On July 25, 1917, Nippon K?gaku K?gy? Kabushikigaisha or Japan Optical Industries Co., Ltd was founded in Tokyo, Japan, when three major optics manufacturers merged to form one corporation. In its early years, the company’s focus was on producing lenses for use in binoculars, microscopes and other products.
During World War II, the demand for lenses for bomb sights and periscopes led to the rapid growth of the company. By the end of the fighting, Japan Optical Industries Co. had 19 factories and more than 23,000 employees in Japan. Following the war, Japan Optical began working on producing products that would incorporate the lenses that they manufactured.
In 1959, the company unveiled its first 35-millimeter camera, the Nikon F series. The high quality of the images that could be captured with the camera’s lenses quickly made them popular around the globe. For the next two decades, the Nikon F series models were the number one choice for cameras among professional photographers.
The company is responsible for developing many of the features that are now standard in SLR cameras, such as built-in light meters, electronic shutter control and automatic film advance, which eliminated the need for winding a camera after each snapshot. The brand was also one of the first to manufacture digital SLR cameras. In 1988, the name of Japan Optical Industries Co., Ltd was changed to simply Nikon, after the brand’s top-selling line of products, its cameras.
Although Nikon had been selling cameras in Australia since the first F series models were released, the brand did not establish a corporate presence here until November 2006. Called Nikon Australia Pty Ltd, the company has its headquarters in Sydney.
Nikon is one of the top-selling brands of SLR cameras in Australia, and in 2011, the brand won the TIPA Award for Best Advanced SLR camera with the Nikon D7000 VR KIT D7000 with VR Lens Kit. The camera has the ability to shoot up to 100 shots continuously and can shoot full 1080p HD movies with full-time AF, making it a standout among available SLR models. The camera has a 50,000-cycle rated shutter system and with its weather and dust seals, is built to be heavy duty for use in all types of climates. The design is completed by a 3-inch LCD screen and a 100 percent viewfinder.
Due to the popularity of Nikon SLR cameras worldwide, the company has produced more than 60 million units of its various SLR models. In addition to its TIPA Award, Nikon also won several Red Dot awards for product design in 2011. Many of these awards were for point-and-shoot model cameras in the brand’s Coolpix range. This lineup of compact digital cameras includes basic, entry-level models; stylish models like the Nikon Coolpix S3500 and top-of-the-line models that produce professional-quality results like the Nikon Coolpix P510.
Although best known for cameras, Nikon Australia also produces additional optical products for home and professional use. Among these are digital film scanners, flashlights and a wide variety of sports optics.