Of all the camera manufactures in the world today, Canon stands as probably the biggest right now. What makes them so big, and why are they so popular? In today’s blog, my goal is to get you informed about Canon Cameras. Let’s start with their history as we know it:
Canon Inc. (キヤノン株式会社, Kyanon kabushiki gaisha) is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan, specializing in optical, imaging, and industrial products, such as lenses, cameras, medical equipment, scanners, printers, and semiconductor manufacturing equipment.
The company was originally named Seikikōgaku kenkyūsho (Jpn. 精機光学研究所, Precision Optical Industry Co. Ltd.). In 1934 it produced the Kwanon, a prototype for Japan’s first-ever 35 mm camera with a focal-plane-based shutter. In 1947 the company name was changed to Canon Camera Co., Inc., shortened to Canon Inc. in 1969. The name Canon comes from Buddhist bodhisattvaKannon (観音, “Guanyin“), previously transliterated as Kuanyin, Kwannon, or Kwanon in English.
During its early years the company did not have any facilities to produce its own optical glass, and its first cameras incorporated Nikkor lenses from Nippon Kogaku K.K. (the later Nikon Corporation).
Between 1933 and 1936 ‘The Kwanon’, a copy of the Leica design, Japan’s first 35 mm focal-plane-shutter camera, was developed in prototype form. In 1940 Canon developed Japan’s first indirect X-ray camera. Canon introduced a field zoom lens for television broadcasting in 1958 and in 1959 introduced the Reflex Zoom 8, the world’s first movie camera with a zoom lens, and the Canonflex.
In 1961 Canon introduced the Rangefinder camera, Canon 7, and 50mm 1:0.95 lens in a special bayonet mount. In 1964 Canon introduced the ‘Canola 130’, the first Japanese made 10-key calculator, a substantial improvement on the design of the British Bell Punch company, which introduced the first fully electronic calculator two years earlier with the Sumlock Anita Mark 8 unit. In 1965 Canon introduced the Canon Pellix, a single lens reflex (SLR) camera with a semi-transparent stationary mirror which enabled the taking of pictures through the mirror.
1970 to 2009
Canon introduced their Inkjet printer using bubble-jet technology in 1985, one year after Hewlett-Packard. In 1987, Canon introduced their Canon Electro-Optical System (EOS), named after the goddess of the dawn, along with the Canon EOS 650 autofocus SLR camera. Also in 1987, the Canon Foundation was established. In 1988, Canon introduced ‘Kyosei philosophy’. The EOS 1 Flagship Professional SLR line was launched in 1989. In the same year the EOS RT, the world’s first AF SLR with a fixed, semi-transparent pellicle mirror, was unveiled.
In 1992, Canon launched the Canon EOS 5, the first-ever camera with eye-controlled AF, and the PowerShot 600, its first digital camera. In 1995, Canon introduced the first commercially available SLR lens with internal image stabilization, Canon EF 75-300mm lens f/4-5.6 IS USM. The Canon EOS-RS was the world’s fastest AF SLR camera with a continuous shooting speed of 10 frame/s at the time. Based on the EOS-1N, the EOS-1N RS had a fixed, semi-transparent pellicle mirror with a hard coat. In 1996, Canon introduced a pocket-sized digital camera with the Advanced Photo System, named ELPH in America and IXUS in Europe. Canon entered the digital video camcorder market in 1997.
How does Canon compare in quality to others:
I would love to get a hold of every camera brand and do my own test, but, I am not on a big radar yet. So, I am going to rely on other people who have tested the cameras. And here is how they rank:
- Fujifilm X-T4
- Canon EOS R6
- Nikon Z6 II
- Fujifilm X-S10
- Sony A7 III
- Nikon Z7 II
- Nikon Z50
- Fujifilm X100V
- Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV
- Sony A6100
The rankings above are from a company called Tech Radar news. Here is a link if you want to read why they put these cameras in this order : https://www.techradar.com/news/best-camera
Or, you can click on each camera above, (in red) and it will take you to that link and tell you all about that camera.
So how does Canon compare to the list? They have one model in the lineup that is a great, great camera, coming in 2nd place. This ranking is based on quality of camera to features, to price.
Now, that doesn’t mean that the list of “best selling” cameras is the same. From https://www.statista.com/statistics/1004962/global-leading-manufacturers-digital-cameras-market-share-sales-volume/ The number one selling camera in the world, is quite different than the list above. Here is what they have to say (Statista.com):
Canon dominated the global digital cameras market in 2020 and held close to half of it in 2020, at over 45 percent. Sony and Nikon followed in the ranking, with 20 and 19 percent of the market respectively. Fujifilm holdings and Panasonic had just under five percent each.
The Japanese multinational corporation is specialized in optical, imaging, and industrial products, and its history dates back to the late thirties when its predecessor Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory was founded. Canon’s sales fluctuated over the years and they peaked in 2007, reaching nearly 4.5 trillion Japanese Yen. As of 2019, Canon’s sales amounted to roughly 3.6 trillion Japanese Yen.
Canon, now being a major optical manufacture of fine lenses in the world, has come up with quite the line-up. From what I know, Canon makes all of their own lenses. There are other companies that do some outsourcing though. But Canon makes their own. As of this writing, Canon makes over 80 different lenses. Why so many? When you are a lens manufacture, you can create lenses for specific purposes. If you were to look at the list of lenses they make, you would wonder why they made certain lenses. That is what makes Canon so fun to own. If you can afford their specialty lenses, you could take the most unique photos anywhere. Go to the Canon Website to see the list of lenses they make: https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/lenses-flashes/all-lenses
Now for the fun part in this special article: