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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2001
I have many cameras from full-featured SLR's (Nikon) with a variety of lenses to wide-angle point-and-shoots (Olympus) which I use for different occasions.
But when the going gets wet -- from either water or snow -- then I use my Canon Sure Shot A-1. It's water-resistant, goes underwater (down to 11 feet), it's simple to use, and it takes great pictures. It also has what I consider to be the most important feature -- daytime fill flash (which is activated by simply switching to flash mode) which helps to make foreground colors pop. (My friends are always amazed at the color and clarity of my photos. My secret is using fill-flash, which all of my cameras have.) The flash also works underwater, which again helps to make colors come alive and compensates for the bluish cast which happens to photos taken even when below the surface only a few feet.
Getting an underwater camera with flash, incidentally, is normally an expensive proposition. And many underwater cameras aren't really made to use on-land. The Canon, by contrast, is relatively inexpensive, and it works well both above and below the water. And since the Canon uses 35mm film (and not APS film), there's more detail in the photos which makes them more satisfying. (With 400 speed film, the flash range underwater extends out to 22 feet, which is also very impressive).
I've taken my Canon A-1 to the mountains when I taught my kids to ski for the first time. And I took it snorkeling in Hawaii where the photos I shot were fun and colorful. And since the Canon works both above and below the waves, I have photos of my kids and my wife both on deck and swimming with the fish, which everyone in the family loves.
I've also taken my Canon A-1 on less exotic vacations. When the kids retire to the pool (which they always insist upon), I would formerly put my camera away and read a book. With my Canon A-1, I can now keep shooting -- from inside the pool. I have fun photos of my kids playing underwater (which are among their favorites from our vacations) -- and many great shots of other people teaching their kids -- and their babies -- to swim. (People actually love to have their pictures taken while in the pool.)
With its extra large viewfinder, the camera is easy to use underwater -- and on land. (All cameras should have a viewfinder this large.) And underwater photos are also point-and-shoot easy (and much better than any I've ever gotten from underwater disposable cameras).
I've even used my Canon A-1 at the Los Angeles Auto Show where it took great images of everything from Porsches to auto show booths, to the outside of the Staples Center at night (bracing the camera on a pole for a long exposure). The shots came out great using either flash or available light. The semi-wide angle 32mm lens was also good for taking in enough of the scene, especially of the cars up close.
This camera must be good. I do wish, though, that Canon made a zoom version of the A-1. And the camera is sometimes fooled by the lighting on overcast days, as are many point-and-shoot cameras. In these instances, I simply shoot close to my subject -- with fill flash -- and keep the amount of sky in my composition to a minimum. (On overcast days, the sky is often times brighter than objects on land causing the camera to mistakenly under-expose the photos. On sunny days, by contrast, the sky and land are actually of similar brightness.)
The Canon Sure Shot A-1 is an amazing camera -- at an equally astounding price (especially when compared to other underwater cameras). If ever I go back to Hawaii, I plan to take three A-1's with me -- so I won't need to reload film while snorkeling.
Don't let water or snow dissuade you from taking pictures -- get a Canon Sure Shot A-1.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2000
I have had one of these for 5 years now, and it continues to hold up to my abuse and give me great pictures. I bought this when I was in the Army and toted it around Bosnia for 8 months, all over Germany including backpacking and ski trips in the alps, and now I take with me mountain climbing in Colorado. I would have destroyed most cameras by now, but this one take pictures as good as the ones shot with my first roll. The light meters work great, and I've even managed to get some great night-time shots. I love this camera!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2000
I live in the Caribbean and I had many other cameras before and they were all riuned by constant sand getting into the edges and zoom lenses.It takes great picture underwater and can take a banging. I carried it on my European vacation and found the wide angle very very useful in taking pictures of large monuments at close distances, eg: The Vatican. My friends had to go way down the road to get the full picture, not to mention how great it handles the freak rains that come in those cities, its an all weather camera, definetly noooo regrets.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2000
I had owned my canon A1 sure shot for 4 years and found it to be a fantastic camera. My picture quality improved dramatically and its durable body seemed to survive even my most rugged outdoor trips. But recently in mexico my camera took on some salt water and now is completely destroyed! I was only snorkelling at the time, but on closer obsevation i notice that the waterproof seal had become covered in sand, had it not been for my lack of attention to cleaning this area i may still have my camera today.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
....This camera was darn-near perfect, no matter where I used it, be it under water or all the way to the top of Mount Etna. I made the rounds of the entire island, Germany, Israel, Spain, and a whole bunch of detachments in other places. As good as it was, it was bound to die eventually. I found it's only flaw, you can't cheat on the directions. They say to dampen the seal before swimming, and there's a reason for that. If you don't, it will leak under pressure and short out the whole thing. So be warned, READ THE INSTRUCTION BOOK! It's there for a reason. One bonus, it works to 20 feet, even though they say 16.5. So listen to someone who misses a faithful camera, wet the seal and this bad-boy will serve you for a long time. (I have 2 years of great pictures to prove it)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2001
Verified Purchase
I recently bought a Sure Shot A-1 because I've ruined 2 other very expensive cameras with saltwater & sand. I was a little skeptical about this camera because it is relatively inexpensive and simple compared to my SLR or the Minolta underwater camera. Well, I've shot about 10 rolls now, on the beach, in saltwater, swimming with the kids in Hawaii and hiking. This little camera takes terrific pictures in all settings. I'm especially impressed with the exposure control system which could have easily been tricked with lots of scattered light....but was not. The fill flash works well, even at high noon on Maui, breaking up harsh shadows and brightening colors.
I've also used the negatives with my Nikon Coolscan IV with great results as well...the digital images from the Sure Shot/Coolscan combination have been nearly as good as my Nikon Coolpix 990.
Two thumbs up on the A-1
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2001
This camera was very handy to have around. It did everything you would want in a point and shoot (timer,flash no flash,waterproof etc.)The body seemed fairly sturdy. So I thought. One of the hinges on the back broke--water got in---camera was trash. All in all it did a good job before this dreaded event. I would recommend the camera for anyone interested in lots of outdoor activities where water-rain could be an issue.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2001
I enjoyed this camera in Cancun where the water was very clear, haven't used it underwater anywhere else yet. You have to get fairly close for the underwater pics but they come out nice. The camera also works well on land. Photos come out clear, but you'll want to shoot a little closer that you might think. The color in the scenic shots came out beautiful. Good camera for vacation. I'd recommend it to a friend.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2000
Definitely the best purchase for outdoors enthusiasts who are not interested in speeds and apertures. The Canon Shureshot A1 is an all- weather jewel, the first time I used it was in the Iztaccíhuatl volcanoe at more than 4000 meters above sea level versus rain, wind, mud, snow and several falls.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2007
I bought a second hand A1 with reservation. I have a Canon 20D SLR with L-lens and a point and shoot Powershoot A95. On the fishing trip in July 2006 to Alaska, I was thinking of taking my fancy cameras, however, I was affraid of getting water into these cameras because the people that I travel with were really serious fishermen and they were going to be in the water most of the day. Thus, I took my A1 with me since I know the it is resistant to water. I have the camera in my chest wader most of the time so I can be ready for action shots. I finally took my film to Costco to develop in January 2007 (6 months after I took the pictures). To my surprise, the pictures turn out good. I think the pictures are just as good of a quality as my point and shoot digital Power Point camera. I am happy with the quality of the pictures. This camera will definitely be with me this coming summer trip to Yosemite's Merced river swimming trip. I got my used via the internet for fifty dollars...

Have fun taking pictures
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