Why Canon
Innovative Technology

Canon is one of the world's largest manufacturers of cameras and lenses. Unlike other companies that re-brand, or outsource their merchandise, most of our products are designed and built from the ground up: Made by Canon, for Canon.

In fact, thanks to our ongoing research and development efforts, we are one of the world's top patent–holders: Since 1995, Canon has continuously ranked in the top three companies annually awarded patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. x

All of this in–house production gives us a strong competitive advantage thanks to the increased knowledge of, and control over, our products. That explains why Canon products usually hit the market before our competitors' — often, with more advanced technologies that appeal to customers' key buying criteria.

From the very beginning, we have shown a proven commitment to innovation with several landmark 'firsts' in the camera industry:

  • 1934Japan's first high-quality 35mm rangefinder camera, "The Kwanon" was introduced ("Kwanon" later changed its name to Canon). xi
  • 1976Canon's revolutionary AE-1 camera was the world's first microprocessor-controlled SLR. The AE-1 had record sales, setting up the Canon standard of bringing pro-quality, yet affordable, photography into the hands of any photographer. xii
  • 1979Canon released the Sure Shot AF35M — the world's first infrared based autofocus compact camera. This greatly improved on the AF systems available at the time, enabling an 'active' focusing system that worked even in low-light and
    low-contrast situations. xiii
  • 1987Canon introduced its flagship EOS SLR system, offering many market-leading innovations such as a fully electronic lens mount, Ultrasonic Motors (USM),
    Eye Controlled Autofocus, Optical Image Stabilizers (OIS), and a uniquely integrated line of lens and body accessories. xiv
  • 2000Canon lead the ultra-compact trend in digital cameras, with the world's smallest and lightest of its time: The PowerShot S100 "IXY" Digital ELPH camera.
    The "IXY" took top market share in compact digital cameras that year, establishing the ELPH's ongoing reputation as a top-seller. xv
  • 2003Canon introduced the popular EOS Digital Rebel, and a new line of EF-S lenses. These were some of the world's first digital SLR products marketed exclusively towards non-professionals. Their compact size and consumer-friendly price point made Canon's entry-level series an immediate success. xvi
  • 2008Canon released the long-awaited EOS 5D Mark II, the world's first SLR camera capable of shooting full-resolution HD videos, complete with stereo sound and a full-frame sensor.
From developing the world's first full-frame digital sensor to creating our unique EOS Integrated Cleaning System to keep it dust free, Canon has continued to develop several leading-edge technologies in digital imaging, and beyond — to astronomy, medicine, robotics, and more.