Canon EOS Rebel XS Film Camera

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: July 3, 2019
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Canon EOS Rebel XS

There is also a 35mm film camera and DSLR with the Rebel XS name. This is about the film camera released in 1993 and known as the EOS 500 in Europe and EOS Kiss in Japan.

The camera was an entry-level model. It was manufactured until 1996 and was replaced by the Canon EOS Rebel G. (Europe: 500N, Japan: New EOS Kiss)

Price & Where to Buy

Unless you're lucky enough to find a great local deal, you'll have to look online. A small change in availability can cause a big price increase.

Check several places online to ensure you get the best deal.

If you don't have a Canon EF lens to use with the camera, look for a camera bundled with the 35-80mm zoom lens.

Check current prices at eBay or Amazon.

Original Selling Price

The only original pricing information I have been able to find came from the Canon Camera Museum. The original price for the camera was 89,000 yen paired with the EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6II USM, or 59,000 yen for the body only.

Camera Battery - 2x CR123A

CR123A Camera Batteries and Tripod Mount

2x CR123A lithium batteries power the camera. Battery status will be displayed on the lower left of the LCD screen when the camera is on.

CR123A batteries are easily found in stores. Prices are good when you buy a multi-pack. Keep in mind that you want to carry a spare set of batteries with you.

Buy CR123A Batteries at eBay or Amazon.

I buy batteries online because I have several cameras that use them. Getting a 10 pack of batteries means they don't have to be swapped between camera bodies. It also means a spare set can be left in a camera bag.

Battery Life

In normal temperature ranges, the batteries should last for 60 rolls without using flash. Using flash for every image will reduce that to 12 rolls. Colder weather will also decrease the life of the batteries.

Built in Pop Up Flash and Canon 35-80mm Lens

Build Quality

Almost the entire camera is made from plastic, even the lens mount. As a consumer-grade camera, it does not have any weather sealing.

The dimensions of the camera are 145 (w) x 92 (h) x 61.9 (d) mm. It weighs 350g without batteries, film, or a lens. With film, lens, and batteries the camera was 574g (1 lb, 4.2oz).

The ergonomic design of the camera is good. I personally find the grip comfortable and have almost no complaints about the camera.

Rubber Coming off of the Rebel XS  Grip

The only problem I've encountered is the non-textured rubberized grip breaking down and becoming sticky.

Wiping down with some rubbing alcohol and a paper towel helped. After that, I rubbed all the loose rubber off. About 5 minutes was required to fix the problem.

Clean Camera Grip with Shutter Button and Remote Cable Release


There is one TTL (through the lens) phase detection autofocus point. Located near the shutter button is an AF auxiliary light emitter used to help autofocus in low light.

Switching between manual and autofocus is done by using a switch on the lens.

Shutter Speeds

A vertical-travel electronically controlled focal-plane shutter is used. Shutter speeds range from 30 seconds to 1/2000 of a second. Flash sync is 1/90 of a second.

There is a bulb mode. Keep in mind battery power will be used the entire time the shutter is open. If you intend to do exposures that will be more than 10 minutes, use new batteries.

Up to 9 multiple exposures can be taken. The desired number can be set by holding down both the partial metering and exposure compensation buttons and then turning the input dial. The setting will automatically clear after completion of the series of exposures.

A self-timer can be activated by pressing the self-timer button. After pressing the shutter button the camera will count down 10 seconds and take a shot. During the countdown, the camera will beep. The beeps will speed up during the last 2 seconds of the countdown.

During continuous shooting, the camera can maintain a frame rate of 1 shot per second.

Shooting Modes

Command Dial, LCD Screen, Hot Shoe, and Function Buttons.

Using the command dial, a variety of shooting modes can be selected. The red L is the lock mode, which will turn off the camera. Canon has broken the other selections on the dial down into groups.

Exposure compensation has a range of +2 to -2 EV in 1/2 stop increments.

Creative Zone

  • P: Program AE
  • Tv: Shutter-Priority AE
  • Av: Aperture-Priority AE
  • M: Manual Exposure
  • A-DEP: Automatic Depth-of-field AE

These are all of the standard zones you would expect to see on a modern camera. The exception would be automatic depth-of-field, which will try to get everything in the images in focus by using a small aperture.

