Canon has stopped funding the development of new film cameras, but will continue to sell its current line of compacts and SLRs.
Reuters broke a story this morning saying that the company had decided to pull out of the film camera market, but Canon has since told us that it will simply stop the funding of new products in the old school genre.
A spokesperson said: ‘We will stay in the film camera market as long as there is a demand. Although we will no longer be investing in research and development for film cameras, we will continue to sell existing models.’
In short, this means the current line – including the EOS 3000N above – is likely to be all you’re going to get from now on. It’s hardly surprising – Nikon has stopped producing most of its film cameras, Olympus has said it will focus on DSLRs, and Konica Minolta pulled out of the film and digicam market completely in March.
Canon told us that an official statement outlining its intention will be given tomorrow morning – we’ll update this story once we get it.
Update 5.26pm (26/5/06): Canon has sent us the following to statement to clarify its position:
'Canon will remain in the film camera business as long as market needs exist. There is still demand for film cameras, particularly in markets outside of Japan, and we will continue to supply products in line with market needs while closely watching market conditions. Also, since Canon’s digital SLR camera lineup includes models equipped with a 35 mm full-frame image
sensor, we continue to produce EOS system accessories, including interchangeable EF lenses, that are compatible with both film and digital SLR cameras. We aim to further expand these offerings to satisfy both digital and conventional film camera users.
'The film camera market has been steadily contracting over the past several years. (If the current rate of decline should continue, with demand halving yearly, the size of the film camera market in 2009, just three years from now, would be around 1/100th of what it was in 1998.)
'Generally speaking, these circumstances make it increasingly difficult to develop new film cameras. We intend to closely watch future market demand and decide accordingly how we will proceed with regard to new product development. Canon will remain in the film camera
business as long as market needs exist.'