Next month Canon celebrates 35 years since the launch of the EOS series, which now includes a range of DSLRs, mirrorless cameras and RF, EF and EF-S lenses plus various accessories. Since the inception of the EOS series, camera technology has advanced rapidly and Canon has made some of the most impressive cameras of the last three decades.
Canon debuted the EOS system in March 1987 with the launch of the Canon EOS 650 single-lens reflex camera, and its most recent release was the mirrorless Canon EOS R3 (opens in new tab) – a system that couldn’t be more different. Since the EOS 650 Canon has released more than 80 cameras in the EOS range, including the revolutionary Canon D30 (the first digital camera), the high-speed Canon EOS-1D X Mark III (opens in new tab), the perennially popular Canon EOS M50 Mark II (opens in new tab), and the groundbreaking Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) and Canon EOS R6 (opens in new tab).
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If you’ve always wondered what the EOS means, it stands for Electro Optical System. No it’s not an ode to the Marvel supervillain, but rather a nod to the Greek Goddess of Dawn, Eos, signaling a new era for Canon.
Throughout the Eighties and Nineties, Canon focused on concepts that included high-speed, ease-of-use cameras and received high praise for its innovative technologies. The release of the Canon EOS-1 in 1989 marked the start of its line of cameras aimed at professionals, while the lightweight, compact EOS Kiss (also known as EOS Rebel XS and EOS 500) signaled a break into the consumer market.
In the 2000s the popularity of digital cameras continued to increase, by which time Canon was well underway developing its EOS range. By September 2005 Canon had launched the original Canon EOS 5D, which went on to become one of the most popular series of professional cameras (even though Canon doesn't actually consider it a pro model) and now, 17 years later, people are still buying the Canon EOS 5D IV (opens in new tab).
Although Canon was a little slow to join the full-frame mirrorless market, the release of the Canon EOS R (opens in new tab) in 2018 indicated yet another change in the company’s main focus. Just two years later, the manufacturer launched what might be the single best cameras it’s ever made in the form of the EOS R5 – and most recently the video-focused version, the Canon EOS R5 C (opens in new tab).
Since 2003, Canon has dominated the digital interchangeable lens camera market, boasting the number 1 share for 18 years. As technology advances, Canon is sure to be on the frontline of new developments, creating systems that benefit from faster processors, more intelligent autofocus and even better video capabilities.