The Dr. Mitarai created in 1933 the Laboratory of Precision Optics Research (Seiki-Kogaku). In 1934 he produce the first japanese camera 24 X 36 has focal plane shutter. Very close to the Leica II, this camera was baptized Kwanon (Buddhist goddess of mercy). The name of the firm changed in "Canon Camera Co" in 1947.
The firm invested in the design of rangefinder cameras for the 35 mm: the "Hansa Canon" in 1935 were followed by the models J, S, II, III, IV, V, L, P and 7 until 1968. Then gradually since 1959 Canon produces SLR cameras for 35 mm with among others for the most representative: Canonflex, FTb, F-1, AE1, A1 ... then the series of EOS. Canon also produced 35mm rangefinder with optical fixed for the general public, the "Canonet" between 1960 and 1980.
Canon is currently still one of the biggest brands in the world of cameras for professionals and demanding amateurs.