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30th anniversary of EOS system
Since its birth in 1987, the system has grown to become the world’s most comprehensive range of digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, interchangeable lenses and accessories.
The EOS system made its debut on 2 March 1987 with the launch of the autofocus EOS 650 SLR film camera and three interchangeable EF lenses, including the EF 35-70mm f3.5-4.5.
EOS introduced the world’s first fully electronic lens mount, placing an autofocus motor in each lens, rather than a single AF motor in the camera body. It made previous Canon lenses obsolete, but the gamble paid off.
During the film camera era, EOS SLR cameras offered innovative technologies and designs focused on Canon’s key concepts of high-speed and ease-of-use. During this period, Canon pioneered many advances, launching the top-of-the-line professional EOS-1 in 1989. In 1993 the company continued to expand its user base with the introduction of the compact, lightweight EOS 500.
Following the introduction of the digital EOS D30 in 2000, Canon developed such advanced technologies as its proprietary CMOS sensors, high-performance DIGIC digital image processors and HD movie mode.
Canon’s interchangeable EF lenses, introduced with the EOS 650 camera 25 years ago, are also at the heart of the system. With Canon’s optical technologies at their core, EF lenses incorporate such innovative technologies as the Ultrasonic Motor (USM), Image Stabilizer (IS), Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC), anti-reflection technology, and multi-layered Diffractive Optical (DO) elements. The current EF lens line-up comprises over 60 models.
With the launch of the Cinema EOS System of professional digital cinematography products in 2011, Canon’s EOS system now supports motion picture production and other high-end video capture applications.
EOS cameras began production in 1987 at Canon Inc.’s Fukushima Plant with the launch of the iconic EOS 650.
On the 10th anniversary of the EOS series in 1997, production reached 10 million units. This increased to 20 million units in 2003, largely due to the release of the lightweight and compact EOS 500 in 1993 and the EOS D30 in 2000, which spearheaded the rapid growth of digital SLR cameras across the globe.
Further developments saw EOS reach the 30 million-unit landmark during the 20-year anniversary in December 2007 and the 40 million mark in May 2010.
The current 80 million-unit production milestone was achieved in November 2015, around 17 months after the previous milestone, maintaining a now-rapid production period in the history of the EOS range.
Production of Canon’s EF lens series commenced in 1987 at the company’s Utsunomiya Plant, alongside the development of the first EOS camera. The diverse EF lens range is now manufactured in a total of four production facilities to meet the huge demand.
Since production began in 1987, the EF lens range has expanded to include a number of innovative technologies. These provided new and advanced levels of performance, and prompted the rapid growth of EF lenses that saw production pass 10 million units in 1995, and reach 20 million in 2001.
Production then reached 30 million units in 2006 – quickly followed just two years later by the 40 million unit mark in April 2008. Because of the surging popularity of the EOS series, production was increased and the 50 million unit landmark was achieved in December 2009, before Canon reached the 60 million unit mark in January 2011.
By September 2016 Canon passed its most recent 10 million unit cycle to achieve 120 million unit milestone. The lens that hit the mark was the EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM telephoto zoom.
EOS 650: The camera that launched the system
Top-of-the-line EOS-1 launches in 1989