The Canon A-1 is a 35mm s.l.r. camera from Canon that, like its predecessor the AE-1, was innovative when released in 1978.
It was notable for its programmed automatic exposure setting, whereby both aperture and shutter speed are automated. While not labelled as such, it was a pioneer in offering the full “PASM” set of exposure options, standard in many later cameras through the present day. Canon’s competitors were considerably slower in introducing programmed SLRs.
The Canon A-1 has the Canon FD bayonet lens mount and was normally sold with the Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 or 50mm f/1.4 lens. The electronically-controlled horizontal cloth focal plane shutter had marked speeds from 30s to 1/1000s, with X-sync at 1/60. In aperture priority mode, the shutter was continuously variable.
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