Picture Perfect

Canon clicks with its cameras

Until only a few years ago, American consumers tended to regard 35-mm cameras as tricky devices loaded with inscrutable dials and knobs. Now they are as much a part of the tourist's gear as a straw hat and Bermuda shorts. The company most responsible for the change is Japan's Canon (1983 revenues: $2.8 billion). In 1976 it brought out a revolutionary model called the AE-1. Containing a built-in microprocessor, the camera made exposure settings a snap. An aggressive ad campaign that used sports stars to tout the AE-l's easy...

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