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Comparison - the EOS 500N/Rebel G/New Kiss, the EOS 300/Rebel 2000/Kiss III, the EOS 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5 and the EOS 3000N/Rebel G II/EOS 66.

Copyright © 2002-2007 NK Guy.

http://photonotes.org/reviews/500N-300-300V/

I compiled this table to make it easier for beginner photographers to compare and contrast some popular introductory-level Canon cameras. However, I now have the Complete EOS Lookup Page which contains all this information and more and renders this page pretty well obsolete. I’m going to leave this page here, but I do recommend checking out the database if for no other reason than it contains data on all the latest products. I also recommend my online dictionary if you’re unfamiliar with any of the terms or acronyms used.

Camera versions:

To begin, the issue of naming. Canon often use different model names for certain products depending on the regional market in which they are sold. In particular, Canon USA often sell EOS cameras under different names from the rest of the world. Canon Japan also occasionally sell Japanese-only models.

In addition, versions of these cameras with date-printing backs are and were available in non-Japanese markets, sometimes under the name “QD” (quartz date) and sometimes under the name “DATE.” Japanese versions of these cameras, however, all came or come with date printing as a standard feature.

Most of the Japanese editions also include a fake panorama feature. This fairly useless feature simply masks out (covers up) the top and bottom of the image area, thereby faking a wide panoramic view - it’s a simulated wide aspect ratio. I say it’s fake because it does not add any information to the edges of the picture. The picture is actually no wider - it’s just that the top and bottom edges are blacked out. You might as well take a pair of scissors to your prints and snip off the top and bottom.

EOS 500N

Comparison table:

Here’s a table comparing the four cameras. Note that most basic features in common between all four cameras are not mentioned - this is merely a basic comparison. I’ve highlighted in bold the best choice for each category. Rows with nothing in bold mean that no camera was the clear winner.

Feature EOS 500N/Rebel G/New Kiss EOS 300/Rebel 2000/Kiss III EOS 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5 EOS 3000N/Rebel G II/EOS 66
Date introduced September 1996 September 2000 September 2002 2001 (world) February 2003 (USA)
Body styling Conventional EOS styling

Conventional EOS styling

New look - curvy tall handgrip, etc. Conventional EOS styling
LCD size and position Small, right side of top deck

Small, right side of top deck

Large, rear panel Small, right side of top deck
Illuminated LCD No

No, except for the Japanese-only Kiss IIIL

Yes No
Mode dial location Left side of top deck Left side of top deck Right side of top deck; can be thumb-operated Left side of top deck
Body material Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic
Lens mount material Plastic lens mount, attached to plastic body frame Plastic lens mount, attached to plastic body frame Stainless steel lens mount, attached to plastic body frame Plastic lens mount, attached to plastic body frame
Size Small. 146 x 92 x 62 mm - width, height, depth Small. 140 x 90 x 58.5 mm - width, height, depth Quite small. 130 x 88 x 64 mm - width, height, depth Small. 146 x 92 x 62 mm - width, height, depth
Weight 400 g without batteries 335-355 g without batteries, depending on model 365 g without batteries 350 g without batteries
Body colour Silver with black grips Silver with black grips (all-black version available in Japan) Two-tone silver Charcoal silver with black grips
Metering Evaluative, centre-weighted averaging, partial (9.5% area around centre) Evaluative, centre-weighted averaging, partial (9.5% area around centre) Evaluative, centre-weighted averaging, partial (9.5% area around centre) Evaluative, centre-weighted averaging, partial (9% area around centre)
Evaluative metering zones 6 zones 35 zones 35 zones 6 zones
Autofocus range 1.5-18 EV 1-18 EV 1-18 EV 2-18 EV (awful!)
Basic (icon) modes 6 6 7 (includes flash disabled mode) 6
Focus points 3 (in line) 7 (in a cross shape) 7 (in a cross shape) 3 (in line)
Focus point illumination No No Yes No
Autofocus speed Slow Medium-slow Fairly fast Slow
Support for E-TTL, A-TTL, TTL, FP and FEL flash Yes Yes Yes Yes
Internal flash Fixed head, guide number 12, 28mm coverage Fixed head, guide number 12, 28mm coverage Fixed head, guide number 12, 28mm coverage. Extended arm to reduce risk of redeye slightly Fixed head, guide number 12, 28mm coverage
Incandescent red-eye reduction lamp Body-mounted Body-mounted Flash head mounted Body-mounted
Maximum flash sync shutter speed (X-sync) 1/90 sec true X-sync (1/2000 sec in FP mode only) 1/90 sec true X-sync (1/2000 sec in FP mode only) 1/90 sec true X-sync (1/2000 sec in FP mode only) 1/90 sec true X-sync (1/2000 sec in FP mode only)
Maximum shutter speed 1/2000 sec 1/2000 sec 1/2000 sec 1/2000 sec
Battery 2x CR123A 2x CR2 2x CR2 2x CR123A
Handgrip/battery pack Optional BP-8 battery pack/grip with 4 AA alkaline or NiCad cells Optional BP-200 battery pack/grip with 4 AA cells. Second shutter release Optional BP-220 battery pack/grip with 4 AA alkaline/NiMH cells. Second shutter release Optional BP-8 battery pack/grip with 4 AA alkaline or NiCad cells
Dioptric adjustment for glasses wearers None None Adjustable, -2.5 to +0.5 dpt None
Viewfinder coverage 90% coverage. 0.70x magnification 90% coverage. 0.70x magnification 90% coverage. 0.70x magnification 90% coverage. 0.70x magnification
Depth of field preview No Dedicated DOF button Dedicated DOF button No
Motor drive speed 1 frame per second 1.5 frame per second 2.5 frames per second 1 frame per second
Film wind method Prewind Prewind Prewind Prewind
Remote options RS60-E3 wired remote (mini phone jack). No wireless remote control RS60-E3 wired remote (mini phone jack). Wireless remote control available as option for Japanese Kiss III and Kiss IIIL models only - EOS 300 and Rebel 2000 do not support wireless RS60-E3 wired remote (mini phone jack), optional wireless remote RC-1 or RC-5 (date model only) RS60-E3 wired remote (mini phone jack). No wireless remote control
Compatible with high-speed infrared film No No No No
Compatible with the Metz SCA3102 adapter (third party flash unit) Yes Yes No Probably, but unknown

