Canon A1 Reviews

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★★★★★

“What a camera ! ! ! I have two of the Canon A1. One...”

Written on: 12/03/2008 by Sooprman44 (1 review written)

What a camera ! ! ! I have two of the Canon A1. One was purchased by my Grandfather in the early 80's. The other by my father around the same time. I have since inherited both of them. I also have several of the AE-1's. Three to be exact. Thank god they both purchased a large assortment of lenses as well. Got them too. All of my Canon cameras take beautiful photographs. They are not as rugged as my old Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic, But that one was made in the 60's and it still works like a… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“I have had my Canon A1 for around 25 years I have...”

Written on: 02/03/2008 by Billy Moffet (1 review written)

I have had my Canon A1 for around 25 years I have always loved using it and it has never let me down. When I purchased it, it was expensive and as an amateur I couldn't really justify the cost. Now 25 years later the initial outlay is justified at around £0.60 per year. You can't even buy a decent newspaper for that!
A classic that is still going strong and I prefer the A1 to my digital… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Had mine for over 20 years now. ”

Written on: 23/02/2008 by bds1958 (1 review written)

Had mine for over 20 years now.
Brilliant pictures.
Just upgraded to EOS 400D and look back at my A-1 with fond memories.
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★★★★★

“love the Canon A1 camera so so reliable its like an...”

Written on: 16/01/2008

love the Canon A1 camera so so reliable its like an old friend who goes everywhere with me… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“The Canon A1 is a superb conventional 35mm camera.”

Written on: 15/06/2007 by jmrackowe (15 reviews written)

The Canon A1 is a superb conventional 35mm camera… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“I have taken thousands of photographs with my Canon...”

Written on: 03/11/2006 by vannbaker (1 review written)

I have taken thousands of photographs with my Canon A1s, with films ranging from Kodachrome 25 and 64 to medium and high speed color print film as well as a range of black/white film.

The camera has a great feel and balance, and has full manual control for virtually any type of subject matter, from macro photography using bellows or experimental night photography, or "Program" mode when I just want to focus and shoot.

My favorite lens is the Canon 35-70 FD lens, it's not too long or too… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Starting last year I decided to get back into...”

Written on: 19/05/2006 by Stephen Anthony (1 review written)

Starting last year I decided to get back into photography after leaving it alone for 20 years, so I joined a local club and blended into the background and watched and learned. I purchased a couple of Nikon autofocus SLR's (F55 & F65), but the results were disappointing, then I spotted a Canon A1 on Ebay and took a risk and purchased it for £45. Also included in the sale was a Canon 28mm f2.8 wide angle lens. This combination and the amazing Fujichrome Velvia 50 slide film this year won me… Read Full Review

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Kriptone's Response to Stephen Anthony's Review

Written on: 27/05/2006

I have both (A1 and T90) and while the A1 is superb the T90 is out of this world and definitely superior in terms of ergonomics, performance and specification. I also have a number of lenses: 24mm, 50mm. 28-200mm, 70-210mm and two 2x converters plus dedicated flash (300TL, works with A1 and T90). However have recently gone digital so am looking to sell my 35mm equipment.If you can persuade the wife it really IS a good idea, would you be interested???

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★★★★★

“The Canon A1 35mm SLR is a classic camera, surpassed...”

Written on: 17/05/2006 by Ieuanfawr (68 reviews written)

The Canon A1 35mm SLR is a classic camera, surpassed only by the F1.

I have had mine since about 1980, and have four lenses: 2 zooms and two fixed focal length. I also have the 199 Speedlight which is very powerful, and will work with lenses as wide as 24mm. I did have the motor drive (now sold) which was quite remarkable. It would consume 36 frames of film in about 5 secs, and the batteries didn't last much longer. The Speedlight could keep up for bursts of 4 or 5 frames before needing to… Read Full Review

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Kriptone's Response to Ieuanfawr's Review

Written on: 27/05/2006

While I agree that the A1 is a superb camera I have to take issue with your comment about it only being surpassed by the F1. What about the T90?? I have both (A1 and T90) and the T90 is definitely superior in terms of ergonomics, performance and specification. I also have a number of lenses: 24mm, 50mm. 28-200mm, 70-210mm and two 2x converters plus dedicated flash (300TL, works with A1 and T90). However have recently gone digital so am looking to sell my 35mm equipment. Interested???

