Versatile, reliable, hands on, yet a little tech savvy... all you could ever need to get those creative juices flowing.
image from here
I just recently got really into photography (Nov of 2008). My first camera was the Holga, a real gem. But, 120 film got to be a little frustrating at times, and I decided to purchase a 35 mm camera. My thought was that I’d take lessons off of this camera, and I wanted to make sure it would last for years to come. However, I did not want to spend loads of money on a new one, besides, I’ve always been a sucker for vintage things. So, I ended up purchasing an AE-1, circa 1976 – 1980, off of e-bay. And, I absolutely LOVE it. I’ve gotten some really great B & W photos, and I’ve been thrilled with the saturation of the expired color film I’ve used.
The Canon AE-1 is a great learning camera for beginners because it has a built in light meter (for those of us who have NO idea what we’re doing). Yet, the manual capabilities of the Canon AE-1 give you the option to be in complete artistic control.
I really can’t say enough about this camera. My only warning is to be careful when purchasing one off e-bay, or the like. Make sure you know what you are getting. I got really lucky and snagged one in great condition, with perks such as, the original manual, a powerful little flash, a telephoto lens, and more.