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Canon (company)
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Canon (company)

is a Japanese multinational corporation that specialises in the manufacture of imaging and optical products, including cameras, camcorders, photocopiers, steppers and computer printers. Its headquarters are located in ta, Tokyo, Japan.[1]


  • Origins
  • Company milestones
    • 1930s 1960s
    • 1970s 2010s
    • Proposed gTLD
  • Products
    • Laser printers
    • Digital Copiers
    • Inkjet printers
    • Digital cameras
    • Canon Speedlite
    • Scanners
    • Computers
    • Camcorders
  • Company structure
  • Environmental activities
  • Sponsorship
    • In Europe
      • Football
      • Fashion
      • The Red Cross
      • WWF
      • World Press Photo
      • Formula One
    • In Canada
    • In USA
    • In Oceania
  • Headquarters
  • See also
  • References
  • External links


The original Digital IXUS

The company was originally named Kwanon[2] by Goro Yoshida after the Buddhist bodhisattva Guan Yin, known in Japanese as Kannon. In 1934 it produced a prototype for Japan s first-ever 35 mm camera with a focal plane shutter. In 1947 the company name was changed to Canon.

Company milestones

Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory is the predecessor of Canon Inc. and was founded in Tokyo in 1937 by Takeshi Mitarai, Goro Yoshida, Saburo Uchida and Takeo Maeda. Kwan'on]]

1930s 1960s

  • 1933 1936: The Kwanon ,[3] Japan s first 35 mm focal plane-shutter camera, was produced in prototype form.
  • 1940: An indirect X-ray camera, also a first for Japan, is developed.
  • 1947: The company is renamed Canon Camera Co., Inc.
  • 1958: A field zoom lens for television broadcasting is introduced.
  • 1959: Reflex Zoom 8, the world s first movie camera with a zoom lens, and Canonflex are introduced.
  • 1961: Canon creates an outstanding Rangefinder camera, Canon 7, and 50mm 1:0.95 lens in a special bayonet mount.
  • 1964: 'Canola 130', the first Japanese made 10-key calculator, is introduced. It was 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.
  • 1965: Canon introduces Canon Pellix, an SLR camera with a semi-transparent stationary mirror which enables taking pictures through the mirror.
  • 1969: The company's name is changed to Canon Inc.

1970s 2010s

  • 1971: F-1, a top-end SLR (single lens reflex) camera, and FD lenses are introduced.
  • 1976: AE-1 is launched, the world s first camera with an embedded micro-computer.
  • 1982: The "Wildlife as Canon Sees It" print ads first appear in the National Geographic magazine.
  • 1985: The world s first Inkjet printer using the bubble jet technology is introduced.
  • 1987: Canon introduces Canon Electro-Optical System (EOS). EOS is also the name of a goddess of the dawn. EOS 650 autofocus SLR camera is introduced, and the Canon Foundation is established.
  • 1988: Canon introduces 'Kyosei philosophy'.[4]
  • 1989: EOS 1 Flagship Professional SLR line launched.[5]
  • 1989: EOS RT is unveiled, the world's first AF SLR with a fixed, semi-transparent pellicle mirror.
  • 1992: EOS 5, the first-ever camera with eye-controlled AF, is launched.
  • 1992: PowerShot 600 Canon's first digital Camera[6]
  • 1995: Canon introduces the first commercially available SLR lens with internal image stabilization, EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. EOS-1N RS, 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 has a fixed, semi-transparent pellicle mirror with a hard coat.
  • 1996: ELPH (America) IXUS (Europe), a pocket-sized digital camera with the Advanced Photo System, is introduced.
  • 1997: Canon enters the digital video camcorder market.
  • 2002: Fujio Mitarai, president and CEO of Canon Inc., is named one of the world s top 25 managers by BusinessWeek.
  • 2003: The world s first portable digital X-ray system is used to reconstruct the face of an Egyptian mummy believed to be Queen Nefertiti.
  • 2004: The XEED SX50 LCD projector is introduced.
  • 2005: Canon s first high-definition video camcorder is introduced.
  • 2007: Canon Europe celebrates its 50th anniversary.
  • 2009: Canon acquires Oc .
  • 2010: Canon acquires Tereck Office Solutions, Inc.[7]

Today, the company produces digital compact and SLR cameras, photographic lenses, video camcorders, printers and analog and digital copiers for the office, including its line of imageRUNNER and imagePRESS digital multifunctional devices.

