focus point selection, AE lock, multiple exposures, FE lock and FP flash and so on.

If the camera’s maximum shutter speed (1/2000 sec) and the value of the minimum aperture of the lens flash in the viewfinder then there’s too much light. Either use slower film or put a neutral-density filter in front of the lens. If a shutter speed of 30 seconds and the value of the maximum aperture of the lens flash in the viewfinder then there isn’t enough light. Use faster film, flash or bulb mode.

Adjusting program AE (program shift, exposure compensation).

The camera lets you adjust certain metering options in program mode.

Program shifting means you can alter the shutter speed and aperture value together whilst retaining the same exposure value (ie: the same amount of light hitting the film). You can do this in Program AE mode by turning the main dial. For example, 1/90 second at f/4.0 has the same exposure value as 1/30 second at f/6.7, since both settings let the same amount of light hit the film. However the settings result in different photos being taken because of the differences in shutter speed and aperture (depth of field and subject blurring). You cannot program shift if the internal flash is raised or if you have an external Speedlite flash on the camera hotshoe and ready to go.

Exposure compensation means you can set the exposure setting to be more or less than what the camera thinks you need. For example, if you’re shooting a snow scene you might want to apply a +1 stop exposure compensation setting. To do this in Program AE mode you shift-rotate the main dial (that is, you keep the “AV +/-” button pressed while turning the dial). The top-deck LCD and viewfinder scales will indicate the amount of compensation that you’re applying by shifting the black rectangle on the scale.

Shutter priority AE mode (Tv).

In this AE mode you set the shutter speed (time) and the camera automatically sets an appropriate lens aperture for you, based on the selected metering mode - evaluative (default) or partial.

Turn the command dial to Tv, which stands for “Time value.” (Nikon more sensibly refer to shutter priority as S mode) Turn the main dial to adjust the shutter speed setting and shift-main dial to adjust exposure compensation. The camera flashes the aperture value if you’re out of range. (ie: if you haven’t got enough light it’ll flash the maximum aperture of the lens, and if you’ve got too much light it’ll flash the minimum aperture of the lens)

You can’t go into bulb mode here - the maximum time value is 30 seconds. For bulb you need manual (M) mode. The shutter values are expressed as fractions of a second unless the " symbol appears, in which case the value is expressed as a second. Thus 125 means the shutter speed is 1/125 of a second whereas 1"5 means the shutter speed is 1.5 seconds. You can adjust the shutter speed in half stop increments.

Aperture priority AE mode (Av).

In this AE mode you set the lens aperture and the camera automatically sets an appropriate shutter speed for you, based on the selected metering mode - evaluative (default) or partial.

Turn the command dial to Av (for Aperture value). Turn the main dial to adjust the aperture setting and shift-main dial to adjust exposure compensation. The camera flashes the shutter speed value if you’re out of range. (ie: if you haven’t got enough light it’ll flash 30" and if you’ve got too much light it’ll flash 2000, since the maximum shutter speed for the camera is 1/2000 sec)

You can choose any aperture value that falls within the aperture range of the lens you happen to have installed. The wide-open aperture varies a lot from lens to lens - f/1.4, 1.8 and 2.8 are typical values for fast lens and 3.5, 4.5 and 5.6 are typical for slower zoom or telephoto lenses. The largest aperture value is usually printed on the lens itself, and is sometimes an aperture range on zoom lenses which do not have constant apertures - eg: f/3.5-5.6. The smallest aperture value on a 35mm lens, on the other hand, is commonly f/22. You can adjust the aperture setting in half stop increments.

Metered Manual mode (M).

In this mode you set both the lens aperture and the shutter speed manually. The camera will assist you by telling you whether it thinks you have the correct metering based on the selected metering mode - centre-weighted averaging (the default) or partial. You can adjust the aperture and shutter speed in half stop increments.

