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Additional information relating to CANON EOS-620

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CANON EOS 620 QD (Quartz Date) film-based 135mm (36 x 24mm) format AF-SLR camera,
Approx. Product Cycle: 1987 ~ 1989

The EOS 620, marketed in May, 1987 - was introduced barely a few months after the debut of the Canon EOS 650 in March, 1987. Unlike the 650, the 620 was promoted as a camera with a higher technical specification; its shutter was designed to meet the needs of the mid- to top-level amateur, with the camera primarily aimed to assist both levels of photographers. Basically, it carries more technical specifications than the entry level EOS650. Its sales targets were mid-level and advanced amateur photographers but Canon did use the EOS 620 as a promotional tool to entice professional photographers at major sporting events in trying out the EOS System, an effort that went well until the 1988 Summer Olympics Games in Seoul.

At the Games, Nikon Corporation torpedoed all Canon's efforts in promoting the EOS System to the pros with the introduction of the Nikon F4 AF 35mm SLR camera. Nevertheless, the EOS 620 did its fair share of work in promoting awareness of the ultra fast focusing system of the EOS System with the professionals when it was fitted with the EF 300mm f/2.8L USM telephoto lens against the Nikon F4 fitted with the ultra-slow AF Nikkor 300mm f/2.8ED-IF lens. The EOS 620 proved to be much faster and more accurate but it lose out to the Nikon in other aspects like handling, reliability, tougher body construction and 100% viewfinder coverage.

For a few years until the availability of the Canon EOS 630 and first true professional grade Canon EOS-1 model in April and June 1989 respectively, the EOS620 remained as the sole EOS camera that had pro-cablibre features among EOS SLRs introduced between 1987 and early 1989. In comparison with EOS 650, the EOS620 has several areas where the features have been enhanced in relation to those found in the EOS 650. It has a higher maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 sec. and X sync. 1/250 sec. as compared to the EOS 650's 1/2000sec and 1/125 sec X-sync. Furthermore, the camera has even incorporated a multiple exposure function, and AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) among its features. It also has the intelligent program AE and shift function but strangely, Canon's exclusive Depth-of-field AE mode, which was introduced in the EOS 650, has been omitted from the EOS 620. Canon reasoned that advanced amaeurs and professionals would not use this mode at all and tis was why it has been omitted from the EOS 620. The EOS 620 was replaced to years later with the EOS 630 camera. Despite its relatively short appearance (for an analog SLR), the EOS 620 does have followers in the used market for a while as it has a higher sync speed of 1/250 sec - a stop faster than what th EOS 630 has! Incidentally, the Canon EOS620 was also the first EOS camera model that employed with Prgrammed Shift Function and a integrated Auto-Bracketing Control.

As most EOS users can still recalled, those early days of the EOS was difficult, as there were many Canon faithfuls who were still trying to swallow the bitter pills of seeing Canon pulling off migration path on the FD mount system to the EOS based system, thus forcing some of them to shift to the Nikon; personally, I think that was a stupid move as those who jumped ship have forgotten one thing: Whether they go for the EOS System or Nikon AF, one thing for sure was they no longer have the FD mount system since they need to start afresh in order to go for either AF brand, so I don't see how "it is difficult to let go of the investment in FD cameras and optics" when they have no problems giving it all up to go for Nikon. The number of Canon users who gave up their FD system for Nikon was too insignificant to make any difference to Canon's domination in the analog (and also EOS Digital) AF 35mm SLR camera market.

|| Main Reference Map of Canon EOS-620 ||
Technical Specification of Canon EOS-620 ||
Instruction Manual for EOS620/650 - External Link |

However, over the past 17 years, events and happenings have proven that things are indeed moving in Canon's favour as the EOS System have not only dominating the market for analog 35mm SLR but also for D-SLR too. At the beginning, Nikon was seen to have the "added advantage" over Canon due to the former's decision to retain the Nikon F-mount and have backward compatibility between older manual focus Nikkors with newer AF camera bodies and vice-versa.

