Modern Classic SLR Series
The Canon AE-1 - Index Page

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The Canon AE-1 was the first 35mm SLR camera to be controlled solely via a built-in Central Processing Unit (CPU) and made SLR photography avaialble to beginners and amateurs at a reasonable prices - with a record of over 5 million units been sold worldwide, the success of which firmly established Canon as the leader in camera innovations.

Variant: Special application medical camera, Canon FA

Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Claudio®. who is a collector for Canon photo gear, he also has an Ebay Section as well as maintaining a website on his own where occasionally trading some photo equipment. Image(s) copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

It revolutionized many of the concepts for future camera designs especially in the field of electronic applications and mass produced technique with a lower cost of production with the use of plastic injection molding, resulting in simpler assembly of parts. It also popularised and made devices like Power Winder and electronic Speedlites a household name in the consumer market. The camera was controlled entirely by electronics precision rather than by mechanical functions - and depends solely on battery power for all of its functions. Despite defying the mainstream camera design concept in the '70s, the AE-1 came through well and attained a huge during its availability years. This was very much due to Canon's efforts in promoting the camera - it offers very precise and stable timing of shutter speeds, which was also extended to other areas like auto flash-syncronisation speed when any dedicated Canon electronic Speedlites is used. Although the technologies employed within the AE-1 looked very simple when compared with today's modern SLR cameras, it has to be remembered that during its era, the market was still dominated largely by those heavy, mechanically-controlled type of cameras. Canon used these points to enhance the advantages of electronic applications in camera designs - where in many areas, electronic cameras do offer much more precise timings and other features that can never be matched by mechanical technologies.

However, the AE-1 was not in anyway a professional-grade SLR as compared to the Canon F-1. It was generally regarded as a classic and top amateur SLR model due to the impact it has created with its then innovative concept that went on to influence other future camera designs, both Canon and other makes, of the industry as a whole. The camera was eventually replaced by a newer model with added features, the AE-1 Program in 1981, following on the success of Canon's semi-pro and top-of-the-line A-series camera, the multi-mode Canon A-1, which made its debut in 1978.

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Main Features & background
Camera Operation (7 parts)
Winder A | Winder A2 | Speedlites | Accessories | Other issues
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Main Reference Map:
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Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Claudio®. Image(s) copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Shared Resources: Winder A, Winder A2, Focusing Screens, Motor Drive MA, Databack A, Speedlites & Macro photography.

Canon FD Resources
A Series: AE-1 | AT-1 | A-1 | AV-1 | AE-1 Program | AL-1
T- Series:
T50 | T60 | T70 | T80 | T90
F-1 | New F-1
Canon FL Resources Pellix | FTQL

FL | Canon FDn lenses. | Early versions of FD lenses

Canon EOS SLRs | Canon EF lens Resources

Highly suggestive useful external links/resources created by Mr.Christian Rollinger:

Essentials: - Canon A1 Repair/Service Guide | Determine Years of Made of your Canon
Canon Flash models:- Canon 300TL flash(1.5MB); Macrolite ML-1(HTML); Macrolite ML-2; Macrolite ML-3; Speedlite 133a; Speedlite 155a(HTML); Speedlite 177a; Speedlite 188a(HTML); Speedlite 199a; Speedlite 244t; Speedlite 277t (HTML); Speedlite 533; Speedlite 577

Others:- Canon Auto Bellow Unit Manual; Canon Macro Photography Guide, Canon Slide Duplicator Manual, Canon Angle Finder User's Manual

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| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Canon Photographic Equipment

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Maintenance Team: Kaipin, Terry Carraway & Dr Strangelove; Pawel Nabe for his image on the Data Memory Back. EEwyn Foo, my nephew, who has spent quite a number of nights converting the original manual in HTML format. Mr. Richard Yeow, General Manager -Optical Division of Canon Marketing for granting special permission to reproduce this manual into HTML format in his site as a form of obligation to all Canon FD mount users worldwide. * Canon, FD Lenses, Canon Marketing are registered trade names or trademarks of Canon Inc. Japan.