Canon Inc.

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Canon Inc. (in Japanese: キヤノン株式会社), headquartered in Tokyo, is a Japanese company that specialises in imaging and optical products, including cameras, photocopiers and computer printers.

The company was founded in 1933 with the name 精機光学研究所 (Seiki-kougaku-kenkyuujo or Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory) by the co-founder Yoshida Goro and his brother-in-law Uchida Saburo, funded by Takeshi Mitarai, a close friend of Uchida. Its original purpose was to research into the development of quality cameras. In June 1934 they released their first camera, the Kwanon, named after the Buddhist goddess of mercy. The following year the company name was changed to Canon in a more modern reflection of the name.

The company's first cameras were Leica threadmount rangefinder clones. They closely followed the Leica specifications for the threadmount lens (M39) but added innovations including a switchable magnification combined viewfinder/rangefinder. Canon at first did not have its own optical factory, so they used lenses made by Nikon. But they soon started to make their own lenses under the Serenar brand. These lenses remain popular even now by users of Canon or Leica rangefinders.

Despite the company's high profile in the consumer market for cameras and computer printers, most of the company revenue comes from the office products division, especially for analog and digital copiers, and its line of imageRUNNER digital multifunctional devices.

The official Japanese name of the company is キヤノン (kiyanon) not キャノン (kyanon): see the company home page (http://www.canon.jp) for confirmation.

Canon's main competitors include Nikon, Konica Minolta, Leica, Pentax, Olympus, Sony, Epson, Kodak, Hewlett-Packard and Xerox.

See also

External link

it:Canon id:Canon ja:キヤノン nl:Canon (bedrijf) no:Canon pl:Canon sv:Canon Inc. th:Canon tr:Canon zh:佳能

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