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Ten years of Canon Digital IXUS

Dennis Hissink
Photokina report
Monday 18th, September 2006
Posted by: Dennis Hissink

Canon marked reaching another milestone by holding a lavish celebration in the company of hundreds of journalists and guests from the photo, fashion, design and lifestyle industries. Last Thursday, 14 September, guests were flown in from all over Europe to one of the several hotels reserved for the occasion. Canon Digital IXUS was celebrating its 10th birthday and Canon wanted to share this anniversary with everyone who directly or indirectly involved in the IXUS's success. The original IXUS Advanced Photo System (APS) camera immediately became a design classic when it was introduced in 1996. The Canon IXUS design still has record sales up to the present day.

Canon Digital IXUS

Canon IXUS camera - Analogue and Digital
With its tactile stainless steel casing and unique 'box and circle' design by Yasushi Shiotani, the IXUS ushered in a fundamental shift between function and form. Within a few months of its introduction, the camera had a 30% share of the market and has become the best sold camera of the APS age. In total more than 10.5 million IXUS APS cameras have been sold worldwide. Today, 33 million IXUS cameras have been sold worldwide, or in other words; a Canon IXUS is sold every ten seconds.

Canon Digital IXUS - Design
In 2000, Canon introduced the IXUS design concept to the world of digital photography. The design team of the Canon Digital IXUS reduced the lens system and most important technologies by at least 50% to fit the body format of the very first IXUS APS camera. When it was introduced, the Digital IXUS was the smallest, lightest camera in the world. Globally, more than 800.000 examples were sold and Canon's position as market leader was firmly established. Since then, more than 22 million consumers over the world have bought a Digital IXUS. More than 2 million examples of the most popular model from the range, the Digital IXUS 50 have been sold worldwide. Today, IXUS is every bit as original as it was in 1996.

Yasushi Shiotani and Seiichi Omino
During the party to celebrate the IXUS's 10th anniversary, its designers Yasushi Shiotani and Seiichi Omino were called to the podium and praised for their contribution to Canon's success. Yasushi Shiotani studied at Tsukuba University in Japan and started working for Canon straight after graduation. After 8 years working for the company, Canon sent the thirty year old Shiotani to the Domus Academy in Italy. After an intensive training period with a group of international designers, Shiotani returned to Canon in Japan and used his knowledge to design the very first IXUS camera. Now that electronic equipment is becoming ever more complex and functional, Seiichi Omino's approach to design is focused on bridging the gap between technology and people. Not only was Seiichi Omino responsible for the design of the first Digital IXUS models, but he has also designed typewriters, faxes, telescopes and other digital cameras.

Canon Digital IXUS

Canon Super Diamond IXUS
To commemorate this IXUS milestone, Canon paid a visit to a diamond merchant who covered 10 Canon IXUS cameras in diamonds. Ten IXUS Diamond cameras, one for each year, will become collector's items for whoever owns them. One of the cameras was auctioned at the party, together with ten framed enlargements of behind-the-scene photos made by style icons like Robert Cavalli, Donatella Versace and Christian Lacroix. Proceeds went to Red Cross European youth projects. A diamond version of the Canon IXUS went for £2,400 op (€3.300) and was one of the most expensive items auctioned that evening. The other models, including a Super Diamond IXUS, will be auctioned on E-bay. Valued at €40.000, the Super Diamond IXUS is covered in 380 diamonds supplied by Eddie Elzas from Antwerp, owner of the world's largest collection of coloured diamonds.

Canon Digital IXUS

Canon Digital IXUS 10 year anniversary
The champagne flowed freely all evening at the star-studded party in London's Brick Lane which was finally brought to a close with music. Most of the international guests went back to their hotels around midnight. Others stayed on until the early hours and only had a few hours sleep before returning to Heathrow airport. The international airport is still being subjected to extensive security measures and long waiting times are the rule rather than the exception. When they finally got home, however, visitors could look back on a great party. Ten years of IXUS is an exceptional achievement and Canon has every reason to be proud!

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