The History of Cameras: From Camera Obscura, Heliograph, Kodak to iPhone and GoPro
Pre-historic scientists from India, China and Greece and developed basic principles of optics. The earliest form of the primordial camera has to be the pinhole camera prevalent in prehistoric Asia. Text inscriptions belonging to the 5th century BC show that theories existed about forming an image upside down using a pinhole on the opposite wall. Greek thinker Aristotle mentions about pinhole cameras in his works. Then came the era of the Obscura cameras in the 11th century AD.
Can be attributed to many people. Some people remodelled it, some improved it. Some people introduced it to the masses and some upgraded versions.
A camera was theoretically envisioned in the year 1685 by Johann Zahn. But a major breakthrough was when Johan Heinrich Schulz discovered the relationship between silver nitrate and light. Joseph Nicephore Niepce came up with a wooden camera that could fit a microscope lens in the year 1816.
A decade later, he invented something known as ‘heliograph’. Another decade and a year later, in 1937, Louis Daguerre, along with Sir Joseph who invented the heliograph formulated the photographic process. That technology was used to take the first-ever aerial photograph ever. It was taken by the Gaspard Felix Tournachon of Place De L’ Etolie, Paris from an altitude of 520 meters. By the time it was 1861, a Scottish physicist called James Maxwell invented the colour photograph. Ten years down the line, a less cumbersome method of capturing images using dry plates came into existence because of Dr Richard Maddox.
Then came the era of the ‘Kodak’, which was set to change the world of photography forever!
In 1888, Mr George Eastman introduced a low priced and portable camera which was within the reach of the common man. The popularity of the cameras can be single-handedly attributed to Mr Eastman’s laudable efforts.
The advent of Motion Pictures
In 1878, Eadweard Muybridge had a breakthrough in capturing moving images and this led to a new concept called motion pictures. Fast forward 7 decades, in 1948, the world is all set to witness the birth of the instant-picture camera.11 years later, Japanese scientists produce the first-ever camera with interchangeable components, the legendary Nikon f.
The digital camera was invented by Mr Steven Sasson from Eastman Kodak as later as 1975 and since then, there has been no stopping!
By the year 2016, iPhone 7 had introduced a six-layer camera lens. The world of photography had been advancing at a spiralling speed. A VGA camera in 1993 became the first to have the ability to store image files in the solid-state flash memory.
The first consumer camera is the Kodak QuickTake which was quickly absorbed into the iPhone’s arsenal. The year 1994 – The world is about to be enthralled by Wi-Fi enabled cameras that can transmit photos to any recipient without the help of computers.
The entry of the DSLRs in 1991 changed the phenomenon forever. The Nikon D1, priced at less than half of an average SLR. The Casio Exilim EX-S1 series ticked off the rat race for sleek gadgets. But what actually turned into a revolution is the 6MP Canon DSLR which turned even an amateur photographer into an incredible one! Then came giants like Canon EOS 5D, Nikon D700 & Sony Alpha 900.
2007 witnessed the emergence of the GoPro movement with the introduction of the GoPro Digital Hero 3 that allowed people to capture photos and videos during bicycle rides, trekking, sports and even during driving cars. What really took cameras into every household is the third-party photo-sharing apps in the Apple iPhone.
The Nikon D800 swayed the market with an unbelievable 36 million pixel full-frame sensor in 2012. Four years into it’s making, The Canon 5D Mark !V with a jaw-dropping 30.1 megapixels full-frame digital single lens-reflex hits the stores with a 4k video resolution.