Let’s Enjoy an SLR Film Camera in the 70s – The Canon AE-1 with a Continuous Shooting Mode
If you choose a camera that represents the age of 1970, the Canon AE-1 will definitely come first to your options.
The AE-1 took the world by storm with a keyword of the SLR film camera having a continuous shooting mode. Further, it offered some remarkable features enough to change the trend of SLR film cameras at that time, such as an automatic exposure, a winder at low cost, and an affordable price due to mass production.
On the occasion of introducing the AE-1, other companies launched their new models in the same level of the AE-1. Then, the AE-1 could change a history of film cameras, remaining both in records and people’s heart.
About the Canon AE-1
The AE-1 is an affordable automatic exposure camera with an automatic film winding and rewinding.
Now, let’s take a look at its sophisticated features and outstanding performances.
Features and Specifications of the Canon AE-1
Here are the AE-1’s features and specifications. The AE-1 is a 35mm SLR film camera with a shutter priority AE mode.
The reason why Canon has achieved top shares for its products at the average selling price today is the AE-1 made the greatest contribution to the history of Canon’s SLR cameras.
Achieving a Shutter-Priority AE Mode at Low Cost
The AE-1 was released in April of 1976. Taking that age into consideration, it is a significant specification that a camera has a shutter priority AE mode regardless of the affordable price ranges.
The AE-1 is sold at the price of 50,000 yen, while a unit including a 50mm F1.4 lens is 81,000 yen. This is actually about 20,000 yen lower than other previous SLR cameras with an AE mode, resulting in even more closely intertwined with people’s camera life.
In addition, the AE-1 features a shutter priority AE mode.
In spite of such practical use of both the aperture and shutter priority AE modes today, a discussion on which is more convenient to use was continuing from the 60s to 70s.
Especially, Canon is well known as a camera manufacturer to focus on improving a shutter priority mode. Therefore, it is kind of essential to install a shutter priority AE system on the AE-1, which reduces failures due to camera shake.
A Winder Delivering a Continuous Shooting Mode
The AE-1 requires using a winder by default. Further, a winder is a camera accessory to advance films automatically. It works when attaching directly to the bottom of the body.
In fact, the AE-1 has become the first camera that allows you to continuously take photos with pushbutton simplicity, although a built-in winder is so common after the late of the 80s.
Other Specifications of the AE-1
The AE-1 can deliver all standard functions that other company’s average cameras have, and in some cases, this sophisticated camera is by far superior to any other cameras.
The AE-1 has a horizontal cloth focal plane shutter that handles shutter speed from 2 seconds to 1/1000th of a second. Then, its flash synchronization speeds up to 1/60th of a second. Of course, the AE-1 has an electronic shutter system just like other AE models.
The AE-1 uses a 4LR44 battery, which is still available to buy today. It has a manual exposure mode.
In addition to a center-weighted average metering that the AE-1 uses a reliable SPC (silicon photocell), instead of a CdS which used to be the most popular light receiving element until in the early 70s.
While offering high quality of experiences to users, the AE-1 can advance films little by little in manual mode.
The Earlier Model with a Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The AE-1’s small CPU achieved high performance at low cost.
As compared to the previous AE models using analog circuitry, the AE-1 succeeded greatly reducing the number of components both because it achieved a 4bit CPU and because of computerization.
Canon continued to improve its camera computerization such as the A-1 and T series and finally completed the EOS series in the late 80s.
About the Canon AE-1 and AE SLR camera
In the history of SLR cameras, it is true that the AE-1 created a new standard of automatic film advancing and an AE mode. In fact, competing companies introduced cameras all at once, having the same quality of the AE-1.
SLR Cameras after the AE-1
From 1976 (AE-1) to 1985 (Minoltaα7000, often called as a α-shock), I believe all cameras, which produced by Japanese camera manufacturers, have been more or less influenced by the AE-1.
The AE-1’s high performance and good price are so epoch-making facts.
In December of 1976, after eight months from the first release of the AE-1 (in April of 1976), the PENTAX ME with an AE mode was introduced with a winder.
The PENTAX ME’s original price was 50,000 yen. It is obvious that the ME was sold on the basis of its competitive product pricing (*the ME was an aperture priority automatic camera).
After that, each company has introduced cameras with an aperture priority mode only or with a manual mode. Because of the AE-1’s cost reduction, some companies changed their business strategy from making high-end cameras only to including popular models as well or withdrew from the market.
The MINOLTA XG-E (1977), OLYMPUS OM10 (1979), Nikon EM (1980, sale in Japan only), and MINOLTA X-7 (1980); It is like they are all children of the AE-1.
Feeling Atmospheres of the 70s with the AE-1
When it comes to the cameras produced in the 70s, it tends to talk about a mechanical camera with a manual mode such as the Nikon F2, Canon F-1 (a previous model), and PENTAX MX.
However, the AE series including the AE-1 definitely received a lot of attentions from photographers in the 70s. If you want to feel the good old days, the AE-1 can be a perfect camera!
Just attaching a winder on the AE-1 and walking through the streets in the city, you feel like you are actually there in 1976.
You will calm and refresh your mind by looking through a finder of this memorable camera!Search for “Canon AE-1”