Being a fan of photography means that you have to get a lot of gear. A camera is the obvious part of the equation, but that doesn’t mean it’s the full story. If you have a Canon AE-1 camera, then you are going to need to keep it powered using the right batteries.
This is a camera that is about 45 years old, which means batteries can be hard to find. Before you buy that retro camera (or maybe shortly after), you should learn about the types of battery that your Canon AE-1 will need. This article will be the perfect guide for you.
What kind of batteries does the Canon AE-1 require?
Canon AE-1 cameras can work with two different types of batteries. They are the 4LR44 or 4SR44 6V batteries. They work with regular Canon AE-1 cameras as well as the Canon AE-1 Program camera setup.
If you use Energizer batteries, then you might see this battery called the A544 6-Volt battery. It’s basically the same thing. They’re all modern alkaline 6V batteries. These batteries also work with the AV-1, the AT-1, the A1, and the Canon AL-1 camera.
How long do Canon AE-1 batteries last?
Most LR44s will last at least a year, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the battery life is closer to six months. If you aren’t sure whether you need to change your batteries, use the camera’s Battey Check button to determine how much power you have left.
Where can you find batteries for your Canon A series camera?
Traditionally, the best Canon AE-1 Program Battery (or really, any battery for a Canon) would be a silver oxide battery. These are very hard to come by these days, which means your local shop probably will not carry them.
If you need to go shopping for batteries, your best bet (in terms of a common ‘big box’ store) is going to be Walmart. However, even that can be a gamble. Most people have better shots at finding these batteries online.
While it may not be what people like to hear, the best bet for batteries of this type is to go online. Many stores like eBay, Amazon, and photography-specific stores will have these in stock.
How do you check your battery power on a Canon AE-1 camera?
Canon AE-1 cameras are pretty easy to battery check. Here’s what you need to do:
- Turn the main camera switch to ‘A’.
- Press and hold the Battery Check Button. This is the button near your rewind lever near the top of the camera.
- Listen. If you hear six beeps or more per second, you have enough energy to keep shooting without new batteries. If you hear the beeps slow down, then you need to replace your battery. The same can be said if no beeping can be heard at all.
- Check your meter needle inside the viewfinder. If you don’t have the Canon AE-1 Program, then you are going to need to look at the meter needle inside the viewfinder. If the meter needle rests above the index.
How to replace your Canon AE-1 batteries
Now that you know when to replace them, it’s time to go into the “how.”
- Use the viewfinder cover to pry open the battery chamber cover. You will see a little slot for a place to insert the cover so that you can open the chamber’s tab easily.
- Remove the battery. You can properly dispose of it at your local battery disposal center. If you have a Walmart or a Best Buy near you, you can drop off the batteries there.
- Add the new battery in, and close the battery chamber. Your battery should make a soft click noise as it is moved into place.
- After it has clicked into place, check to see if your camera is functional. Check for an LED indicator light after pressing your camera’s Exposure Check Button or your camera’s shutter.
Is a Canon AE-1 worth the money?
This depends on why you want to buy this camera. Many people like this camera because of how retro it is. People love the feel of a film advance lever or the look of a camera that has a hot shoe inside the flash apparatus. It’s also one of the earlier cameras to have a self-timer.
At the time of its invention, the Canon AE-1 was a bit of a trendsetter and a trailblazer. You can still take excellent film shots with this camera, which is why people love working with it. It’s a classic camera, by every means of the word.
However, if you want to get digital photos or you want to have a shutter speed dial that goes fast, this is not the camera for you. You will want something more modern, like the Canon Rebel DSLR or a more modern Nikon.
If you want to own a Canon A series, including a Canon AE-1, then you are going to have to prepare for a bit of a search when it comes to batteries. They require LR44 batteries, or silver oxide batteries in a 6V style. Your manual will help you find out which batteries are ideal.
Of course, LR44’s are not exactly the easiest battery to find. You probably won’t find them at a local convenience store, which is why some people are choosing to shy away from the Canon A series. It’s not an easy thing to deal with, especially if you use your camera frequently.
The good news is that you can always buy these batteries in bulk. Make sure to change them at least every year, and you should be able to enjoy shooting to your heart’s content.