top of page

The Story of Canon

Known as one of the top Digital SLR brands, “Canon” has been the best friend of photographers worldwide ever since its birth. Strongly competing with the brand “Nikon” which was introduced a decade later, Canon has developed varied features and facilities to remain the top no.1 in the array of DSLRs.

Known as one of the world’s top producers of semiconductor and display manufacturing equipment, Canon took its birth in Tokyo, Japan in 1937.

In 1933, Takeshi Mitarai, Goro Yoshida, Saburo Uchida, and Takeo Maeda founded the company “Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory” to research quality cameras. According to Wikipedia, initially, the company did not have facilities to produce optical glass, and its first cameras incorporated “Nikkor” lenses from “Nippon Kogaku K.K” (which later came to be known as the Nikon Corp.).

In 1934, Japan’s first 35mm focal-plane-shutter camera was produced in prototype form called “The Kwanon”. This marked the beginning of the present-day Canon.

As per in 1935, the company filed for registration of the “Canon trademark” and in 1940, they developed Japan’s first indirect X-ray camera. Then in 1947, the company changed its name to “Canon Camera Co., Inc”.

In 1958, Canon introduced a field zoom lens for television broadcasting and by 1959, developed the world’s first movie camera with a zoom lens called “Reflex Zoom 8” and later a 35 mm film SLR (single-lens reflex) called the “Canonflex”. It began to be accepted and used worldwide and thus Canon began its series of various cameras.

In 1961, the company introduced the Rangefinder camera “Canon 7”. In 1965, Canon developed the “Canon Pellix” which was an SLR camera with a semi-transparent stationary mirror that enabled to take pictures through the mirror. In 1969, the company shortened its name to “Canon Inc”.

According to Wikipedia, in 1971, Canon introduced the “F-1” which was a high-end SLR camera and the FD lens range. In 1976, they launched the world’s first camera with an embedded microcomputer called the “AE-1”.

In 1987, Canon introduced the “Canon EOS” or the “Canon Electro-Optical System” which was followed by “EOS 650 AF (autofocus) SLR.”

Later in the year, they established the “Canon Foundation”. Then in 1989, the “EOS 1 Flagship Professional SLR” line was developed. In the same year, the world’s first AF (autofocus) SLR with a fixed, semi-transparent pellicle mirror called the “EOS RT” was introduced (according to Wikipedia).

By 1992, the company developed the first-ever camera with eye-controlled AF called the “EOS 5” and also it's first digital camera “PowerShot 600”.

In 1995, they introduced the first commercially available SLR lens with internal image stabilization called the “EF 75-300mm”. “Canon EOS-RS” became the world’s fastest AF SLR camera with a continuous shooting speed of 10 frames per second (according to Wikipedia).

In 1997, Canon entered the digital video camcorder market and in 2005, introduced the first HD (high-definition) camcorder.

During the years, Canon bought many printer companies and other camera manufacturing companies and grew in size. According to Wikipedia, by 2012, Canon’s global market share in the sale of printers, copiers, and multifunction devices was 20.90%.

The company then moved to a new 500 million dollar headquarters in New York in 2013.

Last year, Canon launched two new Portable Zoom Lenses designed for 4K UHD Broadcast Cameras.

The company has manufactured film SLRs, Digital SLR (DSLR) cameras, lenses, video camcorders, scanners, binoculars, printers, projectors, presenters, etc. They also produce broadcast lenses, semiconductors, display and semiconductor equipment, digital microfilm scanners and handy terminals.

Canon has been manufacturing digital cameras or DSLRs since 1984. But due to consumers now switching to androids with powerful lenses, Canon’s Q1 operating profit fell by 34% in 2013 (according to Wikipedia).

But despite this, the firm is the leading manufacturer of display lithographic equipment and one of the top 3 in the semiconductor lithography machine market.

The company has its regional headquarters in America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand and world headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

Canon also stands top in the list of world’s 56 most climate-friendly companies as per the survey and report by the environmental organization “Clean Air-Cool Planet”.

Strongly competing with Canon, is another world-renowned brand named “Nikon”. The debate of being the best, Canon or Nikon, has been going on since they first came to the market. When we look at these 2 brands, we can see that there are certain features in each of them which make it better than each other but only regarding those particular features. And since Canon has the advantage of a wider range of products than Nikon, which mostly makes DSLRs and point and shoot cameras we can say that Canon is the most used camera brand in the world.

Also, there is no difference in the sharpness of the image in both the cameras as the differences are mostly based on processing, technique, and of course the lenses.

The only difference between Canon and Nikon is their autofocus or AF. In Canon, all the EOS lenses will autofocus whereas, in the case of Nikon, only the AF-S lenses perform autofocus.

But most people around the world prefer Canon as they feel it is the best choice in professional cameras between the two.

As of now, the “Nikon D500” stands as the best all-rounder in the world. Available at a moderate price, it has a well-designed body, excellent AF, and also a great battery life. The only disadvantage being that the Bluetooth connectivity might not always work. In the case of Canon, it's the “Canon EOS 90D”, which has almost similar functions but at a higher budget.

In the category of mirrorless cameras, there is Sony along with Canon and Nikon which offers the best features and provides the best results.

Depending upon the requirement of a beginner or a professional, the camera requirements also vary. So the cameras are sold specially designed for beginners as well as professionals.

Ultimately, it all comes down to taking a good photo. With the right gears and brilliant ideas, extraordinary photographs can be created.


bottom of page