1982 Canon A-1

1982 Canon A-1
single lens reflex
135 (ISO 6 – 12800)
Canon FD mount
1/1000 – 30s , Bulb
PX28 (4LR44)
$625 (equal to $2,622 in 2021)
7F (received) / 6E (current)

This was my dad’s camera, and now it’s my go-to for candid low light photography. My dad literally never used the 50mm kit lens, but it’s the only one I use. The f1.4 50mm prime lens paired with a roll of Kodak P3200 or Ilford Delta 3200 Pro is perfect for capturing evening gatherings at the local brewery. I do enjoy the totally 80s shutter and aperture read-outs in the viewfinder. Unlike other cameras from this vintage which simply show a needle or lighted dots next to the selected setting, this camera displays the actual value. The segmented setting display is so vintage, and very cool.

According to a contemporary advertisement


Six-mode exposure control. System versatility. Newer electronics for wider applications.

The incredible Canon A-1. It’s on the cutting edge of technology, with state-of-the-art electronics and computerized operation.

Yet, although the way we build it is complex, the way you use it is the ultimate in simplicity. If push-button-easy fine photography is what you’re after, the A-1 can give it to you six ways.

1 Shutter-Priority automation: You pick the speed to freeze or blur action or prevent camera shake, the A-1 picks the perfect aperture automatically.

2 Aperture-Priority automation: Select the aperture you want for a soft background or total overall sharpness, the A-1 will give you the speed that’s correct.

3 Programmed automation: On the A-1, this unique exposure mode picks both aperture and speed in ideal combinations depending on the light. You don’t have to set anything.

4 Stopped-Down automation: This mode lets you get automatic exposure with any lens or accessory you can mount on the camera. Great for astrophotography, photomicrography, close-ups.

5 Flash automation: The A-1 has the easiest electronic flash of any camera of its type. With special Canon flash units, your aperture and speed are set automatically. Just mount the flash, turn it on and shoot for perfect exposure every time.

6 For any type of photography that’s not already covered, there’s manual.

There’s more. Digital control and viewfinder display. Versatile control features. Accessories like a rugged motor drive, compact motorized film winder and interchangeable date/data back. Plus forty Canon FD lenses for unsurpassed image quality and scope.

You won’t find another camera like it on the face of the earth. Because only Canon had the technology to make it. Luckily, you don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to get an A-1. Only as far as your local Canon dealer.

Photos from this A-1

Sounds from this A-1

Shutter release
Film wind

External Resources