Digital Photography – The Roots

first scanned image

In 1957 Photography was considered a new art form, full of wonderment. Now, with one experiment, the age of digital photography was born. In 1957 Russell Kirsch of the United States National Bureau of Standards developed a rotating drum that would allow images to be scanned. This was the start of digital photography. The first image to be scanned using this device was a picture of Kirsch’s son.

A few years later NASA started using digital signals to examine the moon’s surface. This was one of two developments to the digital photography world. The other was digital photography editing which was also used by NASA. NASA had begun using their computers to improve the quality of the pictures that they were receiving from the moon. Around this same time, Eugene Lally published an explanation of how a photo sensor could be used to make digital photos.

The 1970s brought some of the greatest moments in the digital photography history. Texas Instruments patented the first electronic camera that did not need film in 1972. Three years later, Eastman Kodak constructed the model for the very first digital camera. This camera, which was created by Steve Sasson, was not meant to be produced for the public and used CCD image sensor technology (the converting of an optical image into an electronic signal.)

The 1980s brought numerous constructive avenues needed for the technology of digital photography to move forward. Sony made the first commercial camera that did not use film in 1981. This camera used a CCD device much like that of Eugene Lally’s idea twenty years earlier. The following year Kodak introduced seven innovative devices that altered the way cameras could save, share, and use images. Kodak also introduced the first sensor that was able to recognize megapixels. This made it possible for today’s digital cameras to utilize megapixels like they do. Nikon developed a mock-up for an “analog electronic SLR camera” in 1986. Two years later Fuji released their DS-1P which was the first camera to store images digitally.

Kodak was responsible for two more advances in 1990. The first was the introduction of its photo CD operation. Second was the launch of its “Professional Digital Camera System” which was geared at photojournalists. This system allowed them to get their pictures to the news room in a much faster way. This camera that was referred to as the original DSLR was said to have started the uprising of the digital camera. 1994 brought the introduction of the first camera capable of connecting to a computer through a USB cord. The Nikon D1, released in 1999, was the first of its type to give film and Kodak competition in the professional market.

In the 2000s, Fujifilm, Nikon, Camera, and Kodak were all competing to corner the digital camera market. All were releasing new and improved cameras that had image sensors that were able to read as much as 6.3 megapixels, as opposed to the 2.0 previously detectable. In addition to the digital cameras, there also cameras in cellular phones that recognize a maximum of 4 megapixels.

The possibilities provided by this ever growing technology seem to be endless.


Digital Photography – The Roots