introduced 1993 - discontinued 1996

No really new features, but in 1993 was the world's smallest and lightest AF SLR with built-in flash. Quartz Date version available.

Type and major components
Type: 35mm focal plane shutter SLR (single-lens reflex) camera with autofocus, auto exposure, built-in flash, built-in motor drive and soft touch electromagnetic release. All speeds electronically controlled.
Picture format: 24 x 36 mm, panorama (13 x 36mm) enabled (Japanese version KISS only, panorama frame is set with external lever)
Lens Mount: Canon EF Mount (electronic signal transfer system).
Usable Lenses: Canon EF lenses.
Suggested standard lense: EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6II USM
Viewfinder: Fixed eye-level roof mirror. 0.7x magnification and 90% coverage. Center AF mark, wide AF frame, partial metering circle. 7-segment LCD displays numeric values, textual display, in-focus indicator, exposure display, shutter speed, aperture setting, Red-Eye reduction lamp, flash ready, panorama frame (set with external lever), and other indications.
Standard Dioptre: Adjusted to - 1 dot
Focusing Screen: Fixed new laser matte screen with AF mark and Partial metering mark.
Viewfinder information: Displayed at the bottom of the viewing area: 7 Segment LCD digit Character display:
• Shutter speed
• Aperture value
• AE lock indicator
• Metered exposure indicator
• Exposure compensation indicator
• Flash charge completion indicator
• AF in focus indicator
• Red-Eye indicator
External LCD: Shutter speed, aperture setting, film speed, multiple exposure count, Red-Eye reduction, self-timer display, film status, exposure display, battery check, and other indications.
Mirror: Quick-return half-mirror Shutter: Vertical-travel, focal-plane electronic shutter. Shutter Speed: 30 sec. - 1/2000 sec., Bulb, X-sync at 1/90 sec. (hot shoe). Speeds set in 1/2-step increments.

AF Control System: TTL-SIR (Secondary Image Registration) phase detection type using cross-type BASIS. AF modes: One shot and A! Servo with Focus Prediction that automatically switches to One-shot or Servo AF according to subject.
Manual focusing: possible.
AF Working Range: EV 1.5 - 18 at ISO 100

Exposure Control
Light Metering: Composite SPC for TTL full-aperture metering (6-zone evaluative, 9.5% partial at center, and Centre-Weighted averaging) with shutter speed-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, Intelligent program AE, depth-of-field AE, four program AE modes, and metered manual. Five PIC (Programmed Image Control) modes: Portraiture, land scape, Close-up, Sports and Night scene.
Metering Range: EV 2 to 20 conversion with 50min f/1.4 lens at ISO 100) (normal temperature)
Film Speed Setting: Automatically set according to DX code (ISO/ASA 25 -5000) OR set by user ASA/ISO 6-6400.
Exposure Compensation: 2 EV (in 1/2-stop increments) Not available in PIC modes.
Auto Exposure Bracketing: +/- 2 stops in 1/2-stop increments, Three continuous exposures taken in sequence: one under, one at the standard metered value, and one over.

Film Transport
Film Loading / Film Advance: Advance Align film leader at mark, then close the camera back for prewind loading. First, the entire roll is wound on the take-up spool. Then each time a picture is taken, the film advances back into the cartridge.
Film Rewind: After the last frame is exposed, the film is rewound automatically.
Frame Counter: Counts down on external LCD panel (counts up during prewind loading).
Film advance speed: 1 fps
Multiple Exposures: Possible, Maximum 9 exposures only

Built-in Flash
Type: Retractable, TTL automatic exposure flash housed in the pentaprism By-pass control system. Auto pop-up head. TTL auto flash control (fires automatically in backlight and low-light conditions). Off-the-film metering with a 4-zone flash metering sensor covering three flash metering points.
Red-Eye reduction lamp (AF-assist beam emitter): provided.
Guide Number(ISO 100, m): 12 (changes according to film speed.
Flash Coverage Angle: Automatically zooms to cover the field of view of 28mm

Camera Shake alert: Operates in full auto and in image zones. Shutter speed blinks as a warning when automatically-set shutter speed becomes 0-0.5 stops slower than "1/focal length of the lens in use".
Red-Eye Reduction Function: Possible
Self-Timer: Electronically controlled with a 10-sec.
Mid roll film rewind: Provided
Multiple Exposures: Up to nine (9) exposures can be present. Automatically clears upon completion.
Remote Control: 3-pin remote control
External Flash: Hot shoe socket for external flash.

Power Source
Battery: Two 3 V CR123A or DL 123A lithium batteries supplies power to body and built-in flash.
Battery Check: Battery automatically checked when command dial moved to position other than 'L'. Battery condition indicator displayed on LCD panel.
Optional Power Source): BP-8 AA Battery Pack is a vertical hand grip and makes it possible to use readily available AA batteries

Size: 145mm x 92mm x 62mm
Weight: approx. 370g

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18 August 1993

Canon introduces the easy to use ultra-compact EOS 500

Canon has introduced the EOS 500 – currently the smallest and lightest AF SLR with built-in flash.

The EOS 500 is the next generation of the best selling EOS 1000 series AF SLR cameras and offers all of the benefits associated with these cameras plus the following improvements and new features:

Multi Wide Focus – helps to prevent out-of-focus images with off-centre subjects. A new six-zone metering sensor corresponds with the three focusing points.

Built-in auto pop-up flash – covers the field-of-view of lenses down to 28mm. The TTL automatic exposure system uses a four-zone sensor to read from the subject area corresponding to the selected focusing point.

Silent film transport – with mid-roll rewind option.

Remote control terminal – the EOS 500 is equipped with a 2.5mm diameter mini-jack plug socket.

