on the Canon EOS 10s. (EOS 10)
© 2001 NK Guy
some extensive commentary on the Canon EOS 10s camera that I bought used so
I could shoot Kodak HIE infrared film without
fogging. Hopefully someone out there might find this page interesting
or useful. When I was doing my own research for a used camera I found very
little information on this particular camera for some reason. So here are
my thoughts and observations.
If you want
to read up on how to use this camera Ive put together an extensive unofficial
manual that explains how to use it in detail.
this camera has nothing whatsoever to do with the Canon EOS 10D digital camera.
The 10/10s is a 35mm film-based camera released in 1990. The 10D is a digital
camera released in 2003.
The Canon EOS
10s, a semi-pro EOS camera, is the North American version of the EOS
10. It was introduced in 1990, officially discontinued in either 1994
or 1995, and was Canons second-best camera at the time of introduction. (only
the EOS 1 was better) In the early 90s Canons EOS product lineup looked like
this, from most expensive to cheapest:
1 > 10/10s > 100/Elan > 1000/Rebel
it looked like this after the very first Canon EOS cameras had been discontinued
- the 620, 650, 750, etc.) By the mid 90s the lineup had changed to:
1n > 5/A2 > 50/Elan II> 500 > 5000/888
and it is now
1v > 3 > 30/Elan 7*> 300/Rebel 2000 > 3000/88
The 10s and
the 10 are virtually identical cameras except for the names. At the time Canons
North American marketing department was using the letter S to indicate that
the camera in question had a built-in flash. (Yes. S. Very logical letter
to indicate flash. Presumably they meant strobe.)
So the EOS 10 was sold under the name 10s in North America for the sake of
marketing consistency. The only difference between the 10 and 10s is fairly
esoteric. The 10 is capable of automatically popping up the built-in flash
when light levels are low but for patent reasons the 10s does not do this.
Note that there was also a version with a date-stamping back called the 10QD
which was available in certain markets.
In August of
1991 Canon introduced a collectors EOS 10 to commemorate the company
selling 60 million 35mm cameras. This model was simply a regular EOS 10 painted
a silver-grey colour, much like the recently-released 3000N consumer camera.
It came with a matching silver 35-135mm 4-5.6 USM lens and a little plastic
The EOS 10 represented
a kind of transition camera between the first-generation 600-series EOS cameras
(sturdy, metal internal components, square lines, poor user interface design,
interchangeable backs, grips and screens) and the current consumer models
(mainly plastic build, rounded Luigi
Colani-inspired curved shapes, better user interface, nothing interchangeable).
odd camera, though. It has a number of unique features in the EOS lineup,
is sturdy and quick and has a great feel to it. However its also missing
a lot of modern convenient features. So frankly I think a used Elan/100
is a better deal for most peoples needs.
The 10/10s is
faster and of a sturdier build quality, but the Elan/100 is simply more convenient.
Unless, of course, you need one of the 10/10s unusual features - the
intervalometer and a shutter that does not require any power to stay open,
or you need an EOS camera that doesnt fog infrared film or you need
a higher winding speed (5 fps versus 3) or the faster AF. Since I like shooting
Kodak HIE infrared film and I like the intervalometer, Im definitely
keeping this camera.
more about the EOS 10/10s.
The old EOS
FAQ had a good comparison between the EOS 600/630, Elan/100 and 10/10s.
Canon dont make copies of their old manuals available online as downloadable
documents or anything, though apparently you can order reprints from them.
There was also a third party Magic Lantern Guide/Hove book published on the
10/10s which you might be able to find in camera shops. I havent bought
one of these, though Ive flipped through one in a camera shop. It looks
much like the Elan/100 book - an introductory book aimed at beginners.
If you want
to learn how to use this camera please check out my online 10/10s
Stuff I like
about the 10/10s.
- For a plastic-bodied
camera, its quite sturdy. The fit and finish is good and it has a solid
rubber handgrip rather than a plastic one coated with rubber material like
the Elan/100. It also has a steel lens mount, not plastic (polycarbonate)
like the low-end Canons. Keep in mind, however, that although the lens mount
is metal its attached to a plastic frame, so its not as sturdy
as a pro EOS camera thats metal all the way through. The key advantage
of metal mounts is that theyre superior to plastic in wear resistance,
which is important if you change lenses a lot.
