introduced 1992 - discontinued 2002

The world's first camera with eye-contolled focus (though this only operates with camera in horizontal format). Other features include 16-zone exposure sensor, 1/8000 second shutter speed, 5 fps from built-in motor drive and 16 Custom Functions. An almost-professional SLR. Quartz Date version available (sold as standard in Japan).

The EOS A2 is the same camera without eye-controlled focus (only sold in the USA).

Type and major components
Type: 35mm focal plane shutter SLR (single-lens reflex) camera with autofocus, auto exposure, built-in flash and built-in motor drive.
Lens Mount: Canon EF mount (electronic signal transfer system).
Usable Lenses: Canon EF lenses.
Viewfinder: Fixed eye-level pentaprism. Gives 92% vertical and 94% horizontal coverage of actual picture area and 0.73x magnification with 50mm lens at infinity.
LCD Panel: Displays necessary information including frame counter, AF mode, film winding mode, metering mode, shutter speed, aperture value, film speed, battery condition and exposure compensation.
Dioptric Adjustment: Built-in eyepiece is adjusted to 01 diopter (eyepoint: 20mm).
Focusing Screen: Interchangeable, overall matte screen with AF frames.
Shutter: Vertical-travel, focal plane shutter with all speeds electronically controlled.
Shutter Speed: 1/8000-30 sec. and bulb.
Maximum X-sync speed: 1/200 sec.

AF Control System: TTL-SIR (Secondary Image Registration) phase detection type using Cross-type BASIS (Base-Stored Image Sensor).
Two autofocus modes available
One-shot AF and AI Servo AF. Manual focusing also possible.
Focusing Point:: Five focusing points provided. Focusing point set automatically by camera, manually by user, or by user eye control.
AF Working Range: EV 0-18 at ISO 100.
AF Auxiliary Light: Automatically projected when necessary. Operation linked to focusing points.

Exposure Control
Light Metering: TTL full-aperture metering using a 16-zone SPC (silicon photocell). Three metering modes available: evaluative metering, spot metering (covers approx. 3.5% of the central picture area) and centre-weighted average metering.
Metering Range: EV 0 to 20 with 50mm f1.4 lens at ISO 100 (normal temperature).
Shooting Modes:
• Program AE.
• Shutter-priority AE.
• Aperture-priority AE.
• Depth-of-field AE.
• Full Auto.
• Programmed Image Control (Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sport).
• Flash AE (A-TTL or TTL program flash AE with built-in flash or dedicated Speedlite).
• X (Flash sync mode).
• Manual exposure.
Camera Shake Warning: Operates in Full Auto and Programmed Image Control modes, Beeper beeps at 2 Hz when automatically-set shutter speed becomes 0 to 0.5 stops slower than ‘1/focal length of the lens in use’.
Multiple Exposures: Up to nine exposures can be preset.
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2 stops in 1/2 stop increments.
Auto Exposure Bracketing: +/- 2 stops in 1/2 stop increments. Three continuous exposures are taken in sequence: one at the standard metered value, one under and one over.

Film Transport
Film Speed Setting: Automatically set according to DX code (ISO 25-5000) or set by user (ISO 6-6400).
Film Loading: Automatic. Film automatically advanced to first frame when back cover is closed.
Film Wind: Automatic using dedicated miniature motor.
Three modes are available: single exposure, continuous exposure (3 fps maximum) and high-speed continuous exposure (5 fps maximum).
Film Rewind: Automatic rewind at end of roll using dedicated miniature motor.

Self-Timer: Electronically controlled with 10-second delay.
Custom Function Control: Sixteen built-in custom functions selectable by user.

Power Source
Battery: One 6v lithium battery (2CR5).
Battery Check: Battery automatically checked when command dial moved to position other than ‘L’. Battery condition indicator displayed on LCD panel.

Size: 154 (W) x 120.5 (H) x 74.2 (D) mm.
Weight: 665/675g (QD model), without battery (body only).

