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Canon EOS-1V
Canon's Best 35mm SLR (2000-today)
© 2013 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.0

Canon EOS-1V (takes one 2CR5 lithium battery, 35.6 oz./1,004g with battery and film, $1,900 new or about $450 used if you know How to Win at eBay — I paid only $389 for this one) and Canon EF 50mm f/1.0 L USM. bigger. I bought this one at this link directly to them at eBay , and B&H sells them brand-new.

This free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you buy elsewhere. I'm not NPR; I get no government hand-outs and run no pledge drives to support my research, so please always use any of these links for the best prices and service whenever you get anything. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.


Canon EOS-1V

Back Left, Canon EOS-1V. enlarge.


Canon EOS-1V

Left, Canon EOS-1Vand EF 50mm f/1.8 II. enlarge.


Canon EOS-1V

Canon EOS-1V and EF 50mm f/1.8 II. enlarge.


Canon EOS-1V

Front, Canon EOS-1V. enlarge.


Canon EOS-1V

Back, Canon EOS-1V. enlarge.


Canon EOS-1V

Top, Canon EOS-1V. enlarge.


Canon EOS-1V

Bottom, Canon EOS-1V. enlarge.


Canon EOS-1V

Back right, Canon EOS-1V. enlarge.


November 2013   Canon Reviews   Canon 35mm SLRs  Canon Lenses   All Reviews

How to shoot the EOS-1V digitally

Why We Love Film

How to Shoot Film

Film specials:    transparency (slide) film   B&W film   color print film

I've been getting my film directly from B&H and Adorama ever since the 1970s; you've never been able to get pro film at local retail stores. I use NCPS to process and scan all my film. If you're reading this you have a mailbox and can get all the film and processing you need; B&H and Adorama ship worldwide, and NCPS does mail-order work from around the world every day.



Solid, professional build quality.

Feels great, handles fast and has very little vibration.

Great autofocus system sees well in the dark.

Big, clear and bright finder.

AF areas don't interfer with the view thtough the finder; they disapear when not in use.

"Registeered AF Point" button lets you get back and forth easily to a previusly selected AF point or points.

Multi spot metering with up to 8 measuerements that average automoaticaly. They are shown on the in-finder zone-system bar graph, and just turn the rear dial to place your exposure differntly on the zone scale if you prefer. See how to use multi-spot metering.



AF areas have to be selected with two dials; there is no thumb controller or eye control.

The Auto-AF Area select mode hesitates for a small fraction of a second to think before it selects an AF area.

45 AF areas (good), but they are all in the center of the image. THere are no AF aras throughout most of the image — but this is still the case with every SLR and DSLR as of 2013.

No built-in flash.


Introduction         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio
I use these stores. I can't vouch for ads below.

The Canon EOS-1V is Canon's top-of-the line 35mm SLR; their best EOS autofocus 35mm SLR ever. As Canon's top-of-the-line, the sales brochure is 32 pages long, and the "Technical Overview" brochure is 48 pages long. The EOS-1V contains everythign Canon knows about making a top-notch professional camera.

From a shooter's standpoint, the EOS-1V is a joy to use. Everythgn feels great and works fast and easy. It's solid, fast and simple. The finder is clean and clear, with AF points that light up only as needed, and otherwise dissapear — unlike any Nikon AF 35mm SLR. Autofocus just goes, immediatly focussing in any kind of light — better than some of Nikon's newest DSLRs like the D600, which will choke and stall in very dark light. Unlike it's older brother, the plasticy EOS-3, the EOS-1V is solid magnesim alloy.

As a professional camera desifgned for professionals, not for rich hobbiests, it has only what it needs, and isn't trashed-out with junk features to impress hobbiests — but get in the way of actual shooting. Introduced in 2000, the EOS-1V was designed when we still had professional photographers. This camera is designed for serious shooters, unlike today in 2013 where digital cameras have made everyone a pro, so there are no more real professional photographers for whom to design cameras anymore. "Pro" DSLRs today are loaded with junk becuase the junk features impress online hobbiests, but get in the way of a pro getting the job done. The EOS-1V gets the job done fast, letting the pro get on to the next paying gig.