- Its a
good size. A bit big for a lot of occasions, perhaps, since people tend to
get apprehensive when they see a large camera looming towards them (compared
to a typical consumer camera, its sizeable. Compared to a pro camera
its small) and tend to associate big camera with professional photographer.
So its not that great for casual snapshots. But neither is it a monstrously
heavy solid metal beast like an EOS 1 or 3. It feels solid in the hand; good
heft. Like all cameras these days its designed for right-handed people,
but frankly left-handed users havent got much choice in that regard.
Physically the 10/10s is similar in shape to the slightly later Elan/100,
but with a slightly thicker (about half a centimetre) bottom plate that accommodates
four pushbuttons. Its rounder than the earliest 600-series EOS cameras,
and more streamlined than the Elan/100. The main reason for the latter is
because it doesnt have a zooming flash, so the flash housing is smaller
and more gracefully shaped. However, its flash housing is still larger than
the very small ones on new cameras such as the Rebel 2000/EOS 300 and Elan
7/EOS 30. I have to say, though, I prefer its streamlined lines to newer blockier
cameras such as the EOS 3 or Elan 7/EOS 30.
- All the usual
metering modes - manual, full auto, time and aperture priority. Built-in flash,
albeit one with rather limited features (see below). Lots of custom
functions. Plus piles of other stuff like the usual idiot modes (portrait,
landscape, macro, sports - night mode being the only missing one), auto bracketing,
depth of field exposure mode, multiple exposure settings, AI servo focus tracking,
- Very fast winder
at 5 frames per second shooting speed in one-shot mode. (3.3 in AI servo)
Which Ive only really ever used once, but its nice to know that
it can handle high-speed shots if I want. The 10/10s even shoots at this speed
when auto-bracketing, which is pretty cool - it blazes through AEB shots in
a split second. In fact, the 10/10s is about the fastest affordable EOS camera.
The pro cameras shoot faster, but often require external boosters to do it.
- Its fairly
quiet for an SLR, though still much noisier than a quiet camera like the Elan/100
or the Elan 7/30. As it doesnt have a zoomed flash, as noted above,
theres no zoom motor noise. The drawback to not having a zoomed flash,
of course, is that the flash range is much shorter when using longer focal
lengths. The 10/10s internal flash only covers the area of a 35mm lens.
fog Kodak HIE infrared
film. This is the main reason I got this camera, really. It doesnt use
an IR diode in the film path and the 10/10s also doesnt have cutout
holes in the pressure plate. Interestingly the EOS 10QD also lacks cutout
holes in the pressure plate - I understand its the only EOS model ever
built like that.
- Discreet red
light. The Rebel 2000/EOS 300 and new Elan 7/EOS 30 flash the main flash
unit for AF (autofocus) assist, which is extremely annoying and distracting
for your photo subjects. Not to mention a huge battery drain. I much prefer
the patterned red light, which bothers subjects considerably less. I guess
Canon moved to using the flash since large lenses can block the AF assist
light and to save a few yen by eliminating the high-intensity LED. Custom
function 8 lets you disable the AF assist light if you want.
- Flash sync
(X sync) of up to 1/125. Some lower-end Canons (eg: the Rebel 2000/EOS 300)
can only go as high as 1/90. Of course, the high-end ones go up to 1/250,
and E-TTL Canons also have pulsed FP flash which simulates even higher flash
- The 10/10s
was the first Canon EOS to feature more than one focussing mark, and the camera
boasts three AF sensors, all of which are designed to work with slow (f 5.6)
lenses. The AF sensor is a cross sensor and thus sensitive to both horizontal
and vertical lines, but the outer two sensors are only sensitive to horizontal
lines. (this is quite different from contemporaneous low-end Canons with single
sensors, which usually are sensitive only to vertical lines)
Each active focus point is outlined in red in the viewfinder. Since the finder
screen is edge-lit theres a slight haze of red light scattered around
the viewfinder immediately below each illuminated rectangle, which looks a
bit cheap but obviously doesnt affect the performance of the camera
at all. The flash metering system supposedly biases flash exposure to the
selected AF point.
