Released in 1961, the Canonet was Canons first ever intermediate-class 35mm camera. Available for around $100 (around $1,000 adjusted for inflation) the camera was an instant hit, selling ‘an entire weeks worth of stock in only two hours’. Two and a half years later, a million Canonets were sold making Canon a recognisable name in photography around the world.
‘It’s the difference between a machine and an instrument. We make instruments. ’ - Canonet advertisement
With a ‘fully automatic electric-eye’ powered by a circular selenium photocell, the Canonet was able to meter without the need for a battery. Due to the photocell being arranged around the lens any filters used would be accounted for in the cameras metering.
‘Actually, it’s a lot easier to put the electric eye in a rectangle somewhere else on the camera. (Most equipment makers do.) It’s also less expensive - but it’s not good enough for us. Or you.’ - Canonet advertisement
With a 45mm f1.9 fixed lens the Canonet was capable of shooting beautifully sharp images in low light conditions, even compared to much more modern automatic compact cameras. The rangefinder focusing system allowed easy focusing from around 0.8m/2.6ft,
The camera offered both shutter-speed priority and fully manual shooting modes. The camera will even prevent the shutter from firing where it detects insufficient light for an acceptable exposure.
In the years following the release of the Canonet, Canon continued to innovate and expand its camera lineup. They released a variety of different models, including the Canon AE-1, which was a popular choice among amateur and professional photographers in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, Canon is one of the leading camera manufacturers in the world, known for producing high-quality cameras and lenses for both professional and consumer use.
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Additionally, we stand behind our products by offering a 30 day guarantee on all electronic and mechanical failures. You can trust that your purchase will be in good working condition.
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