Canon EOS 620 - Canon's first EOS "professional" camera

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jdm_von_weinberg, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Canon EOS 620 - the second EOS camera
    The very first EOS camera was the Canon EOS 650 introduced in March, 1987. I have already posted an account of that camera at (link ), and the respondents at least, seemed to like the idea of historical posts on the EOS cameras here. Lord knows that a post on any EOS camera would last about 15 minutes at most on the Classic Manual Cameras forum--and quite properly so.
    First of all, Canon's own statement from (link ) of their own design mission for the EOS
    The "EOS" was developed under three major guidelines: no price increase due to the introduction of the AF mechanism, a lightweight design which enables shooting indoor sports hand-holding the camera with a "300mm f/2.8" lens, and a autofocus sensitivity equivalent to exposure sensitivity. In order to achieve the high-quality camera, Canon embarked upon a two-year period of research and development. These guidelines were based on Canon's concept to put an emphasis on a flexible system with potential of future enhancement. The concept continues even now as the principle of development for Canon's cameras.​
    So here is the second of the line-- the Canon EOS 620 which was introduced in May of 1987. It was virtually identical to the earlier "amateur" 650, but was marketed as the first EOS camera for professionals. A few features were different. The EOS 620 had
    • Shiftable program AE,
    • autobracketing up to ±5 stops in 1/2-stop increments,
    • maximum of 9 multiple exposures,
    • shutter speeds from 30 seconds to 1/4000, flash sync at 1/250
    • an electro-plated body for wear resistance and
    • uniform EL illumination (the world's first on a camera) of the external LCD panel.
    What the Canon EOS 620 does NOT have, interestingly enough given some past discussions here, is the DEP exposure mode that the 650 has.
  2. The camera I have also has the Quartz Date Back E (you can see the faint date stamps on the pictures below). As the section of the manual below the picture of the camera shows, this is good through the year 2029. Yesterday, when I picked mine up to prepare for this post had the correct day's date of 10-3-3! A portion of the instructions on the multiple exposures instructions are also shown.
  3. Finally, here are some pictures taken yesterday afternoon with this camera after I had shot some film through a Beltica II (posted on the Classic forum). These were taken with the EF 35mm f/2.0 lens, one of my favorites.
  4. I must say the T90, T80 and 600 series were a homely bunch. Kinda like the same era Datsun sedans. The older F1 and F1N were industrial strength battle axes but were ruggedly handsome. Canon finally nailed it with the sleek EOS 1 and even by today's tastes is still easy on the eyes and a striking design.
  5. I dunno. The 650 looks to me like it had some Star Wars influence - the kind of camera a storm trooper might have been seen with on Tatooine. And they have been heading more and more towards Darth Vader styling ever since. Look at the pentaprism housing of the 5D and all the xxD series and you know what I mean.
    In comparison Nikon and Pentax clearly got an Italian design house in. They do it better than ILM.
  6. I agree with Geoff about the looks, but I bought my EOS630 in 1990 and I still own the same camera. I have quite large amount of film through it when it was used to earn my living and only required 1 shutter replacement (but mainly caused by the self destruction of the foam pads).
    I find it strange that some question its looking 'funny' without the "dial" to change modes, but strangely the 1 series has resisted this and remained with the buttons on the top deck to change mode. Personally I find this a superior method (and I accidentally move the dial on my 10 and 20D cameras from time to time).
    I have changed focusing screens in it and still use it today when I wish to use negative in challenging situations. It may be the ugly duckling, but its a fine camera with great AF. For those who have never used it, it has a feature lacking in many modern cameras ... DEP ... this is unlike any of the A-DEP nonscence in modern cameras. DEP's best strength was that you could essentially pick where exactly you wished to focus and then compose as you desired and not need to worry about needing AE lock because of the focus point chosen. It was shiftable too, so you could dial in more DoF with a few clicks if you felt you wanted more.
    If only they didn't remove the 250th shutter X sync of the 620 the 630 would have been unquestionably the best of the three, and with its 5fps motor drive (the 1 needed the winder to get that fast) was definately the low-budget working professionals camera
  7. It's interesting to hear other people's response, today, to the appearance of this first range of EOS cameras. At the time they were regarded as extraordinary! There was nothing like them, other than the T90, and that, being a professional camera, didn't appear much in local photo retailers. (At that time I think there was a much greater difference between the equipment bought by amateurs, even keen amateurs, and that bought by professionals, and retailers catering for amateurs simply didn't stock professional equipment.) I loved those early EOS cameras, and my 600 still feels 'right' in my hand in a way that few other cameras ever have.
    Going back to the 620 as such, I remember there was much discussion over the naming, both of this camera and the 650 - did those numbers mean anything? From this distance they do seem to have been an odd choice of numbers. The other things that exercised us greatly at the time were the differences between the first two models. Most of them seemed unimportant, though the flash synch speed was clearly important. However, like others I had found the Depth mode on my 650 very useful, and it was surprising to see it regarded as purely an amateur thing, and thus not on the 620.
  8. There's a striking resemblance (shape) of the 300EZ flash to the new 270EX.
  9. I know I'm kicking up an old thread, but was wondering if anyone had any input on a silly thing. I was curious as to why the camera doesn't turn on if the battery grip isn't fully screwed in.
  10. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Next time, it would be better simply to start a new thread with your question(s) . . .

    By the way, I think it likely that there was not a battery grip for the EOS 620 and perhaps you are asking about a more recent model EOS Camera.

    The reason is that the Battery Grip (for example on any EOS Digital Camera) has, at its end, a shaft which slips into the recess at the base of the camera where the single battery would be situated. If the Battery Grip is not 'fully screwed in', then it is likely that the electrical contacts on the Battery Grip will not properly engage with the Camera's electrical contacts:


  11. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member


    I just had look at my files and dug out the EOS620 manual. It has an option of three (3) Camera Grips which, I believe, are required to be removed in order to load the Canera Battery,

    You might be meaning an EOS 620 and referring to those Grips.

    I think the same answer applies. I expect that if the Camera Grip is not secured correctly, then there is not a suitable electrical contact from the Battery to the Camera.

  12. Just a note that I, the OP, plead innocent to this re-animation....
    MarcelRomviel likes this.
  13. And I, for one, am happy to see the thread re-animated, as I'd otherwise have been unlikely to ever see it.
  14. If I walk into a store tomorrow and buy the newest EOS lens with IS, tamron EF mount lens with VC or sigma EF mount lens with OS....will the stabilization functions work if I put that lens on this camera?'

    If not, what is the first EOS camera in the lineage that you are sure they will work on.

    Resurrection, but why create another thread when we have a perfectly good one going already. :)
  15. The short answer is "yes"- everything is in the lens in the EOS Canon world
  16. As an aside, there are a few early "third-party" lenses that will only work on the older EOS cameras. Of course, no EF-S lens will work on the older full-frame film EOS cameras.

    There is another use for the EOS film cameras. They can be used to test whether adapted Nikon lenses, etc., will work. The oldest EOS cameras are so cheap that it's not a complete tragedy if it does damage the body (many wide-angle lenses interfere with the full=frame mirror), although in my experience it has never done so.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018

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