Canon was granted more than 2000 patents in the U.S. in 2008. It regularly places in the top five in the total number of patents granted.

Proposed gTLD

On 16 March 2010, Canon announced that it was seeking to acquire a new .canon generic top-level domain.[8]


Canon is a manufacturer of business and consumer imaging products which includes printers, scanners, binoculars, compact digital cameras, film SLR and digital SLR cameras, lenses and video camcorders.

The Business Solutions division offers print and document solutions for small and medium businesses, large corporations and governments. These include multi-functional printers, black and white and color office printers, large format printers, scanners, black and white and color production printers, as well as software to support these products.

Lesser known Canon products include medical, optical and broadcast products, including ophthalmic and x-ray devices, broadcast lenses, semiconductors, digital microfilm scanners, and Handy Terminal Solutions.

Laser printers

For many years, Canon were the principal makers of the print-engines found in industry-standard laser printers. The first models of Apple LaserWriter, and the equivalent products made by HP, used the Canon LBP-CX engine. The next models (LaserWriter II series, LaserJet II series) used the Canon LBP-SX engine. Later models used the Canon LBP-LX, LBP-EX, LBP-PX engines and many other Canon print engines.

Between printer models based on the same Canon print engine, many parts (such as toner cartridges, fuser units, roller assemblies) are interchangeable.

Canon laser printers use cartridges.

Digital Copiers

Canon's largest division in terms of revenue is its multifunction copier division. Many of the sweeping changes during the "Digital Revolution" in the industry were invented by Canon. This has enabled Canon to hold the highest market share in the industry for 26 of the last 27 years. Canon distributes its consumer and home office imageCLASS line though retail outlets and professional grade imageRUNNER series through subsidiary Canon Business Solutions and independent distributors. The professional grade series ranges from small table tops to large digital presses.

Inkjet printers


Digital cameras

A Canon EOS 50D camera

Canon has been manufacturing and distributing digital cameras since 1984, starting with the RC-701. The RC series was followed by the PowerShot and Digital IXUS series of digital cameras. Canon also developed the EOS series of digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLR) which includes high-end professional models.

See main articles:
Canon PowerShot
Canon PowerShot G series
Canon Digital IXUS
Canon EOS
Canon EF lens mount (includes list of EF lenses)
Canon EF-S lens mount, a subset of the EF mount specifically for DSLRs with APS-C sensors (includes list of EF-S lenses)

Canon has recently implicated Thermal Transition Copying as a part of the manufacturing process for all new cameras being produced by canon. This manufacturing process allows a camera's polymer casing to very slightly change temperature through an exothermic reaction triggered by electronic sensors, to assist in the prevention of condensation inside the camera; a common problem experienced when using an SLR camera in certain conditions.

Canon Speedlite

A Canon 430EX II Speedlite flash system Canon has also produced high-output flash units for their DSLR cameras. They have a wide variety of flash units available including the 270EX, 320EX, 430EX Speedlites and their bigger brother the Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite. Canon also produces macro flash units including the Macro Twin Lite and the Macro Ring Lite. Canon s flash units are known for their excellent workmanship and durability.


Canon has manufactured high-quality scanners for use with home computers for many years; they also make flatbed scanners, film scanners, and document scanners. The Canon Canoscan 8800F is, as of 2009, one of the most popular devices for scanning photographs and transparencies.


Canon introduced two MSX home computer models in 1983, the V-10 and the V-20. Both offered just the minimum range of the MSX standards without any additional features. The V-20 was able to receive photos from the T90 Canon camera with the Data Memory Back T90 expansion.

See main article: Canon V-20


See List of Canon camcorders

Company structure

Canon has regional headquarters in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Japan, Asia and Oceania (including Australia & New Zealand) . Canon in Europe is split into Canon Europa NV (based in the Netherlands) and Canon Europe Ltd (based in London). Both make up the European headquarters for Canon. Canon corporate headquarter building Canon corporate headquarter building distant view

Environmental activities

A report by the environmental organization Clean Air-Cool Planet puts Canon at the top of a list of 56 companies the survey conducted on climate-friendly companies.[9]

Canon has also launched three new calculators in Europe, called "Green Calculators", which are produced in part from recycled Canon copiers.[10]

The company has a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy in Europe, named Green is just a shade of blue . The strategy places emphasis on green issues being a small part of the bigger, bluer picture , and therefore gives equal importance to other areas, including ethics, attitudes, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, education, science and social welfare.

