What is an EOS?

Started Sep 22, 2007 | Discussions thread
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 52,685
Re: Thanks everyone

As you now know, 'Electrical-Optical System'. What's difficult to for people to understand now is how revolutionary thie was at the time. I won an electronic product design competition sponsored by Canon, for which the prize was one of the first EOS650's (which I still have and still works perfectly), and got the chance to talk to the Canon product manager at the time. The branding referred to the fact that all mechanical linkages between the camera and lens (and other peropherals) had been replaced by digital electronic linkages. This was a very brave technical choice at the time - it seemed to many that it would freeze Canon out of the low end of the market, since it was 'obvious' that screwdriver drive and mechanical aperture control would always result in cheaper cameras and lenses than a system which required every lens to have two motors and an fairly powerful CPU. It would also inevitably cut Canon off from their user base, whose system had been completely obsoleted.

Time has shown what a far-sighted decision it was. Canon's competitors have to include two autofocus systems and two aperture systems in all of their cameras, or else have lens/camera incompatibilities across the range. On the basis of the technical advantages of EOS Canon have dominated the market. I love Nikons, but when you compare all those little cams, levers, drive connectors and the number of lens contacts against the elegant simplicity of the EF mount, you know Canon got it right.

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