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Ieuanfawr's Response to Ieuanfawr's Review

Written on: 30/05/2006

I have to take issue with your comment about it only being surpassed by the F1. What about the T90??
True, it was outstanding, not least with 1/125th sec flash sync, but sadly it was only on sale for about a year and never caught on with the pros. It was bit like BetaMax VCRs. Technically excellent but never took off commercially.
However have recently gone digital so am looking to sell my 35mm equipment. Interested???
Likewise!
Meanwhile, I see Canon have halted development of film cameras. :(
http://news.com.com/Canon+to+halt+development+of+film+cameras/2100-1041_3-6076876.html?tag=nefd.top

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★★★★☆

“I have had my Canon A1 35mm SLR camera for 25 years....”

Written on: 05/12/2005 by Andyg009 (1 review written)

I have had my Canon A1 35mm SLR camera for 25 years. It is a good camera, and I have taken many good pictures.

I have considered buying a second one… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“I have been using a Canon A1 camera for my coursework...”

Written on: 31/10/2005 by Chris Orwell (2 reviews written)

I have been using a Canon A1 camera for my coursework on photography at college. It has never let me down once and the last owner used it for 15 years very regularly and never had any problems… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“The Canon A1 SLR may be the best manual focus camera...”

Written on: 08/09/2005 by steve marino (1 review written)

The Canon A1 SLR may be the best manual focus camera ever made. It had features that were way ahead of its time, like the LED readout in the viewfinder, that shows aperture and shutter speed, and the ability to change both with just one knob on the top of the camera. The 'snick' of the shutter is a great sound. It can take beautiful images, and is compatible with many, many great FD lenses. With a power winder, it can be focused without taking your eye from the viewfinder. A fine piece of… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“When my Canon A1 35mm SLR camera appeared to give up...”

Written on: 13/05/2004 by jcollins30 (2 reviews written)

When my Canon A1 35mm SLR camera appeared to give up the ghost I put it in a cupboard and forgot about it. That was 2 years ago. I recently got the photography bug again and started to scan the net for inspiration on what camera (digital I suppose) to buy. low and behold all this praise for the antique and humble A1!. Mine is now being serviced and I hope to carry on using it for a few more years with renewed enthusiasm… Read Full Review

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188987_Afjwa's Response to jcollins30's Review

Written on: 12/04/2005

I've always been sorry that mine was stolen and that I didn't replace it. My current Canon EOS A2E is a wonderful camera, but my old A1 was just great. You're lucky to have your A1!

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Ieuanfawr's Response to jcollins30's Review

Written on: 17/05/2006

Nip over to central Liverpool - http://www.newton-ellis.co.uk/, Newton and Ellis, 29 Cheapside, Liverpool L2 2DY, Tel: 0151 236 1391.

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Nickybloch's Response to jcollins30's Review

Written on: 11/08/2005

Help my Canon A1 needs repair!!
<br>I live in Northern Ireland. Anywhere in UK would be fine!
<br>Any ideas??
<br>Message date: 11/8/2005

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★★★★★

“A EOS10D, EOS 5 and a T90 before that my Canon A1 was...”

Written on: 03/04/2004 by wannsee (1 review written)

A EOS10D, EOS 5 and a T90 before that my Canon A1 was not getting any use. Then just for fun I put a roll through the A1 35mm SLR Cameras!!
All of a sudden I became a photographer again, yes the A1 is my main camera again !!! So if you can get one or even 2 it will never let you down and maybe your photography will even improve !!… Read Full Review

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★★★★☆

“I purchased a Canon A1 this summer when I was...”

Written on: 10/11/2003 by basebleed (1 review written)

I purchased a Canon A1 this summer when I was deploying to Iraq with the U.S. Army. I Have an EOS Rebel 2000, but on previous trips to the desert I have seen Auto Focus systems fail because of sand and rough conditions. I don't agree that this is a delicate camera. it survived a 300 mile road march being bounced around in a humvee. The sand was terrible and we hit bumps that bounced my head off the ceiling. The camera was being stored in a .50 cal ammo can and must have taken a good pounding… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“The Cannon A1 is a great camera for general...”

