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(Photo: Business Wire)

Stocks in this article: CAJ

Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc., has reached a camera manufacturing milestone as combined production of the Company’s compact digital and interchangeable-lens digital cameras surpassed 250 million units on January 31, 2014.

(Photo: Business Wire)

(Photo: Business Wire)

Canon, a company that has continuously produced cameras since its founding in 1937, began producing and marketing digital cameras in the mid-1990s. In 1995, when film cameras were still the preferred camera type, Canon launched its first digital camera, the professional-model EOS DCS 3 1 Digital SLR camera.

Compact cameras were leading the digital shift within the camera industry when, in 1996, Canon announced its market entry with the introduction of the PowerShot 600 digital camera, the Company’s first compact digital camera. In 2000, amid the market’s rapid growth, Canon launched the PowerShot S100 Digital ELPH camera featuring a groundbreaking compact, stylish body design that set the trend for Canon compact digital cameras.

Subsequent models released by Canon reflected the diverse evolution of compact digital cameras with models becoming increasingly compact and lightweight, achieving higher sensitivity, incorporating more enhanced automatic functions, and realizing greater network connectivity. This evolution fueled robust growth as Canon’s cumulative production of compact digital cameras surpassed the 100 million unit mark in 2008, and broke through the 200 million unit threshold in December 2013. Aiming to further extend its production volume, in 2014 Canon launched a new lineup of feature-packed, compact digital cameras including the PowerShot G1 X Mark II digital camera and the PowerShot N100 digital camera.

As for interchangeable-lens digital cameras, while the market in the mid-1990s had consisted primarily of professional models, the consumer digital SLR camera segment began to grow as Canon launched the EOS D30 Digital SLR in 2000. Developed as a “next-generation standard digital SLR camera” the EOS D30 DSLR was built to satisfy the needs of a wide user base, from advanced photo enthusiasts to professional users. In 2003, Canon again led the market with the introduction of the entry-level model EOS Digital Rebel, which set the stage for a dramatic expansion of the consumer market.

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