Turning the command dial to M lets you shoot in metered manual. The camera viewfinder then displays a simulated needle match mode. This sort of animated graphic tells you if your picture is likely to be underexposed, overexposed or exposed correctly. (correct exposure is obviously when the moving rectangle appears in the middle of the scale)

You then use the main dial to change the shutter speed and shift-main dial to change the aperture. You can also go into bulb (long time exposure) mode - it’s the “buLb” setting that’s one step past 30 seconds. Bulb mode (the name comes from the olden days of mechanical shutter releases, when you’d have a rubber ball-shaped bulb that you’d squeeze to trigger and hold the shutter) means the shutter stays open for as long as you keep the shutter release button pressed. Since there’s risk of shaking the camera if you keep the shutter release pressed with your finger you can also plug a wired shutter release (RS60-E3) into the camera’s remote release socket and use that. If you own the Japanese Kiss III or Kiss IIIL models you can also use a wireless remote control for this purpose.

The camera switches to centre-weighted averaging metering mode when you go into manual mode, which is annoying, since you can’t specify evaluative if you happen to prefer that. You can always go into partial by pressing and holding the awkward partial metering button.

Automatic depth of field AE mode (A-DEP).

A-DEP is short for “automatic depth of field AE mode.” Not to be confused with depth of field preview, A-DEP is a function that help you set the correct depth of focus field for your photos. Note that it differs from the DEP mode used in a number of other EOS cameras.

In A-DEP mode you arrange your image in the viewfinder such the nearest object within your desired depth of field is covered by one of the focus points, and that the furthest object is covered by one of the other focus points. Press the shutter halfway and hopefully two focus points will be indicated in the viewfinder display, telling you which points were chosen. If all worked well everything between and including those two objects should be in focus.

The camera tries to set the aperture and shutter speed such that everything between your two selected points is in focus. If it’s not possible for that to happen then the camera will blink a warning at you, as above. If it is possible then neither the aperture nor the shutter speed will blink and you can press the shutter all the way to take the photo. A-DEP uses one-shot AF and single frame winding.

Selecting focussing points.

The Rebel 2000 has seven different focussing points - the points at which autofocus measuring is accomplished. These points are indicated by small rectangles in a cross configuration when you look through the viewfinder. The active point or points are not illuminated in the viewfinder itself but are indicated by a small diagram in both the green area at the bottom of the viewfinder and also the top-deck LCD panel.

If all points are active then the camera will choose one of the focus points automatically, with the point nearest you given priority in one-shot AF mode. If you want to select a focus point manually, however, you can press the focus point selection button on the top of the camera. This is the round black button marked with a rectangle containing seven small dots. Rotating the main dial then lets you cycle through the seven points one by one. However, you can only select focus points manually in the creative zone modes, not the basic modes.

ISO (film speed).

Film speed refers to the light sensitivity of a given roll of film. “Slow” film reacts slowly to light and so photographs taken with slow film require either lots of light or slow shutter speeds. “Fast” film, on the other hand, tends to be grainier and of slightly lower quality, but is capable of working in lower light conditions or with faster shutter speeds.

Film speeds are assigned numeric ratings determined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO, not IOS, oddly enough). ISO 100 film, for example, is slow film that’s suitable for outdoor photography in sunshine. IS 400 or 800 film, on the other hand, is faster film which is more suitable for indoor photography.

Most film cartridges these days have their film speed printed on them in a form that cameras can decode automatically. There should be a pattern of squares (exposed metal or black paint) printed on the side of the film canister. This is the DX code, read electrically by a row of metal contacts within the camera. If you use such film then there is no need to specify the ISO film speed yourself.

However, there are times when manual film speed setting is important. Perhaps you’re using an unusual type of film (handloaded film, for instance) which lacks DX coding. Or perhaps you want to shoot a roll of film at a slightly different film speed from what the manufacturer suggests in order to achieve some effect or other. Or perhaps you want to simulate flash exposure compensation. In these cases manual film speed override is a very useful feature.

The Rebel 2000’s manual ISO override lets you specify your own film speeds. Turn the mode dial to ISO and then use the main dial to adjust the film speed manually, from 6 to 6400 ISO. If you take out the film and then put a DX-encoded roll of film back in your manual ISO setting will be overriden by the DX value.


There is a small round pushbutton on the top of the camera marked with a clock icon. Pressing this button engages self-timer mode. When the camera is in this mode pressing the shutter release starts a 10 second countdown. The camera will beep during the countdown if the beeper is enabled and the top-deck LCD displays the number of seconds left. Two seconds before the shot the camera will beep faster and the red-eye reduction lamp on the front of the camera will flash to warn you that the photo is about to be taken. You can cancel the timer at any point by switching the camera to another mode (or turning it off) before the picture is shot.

