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44 used & new from $90.00

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Canon AE-1 35mm Film Camera w/ 50mm 1:1.8 Lens

4.0 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews
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  • Canon AE-1 SLR 35mm Film Camera with Eye Cup
  • Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 Lens
  • Perfect for a student studying film photography who needs a fully manual SLR
42 used from $90.00 2 refurbished from $199.95

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Product Description

AE-1 35mm SLR Manual Focus Camera (Chrome) with 50, , 35mm Cameras

Product Information

Product Dimensions 9.9 x 8.1 x 6.2 inches
Item Weight 2.4 pounds
Shipping Weight 2.4 pounds
ASIN B00GTX4RCO
Item model number AE-1 Program
Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #266 in Camera & Photo
#1 in Electronics > Camera & Photo > Film Photography > Film Cameras > SLR Cameras
Date first available at Amazon.com June 23, 2009

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Emily A. Vernon on July 17, 2010
This is a great camera, it is a little outdated (it was made between 1976 and 1986) but takes wonderful pictures, considering if you know how to use it. It has a bit of a learning curve, you have to know how to meter and focus the camera by hand as it cannot do that by itself and you can't just snap the picture because then the lighting and focusing may be off. I would recommend this camera to anyone who is a serious photographer, a hobbyist, or someone who prefers film to digital. A great camera by any means, shame that they don't make cameras like this much anymore.
Note: If you have glasses (as I do) it may be hard to read the meter in the view finder so you have been warned.
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Full disclosure: I bought this camera from elsewhere. I adore it, though, and I'm spreading the word in as many places as will hear me out.

The AE-1 Program stands out in photography history as one of the most widely sold SLR models, a mantle it achieved by combining excellent quality with legendary ease of use. There are exactly five controls on an AE-1 Program, plus a wizardly Program mode that automates selection of aperture and exposure length. The five controls, for the record, are (1) exposure length (the dial next to the shutter button); (2) aperture (settable on the lens body's aperture ring); (3) ASA sensitivity (or ISO; settable on the dial under the rewind crank); (4) focus (settable with the focus ring on the lens body); and (5) exposure lock (the silver-rimmed button beside the lens mount).

Shooting the AE-1 Program is easy: hold the shutter button halfway down to turn on the meter; if you're in Program mode, it tells you the F-stop it'll use (to the nearest full stop), and if the yellow P is flashing, that's a sign you need to use a tripod or find better light -- the exposure length will be too long to hand-hold the camera and avoid camera shake. You can do everything manually, as I do, if you want to learn about photography in its purest form. Focus, regrettably (or happily, as the case may be), is fully manual, but with the rangefinder on the focusing screen, it's pretty easy -- source a manual for this body on the Web if you're curious as to how it works. The viewfinder is nice and big and bright, much better than today's digital SLRs with their tiny finders.

My example had lived in a closet for 20-odd years and worked like a charm; I was lucky in that regard. The included 50mm f/1.
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I've always said that people today don't have much appreciation for most of the arts they take on as a hobby (in this case photography). If you're serious about photography as a hobby or part-time do yourself a favor and buy a film camera before splurging on a DSLR. It may seem unproductive but it's anything but. A film camera will force you (and help you) to learn the terminology involved in DSLR's and photography in general. You WILL learn techniques even if you don't take any course what-so-ever.

I got this camera (Canon AE-1) and it's successor, the Canon AE-1 Program, as a gift from my parents. The cameras where the same ones they bought when the model was launched and I was surprised to see them still function perfectly easily rivaling entry level SLR's. I've shot with both cameras and prefer them to my Canon digital SLR. The only real cons with shooting film is the price of film vs. the price of digital storage and the interval between taking the shot and seeing the results which is also the driving force behind the appreciation of photography as an art.

The colors produced by this camera give a soft feeling of nostalgia and the focus seems soft. The pictures look professionally taken even with the soft focus and they are sure to amaze. Buy the camera and learn on it... you might find yourself using it as a secondary camera for more "specialized" shots.
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Verified Purchase
This camera works wonderfully and despite some initial trouble with the post office the seller was able to ship out a new unit to me personally. They included a free flash which I appreciate, but I was concerned that the package had to be split into two so the flash and the lens shipped in one package and the camera body in another leaving the inner mirrors of the body exposed to dust and air. Other than that, a good buying experience and a good purchase.
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The original (non-program) Canon AE-1, introduced in 1976, was a groundbreaking product, being the first microprocessor-controlled camera. Backed by a major marketing campaign, it sold tremendously well and introduced a whole lot of people (myself included) to the world of the SLR. It was aimed at the amateur, and as such lacked several features, which limited its capabilities; it also lacked a lot of metal (the body is mainly plastic), which made it comfortably lightweight but which also led to some pretty serious durability issues over the long run. But within its range and given its target audience it was (and remains) a nifty little product. I have spent long hours behind an AE-1 and can speak from experience.

The AE-1 is easy to load and operate, and extremely comfortable in the hand, ergonomic, and easy to handle as well. It can accommodate the excellent range of FD lenses, giving it a lot of versatility in this regard (note: the modern and even better line of Canon EF lenses won't fit it). It's made to be shot in automatic, and its sole automatic mode is shutter priority (no aperture priority, no program, no specialty settings). While you can shoot in manual mode, it is a bit of a pain to do so because there's no indication in the viewfinder of what your aperture setting is (or your shutter speed setting either, for that matter); instead you can see only the camera's recommended aperture setting. (Action shooting in manual, while technically possible, is very difficult as well as totally pointless.) And the center-weighted meter has its drawbacks when your picture isn't particularly evenly lighted. In short, this camera is geared to snapshot-style photography of the sort that amateurs are wont to engage in, in fair-to-good lighting conditions.
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