Canon AE-1 Program
|Canon AE-1 Program|
Film type: 35mm
The AE-1 Program is a 35mm SLR camera made by Canon in 1981. Canon describes it as a successor to the enormously successful AE-1, released five years earlier. though in some ways it is also accurate to call it a budget version of the more upmarket A-1. Many users wanted an entry-level SLR with the 'Program' (auto exposure) mode found on the A-1, whereas the earlier AE-1 has only shutter-priority AE (and metered-manual exposure). For this reason, when designing its successor, Canon added a program AE mode to the specification, and the AE-1 Program became even more popular than the AE-1.
Canon also upgraded the available power winder (winder A2 replacing the A1), and the camera can also be used with Motor Drive MA. The camera also has the A-1's 'Action Grip', the detachable (and so frequently lost) grip on the front right of the body, which lets the user more securely and comfortably hold the camera one-handed (with the right hand only.) The camera looks very similar to the original AE-1, but is internally quite different.
The A-series SLRs were built using some plastic parts (including metallised plastics for top and bottom covers, not always recognised as plastic) to a varying extent (the A-1 has less plastics than the AE-1P, including metal top and bottom covers; the AV-1 has more). This has sometimes been criticised as simple cost-cutting, but probably contributed as much to reducing the weight of the cameras, in a period when several Japanese makers were already doing this (as in, for example, the Pentax ME and Olympus OM-1).
Like all the A-series cameras, the Program can develop a 'squealing' fault of the mirror brake. This can be remedied by re-lubricating the mechanism. Failure to correct the fault can eventually lead to irreparable damage. Like the A-1 and AE-1, the Program's battery compartment door (a plastic part, even on the A-1) fails rather easily.
- AE-1 Program at the Canon Camera Museum,
- Tomosy, Thomas (1999) Camera Maintenance and Repair, Book 1, revised edition, 1999. Amherst Media Inc., Buffalo NY. ISBN0-936262-86-9. p97, primarily about the AE-1.
- As at January 2016, a replacement battery door for the AE-1 (which may fit other models) is offered by micro-tools.de.
- Modern Classics Review
- Canon AE-1 Program Camera Manual (PDF) : Photo-Manuals.com
- The A Team an article about the SLR A models, AE-1, AT-1, A-1, AV-1 and AE-1 Program at Classic Cameras by RaúlM.
- Lionel's Canon AE-1 Program overview at 35mm-compact.com (in French)
- AE-1 Program at www.collection-appareils.fr (in French)