Digital camera

Road to the digital camera

  • Sir Issac Newton

                          Sir Issac Newton
    Issac Newton shares his discover that light is the source of color. He used a prism to demonstrate how white light is made up of various colors. He used another to demonstrate how light streams of these various colors can be combined to create a single white light stream.
  • Camera Obscura

    Camera Obscura
    Until the 17th century, artist would use a method of capturing light through a pinhole and tracing the image created by the manipulated light to take real-life pictures.
  • Johann Heinrich Schulze

    Johann Heinrich Schulze
    Professor J.H. Schulze mixed chalk, nitric acid, and silver in a flask. He noticed darken that the compound darkened when exposed to sunlight. With this, he accidentally created the first photo-sensitive compound.
  • 1st Panorama opens

  • Portable Camera Obscura

    Portable Camera Obscura
    During the 17th century, the camera obcura design was altered from the size of a room to that of a portable box.
  • Thomas Wedgwood

    Thomas Wedgwood
    Thomas Wedgwood makes "sun pictures" by placing opaque objects on leather treated with silver nitrate. But the image soon faded.
  • Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

    Joseph Nicéphore Niépce
    Niépce combines the camera obscura with photosensitive paper. This allowed people to capture the images without need of great artistic skill. But the paper had to be exposed for hours for the desired image to be captured. The image still faded with time.
  • Niépce

    Niépce creates a permanent image.
  • William Henry Fox Talbot

    William Henry Fox Talbot
    William Henry Fox Talbot almost accidentally discovers a photographic system working independently in England.  He imagined how nice it would be if the camera obscura's images could be imprinted durably and remain fixed on the paper.  His experiments lead to the creation of a negative image using sodium chloride and silver nitrate. He then began to try to make positives from the negatives.
  • Talbot

    Henry Fox Talbot creates permanent negative images using paper soaked in silver chloride and fixed with a salt solution. Talbot created positive images by contact printing onto another sheet of paper.
  • Talbot

    Talbot begins to experiment to discover how a permanent positive image might be made from a negative. He believed that if the paper the negative was recorded on was transparent and as such fixed it could therefore be rendered insensitive to the further action of light.
  • 1st permanent image

    1st permanent image
    Louis Daguerre's first daguerreotype - the first image that was fixed and did not fade and needed under thirty minutes of light exposure. He created the image on silver-plated copper, coated with silver iodide and "developed" with warmed mercury. He was awarded a state pension by the French government in exchange for publication of methods and the rights by other French citizens to use the Daguerreotype process.
  • Sir William Herschel

    Sir William Herschel
    Herschel successfully fixes sensitized paper using his 1819 discovery of hyposulphite of soda dissolved in silver salts. this chemical is still used today called sodium thiosulfate. He also coins the term photography.
  • Multiple prints

    William Henry Talbot patents the Calotype process - the first negative-positive process making possible the first multiple copies. The process made a durable negative which was then used to make positives.
  • Frederick Scott Archer

    Frederick Scott Archer
    Frederick Scott Archer invented the Collodion process - images required only two or three seconds of light exposure. He improved photographic resolution by spreading a mixture of collodion (nitrated cotton dissolved in ether and alcoohol) and chemicals on sheets of glass. Wet plate collodion photography was much cheaper than daguerreotypes, the negative/positive process permitted unlimited reproductions, and the process was published but not patented
  • Panoramic camera

    Panoramic camera
    Thomas Sutton creates and patents a single relex plate camera- the Panoramic camera.
  • Steroscope viewer

    Steroscope viewer
    Oliver Wendell Holmes invents stereoscope viewer. This allowed the user to see the image in 3D.
  • Color photos

    Color photos
    James Clerk-Maxwell demonstrates a color photography system involving three black and white photographs, each taken through a red, green, or blue filter. The photos were turned into lantern slides and projected in registration with the same color filters. This is the "color separation" method.
  • Moving pictures

    Moving pictures
     Eadweard Muybridge's took a series of famous photographs which showed how a horse galloped. It was noticed that when the photos were viewed in sequence the horse seemed to be moving.
  • Dry plates

    Dry plates were being manufactured commercially due to increase in popularity of the photography process.
  • Hand held cameras

    Hand held cameras
    smaller scale hand held cameras were being mass produced for use by the general public.
  • Paper-based film

    Paper-based film
    George Eastman invents flexible, paper-based photographic film
  • 1st Kodak camera

    1st Kodak camera
    First Kodak camera, containing a 20-foot roll of paper, enough for 100 2.5-inch diameter circular pictures.
  • X-ray

    The first X-Ray photo is taken when Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen noticed that a bit of barium platinocyanide emitted a fluorescent glow. He then laid a photographic plate behind his wife's hand. Previously, physicians were unable to look inside a person's body without making an incision. Roentgen was the recipient of the first Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901
  • Film

    Reverend Hannibal Goodwin patents celluloid photographic film
  • Brownie

    The Browning (Brownie) is the first mass marketed camera
  • Color film

    Color film
    First commercial color film, the Autochrome plates, manufactured by Lumiere brothers in France
  • 1st 35mm still camera

    1st 35mm still camera
  • Photojournalism

    Photographs and text started being used together extensively in magazines (especially initially in Germany).  In this decade and the 1930's, The way photographs and text were integrated with each other came to be called photojournalism.  The minature cameras with high speed lenses were designed to create images that brought the viewer into the scene.
  • Flash bulb

    Flash bulb
    General Electric invents the modern flash bulb
  • 1st multi-layered color film

    Development of Kodachrome, the first multi-layered color film; development of Exakta, pioneering 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) camera
  • Electric photography

    Electric photography
    Chester Carlson receives patent for electric photography (xerography)
  • 1st underwater camera

    EG&G develops extreme depth underwater camera for U.S. Navy
  • 1st instant film

    1st instant film
    First color instant film developed by Polaroid; Instamatic released by Kodak; first purpose-built underwater introduced, the Nikonos
  • 1st photo of Earth from the moon

    1st photo of Earth from the moon
  • 1st digital camera

    1st digital camera
    Steve Sasson at Kodak builds the first working CCD-based digital still camera