I have an EOS 3 and an A2E. Happy with both, but more so with the former. The eye-control focus is pretty nifty, especially on the 3. The 3 works with my 580EX II and 270EX II (but not in E-TTL II), whilst the A2E doesn't.
When the EOS 3 came out, I was a dedicated Nikon shooter, but the focus system on that camera was and is amazing. At the time I was studying photojournalism, covered a fair amount of sports, and thought that the EOS 3 would be great in that setting (I never got to find out as it was beyond my means at the time). If I was doing that kind of work now I would get one in a heartbeat.
The 600 series, the first-generation EOS, are great cameras, though the user interface is a bit odd. Their Achilles Heel is a shutter bumper that oozes goo over the shutter blades and needs to be professionally attended to. At one time I had quite an assortment of 600 series bodies, but have pared it down to three RT.
The Rebel series are the Entry Level models. They vary from 'no features at all' to full functionality. Small and light. No idea how quiet they are, and I've never heard anything against their reliability. Some have plastic lens mounts, and pentamirrors instead of pentaprisms, giving darker viewfinders.
The Elan series (except the 7N/7NE), plus the A2/A2E/5 and 10S, all have finicky mode dials that will eventually need replacing. The A2/A2E/5 is reputed to be a fine camera otherwise. A step above the Rebel, not of the EOS 1 class, but perfectly serviceable cameras.
The Elan 7N/7NE are pretty recent, and as such there are plenty of nearly unused ones available. No issues of any kind that I'm aware of. Very light and extremely quiet. Full functionality. Highly recommended.
The EOS 1 series are all heavyweights and, to my knowledge, have never had reliability problems of any kind. They tend to be loud. The best buy among this group, considering age, features, and price, is probably the 1N. Don't believe what people say about its weather sealing though; I took mine out during a very light sprinkle, got a few drops of water on the top deck, and the next day it was malfunctioning. A few weeks in a bag of rice dried it out, and is as good as ever. The 1V is a fabulous camera, but still commands a fabulous price. The original EOS 1 is a bit whiny.
My favorites are the RT and 1V, but I recommend the 1N and Elan 7N as being very nice fully capable cameras at a very good price.
Last edited by flatulent1; 06-19-2012 at 09:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Right now in Spain they're holding the Running of the Bulls,
followed by the Soiling of the Pants, and the Burying of the Idiots.
The 3 is a great camera. The 1V is just that bit more refined and the VF is as good as it gets on a AF camera, however given that you can buy 3 3s for the price of a 1V I wouldn't hesitate getting a 3. The AF is top notch, the viewfinder excellent and you can even use the latest screens for the 5D/1Ds on it. The only thing is that the 3 is quite loud as a camera but then again the motor drive noise it makes is probably the nicest.
The Elan 7/30V is also a great camera, it is very quiet, has a good size grip and viewfinder (nicer than crop digi cameras) and is well built. The AF is not as good as a 1V but it is smaller, lighter and costs nothing.
BTW, I've owned all the above cameras and currently have a 1V. If I had to swap a 1V for the Elan7 I would still be very happy.
All these cameras can use your EF lenses and any flashguns plus they can use all the old TTL flashes what can be had for nothing and are just as good with negative film. Given the price of a 30V I wouldn't bother with anything older. You may also want to consider that Canon will still service the 1V.
I'm gonna jump in on the EOS-3 bandwagon...I rented one a long time ago (when all I had was a Rebel G), and loved it. Bought a used one for myself not long thereafter. I recently got a great deal on a 1V with the EOS Link software and adapter, so I'm now selling the EOS 3 here on APUG (shameless plug).
If you absolutely have to stay below $100, or are looking for something a little lighter weight, go with the Elan 7N, it's probably the best choice (and the newest). AF and metering similar to what you might have on the digital side (depending on your camera). Don't mess with the film Rebels, IMO. (Though I'm perfectly happy with my digital rebel.)
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Originally Posted by film_man
Canon will service EOS 1V bodies if enrolled under Canon Professional Services. It is the only film camera still serviced regularly by Canon. Servicing can be very, very expensive and most other EOS bodies are not handled by Canon now, but independent repair centres with lots and lots of spare parts.
I have an élan 7 that I'd consider selling as I have a 7e. I also have a dead 7ne... Seems to be stuck in DOF mode. Aperture stays at whatever it's set to. PM me if interested in either the 7 or 7ne.
I'm one of those who likes the "e" in the 7e and the Elan IIe, because for me the eye control focus seems to respond reliably.
If that function works well for you, it is really neat.
I also have a couple of Rebel 2000s - incredibly small and light (even with the accessory grip), incredibly cheap and very functional.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
All of the replies have been incredible. Thanks
Looking at the specs I am a little down on the 30V having a small finder and not having spot metering and the EOS 3 is larger than my current bodies.
I think I will just see which one comes along first in great shape and jump on it.
James, if you're heading for serious landscape photography, a finder with 100% view is essential. What you cannot see or predict outside that 92% cut-off is often the most annoying little things. In that regard I would angle toward the 1N or 1V. Spot metering is useful in some respects, but evaluative and partial metering are also excellent.