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Canon A-1 favori envoyer Print
Photos by Sylvain Halgand text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of Sylvain Halgand
France Version française

Chronology of the Canon brand  New window

Manufactured in Japon from 1978 until 0.
Index of rarity in France : Courant (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 1419

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Canon A-1

Traduction d'Eric LeDonne, Etats-Unis

First sold in 1978, the Canon A1 rapidly became a legendary camera. Although its capabilities seem obsolete compared to the entry-level models currently available, such as EOS 300, the A1 is truly one of these cameras that marked a generation of amateur photographs, and the one that set the standard for all the fully automated cameras sold subsequently.

First, this camera features several exposure modes:

  • Program Mode, in which the camera selects an appropriate combination speed/aperture
  • Shutter priority Mode, in which the camera selects the aperture according to the selected speed
  • Aperture priority Mode, in which the camera selects a speed according to the selected aperture
  • Flash Mode with dedicated Canon models (Including Speedlite)
  • Stopped-down Mode (true diaphragm)


This camera was particularly interesting as it was primarily a professional grade camera usable by the complete beginner as long as she or he knew how to focus.

The FD bayonet mount allowed the mounting of many type of lenses, regardless of brand, Canon or other.

In short, the A1 is truly a legendary camera, built to last and in par with modern camera with regard to overall quality.