Canon AV-1: Photography Made Easy


Always wanted an SLR camera but you were never quite sure where to begin? DSLR prices scare you to the bone? You love Lomography and live an analogue lifestyle? Introducing Canon's AV-1 SLR camera. A great way to start shooting stunningly beautiful pictures without having to waste hundreds of dollars on modern-day SLRs.

Canon AV-1 © sonvisen via Flickr

I have owned a Holga135BC for some time now, and I love it, but, sometimes it's frustrating to shoot a whole film to later find out that most of the images are either underexposed, overexposed or just simply not as you pictured it to be. Don't get me wrong I love it, but as my Lomo-Buddy minty once said on his AV-1 review:

“I'm too much of a perfectionist and after browsing for a nice SLR camera where I could get what I see through the viewfinder, I found one. I stumbled upon a Canon SLR (AE-1) and decided to get one. I was intrigued by its design and its features, and it was a 35 mm so it was perfect. I searched for some reviews and oddly found one called AV-1, a cousin of the AE-1. This so-called AV-1 sported Aperture Priority instead of Shutter priority like the AE-1. This means that the control of depth of field was in my hands! With the help of a little-known auction site, I found my AV-1 for 30 dollars! Fifteen for shipping and fifteen for the camera. A bargain!”

The camera is quite heavy and sports the same sleek vintage design of the AE-1. It uses an FD lens which you can find for a very affordable price on the web. It also has a light meter that sets the shutter speed to the appropriate speed depending on the lighting and aperture setting which I find extremely helpful. Not only that but it also tells you when you might get blur on your images when the shutter speed is below a certain number. Shooting is as simple as unlocking the shutter, pressing it midway to see how much the light meter detects, focusing and SNAP! You get amazing pictures no matter what. I found myself astonished at the amazing images I took with the camera; an amateur photographer.

Credits: don_giovanni

As you just saw, images come out crisp and beautiful with its original 50 mm lens, imagine what you could do with others. Not only does it work great under well-lighted scenes, under low-light with the dial set to “60 flash” — which sets the shutter speed to 1/60 seconds — it works like charm with my Holga 15B flash. Other modes are self-timer, self-flash, and bulb mode.

To conclude, I believe this camera is a great asset for any amateur or professional photographer, and if you love Lomo, it's a must for those picky humans like minty and me.

This is a review submitted by Community Member don_giovanni.

written by don_giovanni on 2011-02-02 #gear #review #slr #aperture #canon #80-s #flash #lomo #lomography #shutter #50mm #novice #av-1 #reneg88 #user-review


  1. j_rad
    j_rad ·

    I started with a Holga 120, and I ended up getting a Canon AE-1 for the same reason! Sometimes it's nice to have a reliable, predictable camera too. The two cameras are with me at all times! Nice review!

  2. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    I think aperture value priority is more useful than shutter value priority.

  3. disasterarea
    disasterarea ·

    Yes i prefer Aperture Priority on the AV-1 compared to shutter priority on the AE-1. But my camera of choice is the Canon A-1 which has both.

  4. toradatanglagi
    toradatanglagi ·

    great camera! i owned some lomo cameras too.but to satisfy my need to more professional photography i bought a nikon fm2..

  5. disasterarea
    disasterarea ·

    Forgot to say great photos, especially with the cross processed look.
    ...I'm also looking forward to the results of my first X-Pro 200 film in my A-1, and seeing how it compares to the LC-A

  6. dyluzo
    dyluzo ·

    I yea I have the older version A-1 with a 200mm tele lens and really love it especially taking action shoots of my kids and close ups!

  7. dyluzo
    dyluzo ·

    Well the photo is of my hubby but you get the Idea!

  8. don_giovanni
    don_giovanni ·

    @j_rad Thx for reading. I love my Holga but my AV-1 is a miracle worker!
    @disasterarea None of the pix in the article are X-Pro'd, the greenish one with @reneg88 on it is like that 'cause of the flash gel Go check out my more recent albums I used some slide on those! Thx for reading!

  9. nigelk
    nigelk ·

    Very similar to my experience, but I bought a Minolta SLR instead of a Canon.

  10. victorvg84
    victorvg84 ·

    I´ve one, i love the cam!!!

  11. timjames
    timjames ·

    It's been over 30 years since I shot film I had a AV-1 back in the early 80's when I sold it then I knew I had made a mistake , Now I am the proud owner of a mint AV-1 once more they are a classic and I know this gem will leave me enjoying photography once more .

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