Canon celebrates 50 years of single-lens reflex camera sales

More than 50-million units produced since 1959
Canon celebrates the 50th anniversary of the sale of Canon’s first single-lens reflex camera in 1959. Over the past half-century, Canon SLR cameras have evolved with the times, incorporating advanced and groundbreaking technologies. Winning the widespread support of users worldwide, production of Canon SLR cameras have already surpassed the 50-million* unit mark.
“Canon has a long and proud history of producing SLR cameras that both set the technology benchmark and evolve to satisfy the needs of all users from professional shooters to entry-level users,” said Chris MacLeod, Brand Manager – EOS, Canon Australia. “With the advent of digital technology and outstanding affordability for consumers, we’re witnessing a creative revolution as people discover the possibilities now within their grasp. Our newly released EOS 5D Mark II is a great example, creating huge demand from people excited about taking exceptionally high-quality stills and Full HD movies with the same camera.”
The history of Canon 35 mm single-lens reflex cameras began in May 1959 with the launch of the Canon Flex, which was followed by models reflecting Canon’s reliable technologies and innovativeness. In 1971 the company introduced the F-1, its first professional model; in 1976 the AE-1, the world’s first SLR camera to feature a built-in CPU; and in 1986 the T90, the top-of-the-line model of the T series line-up.
In March 1987, Canon launched the EOS650, the world’s first AF (autofocus) SLR camera to realise electronic control for the entire system. The EOS series, which continues to this day, has contributed significantly to the popularisation and development of AF SLR cameras, fuelling dramatic growth among both professional users, with the introduction of the top-of-the-line EOS-1 in 1989, as well as entry-level users, with the release of the EOS 500 in 1993.
The year 2000 marked Canon’s full-fledged entry into the digital era with the launch of the EOS D30. Canon’s EOS Digital series, based on the key concept “speed, ease-of-use and high image quality,” has consistently led the digital evolution of SLR cameras with Canon-developed CMOS sensors and the high-performance DIGIC image processor, along with the company’s EF lens line-up, boasting outstanding optical performance and an extensive selection.
In 2008, Canon further strengthened its digital SLR line-up with the introduction of four new models, including the EOS 450D, which garnered the top share in Australia, Japan and other global markets, and the EOS 5D Mark II, the first SLR camera to incorporate full high-definition video recording.
With film-based SLR camera sales of more than 39 million units and digital SLR camera sales exceeding 14 million units, Canon is sincerely grateful to all of its users for their support and will continue pursuing the challenge of creating cameras that deliver superior imaging performance and reliability.
* 53.68 million units as of the end of December 2008                                                                                                                                            

 About Canon
Canon Australia is a leading provider of advanced, simple-to-use imaging solutions for businesses and consumers. Canon’s Australian R&D company, CiSRA, develops customised solutions for local customers, and exports digital imaging technologies for use in Canon products worldwide. Canon has ranked among the top-three US patent recipients for the past 16 years, and had global revenues of around $US39 billion in 2007. Canon Australia also operates Canon Finance Australia, which offers one-stop shopping for customers wanting leasing or finance services. For more information, visit

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