The second camera I bought in May 2003 with a Canon's Lense FD50mm 1:1.8. A very good camera.
The Canon AE-1 was the first 35mm SLR camera to be controlled solely via a built-in Central Processing Unit (CPU) and made SLR photography avaialble to beginners and amateurs at a reasonable prices - with a record of over 5 million units been sold worldwide, the success of which firmly established Canon as the leader in camera innovations.
It revolutionized many of the concepts for future camera designs especially in the field of electronic applications and mass produced technique with a lower cost of production with the use of plastic injection molding, resulting in simpler assembly of parts. It also popularised and made devices like Power Winder and electronic Speedlites a household name in the consumer market. The camera was controlled entirely by electronics precision rather than by mechanical functions - and depends solely on battery power for all of its functions. Despite defying the mainstream camera design concept in the '70s, the AE-1 came through well and attained a huge during its availability years. This was very much due to Canon's efforts in promoting the camera - it offers very precise and stable timing of shutter speeds, which was also extended to other areas like auto flash-syncronisation speed when any dedicated Canon electronic Speedlites is used. Although the technologies employed within the AE-1 looked very simple when compared with today's modern SLR cameras, it has to be remembered that during its era, the market was still dominated largely by those heavy, mechanically-controlled type of cameras. Canon used these points to enhance the advantages of electronic applications in camera designs - where in many areas, electronic cameras do offer much more precise timings and other features that can never be matched by mechanical technologies.