Written on: 08/09/2003 by oniko (35 reviews written)

The Cannon A1 is a great camera for general photography.you have AV for landscapes. TV for sports and movement. full manual that you can see and control in the viewfinder. as well as programme that your pet cat could use. it uses the same lenses that the F1N and AE-1 use, and look how many of those cameras are still giving great service.
its able to take a huge range of cheap s/hand lens and runs on a cheap 6 volt battery.
it has metal in the body and guts of it, not lots and lots of… Read Full Review

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Oniko's Response to oniko's Review

Written on: 09/10/2003

oniko here,i have just brought a second s/hand body to go with my first one.
<br>
<br>its nice to be able to read your exposures in low light with its red lcd's.

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★★☆☆☆

“I used an A-1 years ago. I remember at that time...”

Written on: 24/06/2003 by Manje Richardson. (1 review written)

I used an A-1 years ago. I remember at that time Canon was still marketing its clumsy two-handed breechlock mount system as 'superior'. But when EOS arrived, Canon immediately dropped the breech ring for a bayonet lock like of its competitors! Back in the late 1970s this was a modern camera, but today there are more modern systems on the market that provide more shooting options. Because it's long since been discontinued, only used cameras and lenses are available. Canon dropped all bodies… Read Full Review

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118042_Brooke Willson.'s Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 23/07/2003

I was never crazy about the A-1, but this reviewer's comments about the Canon breechlock are completely off base. It was never a "two-handed" system: when the lens was mounted on the camera, the locking ring turned by itself to ensure the lens didn't fall off. One then tightened the ring to snug. The genius of the breechlock was that it was the only quick-mount that adjusted for wear. To take the lens off, one grasped the ring, turned, and removed the lens. Used breechlock lenses are still priced higher than bayonets.
<br>
<br>Thousands of loyal Canon users like myself were so appalled when Canon switched to the cheap and awful "bayonet" system that we switched to other cameras. I regret having done that: my F1n is still the best 35mm camera I've ever used (I've owned Nikon, Pentax, and Olympus), and the lenses as good or better than any.
<br>

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Mistyish's Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 30/08/2008

I totally disagree with the reviewer. In fact the A1 is a far robust camera than many of its competitors of the time. I still use my own and it has never needed any repairs. My daughter who is 11 years old has recently taken some very good photographs. The A1 like the Nikon FE2, Contax RTS2 etc are fantastic tools for creating great photographs as many photographers the world over have proved.

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Alun Jenner's Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 31/07/2004

I must disagree with the reviewer's comments. I bought a Canon A-1 in 1984. It is still in mint condition. At the time it's reviews were outstanding. In my view it's build quality is not far behind my Olympus E-1. Considering the advances since then this is an outstanding achievement. The A-1 is a timeless classic!

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Cbrmac's Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 05/07/2004

Absolute rubbish, the Canon A1 is one of the finest Canons ever made short of the F-1 shutter noise due to lack of servicing, like all mechanical parts require lubricating, after twenty plus years still going strong, sadly some so called photographers can't take pics unless using 4,000 sec shutter speeds, 1,000 asa with a f1.2 lens :-)

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Roadkilltl's Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 27/04/2004

I dont agree with this review at all! I have been using this model camera for many years and my father used it for many years before that.
<br>
<br>READERS BEWARE! This really is an EXCELLENT CAMERA!!! It is a bargain today and you can find a lot of used equipment that is in good shape. Just the fact that you can find 25 year-old equipment still in mint shape means that people really thought this camera was excellent and worth keeping in good shape!

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Phil J's Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 21/12/2003

What rot! The A1, granted, is an old camera, and is supassed by many modern equivelents. However, it's my thinking that this review was submitted by someone who had only ever used auto-everything cameras, and don't know the history, enginuity and great following of the Canon marque. The breech locking lenses are great, one-handed and quick changing. Top shutter speed of 1/1000 - so what? It's fast enough for most people, or Canon would have produced higher speeds for the camera; they spent a large amount of money on making the A1 and AE1 for a specific market, so, if you want faster speeds, look at another camera. The infamous "squeek" is a problem, but is easily remedied by a trip to your local camera repair man. As for the comment about you buying a discontinued camera, with no parts or support from the company, it doesn't matter. I have found that independent specialists have more knowledge of a product that the people that make it: because it's thier business to do so.
<br>
<br>In sumation: If you want a reliable, dependable rugged camera, and don't mind forgoing modern trappings such as multi-segment metering and autofocus, then buy a Canon A1. Cheaper than its contemories (OM2/3, Nikon F2 etc) then you will not regret it. They are a great camera that will certaily outlast thier modern conterparts.

