Copyright Michael Karbo, Denmark, Europe.


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    Chapter 1. The camera in brief

    Photography is defined as . the art of producing images with the help of light. , and it has been an art form for a long time. As early as in the 16th century, devices have existed, which have gathered light through lenses. In the eighteenth century it was discovered that silver chloride is light sensitive. In the 19th century it became possible to record light on plates of one kind or another.

    In about 1820 in Francea nobleman Niépce managed to retain a silver-based image on a pewter plate. His work was further developed by the inventor and artist Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, who succeeded in1837 in creating a chemical process, which could fix the image so that it became stable and could be preserved for the future. And so photography, in principle, was invented.

    Figur 2 One of the world's first photographs: Boulevard in Paris. Photographed in 1839 by Daguerre, by capturing and fixing the light on a light sensitive plate.

    This photographical technique spread like wildfire all over the world and people in many different countries started to experiment with photography based on Daguerres principles. This was the starting signal for the whole of the photographic industry, which later became all the great firms (Kodak, Leica, Canon, Nikon, etc.), which we know today.

    Fast digital development

    So analog photographic techniques (with the use of film and chemicals) have had more than160 years of history and are highly well-developed.

    During the last 10 years, however, the importance of film has become extremely decreased. Digital technology has calmly and quietly caught up with and taken over analog film and there is now no doubt that the future belongs to digital photography. even though there are a number of photographers, who still swear to film and chemicals.

    The first signs of digital photography came in the sixties. During the cold war, the American defence experimented with the development of image sensors, to be installed in a spy plane. At first, purely anolog photographs were taken, which were transferred from the plane to the ground with the help of radio waves. Later the image. s data were digitalised and thus the groundwork was laid for the digital camera.

    All through the 1980. s the company Kodak developed a number of digital image sensors, which were attached to SLR cameras. But as the cameras cost several thousands of kroner, they never became widespread at all. At the same time as these very advanced cameras, Sony introduced a number of cheap cameras, which could take photographs on floppy disks. These models didn. t catch on either; the market wasn. t ready for them. It was first in the middle of the 1990. s when computers became generally accepted that consumers began to interest themselves a little for digital cameras.

    In 1996-97 we got the first . ordinary. digital cameras, especially from the companies Canon and Olympus, which were designed for ordinary hobby photographers, and which were within their means. At the same time Kodak continued converting large and expensive SLR cameras from Canon and Nikon, so that press photographers. tools were also digitalised. Advertisement photographers also started to invest in digital backs, which could be installed on the professional cameras from Hasselblad and Mamiya.

    Parallel with all this, the company Adobe worked at full pressure to develop the image-processing program Photoshop in new and increasingly advanced versions.

    The cameras. resolution increased during the following years and the prices slumped. Somewhere around the year 2000 Nikons digital SLR camera D1 really became a hit among press photographers, and a digital pocket camera was written on present lists in many a home.

    Not many new analog cameras are produced today, while, on the contrary, digital models are pouring in one after the other.

    Figur 3 Olympus C-400L from 1996 with a resolution of 350.000 pixels. Compared with contemporary cameras, the first digital cameras had an almost microscopic resolution. The resolution is multiplied by 20 today.

    Important dates in the history of photography and the digital camera

    1839. The photographic process of gathering and fixing light impressions was published by the Frenchmen Dagueree and Arago.

    1880. s. The company Eastman (Kodak) is established, roll film is invented and the first box cameras are sold for amateur use.

    1907. The colour photo process Autochrome use RGB colours.

    1917-19. The companies Nikon, Pentax and Olympus are established.

    1932-33. The first exposure meters based on photoelectrical cells are introduced. The company Canon is established.

    1946. KODAK Ektachrome is the first colour film, which a photographer can develop by himself.

    1948. Nikon. s first 35mm camera and Polaroid cameras are introduced.

    1963. Kodak. cheap and simple Instamatic Cameras makes it possible for anyone to take photographs. The American army develops cameras with photocells for use in spy planes. The first SLR cameras with light metering through the lens(TTL metering).

    1979. Fairchild All-Sky Camera is taken into use. A digital camera with 10.000 pixels for scientific metering.

    1981. Sony introduces an analog electromagnetic camera with a CCD element and storage on diskettes.

    1986. The first cameras with auto focus arrive on the market.

    1987. Kodak presents a 1,4 mega pixels CCD chip for use in cameras.

    1990. New important digital image products arrive on the market: Kodak. s Photo CD system and Adobe Photoshop 1.0.

    1992. Kodak introduce DCS 200, which is a digital SLR camera with 1,5 mega pixels.

    1995. Kodak introduce model DCS 460 with a record high image sensor of 6 mega pixels. Price circa $40.000.

    1996-97. The first generally accessible digital cameras arrive on the market.

    1998-2003. Camera technology is developed at a high tempo: Image sensors with higher resolutions, better optics, faster image computers, bigger and faster RAM storage, better software.

    2004. Advanced cameras with 4, 5 and 6 mega pixels can be bought in almost all the larger supermarkets.


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