In a surprising move, Canon has today announced a new camera that supports both film and digital formats, stunning no one more than us.

Canon’s new FIXUS 910 camera blends the best of Canon’s current digital technology with a piece of old-school history, allowing the back to open and have a roll of APX film inserted in. There’s still digital shooting complete with a touchscreen LCD, but the camera is a little chunkier due to the allowance of a film canister in the back.

The move comes after stores with boxes of film wrote to the company complaining of a blatant disregard for their businesses.

“We’re releasing these cameras after listening to the pains that tourism businesses have suffered since camera companies moved to digital,” a Canon spokesperson said. “Now businesses in the tourism belts of Los Angeles, Paris, Honolulu, New York, and Sydney, Australia can go about their daily business and convince regular people that APS film is just as value-packed as using an SD card to store their memories.”

The move is a surprising one, especially given the decrease in film use over the past ten years. Three months ago, GadgetGuy tested the film process and found that the average development cycle of one roll of film amounted to at least $45 and three days of waiting.

But businesses are already embracing the move. One business located in Sydney’s tourist-rich Circular Quay told GadgetGuy that they had been “waiting for a move like this for a while” and they “had so much stock of film (they) couldn’t move”.

“It was like film just up and died and we were supposed to pick up the pieces,” the store’s owner said. “We’ve got a business to run, you know? I can’t just go out there and convince people that film is better. How am I going to do that?”

When asked how the camera works, Canon told us that its new compact digital film camera moves the entire sensor to the side when film is inside the camera.]

“The sensor actually shifts several centimeters to the left when a roll of film is detected inside,” the spokesperson said, “thereby allowing the camera to shoot unhindered.”

Will other camera companies follow in suit? No one can say at this point, or rather, no one is. We asked Sony for comment and were greeted with “Sony hasn’t sold a film camera in over a decade,” while Nikon just said “Nikon doesn’t comment on rumour or speculation,” leading us to believe that Canon’s biggest competitor may have something in the wings.