“The surprisingly affordable Canon AE-1: so advanced it’s simple.” that was the slogan behind an American commercial featuring the now well known Canon AE-1 SLR camera. It was such a hit because of the features that it offered, the automatic program exposure, and the variety of lenses available offered at a very affordable price point. When it launched in 1976, it cost $250–which was 40% more affordable than cameras from other companies at the time according to “Canon Historical Sketch: 1937-2007“.
While the Canon AE-1 was quite the successful product, it’s development was at one point halted. In 1975, a net loss from problems related to Canon’s calculators resulted in a major slowdown of its release. Yes; for those of you who don’t know, Canon makes calculators.
In April of 2016, the Canon AE-1 will be turning 40 years old. In those 40 years, it’s had quite a history.