The F-1 was Canon's first truly professional-grade SLR system, supporting a huge variety of accessories and interchangeable parts so it could be adapted for different uses and preferences.
In 1972 Canon launched a Highspeed model with a fixed pellicle mirror that allowed the user to see the subject at all times. Equipped with a motor drive the camera was able to shoot up to 9 frames per second, the highest speed of any motor driven camera at the time.
In 1976, the camera was revised slightly. This revised version is sometimes called the F-1n (not to be confused with the 1981 New F-1). All told 13 improvements were made. These changes were:
The number of focusing screens was also expanded from four to nine.
In 1980 Canon introduced "Laser Matte" focusing screens identified by an "L" in a circle on the screen's label. These Laser Matte screens were noticeably brighter than the earlier screens, and they were continued with the New F-1.