Canon produces 250 millionth digital camera; one in five has an interchangeable lens


posted Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 6:03 PM EDT


Have you bought a Canon digital camera in the last couple of decades? If so, you're not alone. Far from it, in fact. Some 19 years after it jointly launched the EOS DCS 3 with Eastman Kodak, Canon has just announced production of its 250 millionth digital camera!

To put that mind-boggling figure in perspective, 250 million units would be almost enough to supply every single man, woman and child in Indonesia -- the fourth-most populous nation on the planet -- with a Canon camera of their very own, according to the United States Census Bureau's population clock.

But the thing that's most surprising isn't the sheer number of cameras Canon has produced -- it's the ratio of the company's digital cameras which have featured interchangeable lenses. Remember, we're not including film cameras in this figure, and it's only 11 years since Canon launched its first truly affordable ILC, 2003's EOS Digital Rebel. (That's the silver SLR inset at top right above.)

Canon's first digital camera was the EOS DCS 3, produced in cooperation with Eastman Kodak some 19 years ago.

For years beforehand, Canon's fixed-lens cameras had been outselling its pricey ILC models by an order of magnitude, just as they had for the company's rivals. In the early days of digital cameras, ILCs were only for pros and very deep-pocketed enthusiasts.

Yet incredibly, one in every five digital cameras Canon has produced has had an interchangeable-lens design: Total ILC sales for the company surpassed 50 million units last month. Small wonder, then, that Canon is also celebrating 11 straight years as the number one manufacturer of interchangeable-lens cameras worldwide.

So if you've ever bought a Canon digital camera, perhaps you should give yourself a pat on the back. You've been a part of something really big!