Self-timer mode is commonly used for two things. First, it lets you take self-portraits - or group shots including you - if you put the camera onto a tripod. And second, it’s useful for slow shutter speed shots where camera blur might be a problem - you can put the camera onto a tripod and take the photo without risking camera shake caused by your finger pressing the shutter release. In either case it’s best to focus on the subject first and then switch the lens to manual focus mode once you’re satisfied. This avoids the problem of the camera autofocussing on the wrong thing when it takes a photo unattended.

Note one detail. Normally when you take a photo you’re looking through the viewfinder and your face is therefore covering it. However, in self-timer mode the viewfinder is left uncovered and stray light can enter the camera, possibly throwing off the internal light meter. So when using the timer it’s wise to cover the viewfinder with something. Some camera straps include a plastic cover on one end that can be used to cover the viewfinder. Or you could put a grey or black plastic film canister cap over it if you have one around - they fit nicely. The one time this isn’t necessary is M mode since you’re setting both aperture and shutter speed manually.

Tripod socket.

Using tripods is quite simple. The camera has a standard tripod socket on its base which accepts pretty well any standard tripod with a 1/4-20 thread. They nearly all do - the only ones that don’t tend to be large heavy tripods meant for professional photographers who use big cameras. You can buy tripods in all kinds of sizes and price ranges, from tiny tabletop pocket-sized tripods for convenient snapshot travel photography to sturdy midweight portable tripods to heavy studio tripods. Tripods can have simple pan and tilt heads, three-way tilting heads and ball head mounts.

Tripods, while cumbersome, make a big difference in terms of reducing blur caused by camera shake. They’re pretty well a requirement for nature and landscape photography. So don’t think of them solely as devices for holding the camera off the ground for self-timer group photos - they can definitely improve the quality of your photographs as well. A tripod-mounted camera will always take sharper pictures than a handheld camera, particularly at lower shutter speeds.

It’s a general rule of thumb in photography that if the shutter speed you’re using is slower than the reciprocal of the focal length then you must use a tripod to avoid camera shake. For example, if you’re using a 50mm lens then you shouldn’t use any shutter speed slower than 1/50 sec, which gets rounded to 1/60 sec. If you’re using a 300mm lens then you shouldn’t handheld a camera at shutter speeds slower than 1/300 sec. The Rebel 2000 uses this rule, in fact, for its camera shake warning - the blinking shutter speed warning if the shutter speed is too low and the camera is in a basic mode. This rule also makes it pretty clear that the longer the lens the more a tripod is useful. To minimize the risk of camera shake still further put the camera into self-timer mode or use a remote shutter release so you don’t bump the camera accidentally when you take the photo.

If you’re in a situation where tripods are too awkward you could also consider a monopod. These are simply metal poles with tripod mounts on the end. They’re obviously not freestanding, but they can help steady a camera better than nothing at all. In fact, when you use a monopod it’s like using a tripod with your two legs filling in.

Note that the Rebel 2000 has a plastic (not metal) tripod socket, so be sure not to overtighten, as damage to the socket could result. The socket is also used for attaching other accessories, such as the optional battery pack or a third-party flash bracket.


The Rebel 2000 has an automatic pop-up built-in flash unit on the top of the camera. It also has a hotshoe to which you can attach any external Speedlite or compatible flash unit. The camera is a type A EOS camera, which means it supports all forms of Canon flash metering (TTL, A-TTL and E-TTL) and flash technology (FP flash, FEL, wireless flash). The only features not supported are wireless ratios, modelling flash and an external PC socket for older flash units.

Built-in flash.

In the basic (icon) modes the built-in flash unit will pop up automatically if it’s needed - if the light levels are too low. The exceptions are the sports and landscape icon modes, which never fire the flash. It takes a couple of seconds to charge up, at which time the flash-ready icon (lightning bolt) will appear in the viewfinder. To close the flash just push it down manually.

If you’re in one of the creative (P, Av, Tv, M and A-DEP) modes and want to use the built-in flash you must activate it manually by pressing the small lightning bolt button on the front of the camera next to the lens mount. The flash will then pop up.

