Canon was responding to online articles, published earlier this week, claiming that it may axe compact cameras priced under 20,000 yen (around £117).

In response to a report in Japanese business newspaper The Nikkan Kogyo, a Canon spokesman last night told Amateur Photographer (AP): ‘Canon is considering narrowing the range of models in the low-end of the digital compact camera line, but no decision to withdraw from the market has been made and no price level was determined.’

Many camera makers have been forced to cut lower-end compacts as smartphones take over.

Brands including Fujifilm and Olympus last year moved to pare back their compact ranges, focusing instead on higher-end models and interchangeable-lens cameras.

However, last month, Nikon signalled that it plans to do just the opposite in an interview with AP.

Nikon launched no fewer than nine new Coolpix cameras at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, including a budget-end £69.99 model called the Coolpix L29.

And, earlier this month, it announced a further seven models.

Nikon bosses hope to corner the compact market as rivals head for the exit door.