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Condition: 9/10 comes with 6 months warranty
The Canon EOS-3 is a 35mm film single-lens reflex camera for professionals and advanced amateurs built by Canon of Japan. It was introduced in November 1998 and was offered as recently as 2007, though is no longer.
The EOS-3 introduced the 45-point autofocus system later used in the EOS-1v, EOS-1D and subsequent Canon professional SLRs. It was the last camera outside the 1-series, either film or digital, to receive Canon's top-of-the-line AF system until the March 2012 announcement of the EOS 5D Mark III.
The EOS-3 inherited a refined version of the Eye-Control system of the EOS-5. This system, when calibrated to a given user, allowed for picking one of the 45 points of the autofocus system simply by looking at it though the viewfinder. An infrared transmitter and receiver mounted around the eyepiece monitored the position of the iris, thus "knowing" where the photographer was looking and focusing on that point. The system has its limitations however, notably eyeglasses and occasionally contact lenses would confuse the system. This feature was never rolled forward to the later 1V body.
The EOS-3 incorporated E-TTL flash metering for use with the EX series of external Canon flash units.
35mm Electronic AF SLR.
0.72x magnification with 50mm lens.
8 optional screens, in addition to the standard screen.
Automatic mind-reading selection via eye control.
Evaluative: 21 zones, monochrome.
Center ("Partial"): center 8.5% of screen area.
Spot: 2.4% of screen area. Linked to focus point.
P, Tv, Av, DEP (depth-of-field), Bulb, Manual.
Vertical metal focal plane.
1/8,000 to 30 seconds.
Flash Sync: 1/200.
Cable Releases socket: No, just some screwy electronic contacts.
Mirror Lock-up: set it in Custom Function 12 and use an electronic remote, like the RS-80N3 (page 89 in the users manual.)
1/200 sync speed. Trick FP mode, too.
PC (Prontor-Compur) socket, please to have positive polarity on the center contact.
Canon suggests the 550EX or E-TTL flash, which can work wirelessly and do all sorts of things that no one will ever figure out.
Maximum Frame Rates
3.3 FPS when focus is tracking, with standard battery (not shown).
7 FPS with with PB-E2 (shown) and Ni-MH cells, either focus mode (One-Shot or AI Servo).
I haven't shot in the motor modes, but the manual says that the finder display blacks-out in the continuous shooting modes.
Batteries and Power
The standard EOS 3 (not shown) uses one 2CR5 battery.
Battery check: Press button hidden inside right-side door. Bar graph displayed on top LCD.
Rated 50 rolls of 36 with the standard 2CR5 battery.
With the PB-E2 grip as shown, it takes 8 AA alkaline, Ni-MH or Ni-Cd cells. I see no rating for battery life.
With the BP-E1 grip, it takes a 2CR5 and 4 AA alkaline, Ni-MH or Ni-Cd, and I also see no battery life rating.
Rated 6.5 seconds.
Also has a more quiet mode.
Canon rates the standard body (not shown) at 27.5 oz. (780g), stripped naked.
See pages 135-139 of your EOS 3 User's Guide (select the EOS-3_manual.pdf link and agree).
Shipping since early 1999.
Sold till 2007.
The EOS 3 is a brilliant camera that just works and gets out of the way.
The EOS-3's AF system is magical.
The EOS 3 seemed to handle being pointed into the sun, or bright surfaces in full sun, without underexposing.
IN dim light, images seemed a bit underexposed.
As all cameras, you'll have to experiment to see how you want it to perform in varying light, and compensate if necessary by experience.
Noise and Vibration
The EOS 3 sounds and feels like a Graflex when it goes off. Canon's new F-1 was much, much smoother.
The EOS 3 only gives 36 exposures on DX-coded film, heeding the rated number of exposures and rewinding promptly after frame 36.
the EOS 3 is a very well thought out camera
Better than EOS cameras today, the EOS 3's depth-of-field preview button is on the correct side of the camera, where is can be tapped with a finger as you hold the EOS 3 with only your right hand. (Today's lesser Canon SLRs put this button on the other side, eliminating the feature unless you have a second hand free to tap it on the left side of the camera.)
The Canon EOS 3, shown here with its huge PB-E2 Power Booster and vertical grip, is an extraordinary SLR. This grip is optional; with a standard GR-E2 grip the EOS 3 is a much more reasonably sized camera.
The EOS 3 stands out because of its extraordinary autofocus system, which clairvoyantly reads your mind to know exactly which of its sea of 45 AF sensors to use for each shot. The EOS 3's AF system is so much faster and easier to use and to set than anything available today.
When I first picked it up, I was astonished at how it just knew where I wanted it to focus, without me having to to do anything. No matter if I wanted to focus on the obvious part of an image, or a subtle, low-contrast item off to the side, the EOS 3 somehow just knew, and magically used the correct AF sensor every time.
Then I realized that it has Eye Controlled Focus, a name which doesn't do this system justice. It should be called "mind-controlled autofocus," since you don't have to do anything to control the AF system other than just shoot. The AF system is constantly looking at your eye, and already knows where you're looking when you press the shutter, so without you even having to think, the EOS 3 already knows where it needs to focus, and it just does.
The EOS 3's AF system is far ahead of today's cameras, which no longer use this expensive system. With newer cameras, we again have to slave through dicking around with knobs and dials to choose AF points, something the EOS 3 does all by itself by magic.
If for some reason you dislike the magic mind-reading AF system, it's easy to set back to old-fashioned manual AF point selection, or also can be set to auto AF point selection, which works as well as the same non-mind-reading modes of today's cameras.
Everything else about the EOS 3 is brilliantly simple. It does what we need it to do, and isn't loaded with junk features to get in the way. Yes, it has the dreaded custom functions, and they may be ignored.
The EOS 3 is made to good amateur standards, with a plastic exterior and presumably metal innards. I'm not a fan of the big, optional PB-E2 grip, which makes the EOS 3 a pro sized camera with pro-sized weight, yet only the outward durability of an advanced amateur camera. Canon claims the EOS 3 is gasketed for rain resistance.
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