Canon kills film camera sales, eight years after production halted

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Jörg Padberg / Wikimedia Commons

Eight years after ending actual production of film cameras, Canon has discontinued the company’s last film SLR. Canon Japan recently announced the end of sales of the Canon EOS-1V, a pro-level film SLR – and the company’s last remaining film option.

The end of the ability to buy a brand new Canon EOS-1v (unused but stored for eight years) is a notable nostalgic moment for the company and Canon photographers. Canon hasn’t produced a new film camera since 2010, but continued to sell the SLR from remaining stock for eight years. An official announcement from Canon Japan gives the EOS-1V a casual death. “By the way,” reads Google’s translated support page, “we’ve finally decided to end sales of the EOS -1v single-film SLR camera.”

The company will continue to repair the film camera until 2025, unless parts run out. The shutdown, of course, also doesn’t end the second-hand market, a popular option for photographers looking for film.

The EOS-1v is now 18 years old after launching in 2000, the fifth generation of the high-end series. Canon’s current digital range still carries the EOS name, a range that is now over 30 years old. The EOS line, which stands for Electro Optical System, created the first electronic connection between the body and the lens. For the film, that meant replacing levers and spindles with electronics. As the line expanded into digital, the concept of this electrical connection made it possible to include camera lens metadata in the image’s EXIF.

The EOS 1 range was Canon’s professional model, a naming trend that continues with the Canon 1D-X series for digital cameras. Digital photographers who want to experience cinema can also use the same EOS lenses on both film and digital bodies (depending on the lens, some features are not compatible).

Canon did not say how many EOS-1V bodies remained after manufacturing ceased, or whether they had run out of cameras or simply decided to end sales. But according to reports, the company’s film body reserve lasted eight years.

Photographers still choose film cameras for a handful of reasons, including aesthetics as well as the use of film as a learning tool. The second-hand market is a popular option for movie buffs because it allows movie bodies to be sourced at a lower price. Nikon, for example, still sells film boxes, but at around $570 for the FM10 and $2,670 for the F6.

Canon’s shutdown is notable, but not exactly the death of film. While Nikon still sells film cameras, instant film continues to be a popular option. Smaller companies have also entered the industry, such as the refurbishment of used cameras from MiNT and the list of film cameras trying to get into crowdfunding, such as the return of Reflex and Rolleiflex with a dual lens instant camera.

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