[tweetmeme]This guest post was written by Jason Acar. Jason is currently a content writer for MyCamera.co.za. He has extensive journalism experience and a keen interest in photography.

Many budding photographers still debate whether to buy digital cameras, or opt for older analogue film models. The truth is, technology has advanced so much that digital cameras can achieve just about anything you want when it comes to photography.

To easily display the rise and fall of both digital and film eras, we have compiled this interesting timeline, highlighting some of the most important moments in the history of photography:

1826 - Nicephore Niepce took the first permanent photograph in history. Although there may have been other photographs taken during this time, the photograph of the exterior of his home is the oldest photo on record. He took the image using a camera obscura and a sheet of pewter coated with bitumen of Judea, which hardened permanently when exposed to light. Capturing the image took eight hours.

1839 – William Fox Talbot invents the positive/negative process. Although essentially a negative photograph, which he dubbed as the “photogenic drawing process”, he streamlined the process a year later and renamed it the calotype. This effect remains popular today.

1854- André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri became known for the introduction of the carte de visite (French “visiting card”). Disdéri’s rotating camera could reproduce eight individually exposed images on a single negative.

1861 – Renowned physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell took the first ever first colour photograph. He created the image of a tartan ribbon by photographing it three times through red, yellow and blue filters before combining them into one colour image.

1868 - Louis Arthur Ducos du Hauron of France became a pioneer in the field of colour photography. Using additive (red, green, blue) and subtractive (cyan, magenta, yellow) methods, he turned colour photography into an art form. He would go on to patent some of his methods, while one of his most famous, and earliest, photos is a landscape portrait of Southern France, taken by the subtractive method in 1877.

1887 - Gabriel Jonas Lippmann, a physicist and inventor, landed the Nobel Prize in 1908 for using the phenomenon of interference to reproduce colours on a photographic basis. This later became known as the Lippmann Plate.

1888 – The Kodak No. 1 Box camera was introduced, allowing the mass market to finally try their hand at photography. Once one hundred photos had been taken, owners would ship the camera back to Kodak and have the images printed at a price of $10.

1900 – If the No 1 Box introduced the average Joe, the introduction took things a step further. This camera made low-cost photography popular and introduced the world to the snapshot. This basic cardboard box camera offered simple controls and a price tag of just $1.

1902 - Arthur Korn discovered practical photo-telegraphy technology, meaning that images could be sent via wires. Europe quickly adapted the technology, sending photographs locally by 1910. Eventually inter-continental delivery was done by 1922.

1923 - Doc Harold Edgerton introduced the xenon flash lamp and pioneered strobe photography. This paved the way for improved portrait pictures, as well as photographs in areas with little or no light.

1936 - The world was introduced to the first single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. This 35mm SLR camera was named Ihagee Kine-Exakta and made in Germany.

1948 – Edwin Land, who founded the Polaroid Corporation in 1937, released the instant film camera in this year. This device would become their most popular product line for decades to come.

1959 – There was a time when AGFA was close behind Kodak as a leader in the world of photography. It was at this point that the company introduced the first ever fully automatic camera, the Optima.

1972 - The rise of digital happened a lot earlier than many people realise. Texas Willis Adcock, a Texas Instruments engineer, actually created a design for a filmless camera and applied for a patent in 1972. Unfortunately, nobody knows if it ever came into existence.

1973 – Fairchild Semiconductor paved the way for digital imaging, releasing the first integrated circuit, just ahead of Texas Digital.

1975 –Steven Sasson unveiled the first digital camera using CCD image sensor chips. This groundbreaking device took black and white (recorded onto a cassette tape) and offered a resolution of 0.01 megapixels. The first image ever captured on this prototype took 23 seconds to record.

1981 – Sony released the Mavica, the first commercially available digital camera. Although this was a revolutionary product in the photographic industry, it was actually digital video recorder that took freeze frames.

1986 – Leading photographic company, Kodak, brought out the first megapixel sensor, which was able to record 1.4 million pixels. By 1991, the company had created the first professional digital camera system (DCS), a Nikon F-3 which was targeted at photojournalists.

1994 – Only a select few were able to enjoy digital technology up until now. Apple introduced the Apple QuickTake 100 camera in February 1994, a digital camera aimed at the average Joe which was able to work with a home computer. Others soon followed including the Kodak DC40, Casio QV-11 and the Sony Cyber-Shot.

2006 – Digital photography steadily edged out the use of a film camera, so much so that Polaroid announced that it was halting production on all of their instant film products.

2010 – Digital cameras are introduced monthly, if not weekly. Each with more advanced features, better quality picture quality and enough on camera space for thousands of images. To top it off, printing of images is quick, cheap and never wasteful as you select the images you want without have to deal with overexposed or dud images.

This guest post was written by Jason Acar. Jason is currently a content writer for MyCamera.co.za. He has extensive journalism experience and a keen interest in photography.

10 responses


Do you want to comment?

Comments RSS and TrackBack Identifier URI ?

I’m 100% film. I’ve shot digital, and I’m not impressed nor interested.

November 23, 2010 2:06 pm

Thanks for this thorough and enjoyable review. My first experience with film cameras was in the late 60′s as a young child. My Dad had a folding bellow Zeiss Ikon Nettar camera that used 120mm film. It was already antique at that time but it still made fantastic photos. Recently my Dad passed away and I got his Zeiss camera. It reminds me of his great enthusiasm for photography. Unfortunately the shutter button is broken, I hope to have it fixed.
Thanks!
Arpad

November 23, 2010 5:40 pm

It’s a fairly arbitrary list.

I can’t believe that he has not mentioned Louis Daguerre, who’s positive image process in 1939 was the most successful for decades, and has never been surpassed technically.

What about Oscar Barnak who invented the 35mm stills camera, or Kodachrome, the first commercially available colour film

November 24, 2010 11:02 am

@Robert,

O great master of photography, nobody gives a sh*t what you shoot. Thanks for playing though.

November 24, 2010 11:54 am

The comment of Robert above is just silly. If you continue using film, I will assume that you will need to put spend more money in the future to have it develop.

As for me, I’m all digital. Way easier and processing without those damn chemicals is a way to go.

Thanks for the info.

November 29, 2010 10:02 am

Thanks for interesting article with historical dates/ events.
Seems, digital photo cameras are winners in this competition. Very important is ability to make also movies together with photo.

November 29, 2010 10:54 am

Excellent post Jason. It was a very good read.

February 17, 2011 3:14 am

Louis Daguerre was in 1839 not 1939, and yes daguerreotypes are cool, but sorta antediluvian

February 25, 2011 10:56 am

I believe that people are getting used with this fast changing world. It impress me to think how people look for alternatives for more better ways. At least those oldies stuff is but a stepping stone to a more better ideas. We are now living in a more digital world so you don’t have to use films to punish yourself.

February 28, 2011 12:45 am

Love the timeline, though I would add 1925 when the 35mm Leica camera was invented. Revolutionized photojournalism … easy to carry camera and no need to change film every frame!

May 17, 2011 6:10 pm

Comment now!
















Trackbacks