Roll Film Camera for Portrait Photography
General Topics

History of Cameras – Old Age and Modern Cameras

As a photographer, you must have fallen in love with your camera and gear. Sure your love has come a long way and so have the cameras. From the first pinhole cameras which could not really save an image for long to the modern-day cameras where you can not only store the picture in different formats but also edit them in order to make them more beautiful than ever. So let us take a chronological journey through the evolution of cameras.

Camera Obscura

The first camera was the Camera Obscura used by the ancient civilizations of Greece and China. One could not save the images formed by these cameras. However, Joseph Nicephore Niece, in 1826, paved the way for modern photography by making the first permanent photograph.

Camera Obscura for Portrait Photography
Credit: Puke Ariki

Plate Cameras

Later, copper plates with silver coating were used. These cameras were called the Daguerreotypes. The film was treated with iodine to get images. In 1840, a new type of camera with a different process called the Calotype was introduced.
The 1870s saw the steepest rise in the list of cameras. In 1871 the first dry plate cameras were introduced. Day by day, the camera sector witness advancements, and now there were Single Lens Reflex Cameras, Twin Lens Reflex Cameras, etc. Moreover, the camera size was decreasing in proportion to the new features being introduced in this profession.  Cameras with mechanical shutters were also introduced.

Plate Cameras for portrait photography
Credit: darerampage

Roll Film Cameras

The 1880s saw a revolution in cameras. The ‘Kodak’ camera first started using paper films and quickly moved on to celluloid. It was a small and simple box camera made by George Eastman.
By the 1900s, Kodak introduced the Brownie camera which made photography much more affordable. However, there was also a stiff competition going on between plate cameras and roll film cameras which lead to newer inventions in this field.

Roll Film Camera for Portrait Photography
Credit: pen waggener

One such invention was the 35mm film compact camera which made history in 1936 as the biggest push to the Japanese camera industry.
This was how the cameras in the old times were becoming popular. Cameras had gone from heavy, bulky, and strenuous to small, light, and easy. What followed next was the age of SLRs and TLRs.
SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras were available in the market for a long time, but they didn’t see a rise in sales until World War II. 35mm films had started being used in both SLR and TLR cameras by this time. In the decade of 1950s Canon, Yashica, Nikon, and Pentax Cameras entered the market of professional cameras and the number one position was always a matter of debate as all the companies were coming up with new technologies.

Polaroid and Digital Cameras

Apart from these, two entirely different types of cameras can be seen in the market. The first type is the Polaroid cameras, also called Land Camera made by Edwin Land in 1948. This camera used a special patented process where photos could be processed and printed instantly. These cameras became very popular in due course of time.

Polaroid Camera for Portrait Photography
Credit: goblinbox_(queen_of_ad_hoc_bento)

The first true-type digital camera arrived in 1988 as Fuji DS-1P. However, the major revolution in this field came with the Kodak DCS series of Digital SLR cameras. These cameras used to capture and store pictures on a 16 GB memory chip in the JPEG format. However, consumer cameras were launched only by 1995. Since then, digital consumer cameras and DSLRs have become the talk of the town and new innovations are constantly on in this field. From face detection to new file formats and from the optical viewfinder to point and shoot features, Digital cameras have come a long way in a very short period of time. We hope to find novel innovations at a rapid pace in this field.

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