<<< ---Side views of three Canon EOS models, Canon 650, 620 and 630.

Now, it is the reversed for the two giants as Canon's EOS System is backward compatible with both the analog and digital EOS formats while Nikon is slowly phasing out its manual focus lenses and encouraging its users to move toward the new generation of AF Nikkor lenses and camera bodies that are NOT COMPATIBLE with the older equipment despite having retained the familiar F-mount. Nikon's latest G-type VR AF-S lenses cannot be used on any manual focus Nikon bodies including most of the previous generation of AF models like the F-801/801s, F90 and the much-hyped (discontinued) Nikon F4-series of pro cameras. Non-VR type of G-series Nikkor lenses are also not compatible with these group of Nikon bodies. The newer Nikon AF cameras like the F55, F65, F70, F75 and F80 are not able to use any of the older manual focus Nikkor lenses too. Talk about incompatibility.



On the EOS System, you will find that the EOS 650, 620, 630, 700, 750, 850, 1000/1000N, 1000F/1000FN, 500/500N and EOS 10 are able to use any of the Canon EF lenses made in 1987 as well as those that are introduced today. Yes, the IS (Image Stabilizer) lenses can be used on these cameras too except that the IS function may not work properly but all exposure modes as well as AFdo work with the IS lenses when they are mounted on these discontinued EOS bodies. Anyway, for their courage and foresight vision, I still have to salute Canon's patience in promoting & instilling product knowledge of the EOS system to users back in those days, with the primary SALES point centering around the potential of the EOS' AUTOFOCUS SYSTEM and its benefits to the photographers.
Technical Highlights of EOS 620 (QD) at a glance

Main Control System:
Using a one-chip, 8-bit microprocessor channels all information during camera operation. Data processing speed is comparable to that of a 16-bit microprocessor. Each lens mounts a 4-bit microprocessor, which stores information reflecting unique lens characteristics.
Autofocus System: Fully electronic body-lens interface-autofocusing is controlled through self-contained components. Lens-integral autofocus drive system with TTL-SIR phase detection. During its launch, there were an array of 13 original EF interchangeable lenses plus an extender but subsequent EF lenses introduced at later stage can also be used. Three special lense motors. AFD and USM for focus drive and control (each lens employs only one of these). EMD for aperture drive and control. "BASIS" high -performance sensor for enhanced system sensitivity. One-touch depth-of-field check.

Exposure Control System: 6-zones evaluative metering sensor. Metering evaluation algorithm. Produces good results in difficult lighting conditions with AE control makes active use of lense information.
* Intelligent program AE with program shift function.
* Camera-shake warning.

Data Input & Display system Large, bright and clear LCD display. Uniform display panel illumination with electro-luminescence makes reading information easy in the dark.
Viewfinder: New laser-matte screen for increased viewfinder brightness.

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Most people would not able to differentiate between methods deployed in the various autofocusing mechanism among the brands available, and this is why it took quite a while for the consumers to realize the superiority and distinctive advantages the EOS system has over its rivals in those days. Virtually all the SLR autofocus cameras in the market use motors for lens drive and control. But only Canon's EOS cameras use a lens-integral design - where two high precision motors are integrated into each Canon EF lens to control lens action (one for focusing, and one for aperture control). Each one provides highly accurate control within the context of the conventional cylindrical lens shape.

The biggest difference of the EOS system as compared with other body integrated AF system available during that time was the way how AF works. As for the camera, the most striking visual difference between EOS cameras and everything which had gone before from Canon was the oversized and new, three-lug bayonet mount. The new lens mount has a very large diameter (54mm) and permits the design of very fast lenses with large rear elements.
Gone are the mechanical lugs and pins used for mechanical linkage between camera and lenses for exposure control. Virtually all SLR autofocus cameras during that period used motors for lens drive and control. But only Canon uses a lens-integral design-two high precision motors are integrated into each Canon EOS lens to control lens action (one for focusing, and one for aperture control). So, Canon was the first 35mm camera manufacturer to use an entirely electronically controlled lens mount in which a motor in the lens moved the diaphragm blades.

