Photography has come a long way in its relatively short history. In almost 200 years, the camera developed from a plain box that took blurry photos to high-tech, mini computers found in today’s smartphones and DSLR cameras.

The story of photography is fascinating. Let's take a brief look at the highlights and major developments of this scientific art form.

The timeline

In 1500, the first pinhole camera, the Camera Obscura, was created by Ibn Al-Haytham. In this apparatus, the light passed through a small hole to strike a reflective surface on which a colored image was projected. In 1839, Louis Daguerre created and launched the Daguerreotype, a device that captured images on a silver copper plate and was highly expensive to produce.


Image: A photograph taken with a Daguerreotype.

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In 1840, Alexander Walcott’s mirror camera became popular. It made photography cheaper and faster by using paper for printing. However, it took five minutes for a person to be photographed using this device.

In 1888, George Eastman patented the Kodak roll-film camera. In 1900, he launched the famous Kodak Brownie, which became a mass-marketed camera. The year 1900 also saw the advent of the Reise-Camera which was a much-desired travel camera for its small size and foldability.

In 1948, the Polaroid Camera was invented by Edwin Land, which could print pictures in a minute. By 1978, the first autofocus camera called Jasupin was introduced by Konica. In 1981, the world’s first digital-electronic still camera called the Sony Mavica was introduced. It was this camera, which heralded the magnificent era of digital photography. In 1991, Kodak released their first professional digital camera system with a 1.3-megapixel sensor. Between the years of 1994 and 1996, several other brands introduced digital cameras for mass usage.


Image: George Eastman’s Kodak roll-film camera.

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Image: Edwin Land with the Polaroid SX-70 camera.

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In the year 2000, camera phones were introduced. The first commercially successful camera phone could capture an image in 0.3-megapixel. In 2005, Canon launched a consumer DSLR camera which has become a successfully selling camera, up until date.

And that was how the camera evolved into what we know of it today. Cameras of the modern generation come with a variety of features which makes it easier to capture photographs with ease. The camera which was once considered a luxury has now gone on to become a bare necessity in our daily lives.

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