The workhorse Canon EOS 620

The Canon EOS 620 is a hidden gem. A prosumer workhorse that you can get for extremely reasonable prices.

If you follow my posts you’ll see a trend with where the EOS 620 shows up. When I need something easy, reliable, and good, I grab the EOS 620.

It helps that I have some decent (and some funky) Canon EF (auto-focus) lenses from my wedding photography days. Originally I started with a Elan 7 and a EOS 650. I still have the Elan 7. It’s a decent camera that I still use that warrants its own write up sometime in the future. The EOS 650 had been my father’s and he gifted it to me after having switched to digital. The 650 eventually died and when looking to replace it I stumbled upon this beauty.

Canon EOS 620 front view
Canon EOS 620

Here’s the thing and probably the reason the EOS 620 is such a sleeper deal. The EOS 650 is the lesser camera. The EOS 620 has more features and it’s specs are better in just about every area.

Some features include a max shutter speed of 1/4000s, flash sync speed of 1/250s, auto iso setting through DX coding from iso 25-5000 with iso 6-6400 manually set. The EOS 620 also has shiftable program, auto-exposure bracketing, and continuous shooting at approximately 3 frames per second.

Another big plus is that unlike most auto-advance SLRs, the EOS 620 uses no IR sensors or diodes to detect the next frame. These typically fog IR film, the EOS 620 has none and should be safe for IR shooting. It does have a film canister window though. Some people contend that this window can fog IR film and should be covered while shooting IR.

Canon EOS 620
Canon EOS 620 Rear View

The build quality of the 620 is sturdy and solid. You can tell there’s metal behind the plastic somewhere. This and the very simple controls, especially for M, Tv, Av, and P shooting modes, is why I often prefer this camera over the Elan 7.

The final bright spot I’ll share is the price. Most always under $100 and often under $50 currently on eBay. That’s a whole lot of camera for your money. Add on the fact that it works with all EF lenses (NOT EF-s), and all EX and EZ series Canon speedlites with near professional specs and build and you’ll wonder why you haven’t picked one up sooner.

Canon EOS 620
Canon EOS 620

Now not EVERYTHING is awesome with this camera. One big drawback is the battery. While it should last for 100 rolls, it uses a 2CR5 which will set you back $10-15 at your local RiteAid. Second drawback is that some of the features can be a bit fiddly to set. Like ISO and exposure bracketing require you to open the little back panel, press two small buttons and spin the index finger wheel while the read out for the changes are in the LCD panel on top of the camera.

4 comments on “The workhorse Canon EOS 620Add yours →

  1. I have an EOS 10s that I picked up with the 35-80 lens for $20 at the thrift store. One of the things that Canon did that drives me crazy is that they never really had a standard layout for controls (well, until the Rebel series), whereas once Nikon got past the N70 debacle, they pretty much standardized the control layout and options. These AF cameras are really all pretty good, very cheap now, and other than the Rebels with the gooey mess on the shutters, all generally work well.

    1. What always got me about Canon was (and still is) their fetish with proprietary or non AA/AAA batteries. The EOS 620 takes a different battery than the Elan 7. The Canon AE-1 and A-1 take an oddball $7 battery. Even with the digitals the first Digital Rebels, 10d/20d/40d all too the same battery. The 7d? Different, non compatible battery. Sheesh!

      I once heard someone say that Nikon made the best lenses, Minolta made the best bodies, and Canon made the best compromises 😉

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