The Japanese company Canon is currently the largest camera manufacturer in the world. Canon’s product line of cameras includes the well known EOS SLR camera as well as system cameras such as PowerShot and IXUS compact cameras. The company also manufactures EF lenses and Speedlite flash units.
EOS stands for Electo-Optical System. The EOS product line was introduced in 1987 and since 2004, only digital camera models have been produced. Digital cameras manufactured by Canon have a D in their type designation. In 2010, Canon stopped producing analogue camera models altogether. Canon model designations make it possible to categorise their cameras clearly according to quality and range of applications. Professional models, usually, have a model name with only one number (e.g. Canon EOS 5D, Canon EOS 1D X), semi-professional models have two digits (e.g. Canon EOS 60D, Canon EOS 70D) and amateur models have either three or four digits (e.g. Canon EOS 600D, Canon EOS 1200D). The letters at the end of the model names stand for certain characteristics of the camera or improvements in the product line.
In the digital EOS cameras, active-pixel sensors (APS) are used for measuring light. These are also called CMOS image sensors. These sensors are distinguishable due to the fact that they have in-pixel amplifiers. CMOS image sensors are manufactured in two different sizes: either the KB format or the smaller APS-C format.
All EOS SLR cameras can be fitted with a Canon lens with an EF mount or with compatible lenses from other manufacturers. EOS cameras with an APS-C sensor starting from the model EOS 300D come with a new lens mount, which is also capable of being fitted with an EF-S bayonet-style lens. These are characterised by a more compact design since the lens moves closer to the sensor due to the fact that the camera is mirror-less. EF-S lenses, however, cannot be used on other common Canon SLR cameras since they have a shorter flange-to-film distance. The EOS M is Canon’s first interchangeable lens camera without a mirror (a so-called system camera). The EOS M has an APS-C sensor and can be fitted with Canon EF and EF-S lenses.
The Canon Digital IXUS and PowerShot model lines are made up of very compact digital cameras with an innovative design and high performance. There are also a multitude of different cameras in these product lines for different demands. Cameras in the IXUS line were originally designed for photography beginners while cameras in the PowerShot line were designed for more advanced users. Besides being able to take photos and film, current models also offer the possibility to share these via Wi-Fi.