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123341_Ray Mancuso.'s Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 21/08/2003

Having used both new and old Canon systems I don't share the critics view of the alledged qualities of the breechlock mount or the A-1 for that matter. The old cloth shutter on this camera has a lousy flash sync speed and ruined many a outdoor flash photo for me before I switched to newer equipment. The breechlock is a solution to a problem that never existed - it does take two separate hand movements to operate, and mount/flange wear in real life isn't a problem to anyone using a camera with a stainless or plated metal mount unless they're hanging unsupported megatelephotos off it. Bottom line - if you buy the A1 you're buying a discontinued model with discontinued lenses and no parts support from the manufacturer.

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Gary Land.'s Response to 110397_Manje Richardson.'s Review

Written on: 30/07/2003

This review is totally off base and misleading to someone not familiar with the legendary Canon A-1. I think that the fact that a camera introduced over 25 years ago is still being widely used and written about today is enough contradictory evidence to show that the reviewer’s opinion is certainly not that of people that really know photography and more specifically the Canon A-1. The reviewer states that he “used an A-1 years ago” which is a hint that the recently written review is not based off sound data. I still have and use an A-1 that I purchased in 1979. My remarks about the A-1 are based off 24 years of using these cameras.
<br>
<br>The reviewer speaks of it’s “clumsy two-handed breech lock mount system”. First, I have never had to use two hands. Second, so what if it did take two hands? Why is this even an issue? It takes all of about 5 seconds to change a lens. The reviewer states that the cloth shutter tends to stick at times. I have four A-1’s and I have never had a problem with the shutter sticking, not even the one that is 24 years old, and the “squeal” the author refers to is simply a result of lack of lubrication. Most any moving part needs lubrication from time to time if it is expected to continue to give good service. As far as broke or taped battery doors, I have never had a problem with this either. This problem is a result of rough handling by owners and not a flaw of the camera. I have no idea what the reviewer means by “the circuitry is fairly delicate – these cameras are easily damaged by use of certain flash guns.” The reviewer fails to state what he bases this statement on. However, I have never known of anyone having a problem of this type with an A-1. The reviewer lists the top shutter speed of 1/1000 as a bad point. This is really reaching to try to find something negative with this camera. It would be a really rare situation where 1/1000 would be too slow of a shutter speed. I doubt that the average photographer would ever have a need for a faster shutter speed. The reviewer states the camera is totally dependant on batteries as if this was something unique to the A-1. What modern camera is not dependant on batteries?
<br>
<br>The reviewer ends the review by saying “because of these issues I would not recommend this camera.” However, the reviewer has not presented any legitimate reasons for not recommending it. This person’s review should be discounted either due to lack of knowledge of the camera or due to some agenda other than unbiased advise to people interested in a good camera. I have used Canon A-1’s for over 24 years and I would rate this camera a 10 out of 10 in all areas for what it is designed for. These cameras can be bought today for reasonable prices and there are an unlimited supply of lens and accessories readily available. Most shutter squeal and light seal issues can be fixed for a minimal fee. Buy an A-1 and you will see why it is still being used and discussed 25 years after its introduction.
<br>

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★★★★★

“I love the Canon A1 camera too, I've taken some...”

Written on: 04/08/2002 by john willick. (1 review written)

I love the Canon A1 camera too, I've taken some amazing pictures with it… Read Full Review

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43096_Gavin.'s Response to 31801_john willick.'s Review

Written on: 11/10/2002

The fact that canon changed the lens mount (to the EF system) isn't really a bad point. It means there is a huge supply of fantastic lenses out there at low prices. I certainly agree that the A1 is a fantastic camera!!

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371903_Jdevorak's Response to 31801_john willick.'s Review

Written on: 06/06/2008

I just bought an A-1 online and when I pressed the shutter release button the shutter got stuck open. Does anyone know what to do to fix it or did buy a faulty product?
<br/>

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Ieuanfawr's Response to 31801_john willick.'s Review

Written on: 29/04/2008

After almost 30 years of ownership, I've sold my A1 on Fleabay. I had to accept I wasn't using it anymore, and my dream of a digital back plate wasn't going to happen.
<br/>
<br/>There was some bronzing on the top corners, but the shutter worked quietly as it did when new. It had been professionally serviced many times to ensure accurate metering and all the electronics and mechanicals were working perfectly.
<br/>
<br/>I also sold a 199A Speedlite and four FD lenses, two fixed focus, two zooms. All were in good working order, hardly mark on them despite years of use.
<br/>
<br/>The price was about what I'd been offered in a local photographic shop - not much in other words.
<br/>
<br/>The A1 is dead, long live the A1!

