A brief history of Canon Cameras
Canon are one of
the biggest manufacturers of digital cameras and camera accessories in the
world, and as such Old Timer Cameras (OTC) provide thousands of Canon camera instruction manuals a
year to satisfied customers, but it got us thinking recently about what we
actually know about the history of the company.
After doing some
careful research we have put together this short biopic about Canon the company
and its history, and hope you find it as fascinating as we did.
first started out in 1933 when Goro Yoshida disassembled a Leica
camera in an attempt to develop a high grade 35mm focal shutter rangefinder
camera. The reason for this is the Leica camera was far too expensive in price
for mass appeal, so Yoshida was looking for a way to be able to produce a
camera that was affordable and accessible to all.
Along with his
brother in law, Suburo Uchida and later Takeo Maeda, he established the
Precision Optical Instruments laboratory in an apartment in Tokyo. It is reported that Yoshida managed to
produce several prototypes of a high-grade 35mm rangefinder camera, although
none are believed to exist today.
In June 1934
they released their first camera to the Japanese market and called it the
‘Kwanon’, after the Buddhist goddess of mercy, due to the deeply held religious
significance the Japanese felt about the development of this new camera.
The following a
year a trademark was filed and the name was changed to Canon
as it was thought this would give it a more modern sounding image, as well as
it being Latin for the word ‘precision’.
In August 1937
the Precision Optical Industry, Inc was formed, which is what many consider to
be the birth of Canon as a company, even though it wasn’t until 10 years later
that the name was officially changed to Canon Camera Co, Inc.
Canon has since
then been at the forefront of Japanese industry, being given priority to export
products by the Japanese Government after WW2, when sanctions were lifted. They have worked in collaboration with many
leading companies to develop new technologies, which has allowed them to grow
from strength to strength and become a true global leader.
lovers will know the Canon name well, and their products speak for themselves,
from that very first prototype 35mm rangefinder, to the modern digital SLR
cameras and the well respected and popular EOS and Powershot ranges.
Canon products include medical, optical and broadcast products, including
ophthalmic and x-ray devices, broadcast lenses, semiconductors, digital
microfilm scanners, and Handy Terminal Solutions.
As Canon last
year celebrated their 50th anniversary in the European marketplace,
it is hoped that they will continue producing the high quality and affordable
cameras we associate them with and you can be sure that as they do, OTC will be
providing the camera instruction
manuals to go with them.