Notes on the EOS 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5:

Here are some notes on the new EOS 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5. Note that this is not a full review. I don’t own the camera and haven’t spent a lot of time using it. So I have no way of commenting on how the camera interface feels after extended use, for example, or how reliable the camera is. Still, take these comments as you will.

The new EOS 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5 is particularly interesting in that it represents the first major shift in Canon SLR user interface design in many years. The new design is quite easy to hold and operate, and the new swoopy look will help Canon differentiate its product from others in the shop. Moving the mode dial to the right means you can switch camera modes with your thumb, simplifying one-handed operation.

Putting the LCD panel on the back makes for a more easily scratched screen, but also makes room for a lot more information, so on the whole I think it’s a win. The camera shows you, for example, what mode (P, M, etc) you’re in, which can be a timesaver - the data is in the same plane as the viewfinder so you don’t have to move the camera or your head - and very useful in low-light situations. A shame it sticks out and reduces nose clearance, however.

I’m glad to see the illuminated LCD on the Japan-only Kiss IIIL and the 300V/Ti/Kiss 5, since illuminated LCDs are genuinely useful for low-light and night photography. This is a great sign and hopefully we’ll see all future EOS cameras come equipped with backlit LCDs. However, one strangely stupid feature limits the utility of this backlighting on the 300V/Ti/Kiss 5. The function button icons are silkscreened onto the LCD bezel and aren’t part of the LCD itself. So instead you get triangular arrows on the LCD pointing to the printed icons. This approach has always struck me as being informationally redundant over simply using icons in the LCD itself, but in the case of a backlit screen it’s really bad UI. If the icons were on the LCD then you could switch functions in the dark. But since the 300V/Ti/Kiss 5 only displays backlit triangles you have to memorize icon positions if you want to switch functions in the dark. A minor issue, but a bizarrely unnecessary one.

Another notable point is that Canon are posting the complete manual for the camera online along with the publicity material. It’s great to see a) Canon posting the manual for free so people who lose their manuals aren’t completely stuck and b) tying it with marketing so that people can get genuinely useful data on the product before they buy. This is a great development, particularly for a middle-low consumer product.

A few other random observations. The film door latch seems a bit fiddly to operate, as it’s located on the back of the door rather than the side. Perhaps this is a good thing - people are less likely to pop open the film door by mistake. But it could be mildly annoying if you’re in a hurry. The new PIC mode (flash off) is vaguely useful, I suppose. Not that it does much that the P mode doesn’t already do, but if it gets beginners to think about using the camera without the onboard flash that’s probably a good thing. The optional battery pack looks bulbous and misshapen, as though it were actually designed for a different camera. At least there is one, though.

