Canon released its first compact digital camera, the PowerShot 600 (570,000 pixels/pictured above), in 1996 and since then, the company has churned out 106 different models. Sony started with the Cybershot in the same year and has developed 155 digital cameras so far.
Compact models currently account for 90% of the market for digital cameras. This year, 112 million units are expected to be sold worldwide.
Full press release after the jump.
Canon celebrates shipping 100 millionth compact digital camera
TOKYO, August 19, 2008—Canon Inc. today announced that it has reached a new milestone by shipping its 100 millionth compact digital camera.
Canon first began producing digital cameras in 1996 at Oita Canon Inc., which continues to handle the bulk of the company’s digital camera production, in addition to such manufacturing subsidiaries as Canon Opto (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. and Canon Zhuhai, Inc. in China.
Since releasing the PowerShot 600 as Canon’s first compact digital camera for sale to the general public in July 1996, the company has thus far launched a total of 106* digital camera models across the globe.
Featuring a compact body and stylish design, the IXY Digital (PowerShot S100 Digital ELPH or Digital IXUS in other regions) was introduced in May 2000 and proved immensely popular among consumers around the world for its portability and user friendliness, representing the vanguard for the rapidly expanding digital camera market. Following this success, Canon went on to sell a variety of digital cameras, including the PowerShot A70 in 2003, which rode its superior functionality and cost performance to the world’s highest unit sales among models in the year; the sleek and stylish IXY Digital L (PowerShot SD10 Digital ELPH or Digital IXUS i) in 2003 targeted at women users; the PowerShot G7 in 2006, which carved a niche for high-end models in the compact digital camera market; and the PowerShot S5 IS in 2007, featuring a powerful optical zoom and high-precision image stabilization. All the while, Canon has consistently aspired to broaden its digital camera lineup in order to address the ever-expanding market and ensuing diversification of user needs.
In addition, Canon has promoted the evolution of its compact digital cameras through continuous investment in cutting-edge technologies. These advents include: an ultracompact lens unit equipped with image stabilization technology; DIGIC, a high-performance image processor that rapidly processes highly detailed image data; iSAPS technology, which predicts the scene to be photographed by the user and promptly selects the optimal settings for key functions; and Face Detection technology, which identifies human faces in the picture frame, enabling the optimum focus point and exposure setting for consistently outstanding performance.
As a leading company in the field of digital cameras, Canon intends to continue delivering attractive products to satisfy all users, not only by advancing technology to capture precious moments, but also by strengthening its sales system, including increased product quality and services.
*Refers to compact digital cameras, including region-specific models, as of August 5, 2008