Built-in Flash
Type: Retractable type TTL automatic zoom flash housed in pentaprism. Bypass control system.
Guide Number (ISO 100, m): 13 (28mm) to 17 (80mm).
Flash Coverage Angle: Automatically zooms to cover the field of view of 28mm, 50mm and 80mm focal lengths.
Recycling Time: Approx. 2 sec.
Firing Conditions: Fires automatically in low-light or backlit conditions in Full Auto and some Programmed Image Control modes.
Flash Control Aperture: Automatically set by TTL program in program modes. Manually set by user in aperture-priority AE, manual exposure and X modes. Automatically set according to ambient light conditions and manually-set shutter speed in shutter-priority AE mode.
X-sync Shutter Speed: Automatically set to 1/60-1/200 sec. in program modes according to TTL flash AE program. Automatically set to 30-1/200 sec. in aperture-priority AE mode according to ambient light conditions. Manually set to 1/200 sec. or slower in shutter-priority AE and manual exposure modes. Manually set to 1/60, 1/90, 1/125 or 1/200 sec. in X mode.
Flash Contacts: X-sync contact. Directly coupled contacts provided on accessory shoe.

Date Function (QD model only)
Type: Built-in date/time imprinting function using dot LED with automatic calendar programmed with dates to 2019 (compensates for long and short months and leap years). Date/time information displayed on dedicated LCD panel.
Date Imprint Formats:
• Year/Month/Day
• Day/Hour/Minute
• No imprint
• Month/Day/Year
• Day/Month/Year
Imprint Colour: Orange.
Clock Precision: Variation of +/- 90 sec. or less per month at normal temperature (20C/68F).

Power Source
Battery: One dedicated 3v lithium battery (CR2025). Battery life approx.. 3 years.

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The latest camera from Canon is ahead of its time. The EOS 5 is one of the most advanced single lens reflex models available, offering tomorrow’s technology today.

The camera has many new features and an enhanced performance, placing it immediately below the EOS 1 in Canon’s autofocus line-up.

The EOS 5 introduces the unique Eye Controlled Focus function – an intelligent focusing point selection method.

When you view a scene, your eyes automatically focus on the part of the subject which catches your attention. Now your camera will do the same. Simply look at the subject through the viewfinder and the camera lens will automatically focus on the focus point which is closest to the thing you are looking at.

Eye Controlled Focus uses five focusing points which can be individually selected by looking at the corresponding AF frame in the viewfinder, or by turning the control dial. You can also set the camera to select the focusing point automatically.

When the Eye Select function is used, an infrared light-emitting diode (I RED) illuminates the photographer’s eye. The light reflected back from the cornea of the eye is capture by CCD sensors. The camera then analyses the pattern of the reflection to determine where the eye is looking.

Every eye is different. The Eye Select operation can be calibrated to the specific requirements of each user and the values stored in the camera’s memory. Up to five sets of calibration values can be stored for five different users.

After focusing is completed in the one-shot AF mode, you can check depth-of-field simply by looking at the Depth-of-field mark in the viewfinder. The aperture will close down for up to 6 seconds.

In addition, the EOS 5 has many other features which will appeal to professional and enthusiast users. These include a 16-zone exposure sensor, 5 frames a second motordrive, 1/8000 shutter speed, quick control dial, built-in flash with red-eye reduction function and custom functions. There is also a new accessory – the Vertical Grip VG10 – which makes shooting with the camera in a vertical format even easier.

There is also a version of the EOS 5 with a dioptric adjustment function and without the Eye Controlled Focus function, but this will not be available in Europe for the time being.

Whisper-quiet film transport

Cameras are not always welcome at artistic performances and sporting events. The noise made as the shutter fires and the film winds on can be very disturbing. But not when you use the EOS 5.

Film transport is by an almost silent belt-drive mechanism. This reduces vibration noise during film transport and eliminates the noisy film rewind gear chain. The EOS 5 also has two rewind modes. The special whisper-quiet mode takes longer to rewind the film, but is even quieter than the normal mode.

In other cameras, sprockets engage noisily with perforations along the edges of the film to determine the film advance distance. The EOS 5 uses a noiseless infrared detection system which measures the film advance distance without coming into contact with the film.

Two coreless motors replace conventional motors; rotation is smoother, with reduced vibration, resulting in minimal vibration noise from the drive system. Rubber and acrylic foam are used to produce ‘floating’ supports inside the camera, isolating vibrations which would otherwise reach the camera body.

