Canon has reached a new milestone ? 50 years of SLR cameras.

?Canon has been building and selling SLR cameras since the launch of the Canon Flex in May 1959,? the firm said in a statement today.

The EOS series first emerged in 1987 with the debut of the EOS 650 (pictured). It used an EF-series (electro focus) lens system where the camera and lens communicate through electrical contacts, rather than mechanically (as was previously the case).

?It was the debut of the EOS 300D in September 2003 that really shook things up,? added Canon.

The firm billed the 300D as the first ?affordable? digital SLR.

?Through ongoing investment in research and development – and by listening to its users – Canon will continue to offer photographers the very best tools available and lead the image culture for the next 50 years,? the statement continued.