Do you know when was camera invented?
A camera is a type of optical instrument used to capture visual images. It mainly consists of a lens, a shutter, and a sensor. The camera’s main body comprises an enclosed body and an aperture that allows the light through to capture images.
Different cameras have different mechanisms to control the fall of light on light-sensitive photo paper. The aperture area can be increased or decreased. The shutter decides the time the photosensitive surface is exposed to light.
The first camera
The first photographic camera to be commercially developed and marketed was the daguerreotype. This first consumer camera had an exposure time of 5 10 30 minutes, and the photographic plates could be purchased in a range of all sizes.
A breakthrough in the camera industry happened in the mid-1800s when the plates started to be treated. This resulted in better and sharper images, and also reduce exposure time. The exposure time happened to be so fast that the invention of the shutter was required to expose the plate to light before blocking it again.
Kodak started the camera revolution with the invention of Brownie cameras. The Kodak was a simple box camera loaded with 100 exposure rolls of film. And where the first roll film cameras were. The only handicap was when the roll finished, and the camera had to be sent back to the factory in Rochester.
The main advances of Kodak were the development of roll films and simple focus cameras. In Rochester, a new film was loaded, and the camera was delivered back to the customer. At the same time, the old film was being processed at the factory.
Although marketing strategies adopted by Kodak were top-notch, simplifying the mechanism and processing of the film of the camera made photography accessible to millions.
The camera technology boomed with the invention of BROWNIE, and Kodak entered the snapshot industry. The earliest cameras create images in circular forms, which later evolved into rectangular forms.
During the first decade of the twentieth century, several self-claimed professional photographers formed an organization from reacting to the snapshot craze and promote photography as fine art. These snapshots were generally taken for personal reasons at weddings, graduations, and parades. Nevertheless, in the later decades, snapshots were again reconsidered and came into the market again.
When was the camera invented?
The history of the camera involves a wide journey from the earliest cameras to the new aged DSLR camera.
The earliest camera known to humankind is the camera obscura. Also, the camera obscura was the first photographic camera to be used. They came into light as the pinhole camera. When light passes through a small hole or lens and is projected on a screen, the phenomenon is known as the camera obscura concept.
The earlier versions of the digital cameras were based on this concept. The resultant produced was an inverted image of the object on the opposite screen. The pinhole cameras were not developed to capture an image but were usually used to generate miniature images of the object.
Due to the light being passed through a small hole, a pinhole camera creates images, and the size and sharpness of the image will depend on the size of the hole and the interference of light through it.
Before the invention of the photographic camera, there was no way of preserving the images produced by these cameras apart from manually tracing them. The first camera was the size of a room, and objects or people were shifted inside.
The sizes in the later stages were made compact and even pocket-sized in much later years. The first camera that could be characterized as portable and small was patented in 1685, though it took another 150 years for the application to be made possible.
The method was used for several centuries to observe the sun during eclipses without harming the eyes. In the later centuries, it was used to produce the resultant camera image on a paper film, and then it was used by the artists to trace.
Portable cameras were built in the later stages, and even pocket-sized camera obscura was developed. The interior of these boxes was painted black and white images were created using an angled mirror so that the image would be right side up.
Box cameras were invented as a prototype digital camera while working on the camera obscura. They were also the first photographic camera that was portable. When the first box camera landed on the market, it was missing a shutter mechanism, and the professional photographer had to remove the lens cap to expose the photograph.
A basic box camera was made up of two metal parts combined to form a rectangular box with the focus camera lens mounted at the front, a loading knop on the side, and a frame counter window at the back of the camera.
The angles mirrors were fixed at the top and on the side to get a side-up view for the photographer. The best photographs through a box camera were taken during the daytime.
These were famous for their other alias as well: Brownie Camera. Kodak’s Brownie cameras were one of the most used box cameras in that era.
Due to the missing shutter mechanism, focusing on an object was impossible, and to have your subject in focus, you would have to adjust the aperture and the knob.
The photos were captured without perfection or technicalities and are later known as snapshots. So the snapshots taken by the current generation photographic camera are thanks to the box camera.
Roll film camera
Kodak made the first camera that used a single roll of paper film known as ‘The Kodak.’ The camera captured negative photos and produced sharper images, and one could measure exposure time in fractions of seconds.
The film would need to remain in the dark box, which would then be transported to the main factory for the film to be processed and load a new reel in the camera. The first roll film camera had a roll that could accommodate up to 100 pictures.
35mm film camera
First introduced by Kodiak, the 35mm film camera quickly became the standard roll. The roll was 35mm wide, which allowed the roll to be used in cameras of different companies and became the norm later.
35mm film would come in a cassette shielding it from light. The photographer would place it into the camera and “wind” it onto a spool within the device. When they opened the camera, the film would be back safely in the cassette, ready for processing. The film was rewound into the cassette as each photograph was taken.
The roll film cameras comprised cassette shielding housed the 35mm roll. The photographer would wind the roll in the given spool. After every picture was taken, the film would be back in the camera.
A standard cassette of 135 films would have 36 photos available, while later was upgraded to 20.
In single-lens reflex cameras, the photographer sees the object through the camera lens. In an SLR camera, a mirror is provided to redirect light from the camera lens to the viewpoint lens for focusing the image. When the shutter is released, the mirror swings up and instantly returns after the exposure is finished.