The EOS-1V is a solid, professional camera made mostly of metal. It's two years newer and about the same as a ruggedized EOS-3, without the mind-controlled autofocus. With this EOS-1V, you have to selct your AF zone with the dials, not just by looking at your subject.



There are two versions, the regular EOS-1V seen here, and the EOS-1V HS (High Speed), which has a big vertical battery grip.

You can turn one camera into the other by chaging the grip. While it's easy to buy either version today, it is much more difficult to buy just a grip alone to change one version into the other.

Get the EOS-1V for most uses today, and only get the huge EOS 1V HS if you don't mind all the extra size, weight and batteries in exchange for having vertical controls. I don't know of anyone today who shoots 35mm still film faster than 3.5 FPS.

The camera is so smart that different advance mode options will be displayed depending on the battery pack you have installed. The regular EOS-1V seen here offers only single or continuous (3.5 FPS). The EOS-1V HS offers single, continuous low (CL, 3 FPS) and continuoius high (CH, ~6 FPS), and only with the NP-E2 nickel-hydride pack will you see the ultra-high speed continuouis mode (CH*, 10 FPS) as you cycle through the advance mode options.


The EOS-1V

The smaller version seen here, the EOS-1V shoots about 50 rolls of 36-exposure film at up to 3.5 FPS on one 2CR5 lithium battery which sells for about $5. The EOS-1V comes with the small GR-E2 grip that holds the 2CR5 battery.


BP-E1 Battery Pack (4 AA)

THere is an optional BP-E1 batteyr pack (about $75 used) that mounts under the camera and holds 4-AA cells in addition to the 2CR5 in the camera.

THis shoots at the same 3.5 FPS maximum, and lets you switch between the AAs or the 2CR5.

THis battery pack has no vertical controls. People bought it so they could use AA cells if they forgot to bring a spare 2CR5 with them. Back in this grip's day, 2CR5 cost abotu $15 each, but today at $5, there's no reason not to use the small and lightweight 2CR5 with the standard small GR-E2 grip.


Power Drive Booster E1 (8 AA)

The Power Drive Booster E1 (about $100 used) holds 8 AA cells and came out originally for the EOS 1 in 1989 to bring it up to 5.5 FPS. It also works on the EOS 1N of 1994, bringing it to 6 FPS, and the EOS-3 of 1998, bringing it to 6 FPS.

Canon doesn't talk about using this big vertical grip on the EOS 1V. I tried it, and it works fine. The Power Drive Booster E1 gives both CL (3 FPS) and CH (clocked at 6 FPS) modes, and the one button on the back is the AEL (*) control. THere is a lock-out slide switch for the vertical shutter release, an that's it for controls on the grip.


The EOS-1V HS (includes Power Drive Booster E2, 8 AA)

The EOS-1V HS (High Speed) uses a bigger grip with full vertical controls, the Power Drive Booster PB-E2 that replaces the smaller GR-E2 grip of the regular EOS-1V. THis grip takes either 8-AA cells that let you shoot at up to 7 FPS, shooting abotu 120 rolls of 36 with lithium AAs or 85 rolls with regular alkalines.

If you opt for the NP-E2 dedicated nickel-hydride battery pack (which requires the dedicated NC-E2 charger), you can shoot at up tp 10 FPS and shoot about 70 rolls of 36 on a charge. With AA cells, you can shoot at up to 6 FPS.

Today, unless you really need to shoot faster than 3 FPS or need vertical controls, the standard EOS 1V is the one to get, otherwise you'll be lugging around 8-AA cells everywhere you go. THis is a huge advantage of the EOS-1V over its contemporary Nikon F5 today, which only takes 8-AA cells and had no more rational version (today, the Nikon F6 is the way to go in Nikon).


Specifications         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More



Standard 35mm film.

Full-frame 24 x 36mm image area.

CMOS AF sensors.

I've been getting my film directly from B&H and Adorama ever since the 1970s, and they ship world-wide. I use NCPS to process and scan all my film, and they do mail-order from anyplace on earth daily. If you're reading this, you have a mailbox, and can get all the film and processing you need.




