Canon AE-1 35 mm Camera

This Canon AE-1 35mm camera is a 1990s version of the popular Japanese electronically-controlled automatic single lens reflex camera first introduced in 1976. Popular among amateurs, this light plastic camera was an important success for Canon against its many camera competitors in Japan and the United States.
From its invention in 1839, the camera has evolved to fit many needs, from aerial to underwater photography and everything in between. Cameras allow both amateur and professional photographers to capture the world around us. The Smithsonian’s historic camera collection includes rare and unique examples of equipment, and popular models, related to the history of the science, technology, and art of photography.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1990s
Place Made
Nihon: Kanto, Tōkyō
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
glass (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 7 cm x 15 cm x 11 cm; 2 3/4 in x 5 7/8 in x 4 5/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History