James's Camera Collection: Canon EOS A2 and A2e

Canon EOS A2 and A2e Japan Other Canon Cameras 35mm cameras
Canon EOS A2e body with accessory vertical grip
Camera type: Single Lens Reflex (SLR)
Lens Mount: FD bayonet/breech
AKA: EOS 5 QD (Asia), EOS 5 (Europe)
Film type: 35mm
Approx. dates of manufacture: 1993
Battery: 2CR5
Approx. original price: $800 (street)
Approx. street value: moderate

I have both of these models. I wouldn't normally have picked up the A2 except that it was $18.50 at a thrift store and I couldn't pass it up.

The A2e is an A2 with an added feature: the e designation means "eye control," and as far as I know this is the first Canon camera to have it. They added it on a couple of other EOS cameras, such as my Elan IIe, but it never became a standard feature. I don't believe it's on any of the digital EOS cameras at all.

Even without eye control, it was a very nice camera. EOS camera nomenclature for the Japan market was fairly clear: three digit numbers were entry-level, two-digit numbers were middle-tier (sometimes called "enthusiast" or "advanced amateur"), and one digit numbers were professional. The EOS-1 was always the top model, with other two-digit models slipping in just below it.

Canon EOS-1/A2e adBut just to show that Canon was eccentric on the home front too, this EOS-5 was superseded by the EOS-3 (which they used in all markets).

Both of mine came with the vertical grip accessory (shown on the bottom here, attached to the camera). It offered a second contoured handle, a second shutter button and finger-wheel so that if you are holding the camera sideways, you can easily hold the camera on its side and still get to the important controls.

For more information: Canon Camera Museum

Popular Photography camera test: Nov 1993

Camera manual: Orphan Cameras.com

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