Flash details.

The internal flash uses three-zone TTL (through the lens) flash metering only - you need an external shoe-mounted Speedlite flash unit if you want to use A-TTL or E-TTL metering modes. Flash sync (X-sync) is 1/90 sec, and fill flash is possible in Av, Tv and M modes. The flash does not zoom and covers the field of view of a 28mm lens. You can’t use the built-in flash when an external flash (or anything else for that matter) is mounted in the flash hot shoe.

Note that EOS cameras meter ambient light differently when flash is used in full auto (green rectangle) and P modes compared to Av, Tv and M modes. Please consult my flash photography document for more information on this issue.

AF assist.

The Rebel 2000 does not have a patterned red autofocus assist light, unfortunately. If light levels are low then the camera will start pulsing the internal flash in a really annoying fashion in all icon modes except landscape and sports (or in the creative modes if the flash is popped up). This is meant to help the camera focus by providing more light.

A much better approach is to attach an external Speedlite flash unit to the hotshoe, since these units all have bright red LEDs which illuminate to help autofocus work. The red AF assist lights are considerably less irritating than the seizure-inducing flash pulses, and they make a big difference with the Rebel 2000, which has very poor low-light autofocus.

Red-eye reduction.

Since the internal flash is mounted on top of the camera in-line with the lens axis it suffers from two problems. First, it’s not high enough to clear a lot of lens hoods and large lenses (resulting in a dark semi-circular flash shadow at the bottom of the picture) and second, you can get serious redeye in people pictures, caused by the light from the flash striking the retina of the subjects’ eyes and reflecting straight back to the lens.

In an attempt to minimize the redeye effect the Rebel 2000 has a bright white red-eye reduction lamp mounted on the front of the camera. If redeye reduction has been enabled then this lamp will illuminate when you hold down the shutter release button halfway. A line countdown will appear in the top-deck LCD and the viewfinder display, indicating the recommended amount of time that your subjects should stare at the light. So instead of pictures of evil satanic red-eyed friends and relatives you can take photos of them looking dazed and blank after staring at a blinding white light for a few seconds.

To enable redeye reduction press the top-mounted MODE button until a triangle points at the redeye-reduction icon in the top-deck LCD panel. You can then switch between red-eye reduction on (1) and red-eye reduction off (0) by rotating the main dial.

FP, FEL and FEC.

The camera also supports FP (focal plane or high speed sync) flash and flash exposure lock (FEL) when used with an EX-series external Speedlite flash unit. If you turn on the Speedlite’s FP mode when the camera is in a creative zone mode then the letter H will appear in the viewfinder display. This symbol indicates that you are using high speed sync flash and your flash working range will be lower than usual if you exceed the camera’s X-sync speed (1/90 sec).

FEL is achieved by pressing the rear partial metering/AE lock/FEL lock button. If the flash-ready lightning bolt in the viewfinder display blinks after performing an FEL it means that the camera has determined that the subject is out of range for the flash. Remember that FEL relies on a preflash, so every time you press this button when a working flash is mounted you’ll get a preflash firing and the letters “FEL” will appear for a half second or so in the viewfinder display. The FEL settings are held in memory for 16 seconds before timing out.

Unfortunately the Rebel 2000 does not have flash exposure compensation (FEC) controls. This means there is no way of adjusting flash output to be above or below the level that the camera wants to use. If you have an external Speedlite shoe-mount flash unit with FEC controls (such as the 430EZ, 540EZ or 550EX) then you can use those, but the camera itself has no such facilities. This is a shame, particularly since the onboard flash tends to be a bit aggressive in its use of fill flash sometimes, and there’s no way to dial it back. The only other way around this is to fiddle with ISO settings.

More information on flash.

Understanding how EOS cameras work with flash photography is pretty confusing. It’d take a whole other document to explain. And so that is, in fact, what I’ve done. Please consult my Canon EOS Flash Photography article for more information on the topics addressed here.

Main dial shift (exposure compensation/aperture button).

The round rear button marked with “Av +/-” is a shift function for the main dial. In P, Av, Tv and DEP modes, this button allows for control of exposure compensation. In M mode, turning the main dial controls shutter speed, while turning the main dial with the rear shift button held down controls aperture.

