The Digital Camera

Topics: Digital single-lens reflex camera, Digital camera, Single-lens reflex camera Pages: 25 (7323 words) Published: February 12, 2013


The World‘s First Digital Camera by Kodak and Steve Sasson

The Evolution of Digital Cameras
A film-free camera was patented as early as 1972 by Texas Instruments, but Kodak researcher Steve J. Sasson, built what was to become the first true digital camera in the middle of the 1970s. Weighing over eight pounds, Sasson‘s device used a number of complex circuit boards to capture one image onto a cassette—taking over twenty seconds (Rosenblum 2007). Kodak released its first megapixel sensor in 1986, a predecessor to its digital camera system (DCS) of the early 1990s. The sensor produced an image from which a good quality 5x7 print could be made. The DCS-100 used the best of available film camera technology, Nikon‘s professional F-3 series, and equipped it with a Kodak 1.3 megapixel sensor and a 200 MB hard drive— all for about $13,000. Early 1+ megapixel cameras pointed to the potential for digital imaging but were often prohibitively expensive, slow in image processing, and lacking in the range of image resolution needed by many professional photographers. The First Digital Camera Used Cassette & Was Slow & Heavy The world‘s very first digital camera was built in 1975 by Eastman Kodak employee Steven Sasson who was asked to build an electronic camera using a charge coupled device (CCD). Such a device has become an important component in digital imaging and it was the CCD which allowed Sasson to record a 100×100 (.01 MP) black and white image using his invention.

Using the CCD to capture the image, Sasson‘s electronic camera then wrote them to cassette. This rather analog process took 23 seconds to complete. The device he had created was indeed just what the brief had stated – an electronic camera which weighed 8lbs (3.6KG) and was the size of a toaster. Because the device used a solid chip rather than tape or film like conventional cameras, Sasson had created the world‘s first digital camera. You can view the patent the device was awarded here.

History Of The Charged Coupled Device
In 1969, George Smith and Willard Boyle invented the first CCDs or Charge Coupled Devices at Bell Labs. A CCD is an electronic memory that can be charged by light. CCDs can hold a charge corresponding to variable shades of light, which makes them useful as imaging devices for cameras, scanners, and fax machines. Because of its superior sensitivity, the CCD has revolutionized the field of astronomy and is found on many scientific space vehicles such as the Hubble Telescope.

Modern Digital Cameras
In the last few years, digital cameras have achieved the range of functionality of their film predecessors, and many believe that they have far surpassed them, as well. Not only have affordable digital single lens reflex (SLR) cameras such as Canon‘s Rebel series brought high quality photography to the masses, but serious upscale SLRs produced by many of the major reputable film camera companies emerged to fully legitimize digital photography for professional photographers. The Digital Rebel SLR emerged in 2003 w ith 6.3 megapixels and interchangeable lens, the latter being a key feature for serious photographers. Nikon followed suit the next year with the D70, replacing the more expensive, fewer-featured D100. Soon Olympus, Pentax, and others offered affordable consumer cameras that helped spur the professional digital imaging revolution.

Modern digital cameras use designations such as dynamic range and megapixels to describe the maximum resolution the camera can record images at. A megapixel is one million pixels and, technically speaking, the greater the megapixels, the higher the image resolution—though one New York...
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