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Canon Mulls Exiting Film Camera Biz

Japan’s Canon said today that since the imaging world is mainly focused on digital technology, it would consider putting an end to development of new film camera products. If it did so, however, the company said it would still continue to make and sell existing compact and SLR film cameras as long as there was sufficient market demand.

Markets for consumer and professional film-based cameras have been shrinking in favor of increasingly sophisticated digital camera systems. Earlier this year, Nikon said it was ceasing production of all but a few high-end film cameras, and Konica Minolta announced its exit from the camera and film markets altogether in late 2005. Increasing costs of raw materials have also negatively impacted the film camera business, with film makers Fuji and Kodak recently announcing across-the-board price increases for photographic media.

Canon plans to continue development of digital cameras for both consumer and professional markets.