Top 10 Best Vintage Canon Cameras – Reviews and Comparison

When it comes to vintage camera brands, Canon is one of the most recognizable names in the industry. Known for their innovative technology and exceptional image quality, vintage Canon cameras remain highly sought-after by photography enthusiasts and collectors alike. In this article, we have compiled a list of the Top 10 Best Vintage Canon Cameras, along with a comprehensive buying guide to help you make an informed decision when purchasing these classic cameras. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or simply a fan of vintage photography, these cameras are sure to impress. So, let’s dive in and explore the best vintage Canon cameras available today!

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Last update on 2023-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Overview of Vintage Canon Cameras

Vintage Canon cameras are considered some of the most iconic and sought-after cameras in the world. Canon has been producing cameras since 1933 and has since become one of the leading camera manufacturers. Vintage Canon cameras range from early rangefinders to SLRs. One of the most popular vintage Canon cameras is the Canon AE-1, which was introduced in 1976. It was the first camera to feature a microprocessor and was affordable and easy to use, making it popular with amateur photographers. The Canon AE-1 was also one of the first cameras to feature automatic exposure, which made it easier for photographers to take photos without having to manually adjust settings.

In addition to the AE-1, Canon also produced a range of other popular cameras, such as the Canonet QL17 GIII, which was a compact and affordable rangefinder camera introduced in the 1970s. It was known for its sharp lens and robust construction. Another popular vintage Canon camera is the Canon F-1, which was Canon’s flagship SLR camera in the 1970s. It was considered one of the best professional cameras of its time and was used by many photographers for its ruggedness, high-quality optics, and advanced features. Overall, vintage Canon cameras are known for their high reliability, great handling, and excellent optics, making them a popular choice among photographers to this day.

Best Vintage Canon Cameras – Expert Reviews

Vintage Canon AE-1 Program 35mm SLR Camera with 50mm 1:1.8 Lens
  • Classic mechanical Canon AE-1 Program camera body
  • LED light meter display
  • Compatible with all Canon FD lenses
  • This camera comes with a Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 lens
Canon AE-1 35mm Film Camera w/ 50mm 1:1.8 Lens
  • 35mm SLR (Single-Lens-Reflex) camera with electronically controlled AE (Automatic Exposure) and focal plane shutter.
  • Canon FD series interchangeable lenses with full aperture metering and AE coupling. Canon FL series with stopped-down metering.
  • Standard lenses for the Canon AE are Canon FD 55mm f/1.2 S.S.C, Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 S.S.C, Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 S.C.
  • Canon Breech-Lock mount, Canon FD, FL and R lenses can be used. The viewfinder is fixed eye-level pentaprism with a field of view that is 93.5% vertical and 96%...
  • Viewfinder information includes aperture scale with meter needle and stopped-down metering which also serves as a battery charge level check mark.
Canon PowerShot SD1100IS 8MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized...
  • 8.0-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 16x 22-inch prints
  • 3x optical image-stabilized zoom
  • 2.5-inch PureColor LCD II monitor
  • Face Detection; Motion Detection Technology automatically reduces blur
  • Captures images to SD memory cards (not included)
peacechaos Waterproof Small Camera Bag/Case, Vintage Canvase Leather Trim DSLR...
  • Material: High Density Waterproof Canvas with Leather Trim, strong stitching, durable zipper, quick snap buckle
  • Size: 6.7(L)*4.7(W)*8(H)inch, Designed for 1 DSLR, 1 lenses and mini digital camera, Self adhering padded dividers for interior customization.
  • Durable and soft Cotton inner material insert for absorbing shock and vibration To protect your camera against damages, dust and scratches.
  • Simply designed, Gorgeous look. Never go out of style
Alled XN01-0942 Neck Shoulder Belt Strap, Vintage Print Soft Colorful Camera...
  • High quality - pure fashion print cotton canvas webbing
  • Prefect for - the universal strap fits for all brands of DSLR camera: Nikon / canon / Sony / Olympus / Samsung / Pentax etc. /Olympus
  • Adjustable length - the length of the webbing part is 75 cm
  • Anti-slip layer inside helps you to prevent accidental slip of your expensive camera
TARION Camera Shoulder Neck Strap Vintage Belt for All DSLR Camera Nikon Canon...
  • [Classic and Vintage] This vintage and classic camera strap is made of high quality and durable cotton yarn and PU leather.
  • [Strong and Comfy] Anti-slip surface helps to prevent accidental slip of your expensive equipments.
  • [Adjustable Length] Ergonomically adjustable length on both ends for all photographers at different heights, total length:54"/137cm; strap length: 28"/71cm;...
  • [Extremely Lightweight] Soft and sturdy material can help to reduce pressure on the back of neck, while with a weight of approximate 2.3oz/65g makes it...
  • [Hold all cameras and NOT JUST for cameras] The latest upgraded version is with metal triangles which make the strap perfect in safety and compatibility with...

