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Gear Announcements

Canon To Move Camera Production Back to Japan

By Anthony Thurston on January 11th 2015

According to a new report from Reuters, Canon has some new plans which will shift production of cameras back to Japan. This move comes after years of moving production overseas to China and Thailand.


Canon spokesperson, Hirotomo Fujimori, had this to say about the strategy change. “From now on, new copier, camera and printer products will be built at domestic factories and as they replace older products, the volume of goods made overseas will fall.”

The reason behind the move, according to Reuters, is the drastically declining value of the Yen. In other words, it’s now cheaper for them to build the products at home in Japan, like they used to do, rather than overseas. An interesting roll reversal, one that I think many of us will be happy with for a variety of reasons.

[REWIND: Canon 7d Mark II Review]

Apparently Canon is not the only company doing this either. Other big Japanese Imaging companies like Nikon and Panasonic are also considering similar moves. In recent years, it has become rare to find products made in Japan in this industry, making them more desirable over their overseas built counterparts.

Now, it seems, more of our stuff will come from Japan. Which as a consumer, and as someone who wants quality and well built items, is great news.

What are your thoughts on this news coming out of Japan? Do you think it is better for items to be produced in Japan, or do you care either way? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Photo Rumors via Reuters]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Julia S

    I know for sure that I would NOT spend my money on any camera that’s made in China. So, yes, this is a good news indeed.

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  2. Buddhika Jayawardana

    It is a very good decision. Now we can have more quality products.

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  3. Manuel Lopez

    I am happy to hear that Canon is moving the production of cameras back to Japan. This is a positive step toward quality and consistence. I am not thrill about any product manufacture in China or Thai. Wish Nikon do the same.

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  4. Rafael Steffen

    I think that we all are going to benefit with such a move. Usually quality control is always better in Japan over China.

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  5. William Emmett

    I’m a little mixed about this. When the manufacturing left Japan, many jobs were lost. It seemed they would not return, so experienced employees found new jobs in other factories. It would be hard for Canon, and the other imaging companies to pull any of these experienced employees back from their new professions. This would start a learning curve with new employees. Employees of the companies in Thailand, and China will feel abandoned, and will seek new employment elsewhere, quite possibly with a competitor, like Yongnuo. I think until the new employees in Japan are fully trained, and all the assembly lines operational, there will be a loss of quality. It all comes down to company loyalty to its employees.


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  6. robert garfinkle

    Will this move back to Japan make a difference in quality? I hope so. Not to sound prejudice, yet there is a stigma – the belief that if it’s made in China, it is less than; hence it was made in China to save cost translating to profit for investors. Now, having said that, it could be too, that a lower price of manufacturing (maybe materials as well) also translate to a less expensive products for consumers / professionals. Or is my view distorted / tainted with / prejudicial / ignorant? It’s ok, help me understand.

    When I think of optics and cameras – I think precision, I think Japanese –

    If, what I say has some degree of truth to it – cool. Again I ask, will this affect quality (i.e. all the issues we have just spoken about in other threads / discussions like the D750 issue).

    Personally, if the move does change quality, driving up price, so be it. Using the D810 as an example, I’d gladly pay 3700.00 to 4000.00 for a unit that was not DOA (having to get a second one), or the general concern that the quality is questionable and I might face more trouble keeping it working. and so on…

    Heck yeah – put the manufacturing back into the hands of people who pride themselves in building precision. Sold!!

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    • Stephen Jennings

      I’m not really sure the country has much to do with the quality, rather the materials. yeah, some people think there’s a difference between Nikon or Cannon products made in China or Tawain .. the biggest difference seems to be what those products are made out of. One of my favorite lenses for Nikon is the 50mm 1.4 and it’s made in China. It’s build quality is pretty cheap, big hunk of plastic really, but fabulous optics. What drives the prices down is that plastic though.. the cheaper construction. I don’t think it being made in China really effects the quality (it’s still a Nikon factory making the product after all.) Ah, my Nikon 105mm is also made in China and I’ve never heard anyone .. ever .. complain about that lens. As is my 35mm1.8, great plastic lens.

      Then if you take a look at some extremely expensive lenses built like metal tanks from companies like Zeiss or Leica you can see the cost really comes down to material. Those are lenses made to last, built precise with quality material.

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