The story of Canon begins in Tokyo in 1933. Over a beer with three friends a young doctor, Takeshi Mitarai, fell into discussion about Japan’s place in the industrialised world. While Japan had world-class industries in shipbuilding and textiles, it lacked a strong presence in precision engineering. They agreed there was a gap in the market for quality camera design and manufacturing. 

The four men: Takeshi Mitarai, Goro Yoshida, Saburo Uchida and Takeo Maeda proceeded to set up the Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory. .). In 1934 it produced the Kwanon, a prototype for Japan’s first-ever 35 mm camera with a focal plane based shutter. In 1947 the company name was changed to Canon Camera Co., Inc., shortened to Canon Inc. in 1969.

Today, Canon manufactures a wide range of products; consumer imaging products including printers, scanners, binoculars, compact digital cameras, film SLR film and digital SLR  digital 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 terminals.

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