Thus this button combined with the main dial emulates the rear control dial found on more advanced EOS cameras, albeit at the cost of strain to your right thumb, since the button is somewhat awkwardly positioned.

Partial metering/AE lock/Flash exposure lock (FEL) button.

The oval-shaped rear button marked with an asterisk (*) engages partial metering. Press this button and a * symbol will appear in the viewfinder. The camera will now use partial metering instead of the 35-zone evaluative metering mode - the one exception being metered manual mode; see above. The camera will use partial metering until the display times out after 6 seconds, at which point the camera reverts to evaluativ emetering. There is no other way to cancel the partial metering setting (without changing modes or whatever) and you can’t adjust the timeout value. You also can’t use partial metering in the green full auto mode or any of the other basic (icon) modes.

Additionally the button activates auto-exposure (AE) lock and flash exposure lock (FEL) around the central focus point. Pressing and releasing the button locks in the current aperture and flash settings for 6 seconds, after which the lock times out along with the partial metering setting and is removed.

AE Lock is useful if you’re shooting something under difficult metering conditions. A typical example is a scene that contains a bright light shining back at you - you don’t want the camera’s meter to be thrown by the intensity of the light and set the rest of the scene to be too dark. To avoid this problem you could simply turn the camera to meter the scene without the bright light visible in the viewfinder, apply AE lock and then recompose the image to include the light.

Flash exposure lock (FEL) is useful for locking in flash metering settings, as described in the flash section above. Unfortunately there is no way to specify AE lock and flash exposure lock separately on the Rebel 2000. For more information on FEL please consult the FEL section of my flash photography with EOS cameras article.

Multiple exposure.

(multiple exposures)The multiple exposure setting is indicated by two overlapping rectangles in the top deck LCD panel. To use multiple exposures press the top-mounted MODE button until a triangle points at the multiple exposure icon, then use the main dial to alter the number of exposures. 1 is of course the default, and you can dial up to 9 exposures. Note that you can’t shoot multiple exposures in any of the basic modes - you have to be in a “creative” mode.

ME allows you to take multiple photos without advancing the film to the next frame, thereby creating very ugly pictures. Or for taking a photo of someone superimposed over another background, like a Victorian ghost picture. And if you want to take particularly ugly pictures you can shoot more than 9 exposures if you insist - just reset the counter when it reaches 2 each time.

To cancel multiple exposure just go to the ME mode and dial the setting back to 1. Once you’ve taken a sequence of multiple-exposed photos then the ME mode setting reverts automatically to 1 so you don’t mess up the next photo on the roll.

It’s usually necessary to decrease the exposure value of each exposure when shooting multiple exposures. The manual suggests -1 stop compensation when shooting 2 exposures, -1.5 for 3 and -2 for 4, as a general rule of thumb. Here’s a useful chart indicating some exposure combinations.

Another, and much simpler, way to do it is to increase your ISO setting manually - mutiply the current ISO setting by the number of exposures you want. So if you’ve got ISO 100 film and you want to shoot two multiple exposures, change the ISO to 200. Four exposures would be ISO 400. Just remember to switch it back when you’re done! Note of course that this method assumes you want to expose each exposure equally.

Auto-exposure bracketing (AEB).

 The Rebel 2000 lets you shoot a sequence of three photos with different exposure settings rather than just one. If you’re unsure about the correct exposure setting for a given photo this option lets you bracket automatically without having to adjust the exposure settings manually. This is useful for films with a very narrow latitude, such as slide film. And it would also be really useful for infrared film if the camera didn’t fog high-speed IR film.

To use this function press the MODE button until the top deck LCD triangle points to the AEB symbol - three rectangles in different colours. Set the bracketing amount with the main dial - it’s measured in stops and you can bracket in 1/2 stop increments up to 2 stops from the default exposure. The camera will display the AEB value in the exposure level scale in the top-deck LCD panel and in the viewfinder.

When you press the shutter release the camera will take three photos - one at the presumably correct setting, the next one underexposed and the last one overexposed. AEB can’t work with bulb or flash, but you can use exposure compensation. (though the latter throws off the LCD and viewfinder settings.) AEB also requires the creative zone modes; it doesn’t work with the basic modes.

