The Evolution of Digital Cameras
Evolution of Digital Cameras: Digital cameras are different from their analogue predecessors principally in their operation. Unlike film cameras, digital cameras do not use film but record images in digital format on memory card or internal storage device. Today, digital cameras have the facility for wireless communication (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi) in order to transfer, share or print images. Smart phone nowadays regularly uses high resolution digital camera.
The technology to manufacture industrial-standard digital cameras started the late eighties. The first known transportable digital camera that was capable of recording images like a computer was probably Fuji DS-1P. The 1988-model operated on a battery and recorded images to a 2 MB SRAM memory card. However, the camera was not made available to the public. The first known digital camera of any type sold in the market was most likely MegaVision Tessera; although there is no documented proof that this 1987 model was sold commercially. The first transportable digital camera that was marketed commercially goes back to December 1989, when Fuji released DS-X in Japan. In USA, the first commercially available transportable digital camera was Dycam Model 1 which was first bought in November 1990. The camera started as a commercial failure because the pictures were black and white, low in resolution, and the camera cost nearly $1,000 at that time. Later, it became a modest success when it was re-launched in 1992 as Logitech Fotoman. The newer camera had a CCD image sensor, digitally stored pictures, and directly connected to a computer.
In 1991, Kodak Digital Camera System (DCS) was available in the market which saw the launch of a long succession of certified Kodak DCS cameras. This model used a 1.3 megapixel sensor, had a large external digital storage system and cost $13,000. The move to digital formats allowed the images to be stored in JPEG and MPEG standards. This was achieved in 1988 when image and video files could be compressed for storage. The first camera that had a liquid crystal display on the back was Casio QV-10 developed by a Japanese team in 1995. The first camera to use CompactFlash was probably Kodak DC-25 in 1996 and the first camera capable of recording video clips was Ricoh RDC-1 in 1995.
In 1995, Minolta launched RD-175, which had three independent CCDs and a splitter. This particular arrangement could produce images up to 1.75 megapixels. The advantage that Minolta had with an SLR base camera was that it could use any existing Minolta AF mount lens. Nikon released its D1 in 1999 with 2.74 megapixels and developed completely from the basics. The camera was capable of mounting F lenses and was priced under $6,000. The sale of digital camera continued to thrive due to technology advances. A major advance was the introduction of CMOS sensors that allowed sensor costs to remain sufficiently low to enable the growth in popularity of camera phones.
Digital cameras have gained its market strength over film cameras since 2003. In January 2004, Kodak made an announcement that they were no longer selling their brand of film cameras in developed countries.