- Autofocus speed
is pretty good, and seems quite accurate. It feels a tiny bit snappier and
more precise than the Elan/100s focussing. It was the first non-pro
EOS model to have decent focussing, as the earlier 600 series cameras are
a little erratic sometimes.
- The wireless
control. Optional, and very useful indeed. It has the obvious application
of letting you trigger group grin photos from within the group, but its utility
goes beyond that. You can do 2-second mirror prefire lockup with it. In bulb
mode you can press once to open the shutter and once again to close it, and
since its wireless you arent bumping the camera.
- Mirror prefire
lockup. Its not true mirror lockup, since you cant just lock the
mirror when you feel like it, but custom function 13 lets you set a 10-second
mirror prefire lock on timer mode or 2-second when using the RC-1 remote.
Which is all Id use MLU for anyway - reducing the mirror-slap vibrations
which might blur slow-shutter exposures.
- Built-in flash
wont pop up automatically in the idiot modes, at least not on the 10s.
(I dont know if the flash pops up automatically on the EOS 10) But the
thing is, I like being in control of whether flash is needed or not, so I
consider this a bonus and not a missing feature.
One fun feature of the 10/10s is that the flash automatically lowers when
you push the flash button if its up. Most other Canons Ive used
require you to lower the flash by hand. This is cute, but since Im not
used to it I tend to push down the flash manually out of habit, which probably
doesnt do good things to the flash popup motor.
- You can move
focus control off the shutter release button to a back button if you like
- the famous Custom
Function 4. Ironically, much as I like this feature, I dont enable
it, because my primary camera (Elan/100) lacks it. And I find it confusing
switching back and forth between two cameras with different AF interface settings.
- Holding open
the shutter does not require any power. This is unlike most EOS cameras (past
the original 600 series), which drain the battery when the shutter is held
open. If youre doing astrophotography or other forms of long-exposure
night photography this no-power shutter feature can be a real boon, since
it means you can shoot a bulb exposure photo without worrying about the battery
failing midway through the night and ruining your picture.
- Built-in intervalometer
(interval timer). This is the only EOS camera with such a feature built in,
I think. A number of other cameras (1, 600 series, etc) had optional backs
that let you set up intervals, but the 10/10s has it built into the body.
Basically you just set the time (from 1 second to 23 hours, 59 minutes and
59 seconds) and the total number of exposures and the camera will automatically
take your photos, one per time interval.
You can even combine the intervalometer with the multiple exposure feature.
Which is cool, because you can take one of those cool moonrise photos automatically
if you want. You know the kind - cameras on a tripod and set to take
a multiple-exposure photo once every few minutes, so you end up with a bunch
of pictures of the moon rising on the same frame. I tried it a couple times
and it worked,
though the picture turned out to be somewhat disappointing owing to wind causing
the tripod to vibrate.
- Custom function
2 enables leader-out for rewind. This is a very useful thing if you want to
be able to change films midroll and resume shooting with that roll later on
- when the film rewinds it keeps the film tongue out of the cartridge rather
than winding it all back in. Note that this only works in creative zone modes,
so the film will rewind all the way back if youre shooting in PIC mode
and run out of film.
- The shutter
lag (the time between you pushing the shutter button all the way and the camera
actually taking a photo) is very short, though I dont know the actual
value. Its definitely shorter and snappier than the Elan/100. The mirror
blackout is also wonderfully brief. Very nice to operate.
reader. Actually, this fits partway between like and dont
like. You can scan in various settings into the camera from a custom
barcode reader and list of barcodes. This is clearly a feature aimed at novice
or braindead consumers. Oh, Im taking a photo of a flower, so
I flip through my barcode book until I find a picture of a flower, then scan
in that barcode! And unfortunately you can only store one custom barcode
at a time, unlike the Elan/100.
However, this feature is rendered slightly interesting by the fact that people
the barcode data format and, if you have a program that can print out
the interleaved barcode style, you can actually write your own settings. Thats
sort of fun if youre of a nerdy bent.
