|Canon EOS 5 – front view|
This is an early model EOS camera dating from 1992 to 1998. All EOS cameras have the same basic shape from the first film EOS (EOS 650) to the latest digital EOS . The main way in which the various EOS models vary is in size. This EOS 5 is a large and heavy camera. It weighs 665 g (with no lens, battery or strap) and measures 154 by 120 by 75 mm.
Next to the mode selector is a button to release the built-in flashgun. Once the flashgun is raised, this button allows you to set flash exposure compensation.
‘CAL’ is used to calibrate the eye controlled focusing system. I find this both useful and easy to use. The EOS 50e also has this system. I read reports on the Interweb about how poor this eye control focusing is but I suspect those people have not calibrated the system properly – or not at all.
In addition to these ‘creative zone’ settings (Canon’s term) there are also ‘image zone’ settings. For anyone who understands the basics of photography these settings are unnecessary. Their big disadvantage is that they disable user control over shutter speed, aperture, focusing system, metering mode and flash. The only advantage to using image zone settings is that you can use the camera as a point-and-shoot camera with interchangeable lenses. This also applies to modern Canon digital SLRs. The five image zone settings are full auto, portrait, landscape, close up and sport.
The button to release the built-in flashgun has two functions – it releases the flashgun and, when pressed a twice, it allows you to set flash exposure compensation. If an external flash is fitted to the hot shoe (rather than by way of the PC connector), the flash release button will not release the built-in flashgun but pressing it just the once will allow you to set the flash exposure compensation.
The built-in flashgun is rather sophisticated – at least when compared to the built-in flashguns on the EOS 650, EOS 50e, EOS 350D and EOS 650D. This flashgun has a zoom function and changes focus according to the focal length signal from the lens. This is supposed to optimise illumination for differing angles of view. You can hear this focusing of the flashgun taking place as you rotate the zoom control on the lens. I have not tried this out so I cannot comment on how well the flash illumination optimisation works.
This built-in flashgun also has a separate red-eye reduction lamp. The way this works, when set, is the subjects of a portrait are asked to look directly at teh flashgun and just before the shutter opens and the main flash fires, this small red-eye reduction lamp fires several times. Red-eye in flash portraits is caused by the pupil in the eye being dilated due to the low light level allowing the flash to enter the eye, bounce of the red coloured back of the eye and then going back to the camera. This red-eye reduction lamp causes the subjects’ pupils to contract, allowing less light into the eye and even less reflected light to bounce out of the eye. So no more excuses for zombie-eyed portraits.
I like having the flash PC (Prontor-Compur) connector for using off-camera flashguns. For modern photographers this is obsolete as neither cameras nor flashguns have PC connectors, but I am not really a modern photographer.
I am not going to go over all the options available on this camera. As a computer-controlled camera, the options are legion, but there are a few things worth mentioning.
Film rewind is automatic at the end of the roll of film. This rewinds fairly slowly and retracts all the film into the cassette. This can be altered in two ways. Firstly, the rewind speed can be increased – useful at social functions where dead-time spent reloading the camera with film is not a good thing. Normally, slow rewind is better for the film (less scratches and less build-up of static to attract dust) but this is not always the most important thing. Secondly, you can set the camera to leave the film leader out of the cassette. This is what I was always taught to do as the presence of film between the velvet light seals of the cassette improves the blocking of light. It also makes it much easier to load the film into the spirals for developing. It is also possible to force film rewind part-way through the roll of film. For an amateur, we are always going to finish all the film in the camera, but a professional is very likely to have a number of unexposed frames left at the end of an assignment.
Film speed is set automatically by the DX coding on the film cassette. If you are using Adox films (for example) with no DX coding or loading your own bulk film into reusable cassettes, you need to set the film speed manually. This is entirely as ISO (which I still think of as ASA) with no provision for DIN settings. Not a problem, really. If you are using DX encoded cassettes, you can still set the film speed manually – useful if you want to push the film speed.
This camera takes a single lithium 2CR5 battery. This is common with all my EOS film cameras – I have three currently and have previously owned three others. In normal use, this should last for about forty rolls of 24 exposure film. This battery life can be extended by not excessively refocusing the camera, not keeping your finger on the shutter release button too long, not using the eye-controlled focusing and turning the camera off if you are not actually using it. You can also seriously reduce battery life by doing the opposite of all those things.
|Field, Lincolnshire Wolds|
|Rockabilly Buskers, Lincoln.|
|Rockabilly Busker, Lincoln|