Reads DX-coded frilm from ISO 25 to ISO 5,000.


Lens Compatibility

All full-frame Canon autofocus lenses, called "EF."

Small-format "EF-S" and "EF-M" lenses won't mount.



TTL-AREA-SIR with a CMOS sensor.

45 focus points.

LV 0 - 18.

No AF assist light on camera; use flashes with AF assist lights if you need it and you can focus in the dark on a flat wall!



100% coverage.

0.71x magnification with 50mm lens.

AF points light additivly in red, and disappear completely when off so the finder stays clean.

-3 ~ +1 diopter.

Eyepeice shutter.


Focus screens

Ec-CIII standard.

8 optional others.


Light Meter

LV 0 - 18 with f/1.4 lens.

21-zone silicon photocell.

[ ( • ) ]  21-zone Evaluative, also linked to selectred focus point.

[ (   ) ]  8.5% "Partial" meter.

[   •   ]  2.4% Spot, linked to focus point.

[       ]  Center-weighted averaging.




It has both a dedicted hot shoe as well as a threaded, covered PC (Prontor-Compur) terminal.

It works brillaintly with all current EX flashes, as well as previous EZ flashes.

Flash exposure reads through-the-lens (TTL) and off-the-film (OTF) as it exposes.


It has flash sensors both in the finder to measure preflashes (E-TTL), as well as sensors reading the light reflrecting from the film as exposed (A-TTL).

It reads exposure linked to the selected focus point.

Built-in flash


Hot Shoe Flash



Flash Sync Speed (maxiumum shutter speed with flash)




Vertuical metal focal plane.

30 seconds to 1/8,000 second.


Self Timer

2 or 10 seconds.


Advance Modes


Continuous (3 FPS)

With some versions, also Continuous High (6 FPS) and possibly Continyour Ultra-Hogh (10 FPS).


Remote control

N3 connector for use with Canon's dedicated remote cords.


Frame Rate

3 FPS normally, 3.5 FPS in manual focus.

To 6 FPS with an 8-AA battery pack, and to 10 FPS with the NC-E2 Nickel-hydride pack.

See Versions for detials.



Just pull the leader to the red dot and close the back.


Rewind (36 exposures)

8 second motorized rewind at 59 dBA.

CFN for 18 second reind at 49 dBA.


Data Communication

Special Canon cord required to connect to a computer only with EOS Link Software ES-E1.



2CR5 lithium battery, good for 50 rolls of 36 exposures.

Other battery packs use 4-AA or 8-AA cells or special NP-E2 nickel-hydride pack.

See Versions for detials.

Very simple battery-level icon.



Made in Japan.





Size, WHD

EOS-1V (with GR-E2)

161 x 120.8 x 70.8 millimeters.

6.3 x 4.7 x 2.8 inches.


EOS-1V HS (with PB-E2)

161 x 164.3 x 82.5 millimeters.

6.3 x 6.4 x 3.2 inches.



EOS-1V (with GR-E2)

34.645 oz. (982.2 g) measured with battery.

35.618 oz. (1,004.3 g) measured with battery and film.

Canon rates it art 33 oz. (945 g) stripped naked.


EOS-1V HS (with PB-E2)

Canon rates it as 48.7 oz. (1,380 g), stripped naked.



EOS-1 V Body

Neck Strap L3

Eye Cup Ec II

Grip GR-E2 (or Power Drive Booster PB-E2 for EOS 1V HS)

Instruction Book



Optional Acessories




March 2000.





Shipping Since



Price, USA

April 2014: $1,900 new or about $450 used if you know How to Win at eBay

November 2013: $1,700 new or about $450 used if you know How to Win at eBay

Performance         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More


For mmaller) and tech image quality, and costs a whole lot less.


Loading and Winding

Advance mode, like self timer, stays that way

2s and 10s comes up right after each other

Frame counter small on top LCD.

Tinted film window hard to read.

Film economy

36 exactly


Infra-Red Film

Infra-red film works great in the EOS-1V. Yes, it uses an optical film-position sensor, but unlike the EOS-3, the sensor in the EOS-1V is designed to work without fogging infra-red film.