In program AE mode both shutter speed and aperture are shifted by AEB. In Av, DEP and M modes only the shutter speed is shifted and in Tv mode only the aperture is shifted.


(beeper icon)You can enable or disable the camera’s beeper. To set this function press the MODE button until a triangle is pointing at the little speaker icon in the top-deck LCD. Turn the main dial to switch between 1 (beeper on) and 0 (beeper off) settings.

Mid-roll rewind.

If you want to rewind the film before it’s fully used up just push the mid-roll rewind button. It’s the tiny recessed button marked with the mid-roll rewind icon.

Note that there’s no leader-out function for rewind. (leader-out means that a tongue of film is left protruding from the film canister when you rewind, which is a very useful thing if you want to be able to change films midroll and resume shooting with that roll later on) You can listen to the rewinding very carefully and pop open the back at the exact moment when the film comes off the spool if you want to take the risk of accidentally opening the back too soon and wrecking all your photos.

Film prewind.

Like most of Canon’s low-end consumer cameras these models prewind the film; a feature sometimes called “safety prewind” in Canon literature. In other words, rather than shooting from from 1 to 24 or 36 and then rewinding, like traditional 35mm cameras, these cameras unspool the whole roll of film, then shoot in reverse. Film is wound back into the canister as shooting progresses rather than being wound out. The frame number displayed in the LCD is thus the number of shots remaining on the roll, not the number of pictures taken.

This is actually a clever feature, since it means if you open the camera back accidentally you’ll only ruin a couple frames of exposed film plus the unexposed film - the bulk of the exposed frames will already have been wound back safely into the film canister. However, if you want to use this camera as a backup body for a higher-level EOS camera you might find this difference problematic. Particularly if you want to transfer a partially-used roll of film from one body to the other.

Depth of field preview.

An unusual feature of the Rebel 2000 is depth of field preview. This is a function commonly seen on mid to high end cameras, but not usually on consumer models.

To enable depth of field preview press the small round button located to the right side of the lens mount when looking from the front of the camera. Pressing this button will stop down the lens to the current aperture setting, giving you a preview of what the depth of field will look like. Of course, if the aperture setting is really small then the viewfinder will simply get dark and you might not be able to see anything much at all, so it’s not always an incredibly useful feature.


These cameras use a pair of CR2 lithium batteries, and they display the battery level on the top-deck LCD whenever the camera is turned on. The battery indicator has four settings - full, partly used, blinking partly used (very low) and blinking empty (battery dead). Note that the battery indicator can also blink on empty if the camera has experienced a malfunction of some type, even if the battery is fine.

The camera contains a small amount of non-volatile memory which it uses to store the current frame count and user settings. So don’t worry about losing this information when you change batteries - all that data is retained even if the batteries are dead or not installed.

Note that many other Canon EOS cameras use single 2CR5 or dual CR123A batteries instead, which can be a hassle if you have two bodies and you’re out in the field and thus need to carry two types of batteries. It’s also a shame since CR2 batteries don’t last as long as the other kinds, (their rated capacity is 750 mAh versus 1300 mAh) though they are smaller and lighter.

Also, and this probably goes without saying, don’t forget that the Rebel 2000 cannot function without batteries. All EOS cameras are automated and motorized and power-dependent. It’s a good idea to sling some spare batteries into your camera bag and have them around at all times.

Date back.

There are versions of the Rebel 2000 and EOS 300 that ship with a quartz clock/calendar date back, and all Kiss III and Kiss IIIL cameras have date backs as standard. The date back does not support between-frame imprinting, so the ugly text just appears superimposed in the corner on each picture. Since the backs are not removable or interchangeable you can’t convert a non-date version of the camera to a date version, or vice-versa.

Date-printing versions of the camera have three camera back buttons and a small LCD panel. The built-in calendar runs up to December 2019 and five date and time formats are supported: year/month/day, day/hour/minute, blank (hyphens), month/day/year and day/month/year. Press the MODE button on the back to cycle through these five formats. Numbers in the display marked with M are the current month. The black bar above the last two digits indicates that date printing is enabled. This bar will flash (“REC”) when a picture is taken so you know that date-printing worked. Remember that the rear panel must display all hyphens if you want date printing disabled.