- Unlike the
Elan/100, Elan 7/EOS 30, etc, cameras, the battery door on the 10/10s has
a proper moving hinge! Hooray. It doesnt just have a stupid flexy bit
of plastic, which eventually will break off, rendering the camera useless
unless you keep the battery pushed in with your left hand.
Additionally, the camera back has a locking mechanism. You have to push in
a little button in order to get the sliding latch to move, which I think is
an excellent feature. Unfortunately the latch is plastic. Oh, well.
- The metal tripod
socket is in line with the lens axis, unlike the Elan/100. This wont
affect most people but if, for example, you want to shoot a QuickTime VR panorama
and need to locate the camera on a bracket so that it rotates around the lens
nodal point then this might be handier than the Elan/100 arrangement.
- The internal
flash appears to charge up only when you pop up the flash, and not each time
you turn the camera on, the way the Elan/100 does. Unfortunately the 10/10s
still sucks up battery power like theres no tomorrow, so this doesnt
seem to make much difference.
Stuff I dont
like about the 10/10s.
The 10s is a
pretty decent camera with a lot of handy and several unique features, but
on the whole Id go for the Elan/100 if I had to choose between the two.
The 10/10s is just missing too many useful features and its user interface
isnt as well organized. But, as noted above, the 10/10s does not fog
HIE film, which is why I have it. Anyway. My comments and complaints:
no rear quick control dial. Arrr. The Elan/100 was the first consumer EOS
camera to have this brilliant feature, which was introduced with the professional
EOS 1 camera. And boy do you miss it if it isnt there!
The 10/10s has a shift button instead of a rear dial. To operate it you have
to hold down the right-hand rear button with your thumb (mild degree of contortions
required, and for comfort youll probably have to support the camera
with your left hand while you do it) and turn the main dial with your forefinger.
- You cant
freely choose metering methods. Recent professional and advanced amateur Canons
let you choose whichever mode (evaluative, partial, centre-weighted average,
spot if available) that you like. The 10/10s defaults to evaluative unless
you hold down the partial metering button and keep it depressed whilst taking
the photo. This is a hassle.
The manual doesnt
fully document it, but there is one exception to above. And thats that
the camera appears to switch to partial metering by default in the M and closeup
PIC modes, and you cant use any other metering methods in those modes.
This is really unfortunate. Note that some sources say that the 10s switches
to centre-weighted averaging in M mode. But neither the manual nor the Canon
camera museum site say that the 10s is capable of centre-weighted average
metering, so Im skeptical about this claim. (but please email me if
you have any information to the contrary) Either way the 10/10s definitely
does not support fine spot metering.
- Exposure compensation
interface is very weak. The Elan/100 and most later Canons have a graphical
scale from -2 to 0 to +2 EV. You dial in the appropriate setting, usually
using the rear dial, and this information stays displayed at all times.
On the 10/10s you have to press an awkwardly placed black button, located
at the bottom of the black plastic camera base, thats marked +/-. Then
you have to hold down the selected shift button with your thumb and dial in
the compensation amount. Its displayed using digits and +/- rather than
a visual scale, and is only displayed in the top-deck LCD - you cant
do this whilst peering through the viewfinder!
When you switch out of the exposure compensation mode that information vanishes,
leaving only a +/- symbol in the viewfinder and top-deck LCD. This simply
tells you that exposure compensation is not 0, so if you forget what the actual
value is you have to push the +/- button again. And exposure compensation
does not get reset when the viewfinder display extinguishes, so theres
the risk of shooting a bunch of pictures with the wrong setting if you forget
to change it back. All in all, very inconvenient.
As slight consolation, the exposure compensation range is from -5 to +5 EV,
compared to -2 to +2 for the Elan/100 and the other non-pro Canons which have
a graphical sliding scale.
- The 10/10s
is maddeningly forgetful. Its worse than the Reagan White House. Lets
say you set the shutter speed to 1/90 sec in Tv mode. Then you switch to Av
mode to check it out. Then you switch back to Tv. Magically, the shutter speed
has reverted to 1/125 sec. Frustratingly, the camera insists on going back
to 1/125 f5.6 all the time. Newer Canons dont do this, and retain whatever
setting you had before.
