Canon AE-1 Film Camera

Our Price: $370

Do you love photography? Do you crave the vintage appeal of real film photographs? Do you wish you could own and use a piece of photographic history? Why not make this classic film SLR camera yours, the Canon AE-1. This is a manual focus SLR that was produced by Canon, Inc. between 1976 and 1985. If the likes of Instagram and Hipstamatic have given you a deep appreciation for old school photography techniques, then you will be completely enamored by the gorgeous Canon AE-1. The camera comes in a strong but light metal body making it reliable and durable, and it's classic design is still inspiring today, just look at the beautiful Fujifilm Finepix x100.

This isn't just a pretty face, this camera packs a punch when it comes to SLR features. The Canon AE-1 has full-manual control whilst offering precise and stable timing of shutter speeds. The focusing screen is bright and the split-screen focusing aid is precise.  The camera uses centre-weighted metering and has accurate and easily adjustable metering abilities.

For the AE-1 Canon chose to make this camera shutter speed priority rather than aperture priority. The AE-1 has large dial on the front right corner of the camera making it easy to adjust the shutter speed dial without taking your eye away from the viewfinder. However more importantly makes the camera as easy to use as if it was program full automatic giving full flexibility to any user of the AE-1.The aperture needle in the viewfinder reacts in real time, allowing you to properly estimate the light quantity over your chosen scene.

As you can see, it still has an incredible feature set, even by today's standards. What makes this camera special is how beautifully built it is and it truly is a highly sought after classic from Canon. You'd be really lucky to get your hands on one while they're still around (or if the 5D Mark 2 is a little out of your price range), and luckily you can buy one here today.

 By | 3 ReviewsLeave a Comment Post ID: 5937
Last updated: Saturday, November 23, 2019

Canon AE-1 Film Camera Reviews (3)

  1. May 11, 2010 by ChuckDC

    I’ve had the AE-1′s newer brother, the AE-1 Program, for 25 years now. I cannot say too much about the camera’s quality and reliability. It’s too bad that there is no way to convert it to some sort of digital camera. I would love to be able to keep using my AE-1P and the related accessories for a long time to come. Availability of accessories is huge. There is more stuff out there than you could find a use for, from both Canon and aftermarket sources. I’m only now really looking at a digital SLR because it’s just getting hard to deal with getting film processed. I’m looking once again at a Canon, I can only hope that it will serve me as well as my AE-1P did. My brother has the even higher model, the Canon A-1, the difference being mostly in having some more modes to play with. The AE-1P has full-manual, Shutter-priority automatic, and full program exposure control, along with flash synced mode. The A-1 adds aperture-priority to this.

    Utterly anvil-reliable for years and years. Tons of available accessories. Will serve both a beginner and a pro equally well, with appropriate lenses. The only thing that goes wrong with this model is a squeal that develops after years of non-maintenance, and the occasional dead main camera battery.Mine takes a battery about every 5 years or so.

    Not digital, and no way to make it digital.
    It’s heavier than the lighter new digital cams, and carrying around the bag with several lenses, a flash, etc. can be wearing.
    Not autofocus (which can be both a pro and a con, really), though I understand that autofocus lenses were made for it.
    No program mode in the standard AE-1 (the AE-1P had full-auto-exposure control)
    No aperture-priority mode (if you want the extra modes, get the A-1. I think the AV-1 was aperture-priority)

  2. May 22, 2010 by K-Dog

    As a young U.S. Marine stationed at 29 Palms CA, the Canon AE-1 was the first major purchase I made for myself. Back then, a private didn’t make much (1980) so it was a considerable investment for me. I took the camera everywhere… Desert training, mountain training, cold weather survival training, aboard multiple ships and deployments. I still have the camera and still have all the pictures. GREAT camera and GREAT times…

    Like a Timex, this camera took a lickin but kept on clickin… Over the years I burned up many an accessory (speed winders, lenses & flashes) but like the energizer bunny, the camera just kept going and going and going…

    That I can’t turn back time and do it all over again…

  3. September 16, 2010 by Phil

    This is honestly one of my favorite cameras. The other reviewers have said it all, but I highly encourage you to shop elsewhere for this camera. In used condition, you can find one for as little as twenty dollars at garage sales or on ebay. Any cleaning or re-lubrication after that will cost you about 80, which certainly beats the 400 dollar price tag they throw on here. great camera with one of my favorite lens lineups, but almost 400 dollars is about 20X what you should be paying if you’re willing to look around a little.

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