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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)

Good Points
Not expensive to buy used

Bad Points
A-1 has a low top shutter speed, and slow flash sync. There are also some repair issues with this model.

General Comments
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 and lenses for the A-1 some time ago. Good lens bargains are out there, but you must examine them carefully as many now have haze or scratches on the glass, or broken breechlocks.

Canons of this vintage have some problems. The A-1 has a cloth shutter, and tends to stick at times or emit the dreaded Canon 'squeal'. Many used examples have broken or taped battery doors, and the electronic circuitry is fairly delicate - these cameras are easily damaged by use of certain flashguns. Nearly all A-1s will need a good cleaning and replacement of gummy seals at this time in their lives.

Top shutter speed is 1/1000 only, with a slow flash syncronization speed, and since the camera is totally dependent on batteries even in 'B' mode, you will drain batteries fast with long exposures. Because of these issues I would not recommend this camera.

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