There are ONE SHOT and AI SERVO focius modes. THere is no AI FOCUS mode as found on amateur cameras, which automaictcally selects one of the other modes.

Zillions of sensors, but they're still all in the middle

Won't shoot in not in focus;light blinks rapidly

All zone takes a moment to think, one zone is fast

Simple, either servo or fixed. Either one sensor or all

Sees into nearly pitch black. With 220EX, focus on blank dark wood ok at 20'!

Not only works well in the dark, it's fast, too!

No AF assist light on camera; use flashes with AF assist lights if you need it and you can focus in the dark on a flat wall!



Diopter control under the eyecup so it doesn't get knocked. Hooray!

Clean and simple, only what you need to know.

Big clear bright and sharp

Non interfering AF areas

Vertical bar graphs

Two bars: flash compensation and ambient. Both blank out when setting flash exp comp.

No mode indication, it all blacks out.

Green flash bolt

Frame count under bar

THe screen shows depth of feild well, even for f/1.8 lenses. (Most SLRs and DSLRs can't show depth of feild properly for lenses faster than f/2.5.)



Bulb has MM:SS counter on top

Little Recoil, moderate noise



The finder is




Illum button too far away from finger

Well marked mode buttons (but not lit)

Easy to figure out

Leave on and it's always ready with zero delay.

Beeper quiet enough probably for only you to hear, good!


Custom Functions

There are 20 numeric custom functions, and even more really foolish ones that can be set only if you buy the no longer available EOS Link Software ES-E1 and the cable to connect it.



Silent Modes

In its


Meter and Exposure

Reads to >-3 stops at 30s at ISO 100 in all meter patterns

Pgm shift works in full stops

No indication of when you're at default program

Program optimized for fast speed; 125/4 instead of 125/5.6 with 28mm.

Shifts with focal length

Shift works in full stops, cancels when power sleeps or shutter fired


Flash Exposure

It works with all current EX flashes, as well as previous EZ flashes.

The newest EX flashes enable the E-TTL mode which means you can get flash-exposure lock (FEL) and high-speed sync - neither of which I've ever used.

I prefer the older EZ flashes which give the A-TTL mode which often uses an infra-red "ping" as you half-press the shutter to preset and show you the optimum aperture based on subject distnace. With EZ flashes, instead of dumbly shooting everythign at f/4 as does the E-TTL system, with most larger EZ flashes you'll shoot at larger apertures at long distances to extend range, and smaller apertures at closer distances for better depth-of feild — all set automaticlly.






Roll Number Imprinting

THe EOS-1V always imprints a roll number on the film leader, whether you like it or not.

This is in the form XX-YYY.

You can set XX to any two digits you like, for instance, use a differnt number for each of your EOS-1V bodies when covering an event. This way you'll know who made which shot after you develop all the rolls, since you can know who was issued what cameras.

To set your two digits, see Usage.

You can turn off roll number imprinting if you use the DB-E2 data back.


Exposure Data Recording

It also records 100 rolls of data internally, but requires you to buy Canon's dedicatd EOS Link Software ES-E1 and cable to read it. I don't know that this software is sold anymore, or if it runs on the newest computers.



Too small
Light digits
Cyan backlight
Small mode letters
Moderately small digits
The different Exposure modes are all over the LCD


Battery and Power

uses the same battery and ch


Compared         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

F5 too damn big today.

Can be smaller than f5

Far better sea of AF areas

Not as smooth as f6, still better AF areas than f6

Doesn't feel as tough as f5, probably about the same as f6

B&W meter only


Usage         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

See also the Canon EOS-1V Users Manual.


Leave on and it's always ready.



[ ( • ) ]  21-zone Evaluative, also linked to selectred focus point. I always use this mode.

[ (   ) ]  8.5% "Partial" meter.

[   •   ]  2.4% Spot, linked to focus point.

[       ]  Center-weighted averaging.

In continuosu (sequence) shooting, the exposure is set anew for each shot in Evaluative and Partial, but locked at the first reading in Spot and Center-Weighted.



