Most people prefer Canon AE-1 over AV-1. The main difference between them is shutter speed priority and aperture priority. While most people prefer to control the shutter speed to avoid blurry images, I personally prefer to control the depth of field.
Canon AV-1 is a manual focus aperture priority camera. It doesn’t come with manual mode so you can’t control the shutter speed. However, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. It is a great camera to use when learning about photography and it doesn’t mess up your shots because the camera will measure the light for correct exposure.
Using this camera, I’m able to control the depth of field without worrying about over or underexposed pictures. The Canon AV-1 looks more complicated than it is. Unlike a usual SLR which you have so much to set just to take a picture, it is easy to use and is fast enough for street photography as you only have to control the aperture.
The camera will select the appropriate shutter speed accordingly. Therefore, what you have to do is to select how much depth of field you like, then focus and shoot. As long as your camera doesn’t warn you about over or underexposure, your picture should be great.
And this is why I love this camera so much, it never lets me down. From negative film to slide films, to black & white, the pictures are always beautiful.
The two things I don’t like about it are the FD lens mount and the battery. The lens is not that common as M42, which makes it hard to be find when it comes to replacements. For the battery, it requires a 6V 4LR44 battery which is rare as it is expensive! And because of the aperture priority mode, the camera always needs battery to function.
Overall I still think it is a good and decent user-friendly camera. It can always create awesome bokeh shots if you can control the depth of field well.