The result of all these features is a significant reduction in noise as the shutter fires and the film advances.

16-zone exposure sensor

Exposure metering is performed using the newly developed 16-zone silicon photocell (SPC) sensor. Four different metering modes are available.

Evaluative metering takes readings from the 16 different zones of the viewfinder and compares the results with built-in pre-defined patterns. The camera recognizes difficult lighting situations, such as backlighting, and adjusts the exposure accordingly. Evaluative metering takes the active focusing point and its central zone, ensuring that the exposure is based on readings from the main subject. When the camera is held vertically, a position detector sensor switches to different metering algorithms to suit the changed format.

Spot metering takes a reading from an area occupying about 3.5% of the viewfinder. The spot reading can be taken from the centre of the screen, or it can be linked to read an area centred on the active focusing point.


Centre weighted average metering takes readings from the entire viewfinder area, but gives greater emphasis to subjects in the centre.


Automatic TTL-flash exposure control measures the light reflected from the film plane. This mode is linked to the focusing points to provide accurate flash exposures for a wide variety of conditions.

Quick control dial

The back of the EOS 5 features a Quick Control Dial, similar to that used on the EOS 1. In the manual exposure mode, this dial sets the lens aperture (the shutter speed is set by the electronic input dial). In the automatic exposure modes, the dial can be used to set exposure compensation values; in the TTL-flash mode, the dial sets flash exposure compensation values. The Quick Control dial is positioned so that it can be operated by the thumb of the right hand when the camera is held to the eye; the compensation values selected are shown in the viewfinder display.

Ultra-fast shutter

The Canon EOS 5 features a shutter with a top speed of 1/8000 sec – a setting which will ‘freeze’ the movement of most subjects. The slowest speed that can be set is 30 seconds, long enough for most night scenes.

In the shutter priority AE and manual shooting modes, the speeds can be set in 0.5 step increments, giving a choice of 27 different settings. In other shooting modes, the speed selection is continuous – if the camera metering recommends 1/137 sec, then 1/137 sec is set.

A built-in self-timer provides an electronically controlled 10-second delay after the shutter button is pressed.

Built-in motor drive

The EOS 5 has a compact built-in film advance motor offering three settings. The single-frame shooting mode takes a single picture when the shutter button is pressed. The continuous shooting mode is switchable between ‘C’ and ‘C Hi’, giving a shooting speed up to 5 frames a second when the shutter button is held down.

New for the EOS 5 is a Vertical Holding Grip, which issued to keep the camera steady when held vertically. The grip is equipped with shutter release button, AE Lock button, main dial, focusing point selection button and hand strap.

Shooting modes

The Canon EOS 5 offers shooting modes to suit every photographer and every subject.

Intelligent Program AE automatically sets both shutter speed and aperture, taking into consideration the focal length of the lens in use. The program provides correct exposure settings while selecting a shutter speed fast enough to reduce the effect of any camera shake.

Programmed Image Control pre-sets Program AE, plus certain other functions of the camera to suit different types of subject. The ‘Portrait’ mode selects continuous shooting so that you can capture the fleeting expressions of the subject; the flash is set to Auto mode. The ‘Sports’ mode uses the focus prediction AI Servo AF mode to capture sharp images of moving subjects; continuous (C-Hi) shooting is also set. The ‘Close-up’ mode features the auto mode of the built-in flash, with the flash firing automatically in low light or backlit situations. The ‘Landscape’ mode is for shooting at leisure, with one shot focusing, single frame shooting and flash in the Off mode.

Aperture priority AE (AV) controls the lens aperture. You set the lens aperture required and leave the camera to select a suitable shutter speed for correct exposure.

Shutter priority AE (TV) gives you complete control over the shutter speed. You set the speed and leave the camera to select the aperture for correct exposure.

The Depth-of-field AE mode automatically selects the best aperture to keep all of your main subject area inside the zone-of-focus. It can be set in two ways. Auto Depth AE operates when automatic focusing point selection is set. With Eye Select on, an aperture is chosen to ensure that all objects between the furthest focusing point and the active focusing point appear sharp. When Eye Select if off, the aperture is automatically set so that all focusing points for which focusing is possible fall within the depth-of-field. Alternatively, with the automatic focusing point selection off, you can focus on two separate distances and an aperture will be selected to provide a zone of focus covering the area between.