Center positive for PC terminal

After rewind, nothin but cassette icon blinks on top LCD and finder and camera otherwise is dead

ISO stays at last DX reading when films removed, and camera set fires.


Multi Spot Metering (Zone System)

The right-side vertical bar graph isn't marked with zone values, but the middle mark is Zone V. Each big mark is one zone, so the scale goes from Zone II at the bottom to Zone VIII at the top, which is the dynamic range of most film. THere are arrows to show you if anything exceeds this dynamic range.

To use Multi Spot Metering,

1.) Select Spot meter.

2.) Tap FEL to make the first reading. You'll see a dot ppear at zero on the finder's bar graph, and another dot moving up and down to show you the relative brightness of the spot meter reletive to that reading as the camera moves around.

3.) Tap FEL again for each subsequent reading. You'll see more dots appear on the bar graph, and they'll all move up and down together as the EOS-1V changes its exposure to average them as each new reading is added. You'll always see the other dot moving, showing the relative brightness as seen by the spot meter as you move around the camera.

4.) The EOS-1V will averages all these readings and places the exposure as it geusses. You'll see their zone system placements on the vertical bar graph, and as you ponit the camera around, can see the zone plaement of any region seen by the spot meter.

5.) To change the zone system placements, simply turn the rear dial to move them all up or down together.


Custom Functions

CFNs are easy to set and check — but they only work in digits, not English. Canon includes stickers to post your favorites inside the acess door for your reference.

To set and check them, open the right flap and tap C.Fn. Turn the top dial to select any of F-0 throgh F19, and you'll see it's setting just below it. Default for each is 0, excpet for CFN 0, whose deafault is 1. Thank you Canon.

As a guide to what's set or not, the long bar along the bottom of the top LCD will show some black dots for functions set away from default.

Once you've set your preferences, just tap the shutter to exit. If you don't tap the shutter, there's no way to exit other than the power switch, and if you don't exit these settings, the EOS 1V will stay on forever until.


16: Safety Shift


18: Registered Focus Point

This lets you select (register) one point, and then get back to it quickly.

When you get your EOS-1V, the registered point is probably the center point.

To register a different point, first select it, and then while the selection mode is still active (abotu 6 seconds after you press [•:::•] ), hold the [ > • < ] button and tap FEL at the same time.

You may register one point at a time, or the AUTO SELECT (use all points) mode, too.

Once registered (or with the center point probably registered by default), you recall this registered point in these ways dependig on how you set CFN 16:

0 (default): You need two thumbs to hit both the [ > • < ] and [•:::•] buttons at the same time to get back to the selected point. Once you press this, you're back at the registered point, with no easy getting back to the previous point.

1: Tap [ > • < ] to get back to your registered point. Once you press this, you're back at the registered point, with no easy getting back to the previous point.

2: Hold [ > • < ] to get back to your registered point, and when you let go, you're back to the AF area you were using before. I use this mode because it makes it easy to swap between two points just by holding or releasing the button.

Roll Number Imprinting

To set the first two digits of the roll number, press the M.Fn button (under the right-side flap) a couple of times until " ID" shows on the left side of the top LCD and a two-digit number blinks. Turn the top dial to set the number, and tap the shutter to get back to shooting.

THis is easy, but you can only set this when the camera is empty. Since it imporints as the roll is loaded, it would make no sense to let you change the setting with film in the camera, since as soon as film is loaded, the roll has already been imporinted.


Recommendations         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

It's fun, s


If you've found all the time, effort and expense I put into researching and sharing all this, this free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially this link directly to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.


If you've found the time, effort and expense I incur researching and sharing all this information for free, this free website's biggest source of support is when you use this link to get yours at eBay as I did, or use or any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Please always use these links when getting any of your gear so I can continue to share what I know for free — because I receive nothing for my efforts if you buy elsewhere. I'm not NPR; I don't get any government grants or have annoying fund drives to help me research and give all this information away for free.


More Information         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

Canon EOS-1V Users Manual

Canon's page on the EOS-1V

EOS Link Software ES-E1

Canon's Camera Museum


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Thanks for reading!



Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.


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July 2013