Last update on 2023-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What are the Advantages of Buying Vintage Canon Cameras?

Vintage Canon Cameras have always been a favorite among photography enthusiasts for many reasons. Not only do they offer a timeless look, but they also come with a set of features that are hard to find in modern cameras. In this section, we will take a closer look at some key reasons why buying a Vintage Canon Camera might be a good investment for you.

Historical relevance

Vintage Canon Cameras have a significant historical relevance when it comes to the evolution of camera technology. These cameras are not only a testament to the innovative abilities of Canon but also reflect the cultural, social, and historical trends of the time they were manufactured.

Owning a vintage Canon Camera enables one to relive the past era. It allows us to understand the significant milestones of photography, including its evolution and the various factors that have shaped it. Moreover, vintage cameras also help us understand the legacy of those who worked on advancing camera technology. Vintage cameras give us insight into the world that existed before and allow us to appreciate the technological advancements that have led to today’s digital cameras. Therefore, owning a vintage Canon Camera is an excellent way to preserve the history of photography.

Unique aesthetic

Vintage Canon Cameras have a unique aesthetic that is different from modern cameras. They were made during a time when the camera was not just a functional tool, but also a piece of art. Vintage cameras often have exquisite designs, intricate details, and beautiful finishes that are not seen in modern cameras. They give a feeling of nostalgia and offer a glimpse into the past.

The timeless design of vintage Canon cameras makes them an excellent accessory to add to any collection. They also add unique character to photographs taken with them, giving a vintage and authentic look. The attention to detail in vintage cameras is unmatched, and they come in various shapes, styles, and even colors. Whether you’re an avid collector or a fan of photography, a vintage Canon camera can add a unique aesthetic to your collection or photographs.

Quality materials and craftsmanship

Vintage Canon cameras were crafted with high-quality materials and exceptional workmanship which is why they are highly sought after by collectors and photographers. Canon, a well-known brand in the photography industry, has been producing cameras since the 1930s. Their vintage cameras were made with precision and attention to detail, with every component designed to be durable and long-lasting, which is why many of them have stood the test of time.

The materials used in Vintage Canon cameras were of the highest quality, such as brass, steel, and high-grade plastics that were designed to last. The lenses used in these cameras were made of high-quality glass, which produced sharp and clear images. The attention to detail paid to the manufacturing process ensured that every camera produced was of top quality, which is why they are still highly valued by collectors and photographers alike. Investing in a Vintage Canon camera is investing in a piece of history that was built to last.

Investment potential

Vintage Canon cameras have the potential to increase in value over time, making them a valuable investment. As with any collectible market, a camera’s scarcity, condition, and historical significance affect its value. Some vintage Canon models, such as the Canon P and Canon 7, are highly sought after by collectors due to their features and rarity. These cameras were produced in limited quantities and are considered some of the best film cameras ever made. As a result, they have appreciated in value over the years. Investing in vintage Canon cameras can be a smart financial decision, providing a potential return on investment while also allowing individuals to own a piece of photographic history.

How to Choose the Best Vintage Canon Cameras?

When looking for the best vintage Canon camera, it’s important to take certain factors into consideration. These factors can impact the overall quality of the camera and ultimately affect the photos it produces. Here are some key factors to keep in mind.

Condition of the camera

When buying a vintage Canon camera, it is important to take the condition of the camera into consideration because they are often decades old and may have wear and tear or damage that could affect their functionality. Additionally, vintage cameras may have been stored improperly or may have been exposed to environmental factors that could cause damage to the mechanics or the lenses.

Knowing the condition of the camera can help you determine if any repairs or maintenance will be necessary before the camera can be used. This can help you make an informed decision about whether the vintage Canon camera is worth the investment and whether it is a good fit for your needs. Ultimately, taking the time to consider the condition of the camera before buying can help you avoid expensive repairs or disappointment in the long run.

Availability of spare parts

Vintage Canon cameras are often sought after by collectors and photographers who appreciate classic photography. However, when investing in vintage cameras, it is essential to consider the availability of spare parts. Over time, electronic and mechanical components can wear out, and it can be challenging to obtain replacement parts, especially for older models.

Availability of spare parts is a critical factor when buying vintage Canon cameras since repairs can be costly and time-consuming. If spare parts are no longer available, collectors may need to rely on third-party repair services, which could compromise the camera’s authenticity and value. Therefore, considering the availability of spare parts before investing in a vintage Canon camera will ensure that it can be maintained and used for years to come.

Type of film used

The type of film used is an important consideration when buying vintage Canon cameras because different film types have varying properties that affect the final image. For instance, black and white films produce different levels of contrast, grain, and tonality compared to color films. Some films are also more sensitive to light, which affects their exposure requirements and the resulting image quality. Therefore, if you have a specific photography style or aesthetic in mind, choosing the appropriate film type can enhance your creative vision and result in better images.