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360806_Krystia's Response to 31801_john willick.'s Review

Written on: 20/04/2008

My father gave me his A-1 with the original manual (thankfully). I've dusted it off and looking to somehow obtain a battery for it. I'm guessing I should take it in to a shop and have it professionally serviced/cleaned. Also interested in getting a flash attachment for it. If anyone knows of online suppliers for this camera, please inform. I have two other Canons but I realize the A-1 is one of the best cameras to get started with for serious hobbying.

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Ieuanfawr's Response to 31801_john willick.'s Review

Written on: 17/05/2006

The battery is a 6v PX28. Any decent photographic dealer will supply one.

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Zihodes's Response to 31801_john willick.'s Review

Written on: 15/01/2005

I purchased an A1 the minute it was available the summer of 1978, at Ferrari Camera in Boston. I haven't used it for years, but would like to resurrect it. Does anyone know the battery type used in the camera - I took the last one out and apparently threw it away some time ago.

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Tahir Alavi's Response to 31801_john willick.'s Review

Written on: 26/09/2003

I have an A-1 sinse 1980. Superb camera.
<br>The battery is replaced from the front by sliding open the lock besides the lens in front and repalacing the single cell ....perhaps of C series.
<br>Dr. Tahir Alavi

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116241_Bob.'s Response to 31801_john willick.'s Review

Written on: 16/07/2003

My battery is dead and I can't figure out how to replace it! I too love my A1 and have had it for years. But I've never changed the battery, and now I don't know how. Help!

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68569_Jaye.'s Response to 31801_john willick.'s Review

Written on: 28/01/2003

I believe that that noise you are hearing is the infamous Canon squeak. I heard tht noise on a site that specializes in fixing that problem. It is due to the drying out of certain areas in the camera. It can be repaired by some camera shops, where they re lubricate the mirror area. If you search Canon A-1 sites you can also find info on how to do it yourself. But professional application is best in my opinion. This is a problem with Canon's A-series cameras.

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67892_Woolfie.'s Response to 31801_john willick.'s Review

Written on: 25/01/2003

I have an A1 and have always been happy with it. I have always used Canons. My A1 is now experiencing a 'zippp' noise when the shutter is released. I understand this is fairly common, and I seem to recall having the same problem with my old AE-1. Whats the problems and how do I fix it?

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Lasse.'s Response to 31801_john willick.'s Review

Written on: 18/01/2003

Hello! What is a fair price for a used A1? I´m very new to photographing: How does the blitz function, when it isn't built in?

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64854_Jaye.'s Response to 31801_john willick.'s Review

Written on: 13/01/2003

This is a spectacular camera. With quality features. A seasoned marvel, used by photographers of many levels. I must say I love A1 also

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★★★★★

“THE CANON A1 IS THE BEST MANUAL SLR CAMERA EVER PRODUCED”

Written on: 09/01/2002 by JANE. (1 review written)

THE CANON A1 IS THE BEST MANUAL SLR CAMERA EVER PRODUCED… Read Full Review

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42550_Jon.'s Response to 8960_JANE.'s Review

Written on: 08/10/2002

Hey- I like your review of the Canon A1, and I cannot agree more. I am a beginner to photography, and was given the A1 from my father as a beginners gift. I am looking for a flash that would best suit this camera and the pictures it takes. Please tell me which flash you would recommend for a beginner.
<br>
<br>Thanks-
<br>Jon

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Ieuanfawr's Response to 8960_JANE.'s Review

Written on: 17/05/2006

Ideally you need the 199 Speedlite, but I expect they're hard to find now.

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Jm Xu.'s Response to 8960_JANE.'s Review

Written on: 23/07/2003

In 1986 I bought my Canon A1. A1 is a nice camera. I used it for near 17 years, but it runs very well now. I love A1 for ever!

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51049_Jaye.'s Response to 8960_JANE.'s Review

Written on: 14/11/2002

Great review. I just recieved my Canon A1. I own a AE-1, which is a wonderful camera. I love it, and the picture quality is "superb". I am a Nikon_guy, who is falling for Canons, hmmmm. I know that the A1, is got to be top of the line, which it is. A great camera.

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