Saturday, May 21, 2011

The User's Review: A Pioneer of SLT Camera: Canon EOS RT (Real Time) (Produced in 1989 - 1992)

There were two things about this model in my mind for a long time. The first, how could I buy one at my affordable price? On ebay, some are asked for more than USD 200. I had been looking for it for several months. Recently, an online camera shop sold me one at USD 39 plus shipping. Once I got mine, I used and tested it. It's relatively quick (in terms of both shutter lag and fps (up to 5 in RT)), quite and less vibration caused by mirror movement. The shutter lag is 8 ms, that's why it got its  name EOS RT (Real Time) (vs. 90 - 130 ms, common in SLR cameras). The second, how to get an image to display its unique feature - the pellicle (meaning membrane) mirror? This kind of mirror in the Single-Lens Translucent (SLT) cameras does not move. It passes a portion of light to the film while reflects the other portion of light into the viewfinder. I set the shutter speed to the longest 30 s (to have enough time to take an image with my digital camera), and took the image (the second one below) of both film frame and viewfinder. In this image, you can see both of them are lighted up. Check your SLR, DSLR and DSLT cameras, you can't see this phenomenon because, in the first two kinds of cameras, the traditional mirror will block the viewfinder during exposure of film or digital sensor; however, in the DSLT camera such as Sony alpha 33 and 55, the image sensor is fixed and can't be removed.

On the main switch of EOS RT (the last image above), there is a gear marked as RT. At RT setting, when the shutter button is half-pressed, the RT camera gets everything ready except shutter releasing. The only thing to do by the the next half-way pressing is to fire the shutter and gains the 'RT' effect (actually with 8 ms lag). 

The RT body comes with three booklets, including 2 for EOS 630 (Part and 2).
The RT booklet has only 12 pages in English for RT.
I guess, RT is most similar to 630 among the 600 series.   

I post here the RT manual section of 12 pages in English here. It explains the extra functions on RT.

EOS RT is not the first model in Canon EOS family (read my article on EOS 650), but it is said that, with higher significance, it is the first and only SLT camera in EOS family. BTW, the first SLT body sold on market should be Canon Pellix/Pellix QL, which were launched in 1965/1966 and are manual focus camera with a light meter powered by 1.35v button battery. 

Canon produced three models of grips for this camera.
In a review on Sony SLT 55 body on June 5, 2011, I wrote: 'SLT' (Sony's Latest Tech) is not new, RT used the same kind in 1989. SLT launched by Sony is all about marketing (your money), not the tech (similar to computer CPUs, 286, 386, 486, ...2-core, 4-core...). D-camera without any mirror has been developed because it's easier to split d-signal than the light, making a real fast and quiet body. 

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