All the single-lens reflex cameras use a front mirror to direct the light from the viewing screen to the eyepiece. During the exposure, the mirror is flipped out of the direction of light before the shutter opens again.
This avoids the problems of parallax, which occurs when the viewing lens is separated from the reflex lens.
Handheld reflex camera
As the name suggests, a handheld reflex camera is held by the operator in its hands rather than the traditional mounting on a tripod. Handheld cameras are used because they provide freedom to be moved anywhere and are convenient in size to travel.
The news media frequently uses a handheld camera to gather images. Almost all cameras are handheld, and certain professional video cameras are developed for handheld use.
Handheld shots often result in shaky images, so a new concept of photography known as the shaky camera came into the light. The shaky camera is mostly used during film shooting. Several stabilization techniques are used to stabilize the shaky image, including optical and digital methods.
Invented by Louis Daguerre in 1829. Daguerreotype cameras were the first commercially used cameras in the history of photography. The daguerreotype camera produced the camera image on a silvered copper plate. The photos taken by the daguerreotypes were accurate and shaped, which were the main reasons for its distinguishment from other commercial reasons.
The drawback of the daguerreotypes was it’s not pocket friendly and is rather heavy. Due to having metal and glass plates, it was highly vulnerable and was generally accommodated in special housings.
When the portrait stores opened in the mid-1800s, crowds emerged for their portraits to be taken. Among them, the majority were aristocrats and wealthy personalities. Since the daguerreotypes were extremely expensive, only the wealthy could afford them. The sharp and accurate images were the reasons behind their popularity among these personals.
The daguerreotype cameras were also used in several other fields to record documents such as topographic, natural phenomenons, and other remarkable events.
The drawbacks of the daguerreotype camera included the image started fading quickly. Alexander S. Walcott later resolved this in his invention of the mirror camera. This camera produced positive images instead of negative ones with inverted colors.
Twin lens reflex cameras
As the name suggests, twin-lens reflex cameras consist of two lenses of the same focal length arranged above the other. The lower lens is the taking lens, while the upper lens is the viewing lens. Behind the viewing lens, a mirror angled at 45 degrees is mounted to reflect the image on the focusing camera.
The twin-lens arrangement was designed to give a viewfinder image very close to the one recorded by the taking lens. For focusing, both the viewing and taking lenses moved together on the same photographic plate. Due to the fixed focus lens, the twin reflex camera was quite reliable and accurate.
With changing, technologies and humans adapting to these technologies, the features of twin reflex cameras were promoted as compared to single-lens reflex cameras. However, during the times of TLR cameras, the features were generally related to configuration and moving mirrors.
Over time, the camera’s downsides came to light as the SLR camera started gaining popularity. The box body was only handy, and the image was usually reversed.
Just about all TLRs had fixed lenses. In the short term, the cons overweighed the pros, which seemed superficial as the roll film cameras came into the market with changes such as perfected flexibility and interchangeable lenses.
The first movie camera was invented in the year 1882. It was developed in a way to capture 12 permanent images per second and reveal them on a plate. In simpler terms, a movie camera captures permanent images at a very high rate. The images were referred to as ‘frames’ when used in movies.
Color photographic camera
The first color photograph was created in 1961 when Thomas Sutton arranged three monochrome plates. It was later found that Red, Green, and Blue were the basics of every color photographic film.
From the initial phase, inventors wanted to find a way to produce images in colors we see as humans. Some convenient methods were to use multiple lenses, coating the plate with different chemicals, or using color filters between the plates and lens.
The latter was found to be much more suitable. Although convenient methods were found in the prior phase, producing color photographs were expensive. It was not until the late 60s that the color photographs were accessible to the middle class.
Some professional photographers still prefer black and white photos, claiming that the result is clearer and sharper.
Known as the instant camera. These can print the photographs within the device rather than processing the film later. The instant camera worked by taping the negative film to the positive film of the processing film.
Later versions of the polaroid cameras would automatically peel off the negative film and produce only the positive film.
Kodak developed the first digital camera in 1975. The camera weighed 4 kilograms and captured black and white images.
The first commercially available handheld camera, which used digital camera technology, was invented in 1990. The camera was connected to the computer, and the photos were downloaded for printing and viewing.
Digital SLR cameras were the next big thing, and the Japanese camera manufacturers were excited about it. Nikon and Canon soon cornered the market with their high-quality devices.
Samsung and sharp soon came up with their devices, and the monopoly for camera phones started. In 1999, Kyocera developed the first camera phone. It was named Kyocera VP-210 and had a 110,000-pixel camera and a 2-inch viewing screen.
When Apple launched its first iPhone, camera phones were not only a fun gimmick but became a helpful tool. The iPhone could send and receive photos via a cellular network and connect everyone worldwide.
With the increase of digital photography and analog photography, cameras have become an essential part of our lives. Being a wedding, a graduation ceremony, a party, or any memorable event, cameras are needed to capture these moments and print on the permanent image. Not only for the sake of technology, but several antique collectors are also moving back to the 35mm film cameras for a sense of nostalgia.
The history of photography is long and an interesting one. From the first camera obscura to the modern DSLR camera, we have come a long way and will always continue to move forward.
I hope this guide on the evolution of cameras and the photography world was a fascinating read for you!!