September 14th, 2011 by abejaxjr
Tagged as: Science
You can bet George Eastman would be amazed. The man behind Kodak could never have imagined how taking photos would change in the century that followed the development of the first mass marketed camera. Inventors had been dabbling with photography for 600 years before Eastman made his breakthrough and now the advances continue at warp speed.
When you see a photo now of the big box cameras that Kodak first produced, you have to wonder how they ever caught on. The size made them difficult to travel with and the film had to be sent away to have it processed. There was no looking at your photos and deleting the pictures until you came up with a shot you were happy with. Digital photography has brought revolutionary changes to an industry that was dependant for so long on dark rooms and smelly developing solution.
The first digital camera surfaced in the United States about twenty years ago and it was considered the next best thing since the Polaroid. The Polaroid instant camera had come along 40 years earlier and produced an instant snap shot. The pictures it produced were not as sharp as 35 mm cameras but you got the instant gratification of watching your photo develop. While the digital cameras today show the image on-screen, the originals did not and you had to focus through the little window in the corner. It wasn’t until the Sony Mavica came along that the camera included a small crystal display to check images before recording them.
While the first digital cameras were a fraction of the size of the foot long folding cameras that Kodak brought us, the new digital cameras are a quarter of the size of the Mavica. You can find a camera on eBay which has all the latest bells and whistles. Cameras are now routinely included with most cell phones, and recording digital images is easier than ever before. One of the drawbacks to the first digital camera was that you could only store a few images before downloading them to a computer but now small memory cards can hold hundreds of images. The other thing that has helped digital photography thrive are color printers which allow you to print your own photos at home and the abundance of social networking sites like Facebook which make it easy to share pictures with others.
The wonders of technology have now made the latest digital cameras smaller than the 3×5 photos they produce. Where is the industry headed next? Share your thoughts on the future of picture-taking or your favorite camera from the past.