It's a camera of lore and of legend, that the deep pocketed (and perhaps foolhardy among us) will shell out handsome sums of money to acquire, that some film photography websites will dangle as a giveaway to boost their social media presence in an attempt to lure in more clicks, and that has become synonymous with a rather lemming-like tendency of many amateur film photographers to have a camera model that is "in."
This oft-heralded (and perhaps more often despised) model is none other than Canon's AE-1 model of 1976, a handsomely crafted machine that was groundbreaking 40 years ago, and has since found new favor as a defining instrument of many of today's film photographers. The supply and demand aspects of this model have caused its price to be higher than most other cameras of similar spec and build quality. I've actually seen AE-1 models going for more than the more advanced A-1 Canon models.
But Canon's stable of cameras of this era go well beyond the AE-1 model and its more full featured sibling. In fact, the coveted pricey AE-1 lacks a certain key bit of desirable functionality that is the specialty of an all but forgotten sibling in Canon's lineup: the 1979 vintage Canon AV-1.
The look of the Canon AV-1 is rather plain yet elegant, but doesn't come across as cheap like some entry level SLR's might.