- The 10/10s
has an eight-zone evaluative metering system. This was pretty advanced for
its time, but newer cameras have improved evaluative metering with more zones.
(eg: the Elan 7/EOS 30 has 35 zones) Itd be nice to have a camera that
handled backlit or high-contrast subjects a bit better without having to think
- The 10/10s
is an older B-type EOS body and so has no E-TTL flash metering
or FP mode (high-speed flash sync) support. Utterly unsurprising, since
E-TTL didnt exist when the 10/10s was made. Sadly, TTL and A-TTL flash metering are really pretty lame.
- The partial
metering mode covers 8.5% of the image area around the centre AF mark, and
it doesnt meter around the selected AF mark if it isnt the centre
one. Which is better than 9.5% for the newer Elan II/50 and Elan 7/30 cameras
but worse than the 6.5% coverage of the original Elan/100. Either way, the
camera obviously hasnt got a spotmeter or a fine partial metering feature.
- Making things
worse, the partial metering/AE Lock button doesnt actually lock. On
later cameras you can press the AE Lock button and itll retain your
settings for a few seconds. The 10/10s requires you to keep this button (or
the shutter release) held down in order to retain the settings, which seems
to me to defeat the point of locking. You have to hold the camera
steady with your left hand, press the AE Lock button with your right thumb
and take a photo with your right index finger, or keep your finger pressed
on the shutter release button halfway. Talk about gymnastics.
- In manual mode
theres no actual metering scale. Just + or - symbols telling you whether
youre over or under exposed. Annoying. These symbols are displayed in
the viewfinder but not the top-deck LCD.
- And speaking
of the viewfinder, the data display is a bit unattractive, as inactive segments
can still be faintly seen. The Elan/100 avoids this problem quite neatly by
simply brightening the entire data area of the viewfinder. This lowers the
contrast slightly between the illuminated characters and the ground, but does
prevent the distracting inactive segment problem.
- People with
newer EOS cameras, such as the Elan 7/EOS 30, will be annoyed to find that
the positioning of the focus mark selection button is reversed on the 10/10s.
Of course, this is hardly an issue if you dont have such a camera.
- The 10/10s,
like the A2/5, does not use the AF assist light on an external shoe-mounted
Speedlite flash. It keeps using the built-in AF assist light instead. This
wasnt done utterly capriciously - there was reasoning
behind the decision, (the AF lights on the external flash units of the day
did not provide adequate coverage for more than one focussing point, and the
external flash unit AF lights have vertical patterns rather than horizontal
patterns required by the 10/10s) but its still frustrating because the
internal AF light is easily blocked by a large lens or lens hood meaning you
get no AF light coverage at all in such situations.
This should have been made into a custom function. Or at the very least the
camera should have allowed the external flashs AF light to work if the
camera was set to use the middle of the three AF points.
- Speaking of
flash, the built-in flash is pretty darn limited. It uses TTL and has no second-curtain
shutter sync, no red-eye reduction and also lacks flash exposure compensation.
It doesnt zoom and only covers 35mm wide lenses. The Elan/100 has all
four of these features, for what its worth. Personally of the four Id
say the lack of flash exposure compensation is the most problematic, since
Canons fill-flash algorithm tends to result in the flash spitting out
a bit more light than youd want.
- As with all
of Canons cameras the 10/10s lacks a (post-exposure) flash confirmation
indicator in the viewfinder. This is apparently for patent reasons, but still
annoying for the end user. The 540EZ and 550EX external flash units have a
flash exposure confirmation lamp, but that means you have to check the back
of the flash unit after each picture - you cant just keep peering through
the finder. Also, it doesnt help me - I have the 430EZ flash, which
lacks this lamp.
- No battery
pack grip was ever made for the 10/10s. You cant use easily-obtainable
and cheap AAs to power the camera - you always have to use expensive lithium
2CR5s. Its true that AAs dont last very long, but having that
option can be a lifesaver if youre in the Middle of Nowhere and run
out of lithium photo cells.
There was an add-on optional grip extension (GR-60), but its just a
lump of rubber with a hand strap. It doesnt give you any additional
buttons (so its of no additional benefit for portrait photography) and
it doesnt contain batteries.
