What Canon film SLR?


TPF Noob!
Jan 13, 2006
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Hi all,

I am in the market for an SLR. I have played around with and taken a ton of photos with a friends 350D. It's a great camera but I'm not willing to lay down big cash yet. I figure I am going to buy a film SLR off Ebay given how cheap they are. I have a Kodak V570 Twin Lens which, since purchase 3 months ago, I have taken 5000 shots with. It's good, but limited (of course). What would you all recommend for a film SLR that is relatively new, and would allow for all accessories to be transferred over to a canon digital SLR when the time comes? I want something that will be a good stepping stone and will take great shots.


I loved my Canon EOS 5 (A2e). It has a lot of pro features while still being closer to consumer priced. You won't be able to move much over except the lenses though. Things like the remote and vertical grip aren't compatable with the digitals. I don't know of many film body accessories that are, except maybe the flashes.
I've got an A2 and L.O.V.E. it! It's easy to use, well balanced and one of the more enjoyable cameras that I've ever used. Bonus - I can use the same lenses on my 10D. :mrgreen:
EOS Rebels are the entry level SLR cameras from Canon. Any of the Rebel models should be pretty good. I think the newest ones are the Rebel Ti and Rebel 2000 (or something like that). They don't have as many features as the more expensive bodies but they definitely have all the most important things.

The next level up is the ELAN series. The newest one is the ELAN 7n (with the ELAN 7 being slightly older). This is a more durable and advanced body. They are quieter and have a thumb wheel on the back for easy control.

Next level up is the semi-pro bodies like the A2 (EOS 5) mentioned above. There is also the EOS 3 but most consider that a pro body as it's very good in all aspects.

The top of the line is the EOS 1 series. These things are built like tanks and are sealed against the elements. You could use one of these in the rain with no problems.

Any of these cameras will use the same lenses as the Canon digital SLR cameras. As mentioned, some of the accesories like remote shutter release or battery grips, will not be compatible...but the most important things are the lenses.
You can probably find a nice used Elan II on Ebay, or Keh.com. I have 2, and love them. I bought both of mine with a battery grip for less than $200. They are very similar in features to a 10D/20D.
I've got an Elan7 and I love it. the grip fits my hand nicely and I like the heft of it. It's also great for a wide range of shooting, since it's got everything from the Point-N-Shoot setting to the fully manual shooting.
Lenses for the film 35mm Canon EOS bodies should transfer over the digital Canon EOS bodies just fine, but as someone already mentioned accessories do not.

I like the features of the A2/A2E... its a bit older than many of the cameras mentioned but it has many pro features and should be affordable these days. One feature that I think places it ahead is the spot meter.

From the short time spent playing with the Elan 7 in the shop, I like it. For bargain basement, I'd go with the Elan II (don't spend the extra money for the IIe version). Mine has serviced me very well as a backup especially if you are looking for something lightweight. If you do go with the Elan IIe, try to find the grip to find the grip for it. The grip allows the use of AA's which was a life saver on trips.
Im a huge fan of my EOS3 My favorite thing about it is the Auto Focusing Mode. But its a great all around camera. a big jump from my old canon A1 which was also a nice camera to learn on (no Auto modes there...)

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