Ultra-compact design

The reduction in size is achieved in several areas. The EOS 500 uses a slimmer grip, there is a new space-saving layout for the motor and main condenser, and a smaller auto film-loading system.

The AF auxiliary light is positioned next to the grip and is also used as the red-eye reduction lamp. This allows the built-in flash unit to be more compact.

Two compact CR123 lithium batteries are used in place of the 2CR5 battery needed by previous EOS models. A redesigned body construction uses space more efficiently than previous models, resulting in a lower front profile.

Multi Wide Focus

The EOS 500 uses a multi-BASIS focusing system. A vertical focusing sensor is positioned on either side of the central cross-type BASIS focusing sensor. This provides wide-area three-point focusing, making it easier to keep moving subjects within the AF frame. It also prevents out-of-focus images with off-centre subjects.

The focusing point is selected automatically by the camera, but priority can be given to the central point by pressing the AE lock button in the partial metering mode.

Evaluative exposure metering uses a new six-zone metering sensor. The zones correspond to the three focusing points, so that the meter reading is weighed for the subject area. Partial metering, reading from a central 9.5% area of the viewfinder screen, is available when using the AE lock.

The Depth-of-field AE mode of previous cameras has been replaced by an ‘Auto Depth’ mode. This automatically selects a lens aperture which will bring the subjects at all three focusing points within the zone of focus.

Built-in Flash

Built-in to the pentaprism is a retractable TTL auto exposure flash unit. When shooting in low light or back-lit situations in the Full Auto, Portrait or Close-up PIC modes, the flash automatically pops-up and fires as the exposure is made. In other modes, the flash can be popped-up by pressing the flash switch.

The camera uses a TTL flash automatic exposure system which measures light reflected off the film plane. A four-zone sensor provides three-point evaluated flash metering. This places greatest emphasis on the subject area corresponding to the selected focusing point.

Built-in flash, being close to the camera lens, can cause red-eye. The EOS 500 has a red-eye reduction mode to help reduce the risk of this effect. A miniature krypton lamp is built into the front of the camera body, next to the grip. When the red-eye reduction mode is selected and the shutter button is pressed, the lamp lights for about 1.25 second before the exposure is made.

The built-in flash has a guide number of 12 (ISO 100m) with an illumination angle great enough to cover the field-of-view of a 28mm lens.

External flashguns can be used. The camera provides A-TTL flash program AE when used with the Speedlites 430EZ or 300EZ.

Silent film transport

The EOS 500 incorporates a newly-developed planetary frictional reduction mechanism integrated with a GHM (gear head motor) unit. This construction separates the motor unit from the main body, reducing irritating high-frequency noise. The overall sound pressure level has been cut to less than that of the EOS 1000FN.

Remote control terminal

The EOS 500N is fitted with a remote control terminal. This is a 2.5mm mini jack-plug socket which accepts the plug from the new RS-60E3 Remote Switch. The switch features a two-step function, matching the operation of the camera shutter button. It is fitted with a release lock for continuous sequence photography and long exposure times.

Two other accessories have been developed especially for the EOS 500. The GR-80TP Grip Extension makes it easier for people with large hands to hold the camera. A hand strap is provided as standard, providing greater security for hand held shots. A special feature of the Grip Extension is the built-in foldaway mini tripod for taking shots with the camera in the horizontal position. An integral ball-head movement allows the camera to be angled in almost any direction.

Also new is the Eyepiece Extender EP-EX15, designed to make using the camera more comfortable. The Extender slips over the eyepiece and optically extends the viewfinder frame 15mm back from the camera so that the photographer’s nose no long presses against the camera back.


The EOS 500 accepts the full range of EF autofocus lenses. Two focusing modes are available – One Shot AF and One Shot AF/A1 auto switching. These are selected automatically by the camera according to the shooting mode. Manual focusing is also possible. In this mode, only the centre focusing point is used for focusing.

In low light, a built-in AF halogen-type krypton lamp switches on to help the lens focus. It has an effective range of about 5 metres.

Easy operation

The EOS 500 uses the familiar Canon Command Dial for the easy selection of operating modes.

Four PIC (Program Image Control) modes are available covering Portrait, Landscape, Close-up and Sports. A full Auto mode provides general settings to suit most subjects.

The intelligent Program AE mode features a Program Shift function. If the shutter release button is partially depressed and the electronic input dial rotated, the selected shutter speed and aperture combination can be changed while maintaining the same exposure.

Shutter priority AE and Aperture priority modes are available. Manual control is also possible.

A new feature is the Auto Depth mode. This is similar to the depth-of-field mode on earlier models, but takes advantage of the three focusing points. In the A-DEP mode, the camera automatically sets an aperture which will bring the subject areas at all three focusing points within the depth-of-field.

Also new to the Command Dial is the Manual Rewind setting. If the self-timer button is pressed for more than one second at this setting, the film will rewind in mid-roll.

The Beeper on/off setting allows you to silence the audible signal which tells you that the lens has focused successfully.

The final position on the Command Dial is for overriding the automatically-set ISO film speed setting.

More features

Exposure compensation within the range of +2 stops (in 0.5 step increments) can be set in the Intelligent Program, Shutter priority and Aperture priority AE modes.

A multiple exposure function allows nine exposures to be made on one frame. The EOS 500 uses a vertical-travel focal plane shutter with all speeds electronically controlled. X-SYNC shutter speed is 1/90 sec. An electronically-controlled self-timer gives a 10-second delay after the shutter release is pressed.

A camera shake warning is given in the Full Auto and PIC modes. The viewfinder shutter speed display blinks at 2Hz when the shutter speed falls below the recommended speed for the lens focal length in use.

key features

EOS 500

EOS 500




press release



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