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Nick's Classic Corner - No 54 - Canon EOS 700QD

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by Benchista, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Canon have made some very odd cameras over the years. Most manufacturers with any history have. This camera is certainly one of the weird ones.
    Back in the 80s, several manufacturers made SLRs that were basically point 'n' shoots - they gave very little manual control over the camera. This phenomenon was peaking as Canon launched the EOS system, and the first two entry-level models, the EOS 750/850 (with and without flash) offered no manual controls at all. Canon clearly felt this wasn't quite working, so replaced them in 1990 with the 700. This has absolutely minimal controls - databack buttons on mine, a back latch, lens release button, flash off/auto switch, shutter button - and mode dial. And the mode dial is where the weirdness comes in.
    Normally, it has a selection of pictograms to choose a programme mode, but you can unscrew the serrated centre of the dial, flip the dial over, and hey presto! You have a shutter speed dial with a P option, lock, battery check etc...
    As far as I know, this flipping mode dial is unique to this camera.
    Viewfinder info is extremely limited - apart from the focus mark, there are two LEDs - AE, and a round blob. When solidly lit, they indicate that the exposure is within the bounds of the camera, and that focus has been achieved respectively. If they flash, there's an issue with one or the other. There's also a permanent focus beep. The viewfinder is pretty big and bright for an entry-level SLR.
    When the flash is set to auto, it pops up, fires, and pops back down again entirely automatically.
    Oh, and there's a mechanical frame counter.
    It was available with a power zoom 35-80mm lens that I don't have, but shows the commitment to automation.
    The camera takes a 2CR5 battery behind a screw-in handgrip. The battery is probably worth more than the camera.
    It's actually surprisingly heavy and feels rather well-made - all polycarbonate outer, with a well-moulded grip. If it were more functional, I would really enjoy using it. As it is, it's a real oddity. Canon realised their error, and quickly replaced it with the EOS 1000 series that gave full control options back to the photographer, and over time, everyone else in the AF SLR market followed suit.
  2. swanseadave

    swanseadave Well-Known Member

    I`ve not come across one of those Nick but very interesting.I look forward to your in depth descriptions of cameras.
  3. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I wonder how many got lost prematurely...:eek:

    Didn't the 850 have the same feature?
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Quite a few, I think.

    No, very plain dial - Battery Check, Program, Lock, Dep and Self Timer - not even any PIC modes. Really was the idiot-level SLR. ;)

    EDIT: Found the manual for the 850 which shows it on page 3. http://flynngraphics.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Manual-850.pdf
  5. PentaxManiac

    PentaxManiac Well-Known Member

    Mine doesn't have the 35-80 powerzoom, but an alternative EF lens that makes things even more point and shoot: a 35-70 F3.5-4.5 with no AF/MF switch. So if you're having difficulty autofocussing, your only real help is to flick up the flash for the AF assist lamp. At least it is a lamp, not that awful strobing.

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