The Canon A-1 is an advanced level single-lens reflex (SLR) 35 mm film camera for use with interchangeable lenses. It was manufactured by Canon Camera K. K. (today Canon Incorporated) in Japan from April 1978 to 1985. It employs a horizontal cloth-curtain focal-plane shutter with a speed range of 30 to 1/1000 second plus bulb and flash synchronization speed of 1/60 second. It has dimensions of 92 millimetres (3.6 in) height, 141 millimetres (5.6 in) width, 48 millimetres (1.9 in) depth and 620 grams (22 oz) weight. Unlike most SLRs of the time, it was available in only one color; all black.
The A-1 accepts any lens with the Canon FD breech lock mount (introduced in 1971) or Canon New FD pseudo-bayonet mount (sometimes called the FDn mount, introduced 1979). It can also use most earlier FL lenses and some even older R (or Canomatic) series lenses, albeit with reduced functionality. This excludes all of Canon's EF bayonet mount autofocus lenses (introduced in 1987). During the late 1970s and 1980s, there were approximately 55 Canon FD lenses available for purchase.