For those of you that are familiar with Canon's current line-up, the Canon A2E (also known as the EOS 5) is the predecessor of the Canon 5D. That said, it is an absolute joy to own and use, and a nice break from digital (I'm a wedding photog). Now I haven't had this for a long time (having just snagged an A2E with grip online), but my experiences so far have been more than positive. This camera was intended to be Canon's prosumer body, but given the features I have listed below, it's not surprising that many pros picked this camera!
PROS/KEY FEATURES: - Fast motor drive (5fps) - 16 Zone Evaluative metering - Viewfinder is incredibly bright - Fits all Canon EF lenses - Decent battery life (especially with the grip) - Incredibly sturdy build - Rear clicker wheel for menu functions (like the 5D) - Shutter speed from B/30S - 1/8000th second (perfect for action/wildlife) - Low-light AF assist beam - PC Sync for studio work - Focus point follows your freaking eye movements!! - Near silent rewind mode (slower, but much quieter!) - Compatible even with the newest USM lenses
NEUTRAL - Built-in flash (I never use it)
CONS - Reportedly weak clicker wheel, breaks easily - Lack of over/under exposure indicator - Only 5 autofocus points - Only TTL/A-TTL flash compatibility
This thing is built VERY sturdily! It feels nice in the hand, and much like the 5D or the XXD series, it is larger than the Rebel series. With the battery grip and an L series zoom lens, be prepared for some serious lugging around! I really enjoy the shutter snap, it lacks the electronic sound of many SLRs and is quiet enough for moments of unobtrusiveness. Coming from a digital background, I was very impressed with the technology of this early 90's camera, and matched with a good film and Canon's L glass, this outperforms DSLRs any day. I can't understand why Canon hasn't brought the eye-track focus technology to their DSLR line, especially with the improvements in the tech in the past 20 years. With a little calibration, all I have to do now is look where I want it focused, and it does it for me. This is something I would expect from today's DSLRs, not a 35mm SLR from 1992!
OVERALL This is my first "modern" 35mm SLR (primarily shooting with a Minolta SRT 101, a Lubitel TLR and a Yashica Lynx 1000), and I have been very impressed with the results. I'm not going to be shooting a wedding with this any time soon, but being able to shoot pro-quality film is definitely going to change my personal portfolio! Highly recommended!