To set the date or time do the following:

The date printing feature uses a CR2025 lithium battery. To replace the battery, open the camera back and open the small battery compartment in the camera back itself. This operation requires a small screwdriver.

Even though non date-back versions of this camera are available, both date and non-date versions have the same rectangular cutout hole in the pressure plate required by the date back system. This has some consequences if you want to shoot Kodak HIE infrared film. (see below)

The Rebel 2000 and high-speed infrared film.

This camera uses infrared LEDs to count sprocket holes in the film-transport mechanism and thus this camera will fog the edge of Kodak HIE and EIR infrared film. As noted above it also has a pressure plate cutout, and the pressure plate itself also has raised lines (or wide grooves) in it, which can also affect Kodak HIE photography. Still, the camera works fine with other brands of IR-sensitive film, such as Konica 750.

For more information on EOS cameras and HIE/EIR infrared, check out my article on the topic.

Features unique to the Japanese Kiss III and Kiss IIIL.

If you own the Japanese versions of this camera - the Kiss III and the Kiss IIIL - you can use a pocket wireless remote control to operate the camera. The Kiss III supports either the optional RC-1 or RC-5 remotes, and the Kiss IIIL ships with an RC-5 remote. You can also use a fake panorama mode.

Unfortunately the other versions of this camera - the Rebel 2000 and the EOS 300 - do not support wireless operation. They lack the infrared receiver built into the rubber handgrip and cannot be modified to accept the remotes. (though note that there is still some lingering confusion as to whether the Rebel 2000 accepts IR or not, since a well-known US camera magazine erroneously announced that it could, based on a preview of the Japanese-only model)

Non-Japanese models also lack the fake panorama feature. Canon’s Camera Museum Web site makes reference to an add-on kit which lets you add a panorama mask to cameras which don’t accept them, but I have never seen one of these for sale. Canon UK’s Web site also refer to a panorama-enabled EOS 300 QD-P, but I haven’t been able to find anywhere that carries such a thing. So presumably either the 300 QD-P model is a very rare model or it was something Canon considered selling but ended up not bothering with.

Using the RC-1 and RC-5 remote.

First, the camera has to be in IR-ready mode, which is reached by pressing the button on the camera’s top deck. The LCD panel will then display the little IR remote icon. You probably also want the lens to be in manual focus so the camera doesn’t screw up the focus. You then point the remote at the front sensor, (it’s located behind the tiny red transparent plate on the camera’s handgrip) press the remote’s button, and the remote uses an infrared beam of light to trigger the camera’s shutter release.

The RC-1 remote is about the size of a small packet of chewing gum and has a three-settings slider switch next to its shutter release button. L (lock) is off, dot means the camera triggers immediately and 2 means the camera triggers in 2 seconds. You can attach the RC-1 to your camera strap using the included plastic clip.

The RC-5 is wider and very flat and has only one button. Pressing the remote’s shutter release button triggers the camera in 2 seconds, during which time the top-deck LCD displays the countdown.

Pros and cons of the IR remote.

The remote is handy for many things. First, it simplifies group photos - you can set up the camera, walk casually over to the group with the remote in hand and trigger the camera when you’re ready. No rushing frantically to get into the group in time to make the camera’s self-timer. Second, since you aren’t physically touching the camera when you trigger it you don’t have to worry about bumping it and blurring the exposure - useful with long exposure settings and mirror prefire mode. Third, the remote works well with bulb mode - camera vibrations are avoided since you aren’t physically touching the camera.

There are two drawbacks. First, the sensor is on the front of the camera. It’s therefore easily blocked by large lenses or lens hoods, and also not very useful if you want to trigger the camera when you’re standing behind it. You could tape a bit of white paper or foil in front of the sensor to reflect the IR signal if you want to operate it from behind. In my case I’ve hacked an RC-1 to serve as a semi-wired remote by putting the LED on the end of a wire which can be velcroed underneath the sensor. Second, and more annoyingly, the camera IR-ready mode times out after around 4-5 minutes. So if you don’t take your remote photo within that time you’re out of luck.

