In 1936, Canon introduced its very first camera, the Hansa 35mm. In those early days of our history, few could have imagined the enormous breadth and scope of breakthroughs our engineers would realize over the following decades. Collected here are some of our most important milestones, ranging from optical innovations that revolutionized the cinema and broadcast industries, to advancements in the most fundamental aspects of lens technology.
Canon introduces its first production 35mm camera, the 35mm Focal-Plane Shutter Rangefinder Camera.
In 1946, Canon introduced the S2 35mm rangefinder camera, available with either the (Canon) Serenar 50mm f/3.5 or 50mm f/2 lens.
The Precision Optical Industry Co., Ltd., changes its name to Canon Camera Co., Ltd.,
Canon releases the Serenar 50mm f/1.8" lens, which substantially reduced flare.
Canon introduces the first BCTV lens, the Field Zoom IF-1, featuring a 6.7x zoom range—the highest available in television broadcasting at the time.
The Canonflex, Canon’s first single-lens reflex camera, is introduced.
The 50mm f/0.95 was was developed for the Canon 7 rangefinder camera, and had the largest maximum aperture of any photographic lens available at that time.
Canon releases the 8mm Cine Zoom 512 movie camera, equipped with a bright f/1.2 zoom lens and a spring drive mechanism.
The Scoopic 16 was the world’s first 16mm movie camera with a built-in zoom lens. Although designed primarily for news gathering, the camera became popular for a wide range of applications.
The FL55mm f/1.2 was Canon's first ultra fast lens utilizing aspheric elements. This technology virtually eliminates aspherical aberration and curvature of field resulting in extremely high sharpness
from corner to corner.
The Canon FL-F300mm f/5.6 was the world's first interchangeable lens with artificial fluoride (CaF2) elements which virtually eliminated chromatic aberration.
As part of the introduction of 16 new FD-series lenses, the FD55mm f/1.2 AL makes Canon the first company in the world to market an interchangeable SLR lens featuring an aspherical lens element.
Canon wins a Scientific or Technical (Class III) Academy Award® for development of the Canon Macro Zoom Lens for 35mm
motion picture photography.
Canon wins a Scientific or Technical (Class III) Academy Award® for K-35 super-speed motion picture lenses.
Canon introduces its first lens-shutter 35mm autofocus camera, the
Canon celebrates its 50th anniversary by releasing the innovative EOS 650 autofocus SLR camera and the accessible, super high-speed autofocus EF lens series.
The EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM is launched, the world’s first interchangeable SLR lens with an image stabilizer.
Canon wins a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award® for "Implementation of Lens Technology to Achieve Compatibility
with CCD Sensor."
The DIGISUPER 25 xs broadcasting lens for high-definition television is introduced.
A new line of Canon EF L-series lenses with image stabilization is released.
Canon develops the Multi-Layered Diffractive Optical Element, drastically improving imaging performance and reducing the weight and length of lens systems featuring the technology.
Canon introduces the EOS-1Ds, a full-featured 11.1 MP digital SLR with a CMOS sensor.
The DIGISUPER 100 XS broadcasting lens, featuring the world’s highest zoom lens range,
Canon receives a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award® for lens technology developments for solid state imagers and cameras in high definition formats.
Canon introduces the EOS 5D, a 12.8 MP DSLR and the first full-frame camera with a standard body size.
Canon delivers one of the world’s largest fluorite lenses for use at a major U.S.
Canon introduces the follow-up to the EOS 5D, the EOS 5D Mark II, a 21.1 MP DSLR with a full-frame CMOS sensor, and the first camera of its kind to offer 1080p video recording.
Hybrid IS, a new image stabilizer technology that optimally compensates for both angle camera shake and shift camera shake, is introduced.
Canon enters the motion picture production industry with the launch of the Cinema EOS System of cinema cameras and lenses.
Canon announces the CN-E 14.5-60mm wide-angle cinema zoom lens and the CN-E 30-300mm telephoto cinema zoom lens, the company's first 4K-ready PL mount zoom lenses.
Canon introduces additional cinema zooms in both PL and EF mounts, and cinema primes in EF mount configurations, expanding the creative options for cinematographers using Canon Cinema EOS cameras.
Canon releases the EOS-1D C, the world’s first 4K DSLR cinema camera.
Dual Pixel CMOS phase-detection autofocus is featured in the EOS 70D camera, allowing for dramatically improved AF performance during Live View
and video shooting.