Canon A-1

The Canon A -1 is a semi-professional SLR KB and was the top model of the A- series. The A-1 was built from 1978 to 1985 and used Canon FD lens mount, which is backwards compatible with the previous FL bayonet. Of special importance was the A- 1 in that it is the first of a fully automatic - called Canon Program AE - decreed are automatically determined at the aperture value and shutter speed by microprocessor of the camera. Furthermore, it was the first camera to be displayed in the shutter speed and aperture value using 7 -segment LEDs in the viewfinder area. She came two years after the Canon AE-1 - the first camera that was controlled by a central microprocessor - on the market.

Features and Facilities

The camera has a cloth focal plane shutter with four axes. The shutter speed is from 30 s to 1/ 1000 s and B ( Bulb for long exposures ) adjustable. It offers in addition to the Program AE ( P) is a Shutter priority ( Tv), a priority ( Av ), an auto flash and an automatic timer with working aperture and a setting for Manual exposure (M). In the automatic mode with working aperture photometry is instead carried out with open aperture with the aperture value you set. In order to influence the automatic functions, is an exposure over twelve levels available. The film speed can be adjusted in the range 6-12800 ASA ( 9-42 DIN). In addition, the camera offers a measured value storage, a multiple exposure device and an electronically controlled self-timer with selectable delay times of 2 and 10 seconds. The eyepiece can be closed with a small lever to prevent the entry of stray light, especially when using a tripod.



Canon offered to system flash units for cameras of the A- series. This product line was sold under the name Speedlite. There were several devices ( 133A, 155A, 166A, 177A, 188A and 199A ) available with different capacities. When top model 199A of the reflector, as opposed to the other models was mounted.

Motor drives

For the A - 1, two motor -speed elevators ( Winder A and A2 ) and a motor system (MA ) for the film transport were available. The two conquerors were powered by four AA batteries, and attained a speed of two frames per second. The engine system could be operated with a battery pack or a battery pack with twelve AA batteries and reached a speed of up to five frames per second. In contrast to the two conquerors, decreed the motor drive via two built-in timer - one for vertical shooting. In all three drive systems, no automatic film transport back was possible.


The so-called Data Back A enabled by a mini flash an imprinting of numbers and letters in the negative. Could be replaced with the standard rear part of the A-1 by the user. About three Einstellrädchen the following characters could be selected:

  • Wheel one: numbers from 0 to 31 or no sign
  • Wheel two: numbers from 0 to 31, letters from A to G or no character
  • Wheel three: numbers 0-9, 77-88, roman numerals from I to X, letters from a to g or no character.

Pictures of Canon A-1