Started in a single-room by three Japanese men in the year 1933 under the name of Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory, Canon has come a long way today. It all began with the phantom prototype camera called the ‘Kwanon’. At that time, Germany was considered to be the leader in camera production. German cameras were extremely expensive. So, Goro Yoshida, along with two others tried to produce a 35mm rangefinder camera at a cheaper price and came up with “Kwanon’.
However, at that time, one of the problems faced by the company was that it did not have a lens of its own. So, it decided to tie up with Nippon Kogaku Kogyo (who was to become the founder of Nikon) and acquire lenses from them. With the use of these lenses, Canon came up with its first commercial camera called the “Hansa Canon” in 1936 which became a hit. However, the company still had to go through hardships due to the War.
After the war, the company officially adopted the name “Canon” as its name. Up till then, the lens was under a different name, the camera had a different name and the company had a different name. So, in order to unify all these three, Canon came into existence on September 15, 1947. Slowly the company started to expand, and many historical cameras were created such as the Serenar 50mm f/1.8 lens in 1951, Canonet in 1961, AF35M (Autoboy) in 1979 and the EOS 650 in 1987.
The first Canon digital camera was the PowerShot 600 in 1996. Then, after making several advances in digital technology, Canon launched the EOS D2000 digital SLR camera in 1998 for professionals. In addition, the XL1 digital video camera was introduced. Due to its superior functionality and reliability, the XL1 became the official digital video camcorder of the NASA.
In order to provide the market with a cost effective camera along with superior functionality and performance, Canon introduced the EOS D60 in 2002 and the EOS 10D in 2003. These two cameras made Canon the market leader in digital technology. Then, the EOS Kiss Digital was introduced in 2003, which became a big success.
Today, Canon has introduced several digital camcorders. Starting with the FV30 and the FV200KIT in 2002, Canon went onto launch the FV M1 and the IXY DV M2 in 2003 in the mid range segment. As the company progresses, Canon continue to strive to provide its consumers with better and better technology at the lowest price possible. They have been known as a choice of the pros for many years in the world of photography but now with a broad line of products Canon is firmly positioned in the consumer market as well.
Kevin Rockwell worked as a network TV cameraman for 20 years shooting news and sports. Now a devoted fan of digital photography and video he works to gather information, tips and news for digital camera users. Oh and he loves to shoot pictures of his kids playing sports using his digital cameras.