- The 10/10s
has metering controls which are adjustable in half stop increments only. It
does not have the ability to adjust exposure settings in third stop intervals
like newer EOS cameras.
- Speaking of
batteries, the 10/10s eats a lot of batteries. Always carry a spare or two.
- No wired shutter
release socket, unlike the Elan II/50 and 7/30. Quite mysterious, given the
fact it was Canons second-best camera at the time and must have been
used in studios. (needless to say it also lacks a PC socket.) The wireless
remote is great, but since the sensor for it is on the front of the camera
you have to move around and point the remote at the front. Great for when
you want to be in the picture; not great if you dont.
Also, the IR sensor is tucked away on the body right below the AF assist LED.
This can be blocked by a large lens or lens hood, which is annoying. The Elan
7/30 is improved in this regard - the IR remote sensor is built into the handgrip
on the front. Incidentally, Ive taken an RC-1 remote and hacked so that
the IR LED is on the end of a little wire with a piece of velcro. That way
I can use it as a wired remote if I want to stand behind the camera in a studio-type
setting. A bit clunky, but it works. Doesnt help with the timeout value
for the IR receiver, though. (see below)
- The internal
beeper is used both for indicating successful focus and also during the self-timer
countdown. You can turn off the beeping outright, but unfortunately this isnt
what I want. I want the beeper disabled for successful focus but enabled for
the timer. There doesnt seem to be any custom function or whatever to
permit this. Theres only a custom function to disable the camera-shake
- No separate
DOF (depth of field) preview button. However, you can enable custom function
11 and have the partial metering button double as a DOF preview button. This
is sort of an okay substitute, since unlike the AE Lock button on the Elan/100
the partial metering button is spring-loaded and doesnt lock in a setting
(a problem in most other areas), but separate buttons are still handier.
- No manual focus
indicator in the viewfinder. A little MF symbol in the viewfinder would save
you that extra second of wondering whether the lens is in auto or manual focus
mode and fumbling for the switch to double-check. The top deck LCD doesnt
display any text in the yellow-orange rectangle area if youre in manual
focus mode, but that isnt very helpful.
has only about 92% coverage. Oh, well. Note that this is slightly more coverage
than the Elan/100, which has only 90%. The 10/10s viewfinder also isnt
very easy to look into if you wear glasses. Nikons cameras generally
do a much better job of accommodating spectacles wearers.
- I dont
like the command dial lock, because you have to push the centre lock button
down to release it. This is both fiddly to use and may be vulnerable to the
same infamous problem of command dial breakage that the EOS 5/A2 suffers from
- its not entirely clear.
The Elan II/50 and the new Elan 7/30 have the lock button on the side, which
offers the same positive locking functionality but is far more convenient
to operate. (though admittedly is less aesthetically pleasing than having
the lock in the centre.)
- The latch on
the camera back is made of plastic, not metal. And the catch is exactly the
sort of thing that will snap off with use. For that reason I always push the
door in and release the catch, then open the door with the catch open, in
an attempt to minimize stresses placed on the catch and thus the chances of
it breaking on me. Maybe Im paranoid, but it doesnt take any extra
effort, and Id hate to have the catch break in the middle of a shoot.
- No backlit
top dial and LCD. Makes it a bit of a pain to operate in the dark. Wouldve
cost peanuts to add a couple surface-mounted LEDs in there for night operation.
Or, for a bit more money, an EL backlit screen like on the EOS 620. (one of
the oldest EOS models around)
will change in the future. The EOS Kiss III L, a minor revision to the Kiss
III (Japanese name for the Rebel 2000/EOS 300) sold only in Japan, has an illuminated
top-deck LCD. Lets hope Canon continues this through the line.
- This applies
to pretty well all cameras these days, but the LCD itself is only supposed
to last 5-10 years or so before it fails. Mines about a decade old,
and is still working, but the fact that it might fail and have to be replaced
at my expense is pretty annoying.
- Making things
worse, the camera was discontinued several years ago and in a few years
time it may not be possible to get it repaired if replacement parts are no
longer available from Canon. The company is only legally obligated to keep
parts on hand for about a decade, I think.