Image Zone

  • Sports
  • Close-up
  • Landscape
  • Portrait
  • Full Automatic

These are automatic modes. Aperture or shutter speed will be weighted more heavily than in automatic mode.

For example, with sports you want a fast shutter speed to freeze action. Taking a landscape, you want everything in focus, which means a smaller aperture and slower shutter speed.

Function Zone

  • Sound Mode
  • Manual ISO Speed
  • Rewind before end of the roll

ISO Settings

DX-coded film has an ISO range of 25-5000. Non DX-coded film can have the ISO manually set from 6-6400.

If you want to override the ISO of a canister of DX-coded film, cover the DX code with tape. The ISO setting will remain until it is changed or a DX-coded film canister is loaded.

Loading Film

Loading 35mm Film into the Canon and the Pins for the Date Back

Film is easy to load. There are no sprockets to line up or need to thread a film leader into a slot.

When a roll of film is loaded into the camera, the entire roll is wound onto the take-up spool. After each shot, the film is wound back into the film cartridge.

This system protects images that have already been taken. The exposed film being inside the film cartridge means it is protected from light if the back of the camera was opened.


Camera Viewfinder showing Shutter Speed, Aperture, and Exposure Compensation.

Canon calls the viewfinder a "fixed eye-level roof mirror." That's a creative way of saying a cheaper viewfinder than a pentaprism.

With a 50mm lens, the viewfinder has 0.7x magnification and 90% image coverage.


TTL metering is done through 6 zones with 9.5% partial at center averaging. As far as I can tell, that's just center-weighted averaging.

Spot metering can be used by pressing the partial metering button.

Camera Manual

A PDF scan of the Canon Rebel EOS XS Manual can be found at

Lens Mount - Canon EOS EF

Canon EOS EF Lens Mount

Any Canon EOS EF lens will work on the camera. EF-S lenses designed for crop sensor DSLRs will not work.

The kit lens that was sold with the camera was the EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II USM. These lenses can often be found still bundled with the camera.

Canon Zoom Lens EF 35-80mm f/4-5.6 III


Canon Speedlites: 430EZ, 300EZ, & 200E

The 430EZ speedlite has a zoom head, more controls, and a LCD screen. Both the 300EZ and 200E are basic flashes.

Remote Switch RS-60E3

This remote release can be attached to the camera to reduce camera shake while on a tripod, or for bulb mode.

Grip GR-80TR

No batteries are used in this grip. It is for increasing the size of the grip to make the camera easier to hold in portrait orientation. There is also a small tripod built-in.

Eye-Piece Extender EP-EX15

The EP-EX15 extends the viewfinder eye-piece 15mm out from the camera body. It also increases the viewfinder magnification by 0.5x.

Mini Review

I would not look to buy a Canon EOS Rebel XS. The Canon Rebel Ti (300V) or Rebel T2 (300X) cost the same, are newer, and have a better build quality.

For casual shooting, the Rebel XS works well. Autofocus speed is decent but limited with the single AF point.

Controls are well placed. I found the grip comfortable and didn't have any problems with the ergonomics of the camera.

As long as you're not looking to put hundreds of rolls through the camera, I don't see how anyone could be unhappy with the camera. If you can find one with a lens for $5-$10, buy it.

If you already have one, I would not recommend selling it for a Rebel Ti or Rebel T2. Instead, look to move up to a mid-range camera like the Elan 7N. (30V in Europe)

Cameras that would be an upgrade would be a Canon Elan 7N (30V), Canon EOS 3 or Canon EOS 1V.

Comparable Cameras

Canon Rebel Ti (300V) / Rebel T2 (300X)

These are the last 2 cameras from the entry-level lineup. They have more features and metal lens mounts. Price ranges are exactly the same for the Rebel XS, so it makes sense to buy them instead.

Elan 7N (30V in Europe)

The Elan 7N was Canon's mid-range camera model from 2004 until the discontinuation of the line in 2007. It has more features and a better build quality.

Camera bodies can be found for under $100. Do not buy the 7NE (33V) version as it has eye controlled focus point that does not work.

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