Something else to consider: I'm pretty sure the AE-1 used FD mount lenses, which would not be compatible with the modern EOS bodies. So if you go with the Rebel, you will need all new lenses. You might want to have your wife handle copies of each camera. When I switched from film to digital, I looked at every brand available in my price range and found that the Nikons were much more comfortable for me to hold and use. All of the Canons below the 20D felt too cramped. Your wife might find otherwise.