The range of the RC-1 remote is around 5 metres or 15 feet, and the internal batteries are supposed to last for about 2000 presses. It uses two CR1220 lithium cells. I don’t know what batteries the RC-5 uses.

Panorama masking.

The Kiss III and, I believe, the Kiss IIIL support panorama masking. This is a simulated panorama effect which simply masks off the top and bottom of the picture so you get a narrow strip of photograph with solid black bars at the top and bottom. The unmasked portion of the negative is 13.3x36mm in size rather than 24x36mm in size. That’s it. The view you’re seeing is no wider, so it’s not a true panorama. In fact, you’re losing picture information because you’re cropping it off on two sides.

So what’s the point of this feature? Who knows? I guess it’s supposed to look like a widescreen movie shown on TV in letterbox mode or something. But it’d be just as simple to take your final photograph and trim off the top and bottom with a pair of scissors, it seems to me. The only real advantage I can see is that the viewfinder has two horizontal lines scribed into it, indicating where the panorama mask will cut off the picture. These lines can be useful for lining up the horizon in your photos.

To use the panorama feature just flip the panorama lever on your camera.

Attaching manual-focus lenses or telescopes (stop-down metering).

I’ve written an extensive article on how to do this. Note that these cameras use the new method for stop-down metering.

Some limitations of the EOS Rebel 2000.

Before I begin this section I should reiterate that these cameras were designed and marketed as beginners’ cameras. They weren’t meant to be advanced amateur or professional cameras. So I don’t have any real quibbles with Canon’s decisions to omit features in this regard. If you want a fancier camera then you have to go and buy a fancier and more expensive camera.

However, I offer this list of limitations - which may be of interest if you plan on using one of these cameras as a backup to a more advanced system, or if you find yourself doing more advanced photography.

Accessories and whatnot.

Naturally the Rebel 2000 cameras can use all the various add-on components of the EOS system in general - flash units and lenses. Here are few extra accessories you can buy for it.

Eyecup Eb. This one ships with the camera but is still available as an accessory. I find it doesn’t work very well with glasses.

Remote shutter release RS60-E3. The Rebel 2000 supports a wired shutter release which plugs into the side of the camera. This accessory is useful for taking photographs with a tripod when you don’t want to press the shutter release button by hand and risk bumping the camera and blurring the photo. The switch has a lock mechanism, making it ideal for bulb mode. Or, if you want to save money, you could easily make a handmade wired release yourself.

Battery Pack BP200. This battery pack grip fits on the bottom of the camera and accommodates either four AA cells or two CR2 lithium batteries. Being able to use standard AA cells is very handy, as they’re available pretty well anywhere whereas lithium batteries are usually only found in camera shops. So if you’re stuck in the Middle of Nowhere you can always put some AAs in there. The BP200 also has an extra shutter release button, making it much easier to shoot with the camera in portrait (vertical) orientation, and the overall size of the camera increases with the extra grip, which is of great benefit to people with larger hands.

Dioptric adjustment lens E. The Rebel 2000 lacks a built-in dioptric adjustment feature to accommodate people who require glasses but don’t like wearing glasses when they look through viewfinders. The solution is either to grit your teeth and wear glasses when you use the camera or attach a diopter to the camera - basically a rectangular magnifying glass that fits around the viewfinder bracket. Canon sell 10 different types of diopters and each requires the Rubber Frame Eb to fit.

Angle finder C. Expensive, but allows you to look through the viewfinder from above. Handy for macro shots or shooting close to the ground.

Eyepiece extender EP-EX15. This add-on accessory for the viewfinder extends the part you look into so your nose doesn’t press against the camera back.

Canon Professional Strap 1. This is actually made by Domke and co-branded by Canon USA. I list it here because I’ve found it’s a pretty darn good deal for the price - it’s got the Domke Gripper anti-slip material on the strap, it doesn’t have CANON EOS printed on it in gigantic letters like the amateur straps usually do, it has metal swivels on the end and so doesn’t get tangled up. It’s available in green and black, though oddly B&H sell the green one at a far lower price. The one thing it lacks is a viewfinder cover for timer exposures.

RC-1 and RC-5 infrared remotes. These only work with the EOS Kiss III and Kiss IIIL cameras.


- NK Guy,

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