Canon Sure Shot A1 Guide & Review

Canon Sure Shot A1 Guide & Review

The Canon Sure Shot A1 (also known as the Prima AS-1 in Europe and the Autoboy D5 in Japan) is a waterproof, point and shoot, 35mm film camera, released in 1994. It is submergible up to 15ft, rugged, versatile, and is a very rare find nowadays.

Design and Build Quality

The Sure Shot A1 is fully waterproof, which means you can use it for underwater photography. It's also made to endure cold, rain, drops, and sand. All of these things are very uncommon for a point and shoot film camera.

The camera body itself features a cool retro design, with distinctive colours that make it easy to find if you're in the water. The waterproofing is notoriously durable, but regular checks of the seals are recommended to maintain its integrity.

Lens and Image Quality

The camera sports a 32mm f/3.5 lens that delivers sharp images with accurate colours, which come into their own during underwater photography. This lens makes it great for shooting a variety of subjects and is also fast enough for low-light photography. The built-in flash has a moderate range, providing necessary lighting when needed.

The Canon Sure Shot A1 supports a range of ISO settings from 100 to 400, which means you can use a great range of 35mm film. 

Example photos taken on the Canon Sure Shot A1

Tropical Beach Taken On Canon Sure Shot A1

Young Children Sitting Down Taken On Canon Sure Shot A1

Coral Reef Taken On Canon Sure Shot A1

Photo credit: Lomography

Ease of Use

The Sure Shot A1 is a truly automatic camera. It automatically focuses, sets the exposure, and advances the film. All you have to do is point and shoot. It also has a large and bright viewfinder that makes it easy to compose your shots.

Loading film is easy, and the camera uses common 35mm film, making it convenient to find and develop. It operates with a CR123A battery, known for its long life and availability. The camera is easy to operate, with clear indicators for film and battery life.

Shooting Modes and Autofocus

The Canon Sure Shot A1 offers a variety of shooting modes, including portrait, landscape, night, and macro. It also has a panorama mode and an underwater macro mode. Its autofocus is quick and reliable. 


The Canon Sure Shot A1 is a fairly chunky camera, measuring 133 x 88 x 56 mm and weighing 385g (with battery). If you’re looking for something to slip in and out of your pocket, you might want to consider a different camera. For us - the fact that you can jump straight into the water with no worries, outweighs the size.

For those seeking more control, the camera offers limited manual adjustments, which can be a deciding factor for some photographers.

The Film Camera Co Overall Review

The Canon Sure Shot A1 Waterproof is an awesome film camera. It’s rare to find a 35mm film camera that you can take underwater, and this one is a diamond in the rough! Whether it's a dive into the ocean or a snowy adventure, this camera is durable, reliable and made for all the elements. 

It's a sturdy camera that delivers in conditions where others can't. The investment in this camera is justified by its performance and durability.

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