Canon’s EOS system is turning 30 — here’s what it really stands for

Canon EOS 80D
The electronic connection between the camera and lens that makes features like in-lens stabilization possible is turning 30 with the Canon EOS camera system. Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends
The electronic connection between a lens and a camera body that makes everything from complete EXIF data to lens stabilization possible is now nearly three decades old. Canon’s SLR camera, the EOS cameras, lenses and accessories, turns 30 in March, with a history spanning from film to the latest digital shooters.

Canon’s move to add an electrical connection between the camera body and the lens was actually named after Electro, the Greek goddess of the dawn, earning the series the name Electro Optical System and an EOS acronym that still continues today. At the time, Canon was the first to use an electronic mount.

The Canon EOS 650, a film SLR, and the company’s line of EF lenses first debuted in March 1987. The company has now sold over 80 million EOS bodies and 120 million EF lenses.

“When the EOS system originally launched in 1987, one of its most important differentiations from other leading camera systems at the time was the introduction of fully electronic communication between the camera body and its interchangeable lenses and other system accessories such as battery packs, etc.,” Chuck Westfall, a Canon USA spokesperson, told Digital Trends.

“This design improved overall system performance by replacing levers and pins that were subject to mechanical wear and tear with electronic components that were not only more precise but also more robust. Fully electronic data communication also increased the amount of data that the system could handle, and this characteristic enabled Canon’s engineering team to add new and powerful features such as optical image stabilization in EF lenses, among many other things, to improve overall system performance.”

Thirty years later, the electronic lens-to-camera connection has helped the camera giant introduce a number of new features to SLR cameras. In 2008, it was the first to offer full-HD video inside a DSLR with the EOS 5D Mark II, later leading the company to launch the EOS Cinema line in 2012. The EOS system also saw the first entry-level DSLR with the EOS Digital Rebel in 2003.

According to the Consumer Imaging Product Association, Canon EOS became the top-selling global interchangeable lens camera in 1990 — and held that spot for 13 consecutive years.

While the line’s history spans the jump from film to digital, the EOS systems means that every EOS lens is compatible with every EOS camera, so photographers can use the latest body with a classic lens. Canon says that EOS foundation will continue to drive new imaging technology, including three-dimensionality and a sense of realism.

“Details must remain confidential, but the versatility of the original EOS system design provides Canon with the ability to accommodate a wide variety of future technological advancements. As always, we will endeavor to enhance customer satisfaction with Canon products,” Westfall said.

As the EOS camera celebrates three decades, the current lineup encompasses 24 different cameras and 97 EF lenses.

Mobile

Huawei and Leica’s monochrome lens is dead, so we celebrate its life

The Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro do not have a dedicated monochrome camera lens, unlike the P20 Pro, and various Huawei and Leica phones before it. It's the end of an era, and also the start of a new one, as Leica has worked on its…
Cars

'4WD' or 'AWD'? Which setup is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Mobile

Google Pixel 3 vs. Apple iPhone XS: Does Google’s A.I. take down Apple?

The Google Pixel 3 is here, boasting top-tier specs like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and 4GB of RAM, and some of the world's best artificial intelligence features on a phone. But can it take out the Apple iPhone XS?
Photography

Remove photo bombs, other unwanted objects with Photoshop’s new Content-Aware Fill

Photoshop's newest A.I-powered tool helps remove objects or fill in gaps for a distraction-free photo in the new Adobe Photoshop CC 2019. Here's how to remove an object in Photoshop using the new Content-Aware Fill.
Photography

Adobe Premiere Rush CC is the cloud-based video editing app you've been waiting for

On stage at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe announced its cloud-centric, social video-editing application, Adobe Premiere Rush CC. We took some time to put it through its paces to see what it offers, how it works, and what's missing.
Computing

Adobe’s craziest new tools animate photos, convert recordings to music in a click

Adobe shared a glimpse behind the scenes at what's next and the Creative Cloud future is filled with crazy A.I.-powered tools, moving stills, and animation reacting to real-time tweets.
Photography

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Social Media

Over selfies and an onslaught of ads? Here's how delete your Instagram account

Despite its outstanding popularity and photo-sharing dominance, Instagram isn't for everyone. Thankfully, deleting your account is as easy as logging into the site and clicking a few buttons. Here's what you need to do.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…
Photography

Photography News: A ‘bombproof’ camera bag, Nikon D850 gets firmware fix

Mountainsmith calls its latest photography backpack designed with photographer Chris Burkard "bombproof." Nikon has launched a new firmware update for the D850 that fixes a rare bug. Snapchat's camera can now recognize cats.
Social Media

Want internet immortality? Here's how to make the best memes

From Bad Luck Brian to Overly Attached Girlfriend, there's no shortage of memes in the world. But, there's always room for one more. Here's a quick rundown of memes and a guide on how to make your own.