Japan's top camera maker, Canon Inc., will stop developing new single-lens reflex film cameras as more people abandon film for digital, company officials said Thursday.
The Tokyo-based Canon's move followed a similar move by its closest Japanese rival, Nikon Corp., which announced earlier this year it would stop making seven of its nine film cameras and concentrate on digital models.
Canon will continue making film cameras already on the market as long as their demand remains. Whether to withdraw from the film camera business will be "decided appropriately by judging the market situation," said Canon spokesman Hiroshi Yoshinaga.
Japanese camera makers sold a combined total 64.77 million digital cameras last year globally, compared with 5.38 million film cameras, according to industry figures. Yoshinaga said his company could not disclose the number of cameras sold.
Meanwhile, Tsuneji Uchida, president of Canon, told reporters that demand for film cameras will be limited to "special needs" like camera buffs, Kyodo News agency said.
In January, Konica Minolta Holdings Inc., another Japanese optical manufacturer, said it was quitting the camera business altogether - digital and film - and selling its digital assets to rival Sony Corp.