The Advent of the Digital Camera

The compact and stylish digital cameras that we know and love today share a common bond with film cameras of the past. Without the advent of film technology it would be difficult (if not impossible) to imagine a world where images could be viewed immediately on an integrated LCD screen or where hundreds of image files could be stored, altered or deleted on a single small memory card. Yet, many people use their cameras each and every day without acknowledging how they came to be and of the efforts that were involved in helping make them a part of our everyday lives.

Although the modern digital camera is a relatively new phenomenon, the first digital camera was created in the mid-1970′s by an engineer at Eastman Kodak and weighed in at an astonishing 8 pounds. The camera recorded images onto a full sized cassette tape and had an image resolution of just 0.01MP, far less than the 8 and 10MP digital cameras available today.

This early example was never intended to be carried around, but instead was used to prove that digital images could be captured and stored onto a separate medium.

The first true hand held electronic camera, the Sony Mavica, appeared in 1981, though it actually used analog technology to record continuous pixel signals, similar to video recording devices. The first true digital camera didn’t appear until 1988 with the introduction of the Fuji DS-1P, which utilized an internal 16MB battery powered memory card. It wasn’t until the early 1990′s that digital cameras became available in megapixel resolution, and the rest is history.

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