The Canon A-1 is an advanced level single-lens reflex (SLR) 35 mm film camera for use with interchangeable lenses. It was manufactured by Canon Camera K. K. (today Canon Incorporated) in Japan from April 1978 to 1985. It employs a horizontal cloth-curtain focal-plane shutter with a speed range of 30 to 1/1000 second plus bulb and flash synchronization speed of 1/60 second. It has dimensions of 92 millimetres (3.6 in) height, 141 millimetres (5.6 in) width, 48 millimetres (1.9 in) depth and 620 grams (22 oz) weight. Unlike most SLRs of the time, it was available in only one color; all black. The introductory US list price for the body plus Canon FD 50 mm f/1.4 SSC lens was $625, the camera was generally sold with a 30–40% discount (roughly $375 to $435).
The A-1 is a historically significant camera. It was the first SLR to offer an electronically controlled programmed autoexposure mode. Instead of the photographer picking a shutter speed to freeze or blur motion and choosing a lens aperture f-stop to control depth of field (focus), the A-1 has a microprocessor programmed to automatically select a compromise exposure based on light meter input. Virtually all cameras today have at least one program mode.