- Many late 80s/early
90s EOS cameras, including the 10/10s, have a known problem of black sticky
tar-like stuff appearing on the shutter. This is caused by a foam piece inside
deteriorating and turning into sticky black glue. Fixing the problem requires
replacing the shutter and replacing said piece of foam. Moderately expensive,
as you have to open up the entire camera to do it. You can also clean
the shutter yourself if you feel like taking the chance.
This isn’t a trivial problem. I recently lost about two dozen shots
on a recent shoot because of a gluey shutter - the pictures simply turned
out blank or occasionally grossly underexposed. Frustrating.
- The six-second
timeout on the exposure settings. If youve pushed the shutter release
halfway and have customized the exposure settings and then let go, youve
only got 5-6 seconds before the viewfinder display shuts off and it forgets
whatever youve put in. Thats a bit short sometimes. All EOS cameras
seem to do this, yet only the 1V and 1D has a funtion that lets users extend
this time if they want.
also a timeout on the remote-control sensor. The camera wont recognize
the RC-1 control signals unless youre in self-timer mode, which can
be annoying in itself, but after a few minutes it shuts off the remote sensor
I presume this is some sort of power-saving measure, but its certainly
one that eliminates the possibility for many fun hacks. Lets say that
you wanted to take a photo of a bird flying into its nest. If the remote-control
sensor didnt time out you could rig up a nifty hack so that the bird
could trigger the camera when it crossed a beam of light, say. Sadly you cant
do tricks like this with the 10/10s. And since theres no wired release
socket you cant hack anything together that way, making the 10/10s utterly
unuseable for long-delay triggering.
- No frame counter
information in the viewfinder - just on the top-deck LCD panel.
- No textual
or mnemonic explanation for what the custom functions
are. If Canon were to use a simple dot-addressable LCD they could easily throw
a few bytes of extra data into the ROM that would actually explain what CF
1 or 7 does, so you dont have to tape a photocopy of the manual onto
your camera bag. The digital D30 and D60 have full text of custom functions
displayed on the rear screen, which is handy. But oddly the new Elan 7/30
actually has a smaller LCD than older cameras like the 10/10s. The 7/30 also
uses cheesy triangular arrow symbols which point to printed icons on the edge
of the LCD, rather than actual symbols on the LCD for some reason.
- No film-plane
mark. People who do precise macro photography want to know where the film
plane is actually located, so they can measure off exact distances. The film
plane mark is a circle with a long line through it, like a sort of Plimsoll
line on a ship. The 10/10s lacks this. Makes no difference to me, really,
since I dont do this sort of macro photography, but it might bother
someone out there. All the new Canons, even the cheapest Rebels, now have
the film plane mark printed on the top.
- Unlike the
Elan II/30, the self-timer doesnt display countdown information in the
LCD. A shame - its a cute feature.
- Back isnt
removable. So you cant replace it with a bulk-loader or Polaroid adapter
or date-printer or whatever. This doesnt affect me at all, but as above,
I suppose it might affect someone. There was the 10QD, which was a version
of the 10 with a date-printing back, but since the backs arent interchangeable
you either have a date-printing camera or you dont.
- No interchangeable
finder screens. The 600 series cameras were the last non-pro EOS cameras to
have interchangeable viewfinder screens. Id love to have a split circle
focus screen for easier manual focussing.
- It aint
sealed. Okay, so Id have to spend ten times more money and get a top
of the line EOS 1v or 3 to get a fully-sealed weatherproof camera, but itd
be nice to have some basic rubber seals around things, even if they werent
up to the 1v standard. As it is, its a bit annoying to shoot for a couple
days in a dusty location and finding the battery compartment lined with a
layer of dust. Even a lot of cheap portable CD players have little rubber
O-rings around buttons and dials these days.
Ive had to wrap the whole camera in black gaffer tape (not cheap
silver duct tape, which leaves ghastly gluey residues, but expensive gaffer
tape used by film crews) to deal with this. This makes it hard to operate
the controls, of course, so I've also resorted to taping small pieces of transparent
cling film (sandwich wrap plastic film) over key button controls and the top
- NK Guy, PhotoNotes.org.
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