Moreover, vintage Canon cameras were designed for different film formats and sizes, such as 35mm, medium format, or large format films. Each of these film types has different characteristics that affect the final image quality, sharpness, and detail. Therefore, it is essential to consider the type of film that the camera was designed for and whether you’ll be able to find compatible films easily. By selecting a camera and film combination that complements your creative vision, you can achieve the desired image quality, mood, and tonality that reflect your style and aesthetic.

Compatibility with modern accessories

Compatibility with modern accessories is important when buying vintage Canon cameras as it ensures that it is functional and meets the photographer’s needs. For example, if a photographer intends to use modern lenses on a vintage camera, they need to ensure that the camera has the right mount to fit the lens. This compatibility can also extend to other accessories such as batteries, memory cards, and flashes. If a vintage camera does not have compatibility with modern accessories, it can result in limited functionality, inconvenience, and the need for additional expenses.

Moreover, compatibility with modern accessories opens up more options for the photographer, giving them the opportunity to experiment with different lenses and accessories that can enhance their photography. With modern accessories, it is easier to adapt and customize the vintage camera to meet the photographer’s specific needs, resulting in better quality and more creative photos. In summary, compatibility with modern accessories is important when considering a vintage Canon camera because it ensures functionality, convenience, and opens up more options for the photographer.

Price and value for money

When purchasing vintage Canon cameras, price and value for money should be carefully considered. Since these cameras are no longer being produced, they are often sold at a premium price. However, just because a camera is expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth it. It’s important to research the model and make sure its features and condition match the price being charged.

Additionally, cost and value should be compared to the purpose and use of the camera. If it’s intended for personal hobby use, a lower-priced option may suffice. On the other hand, if it will be used professionally or for a serious hobby, investing in a higher-quality, more expensive camera may be worth it. Ultimately, it’s important to balance price and value to ensure the best purchase decision is made.


What are some popular vintage Canon camera models?

Canon has been a leading brand in the photography industry since the 1960s, and they have produced several popular vintage camera models. One of the most popular models is the Canon AE-1, which was introduced in 1976 and quickly became a best-seller due to its ease of use, affordable price, and advanced features. It was also one of the first cameras to feature automatic exposure, allowing photographers to focus more on composition and creativity. Other popular vintage Canon cameras include the Canon F-1, Canonet QL17, Canonet G-III QL, and the Canon T90.

The Canon F-1 was a professional-grade camera released in 1971 and was designed for advanced photographers. It featured a robust build, interchangeable viewfinders, and a variety of manual settings that allowed for precise control over exposure. The Canonet QL17 was a compact rangefinder camera released in 1965 and was popular among enthusiasts due to its high-quality lens, ease of use, and reliable performance. The Canonet G-III QL was another popular compact rangefinder camera released in 1972 and was known for its intuitive operation and sharp lens. The Canon T90 was a revolutionary camera released in 1986 and was one of the first cameras to feature advanced electronics and autofocus capabilities. It remains a popular camera among collectors and enthusiasts to this day.

Where can I find vintage Canon cameras for sale?

There are several places to find vintage Canon cameras for sale. One option is to check out online marketplaces such as eBay, Etsy, or Amazon. These marketplaces often have a wide range of vintage cameras, including Canon models.

Another option is to visit local antique shops, flea markets, or camera stores. These places often have a selection of vintage cameras, including Canon models. It’s a good idea to call ahead to check if they have any specific models you might be interested in. Additionally, some camera stores may also offer used or refurbished Canon cameras for sale.

How can I determine the value of a vintage Canon camera?

To determine the value of a vintage Canon camera, the first step is to research the camera model and its production year. This information can be found online or in camera history books. Next, examine the camera’s condition and any accessories or lenses that are included. The rarer the model and the better its condition, the more valuable it typically is. Checking online marketplaces and auction sites can also provide a good idea of the camera’s value. It’s important to remember that the value of any vintage camera also depends on supply and demand and can fluctuate over time.

Is it possible to repair or restore a vintage Canon camera?

Yes, it is possible to repair or restore a vintage Canon camera. Many repair services and enthusiasts specialize in restoring and repairing vintage cameras, including Canon models. However, the availability of replacement parts and the cost of repairs may vary depending on the specific model and condition of the camera.


Vintage Canon cameras have always been a popular choice for photographers who value quality and nostalgia. Our top 10 best vintage Canon camera reviews and buying guide have highlighted some of the top-performing models that still offer reliable performance and exquisite design decades after their release. From the legendary Canon AE-1 Program to the versatile Canon Canonet QL17, these cameras are testament to Canon’s expertise in producing some of the best vintage cameras that are still sought after today. If you’re looking for the best vintage Canon cameras that will deliver quality images and stand the test of time, our guide is a great place to start.

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