LightPoint.info today launches a new information section: photo brands! In this section you will find the list of most of worldwide brands that produce photo gears (mainly cameras and lenses) or photo software.
Currently 48 brands are comprised and the list will grow; for each brand you will find some brief but interesting information: brand logo (proprietary of the company), headquarter location, year of foundation, and for the most famous ones a brief history and the description of abbreviations used in products like terms in lens naming. Also in each brand page you will find the links to product models of that brand in LightPoint photo gear database.
Out 48 brands, 43 are company brands while other 5 are open source projects, like RawTherapee, DarkTable or GIMP.
Now some interesting data we can ask to this new section about these 43 company brands...
Q. Where are photo brands located?
Most of photography brands have headquarters in Far East Asia, 23 ones (53%) of our list, with outstanding first place of Japan where even 12 brands are located, and they are the biggest names: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Sigma, Tamron, Pentax, Olympus. Japan is definitely the home of photo gears.
Other 11 brands (26%) are located in Europe, where the distribution is scattered among 8 countries, the top being Germany with 3 brands of which 2 are historical brands (Leica and Zeiss), also Voigtländer is German but, since years, is owned by the Japanese Cosina so it is counted in Asia.
North America holds the remaining 9 brands (21%) of our list.
Q. Which are the oldest brands?
The oldest one is Voigtländer, that was founded in the very old 1756 in Germany, in the 1800s Hasselblad and Zeiss were born and they are other two European companies, so we can say that the industry of photography has its root in Europe.
But from 1917 with Nikon to 1961 with Sigma, the photo industry exploded in Japan with 10 large companies started in just 44 years, and they are the big names: besides the two ones mentioned above, we have Canon, Olympus, Sony, Tokina, Tamron, Panasonic, Pentax, practically the vast majority of worldwide photo equipment business.
Q. And which are the newest ones?
In current XIX century, 18 new companies have been found, a bit more than half of these to make gears, the newest one being the Chinese TTartisan born in 2019, and the rest to produce software.
Q. So far we have talked about photo equipment. What about photo software companies?
The oldest photo software company is the American Adobe, born in 1982. Japan does not keep its undiscussed first position in gears also for software: software is easier to do than mass-production of lenses and cameras and software companies are mainly found in USA (e.g. Adobe, ON1, Skylum) but also in many other countries like Canada (Corel and ACDSee), United Kingdom (Serif), France (DxO), Denmark (PhaseOne).
Have a good reading.