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Canon AE-1 Program favori envoyer Print
Photos by GC text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of GC
France Version française

Chronology of the Canon brand  New window

Manufactured in Japon from 1981 until (After) 1984.
Index of rarity in France : Frequent (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 10514

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Canon AE-1 Program

Traduction de Manuel M

In April 1981, if  VGE (Valéry Giscard d’Estaing) was the man of liabilities (dixit François Mitterrand), the AE-1 was certainly not that of the past. Issued in 1977, it had already been sold to 4 million specimens and, in France, the sales continued to increase.
Canon, not to let fall down the bellows, preserved the best of this best seller, there added a program mode (completely programmed automatic exposure) available on A-1, improved display in the viewfinder by using LED, improved electronics, added a finger-rest- (as on A-1) to improve the catch in hand.

The other major changes compared to the AE-1 are the possibility of changing the glass of the viewfinder, that to share with A-1 the fast motor A-2.

The great innovation, which remains very debatable so much between the hands of the amateurs a little informed, is the Program mode. You will notice that the name, on the camera, is engraved in green. To make it function, it is enough all to put at the green: Ring aperture on the A (in green), speed on “Program” (in green). You do not have any more that to make the focusing, the rest is managed by the camera. The program imposes cuts-off, because the apaertures above 16 are not used by the program. Maximum speed is the thousandths of second. Above 16, the display in the viewfinder flickers to indicate one on-expostion.
If the P starts to flicker, it is that a speed equal or lower than the 1/60 is prescribed by the program and that there is risk of blur.
If aperture 1.4 or the 1 starts to flicker in the viewfinder, it is that there is under-exposure.

What remains about AE-1?

The general aspect, the bayonet, the textile roller-blind shutter (synchro at the 1/60).