The manual mode gives you full control of the shutter speed and aperture settings on the camera. The shutter speed can be set to any value between 1/8000 sec and 30 seconds using the electronic input dial; the aperture can be set to any value in the range offered by the lens using the Quick Control Dial on the back of the camera. The camera continues to meter the subject, showing the results in the viewfinder display so that you can set these values on the camera if you wish.

Built-in flash

The EOS 5 can be used with any of the Canon EZ Speedlites for accurate, versatile A-TTL flash photography. In addition to hot-shoe flash contacts, a PC terminal is provided so that professional and enthusiast photographers can connect studio flash and other flash equipment. Flash can be used at shutter speeds up to 1/200 sec.

The camera also features a built-in retractable electronic flash. This is equipped with an auto zoom mechanism which sets the angle of coverage according to the focal length of the lens attached to the camera. The flash guide number ranges from 10 to 15 (ISO 100, metres) with lens focal lengths from 28mm to 80mm. First or second curtain flash synchronization can be selected. The flash automatically pops up and fires in low light or backlit situations when shooting in the Full Auto, Portrait and Close-up modes. It can also be used in all other modes for low light or daylight fill-in flash photography.

In the red-eye reduction mode, pressing the shutter release button switches on a lamp which illuminates the subject. This causes the pupils of the eye to contract, reducing the risk of the ‘red-eye’ effect.

Custom functions

The EOS 5 features 16 different Custom Functions – more than any other Canon camera. The functions let you set the camera to suit your style of photography. You can leave each of the functions at the factory setting, or change any of them to provide an alternative function.

USM lenses

When Canon introduced the EOS system, it also launched the unique EF lens range. Each lens has its own built-in focusing motor, with the motor designed to suit the characteristics of the lens to give optimum performance and speed.

A ring-shaped ultrasonic motor (USM) is used in many of the EF lenses. This is a direct drive motor with no gearing units, so operation is fast and reliable. Recent lenses feature the Micro Motor (MM) an even smaller USM, which enables lenses to be more compact and lighter.

Focusing data is passed at high speed to and from the lens by a series of electrical contacts in the lens mount. In terms of accuracy and reliability, the electronic mount is unrivalled. Essential information about the lens is sent to the camera’s microprocessor as soon as the lens is mounted, allowing all the basic preparation to be completed before the shutter release is pressed.

The latest USM lenses developed by Canon, together with improved focusing algorithms and a 16-bit super micro computer in the camera, combine to make EOS focusing extremely fast and accurate.

The lenses lock on to the subject with a speed which is sometime too fast for the eye to register. USM lenses are also almost silent in operation and it is often impossible to hear the lens focus. The ‘in-focus’ signal in the viewfinder is the only indication that the operation is complete.

The USM lenses complement the noise reduction techniques which make the EOS 5 one of the quietest camera of its type. If you are looking for a camera system which will be welcome anywhere, you need the EOS 5 with a USM lens. Together, they take Canon a step closer to their concept of a silent camera.

High-power zoom for EOS 5

Launched at the same time as the EOS 5 is the EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens. This popular-use USM zoom lens series has been designed to match the specifications of the EOS 5.

It is the smallest and lightest lens in its class, measuring only 75mm in length, with a diameter of 72mm. It weighs 365g. The lens offers excellent optical performance, with emphasis placed on achieving high contrast throughout the zoom range.

The 28 to 105mm range provides focal lengths which meet all the needs of many photographers, and also matches the coverage angle range of the built-in auto zoom flash of the EOS 5.

Close-up shooting down to 0.5 metres is possible at any focal length setting. Manual focusing is possible in the AF mode.

A specially designed lens hood improves the shading effect at wide angle settings, while a dual-bayonet mount ensures quick precise hood attachment.

The EF 28-105mm lens takes 58mm filters and can be used with Extension Tube EF25, but not with extenders.

The styling of the lens matches other popular Canon USM zoom lenses, and complements the styling of EOS 5. It can be used with all EOS mod

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