The Canon Group has an environmental charter which looks at offering products with a lower environmental burden through improvements in resource efficiency, while eliminating anti-social activities that threaten the health and safety of mankind and the environment. [11]

In 2008 Canon donated financial support to help the estimated 5 million people displaced by the earthquake that hit China s Sichuan province in May 2008.[12]

1million RMB was donated to the Red Cross Society of China shortly after the earthquake. Canon Inc, Japan, soon followed with a donation of RMB10 million.[12]


In Europe


Canon was the sponsor of the English Football League, with a deal from 1983 to 1986. Canon has sponsored Champions League and other UEFA tournaments as either an official sponsor or a supplier of imaging equipment. The company also sponsored the World Cup tournaments from 1978 to 1998.[13]

The company sponsored the UEFA Cup final matches from 2006/07 to the 2008/09, and the UEFA Super Cup matches in 2007 and 2008, and most recently, sponsored the UEFA EURO 2008 football tournament.

Canon Europe was also an official sponsor of the MTN Africa Cup of Nations 2008 in Ghana and the Russian Premier Football League.[14]


Canon Europe is sponsor of Paris Fashion Week and principal sponsor of London and Milan Fashion Weeks.[15]

The Red Cross

Since 2006 Canon has been helping the Red Cross provide support to thirteen Red Cross National Societies across Europe, with focus on youth projects. Support from Canon includes financial contributions and donations of imaging equipment; including cameras, copying machines and digital radiography devices, as well as volunteer activities.[16]


Canon Europe has been a WWF Conservation Partner since 1998. The company provides funding to WWF's global conservation work to aid its environmental practices.

Since 2007, WWF and Canon have been working on a Polar Bear Tracking Programme and 'Canon Kids' Zone' children s microsite. The WWF-Canon Polar Bear Tracking Programme tracks the movements of polar bears in the Arctic through radio collars placed around the bears necks. Their positions are transmitted to scientists for investigation on how climate change is affecting them.[17]

The WWF-Canon Kids Zone is a microsite that teaches children across Europe about the environmental threats faced by the polar bear. It also helps them to understand how saving power at home and becoming more energy efficient can help save the polar bear from extinction.

World Press Photo

Canon Europe has been a partner of World Press Photo for sixteen years. World Press Photo promotes the professional standards in photography; organises the largest international contest for professional photojournalists and acts as a worldwide platform for press photography.[18]

Formula One

Canon Europe was involved in sponsorship of Formula One from 1985 1993, (primarily as title sponsor of Williams F1), and again from 2001 2004. Canon Singapore sponsored Brawn GP for the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix as well as being the title sponsor for the races from 2008 until 2012.

They have also sponsored the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Quebec.

In Canada

Canon was the official camera sponsor & provider of Montreal's Olympics Games in 1976.


Canon USA has a number of sponsorships, including: PGA TOUR, LPGA TOUR, New York Yankees, United States Open Tennis Tournament, The American Junior Golf Association's Canon Cup, Outback Steakhouse Empire Challenge Eisenhower Park Lakeside Theatre Summer Concert Series.[19]

Canon Virginia, located in Newport News, Virginia, is a sister company of Canon USA. Formed in 1985, CVI has two large manufacturing warehouses, the newest unveiled in 2008. In these two warehouses, CVI provides manufacturing for Canon copiers, printers, and cartridges. They also provide reverse manufacturing services for Canon copiers, printers, and cameras. CVI also houses camera repair services for Canon brand digital cameras (both EOS Digital and PowerShot), as well as video cameras. CVI's goal is to be responsible for 50% of Canon camera repairs by January 2010.

Since opening their doors to outside business in 2005, Canon Virginia has become the contract manufacturer of choice for a major business computing company, tooled multi-cavity molds for manufacturers large and small, and signed reverse-logistics contracts.

In Oceania

In 2010 Canon Australia launched the inaugural Canon EOS Festival of Photography.[20] In addition to the Canon EOS Festival of Photography Canon Australia continues to support professional photographers through its ongoing sponsorship of the Canon Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA).[21]

In New Zealand Canon continued its 4 year association with the Newspaper Publishers' Association (NPA) as new naming rights sponsor of their annual awards now known as the Canon Media Awards[22]


  • 30-2 Shimomaruko 3-chome, Ota-ku, Tokyo 146-8501, Japan

See also

  • List of Canon products
  • Canon Open
  • Fujio Mitarai


External links

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