Credit: Images courtesy of Mr. Phoon of Phoon Foto, Ipoh ® <> where he also operates a popular website (URL: trading new/used photo equipment. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

USM.gif AFD.gif EMD.gif
Two basic design in the EF lenses used AF-D for general lenses and USM lenses for more expensive / larger diameter EF lenses. Both incorporating an automatic EMD diaphragm. However, some special lense such as close up lenses use a different DC-motor instead.

Basically, as you know, all the other manufacturers mount the AF motor inside the camera bodies in order to drive and control the lens. This design necessitates that one motor with one set of specifications serve the vastly differing power/torque requirements of various lenses. As a result, slow focus response with telephoto lenses makes it exceptionally difficult to achieve focus when shooting fast-moving subjects. In contrast, the EOS system matches a precision motor to the unique power requirements of each individual lens. Focusing is fast, even with telephoto lenses, and there is less variation in the speed at which individual lenses measure distances.

Note: During the initial stage, Canon used a motor called "AFD", for Arc Form Drive, a conventional small DC electric motor that is designed in an arc-shape to fit into the barrel for their cheaper EF lenses. The USM or Ultrasonic Motor lenses were found in the more expensive L-series professional grade lenses, USM driven lenses can focus faster than those with AFD, inside the lenses, the USM mechanisms are comprised of two metal rings, one annexes to the lens barrel while another is connected to the focusing helical. It uses simple but practical theory to achieve reliable, efficient and virtually silent operation. Canon has improved the USM technologies over the years and the latest was the Micro-USM which replacing the AFD method as newer series of EF lenses are being introduced and also old lenses are redesigned with new design.

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The EOS 620 has two selectable autofocus modes: "ONE SHOT", which locks focus once ranging is completed, and "AI SERVO", with which focus continuously adjusts to follow subject movement-even in the continuous frame advance mode. Manual focusing is also possible.

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Technical Specifications of EOS 620
Main Reference Map of EOS 620
| Instruction Manual for EOS620/650 - External Link |

| Back to Index Page of Canon EOS 620 |
Back to main index page of EOS-1 Series |

<<<--- Both cameras have so many common features that they even share the same copy of instruction manual.

| Message Board | for EOS-1 Series SLR Camera Models
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Additional information on other EOS AF-SLR Models:
EOS-650 (1987.2) | EOS-620 (1987.5) | EOS-750QD (1988.10) | EOS-850QD (1988.10) | EOS-630QD (1989.4) | EOS-1 (1989.9) | EOS-RT (1989.10) | EOS-700QD (1990.3) | EOS-10S QD (1990.3) | Canon T-60 | EOS-1000F /RebelS QD (1990.9) | EOS-100 / Elan QD (1991.9) | Canon EF-M (1991.9) | EOS-5/A2E QD (1992.10) | EOS-1000FN /Rebel S II QD (1992.4) | EOS-500 / Rebel XS / KISS (1993.10) | EOS-1n (1994.9) | EOS-888/5000QD (1995.1) | EOS-1n RS (1995.3) | EOS-50/50E / Elan II(E) /EOS 55 (1995.9) | EOS -500N / Rebel G / KISS II (1996.9) | EOS-IX (1996.10) / EOS-IX Lite /IX-7 (1996.3) | EOS-3 (1998.11) | EOS-88/3000 (1999.3) | EOS-300 / Rebel 2000 QD / KISS III (1999.4) | EOS-1v (2000.3) | EOS-30 / EOS-7 / EOS Elan 7E (2000.10) | EOS-3000N /EOS-66 / Rebel XS-N (2002.2) | EOS-300V / Rebel Ti / KISS V (2002.9) | EOS 3000V / Rebel K2 / KISS Lite (2003.9)

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