It’s great that there’s support for the wireless RC-1 and RC-5 remotes, but for some strange reason only the date version of the camera carries the remote sensor. The non-date version of this camera does not. So this is a rare instance where I would say that the date version of the camera has a definite advantage.

Though the camera is fairly feature-packed you can see where Canon cut a lot of corners to get the price down. The plastic case doesn’t seem assembled to the same perfect fit that better EOS cameras are - the gaps are just microscopically out here and there. The onboard flash pops up with a rather startling undamped thwack. The viewfinder display has no lighter ground around the alphanumeric and graphic elements, and so looks cheaper. The illuminated focus points are tiny dots in the centre of each AF rectangle, not the rectangle itself as in better EOS cameras. Even the brochure is printed on cheaper thinner paper than that for the Elan 7. And so on. Don't forget that this is a consumer mass-market camera here.

Still, the metal lens mount, illuminated focus points, 2.5 fps motor drive and dioptric adjustment clearly position the 300V/Ti/Kiss 5 as a big step up from its predecessors. It probably won’t be eating much into sales of midrange Canon cameras, though. The lack of a rear control dial, lack of custom functions, lack of direct control over metering and autofocus modes, silver finish (no black option) and film prewind system (making it a poor backup camera for a pro or midrange camera if you need to change film midroll) are the main reasons for that.

One important note, however. I understand that German flash manufacturer Metz have acknowledged that none of their flash units with the SCA3102 adapter currently work correctly with the new EOS 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5 camera, owing to changes in the design of the flash shoe electronics.

Summary:

All three are quite decent beginner cameras and offer a reasonable balance of features versus price. It’s pretty obvious which is the best camera - you pretty well get what you pay for, and the Rebel Ti/300V/Kiss 5 has hardly any drawbacks compared to its predecessors.

But remember that unless you’re really determined to buy a brand new camera these models aren’t necessarily your best buy. There are many excellent used cameras on the market, and generally speaking midrange used EOS cameras go for about the same amount of money as entry-level new models. You may not necessarily get the latest bells and whistles and fancy styling, but older used midrange cameras such as the Elan/100 and Elan II/50/55 represent a solid value for the money and are well worth considering. These midrange cameras also feel sturdier in the hand, though of course they also weigh more.

EOS 500N/Rebel G/New Kiss:

Strengths:
Cheap. Basic feature set.

Weaknesses:
Low-end model. Slow autofocus and motor winding.

EOS 300/Rebel 2000/Kiss III:

Strengths:
Smallest and lightest model of the four. Very complete feature set for a beginner camera.

Weaknesses:
Probably not as an attractive buy as the 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5, given the relatively small difference in price at present.

EOS 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5:

Strengths:
Most capable and feature-equipped model. Fancy new ergonomic design with large illuminated back panel LCD. Contains features such as a stainless steel lens mount and dioptric adjustment which were previously included only on more advanced EOS models.

Weaknesses:
Most expensive model of the four, though admittedly not by much. New curvy styling may not appeal to all buyers. Not as capable as midrange cameras such as the EOS 30/33/Elan 7.

EOS 3000N/Rebel G II/EOS 66:

Strengths:
Cheap. Basic feature set.

Weaknesses:
Very low-end model and very similar to the 500N/Rebel G. Only differences I can see are that its low-light autofocus performance is worse and it comes in a dark silver-painted case rather than a black one. Whee. The Rebel G II does have the night mode icon whereas the 3000N doesn’t, for what it’s worth. Also, this camera is sold as a kit together with the crappy EF 35-80mm f/4-5.6 III lens.

Links:

Canon Camera Museum entry for the EOS 500N/Rebel G/New Kiss

http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/1992-1996/data/1996_n-eos-kiss.html

Canon Camera Museum entry for the EOS 300/Rebel 2000/Kiss III

http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/1997-/data/1999_eos-kiss3.html

Canon Camera Museum entry for the EOS 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5:

http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/2000-/data/2002_eos-kiss5.html

Photo.net’s Canon reviews section, which has reviews of the Rebels G and 2000:

http://www.photo.net/canon/

Why I chose Canon EOS when I moved from manual-focus to autofocus cameras:

http://photonotes.org/articles/why-canon/


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- NK Guy, PhotoNotes.org.

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