Canon A1

  • Year : 1978
  • Dimensions :  14,1 x 9,15 x 4,75 cm
  • Weight : 620 g
  • Shutter speed (automatic) : 2s to 1/1 000 s +B
  • Iso : 6 to 12 800 ISO
  • Lens : Canon 50mm – f1.8 to f22
  • Focal Range : 0.6 to ∞
  • Batteries : K28L – 6v

If you merge a Canon AE1 with an AV1 you get the Canon A1. It is a bit bigger and heavier than the other two, but has a very similar design. It just has a few more features that make it even better. 

Like the A series, The Canon A1 is a DSLR (mirror camera) with a manual film advancer. It works with a K28L-6V battery, has a flash hot shoe, a tripod mount etc. 
What is special about the A1 is the different modes you can shoot with : auto mode (the camera chooses the speed and aperture depending on the light situation), Tv mode for shutter priority, Av mode for aperture priority, or in fully manual mode choosing aperture and shutter speed.
All these possibilities make this A1 a great camera to learn film photography and to adapt to many situations and preferences. With these modes, selecting the aperture and shutter speed is done by adjusting different dials around the shutter, which can be a bit tricky.
Next to this is the view counter, and next to the film advance lever is an on/off lever (L is off, A is on) and a timer for 2 or 10 seconds.

On the top of the body on the left hand side of the camera is the dial to set the iso of the film you are shooting with from 6 to 12 800 and an exposure compensation dial from 1/4 to 4 (to under or overexpose).
The viewfinder features a door and can be shut, It’s quite large and bright and features a display of the aperture and speed selected (that can be turned on/off by the little lever on top of the camera on the left).
In addition, one things that makes the A1 special is a small lever under the advance lever. With this lever you can chose to shoot another picture on the same frame several times, allowing double exposure or more and experiment very creative shots.

I got this Canon A1 online and picked it up in Lyon in 2017 for 100 euros. Here are some shots taken with it in provence in 2018 on Fuji C200 :