Canon EOS 1V Review: A Fantastic and Versatile SLR Film Camera by Samantha Stortecky

The Canon EOS 1V 35mm SLR film camera - Canon 1V 35mm Film Camera Review on Shoot It With Film
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Written by Samantha Stortecky

Hey friends! Today, we’re reviewing one of my favorite film cameras, the Canon EOS 1V.

I’ve owned the Canon 1V for years, and it has seen me through so many different seasons and clients. This camera is a powerhouse and perfect for beginners and seasoned film shooters. 

My favorite way to use this camera was at weddings when I needed to take a lot of images quickly, such as family portraits or ceremonies. So for me, the Canon 1V is the perfect companion when you need a robust and reliable 35mm film camera.

So, let’s jump into the review!

Find the Canon EOS 1V at KEH Camera or on eBay.

The Canon EOS 1V 35mm SLR film camera - Canon 1V 35mm Film Camera Review on Shoot It With Film

Technical Specs for the Canon EOS 1V

The Canon 1V is a 35mm SLR film camera. It was released in the year 2000 and was Canon’s high-end professional SLR, made to be a solid and reliable workhorse.

It has a 45-point AF area and three focusing modes (one-shot AF, AI servo AF, and manual).

The 1V is a full-frame camera with a picture size of 24mm x 36mm and has an ISO film speed range of up to 6400. 

The Canon 1V can be used as-is or with a PB-E2 battery grip for easy vertical shooting. This batter grip allows for high-speed continuous shooting at ten frames per second.

In addition, the battery grip has a main dial, shutter button, FE lock button, AE lock button, and focusing point selector.

35mm film image of a wedding - Canon 1V 35mm Film Camera Review on Shoot It With Film
35mm film image of a wedding - Canon 1V 35mm Film Camera Review on Shoot It With Film
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Pros of the Canon 1V

You can use all Canon family EF lenses on this camera!

This is fantastic, especially if you already own a Canon DSLR with an EF lens of its own. You don’t have to pay extra for special lenses, which is a huge pro in my book.

It also takes images fast, and the loading and unloading are quick.

This makes the camera perfect for weddings, especially during crucial times like the ceremony. All you need to do is pop in the roll of film, shut the back, and let the camera do its own thing!

The auto-focus on the Canon EOS 1V is excellent. While I am a huge promoter of manual focusing, this camera is the only film camera where I will utilize the autofocus function.

While this camera isn’t as fast as most DSLR cameras, it is significantly faster with autofocus than most SLRs. This makes the 1V great for photographers who prefer autofocusing!

35mm film image of a wedding - Canon 1V 35mm Film Camera Review on Shoot It With Film
35mm film image of a wedding - Canon 1V 35mm Film Camera Review on Shoot It With Film

Cons of the 1V

This camera needs an external light meter. I’ve found that the internal light meter on the Canon EOS 1V isn’t always reliable, and I have been burned with underexposed images a few times. 

I hope you’re ready to get an arm workout because this camera is heavy. The heaviness of the camera typically isn’t an issue, but if you’re like me and have small hands, gripping the camera body for long periods can take a toll.

Like many film cameras, the Canon 1V has been discontinued, and purchasing it can cost you a pretty penny. Depending on where you prefer to purchase your cameras, the Canon 1V body can cost anywhere from $600 to $800

35mm film image of a wedding - Canon 1V 35mm Film Camera Review on Shoot It With Film
35mm film image of a wedding - Canon 1V 35mm Film Camera Review on Shoot It With Film
35mm film image of a wedding - Canon 1V 35mm Film Camera Review on Shoot It With Film

Final Thoughts

Overall, this camera is an excellent addition to anyone’s camera family!

If you’re in the market for a sturdy and relatively fast 35mm SLR, definitely give the Canon EOS 1V a go!

35mm film image of a wedding - Canon 1V 35mm Film Camera Review on Shoot It With Film
35mm film image of a wedding - Canon 1V 35mm Film Camera Review on Shoot It With Film
35mm film image of a wedding - Canon 1V 35mm Film Camera Review on Shoot It With Film

Thank you so much, Samantha! Samantha is a regular contributor here at Shoot It With Film, and you can check out her other articles here, including a The 3 Film Cameras I Take on Every Trip and the Pentax 645N camera review.

You can also check out more of Samantha’s work on her website and Instagram.

Leave your questions about the Canon EOS 1V below in the comments, and you can pick one up for yourself at KEH Camera or on eBay.

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Samantha Stortecky

Samantha Stortecky is a regular contributor for Shoot It With Film. Find her other articles here, such as How to Shoot Kodak Portra 400 and 5 Unique & Experimental Film Stocks You Need to Try.

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Blog Comments

Great Camera and review. If you want something equally as capable, with the only true difference being FPS & AF points it’s worth taking a look at the older sibling in the EOS line up the 1-N. Can be had for just around 50% of the cost of the 1-V

Such a great suggestion! Thank you, Daniel!

Picked this one up recently to pair with a Canon 5D. It’s hefty but it feels good in the hand! I agree with the point about the light meter, except I’ve had trouble with overexposed images in bright conditions. Other than that, I love using it for paid shoots.

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