Photographs are important for many reasons. For example, pictures are an indication of the things you value because you would only take photos of significant items, people, or events. Pictures are also useful because they help you store memories that you can share with future generations. In some cases, photographs inspire revolutions in politics or society. Today, the photography industry is worth $82.6 billion and it is growing at an annual rate of 5.9%. The global success of this market is astonishing given its humble beginnings. Here is a brief history of camera.
– The Camera Obscura in Ancient Times
Today, people use cameras from renowned brands such as Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Kodak. The technology used to make them originated from an ancient device known as a camera obscura. It projected the image of an object onto a screen. During the sixth century, a Greek architect in the Byzantine Empire used the camera obscura to conduct his experiments. His name was Anthemius. In 1000 AD, an Arab known as Alhazen Ibn Al-Haytham invented the pinhole camera. Then in 1685, Johann Zahn envisioned the small portable camera but the invention of this device did not happen during his lifetime. Instead, it occurred during the 1800s.
– The Box Camera in the Late 1800s
John Herschel, a British scientist, was the first person to use the term ‘photography.’ He came up with it in 1839. In the late 1830s, another Briton known as Henry Talbot invented the first negative upon which a person could make a number of positive prints. However, it was George Eastman, an American, who developed the first box camera. He called it a ‘Kodak.’ He started selling his box camera in 1888. The Kodak used a photographic film to capture pictures. The lens focus was not flexible and it had a single shutter speed.
– The Reflex Cameras in the 1920s
One of the biggest problems with the Kodak was that you could only see the object you wanted to photograph through a viewfinder. That means your view was different from that of the lens. To address this problem, innovators developed a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) Camera. The successful design for such a camera occurred in 1861 even though the idea for it had existed since 1676. In 1884, the first SLR cameras went into production. Unfortunately, the complexities of these cameras were too much for those who wanted them. By the 1920s, innovators had reduced these complications drastically and as such, the SLR cameras became widely popular among professional photographers.
– Digital Cameras in Contemporary Society
Instant cameras were popular before the digital revolution started. Edwin H. Land invented these cameras and the sale of the first one took place in 1948. It is important to note that the top selling camera model of all time was the Model 20 Swinger developed in 1965. It was an instant camera. However, digital cameras changed the world of photography entirely.
Today, all you need is a camera and a storage device. Paper, film, and ink are no longer necessary. The technology for digital cameras dates as far back as the 1960s when NASA started sending digital images back to earth from its space probes. Kodak launched the first Digital SLR camera aimed at the mass market in 1991. Today, digital cameras are the norm.