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The Canon A-1 SLR is the first camera to be equipped with digital computer chip having Pure-Integrated Injection Logic to offer accurate autoexposure metering. This camera can be used with Canon FD, FL, and R series lenses. The camera uses the TTL center-weighted average metering by silicon photocell. It includes up to five autoexposure modes as well as the option of manual override. The fixed eye-level viewfinder can be used to compose the shot. It also has standard split-image microprism rangefinder to assist you in focusing. The instant-return type mirror with shock-absorbing mechanism prevents image cut-off. Use the exposure memory function to lock the current exposure value when switching between shots. You can mount an external flash to the accessory shoe. The AT dial can be used along with the AE selector as it shows shutter speed scale when the selector is set to TV and aperture scale when the selector is set at Av. The camera is powered by a single 6V silver oxide battery.
Optics and Focus
The camera is compatible with Canon FD, FL, and R series lenses. It uses the TTL center-weighted average metering system that is powered by a silicon photocell. Turn the AE mode selector dial to select either the shutter priority or aperture priority AE mode. You can adjust the film speed from ASA 6 to 12800 in 1/3 step increments. The exposure lock prevents blur caused by vibration during exposure metering. With manual override, the camera allows you to adjust the AE settings as per your requirement. This camera provides a maximum shutter speed range of 1/1000th of a second.
Sensor and Screen
Compose the shots by using the fixed eye-level pentaprism viewfinder. It gives 0.83× magnification with a 50mm lens at infinity. The viewfinder covers 93.4% of the vertical frame and 95.3% of the horizontal frame. A split-image rangefinder is incorporated into the viewfinder to aid you in focusing. In the viewfinder, you can see the aperture scale, shutter speed, incorrect exposure flash warning, bulb indication, error indication for stopping down, and more. You can switch off the indication by turning the viewfinder display.
Image and Video
The camera accepts 35mm film rolls to take photos. Thanks to the multi-slot take-up spool, the film loading process becomes a breeze. The film advance lever has a 120° winding angle and 30° stand-off. You can also wind the film with several short strokes. An optional motor drive can be attached to the camera for achieving automatic winding. The camera allows you to take multiple exposures on a single frame.
The Canon A-1 comes with an accessory shoe with automatic flash and synchronization contacts to mount an external flash. A PC outlet is also provided to connect cord-type flash units. The camera automatically synchronizes the electronic flash at 1/60th of a second. You can manually synchronize the flash at 1/30th of a second. With the automatic flash function, the aperture opening is automatically adjusted according to flash setting. The number of used frames are denoted in the frame counter. Find out whether the battery is exhausted or not by pressing the battery check button.