Nearly every person now holds the power of digital photography and videography in their palms, thanks to smartphones. But how it came to be is a mystery to many.

What is Digital Photography?

Digital photography refers to the use of digital cameras to capture images. It refers to using cameras with arrays of electronic photo-detectors and a lens to produce the image. These captured images are then saved as computer files for further editing, viewing, sharing, or printing.

Earlier, the concept of photography was strictly limited to cameras with storage units and microfilm. With the emergence of digital cameras, photography reached new heights, providing enhanced clarity at a consumer level.

Where Did It All Start?

Today, it seems impossible for us to imagine a world without social media. However, the very basis of social media would not have existed without the emergence of digital photography. Let’s see where it all began.

The first-ever thought of digitizing photography began with NASA scientist Eugene F. Lally. When pictures were only taken on film, Lally tried to devise a way to help astronauts generate better-quality images in space. However, due to the lack of technology, his idea did not pan out at the time.

As time passed, English historian Shelford Bidwell became the first to conceive the idea of breaking and transmitting pictures as pure information over an electronic signal. The primary aim was to find a way to share images with a scattered crowd. Years later, in 1957, Russell Kirsch succeeded in transforming an image of his son with the help of an early computer.

In 1975, Steven Sasson was the first to develop digital photography as an employee of Eastman Kodak. The idea devised by Mr. Sasson allowed people to capture images and share them with millions of people around the globe. This new process was called digitalization. The total of all these efforts resulted in a device consisting of a lens, a portable digital cassette recorder, batteries, and a digital converter. This creation, which was made without the use of film or paper, is widely regarded as the beginning of digital photography.

According to an article published by The New York Times, Steven Sasson, with the help of his colleague Robert Hills, built the first-ever Digital Single-Lens Reflex in 1989. However, because of the company’s fear of losing film sales, the camera was never formally introduced to the public.

The proper utilization of this technology requires three major parts:

  • Digital camera
  • Computing devices
  • Digital photography software
Photography and Videography

The Disappearance of Film For Good

The Wall Street Journal in 2004 published an article claiming that Kodak, the world-renowned camera manufacturer, had planned to cease the production of film cameras due to the rise of filmless digital photography.

Adding to that, an article by the Harvard Business Review clearly explains how Kodak was so blindsided by their success as sellers of film in the U.S. that they quite completely overlooked the shift in paradigm. On the other hand, Nikon’s famous upgraded digital filmless camera (DSLR) received a considerable hike worldwide because of its superior quality.

With the advancement in technology and digital photography, next came the concept of videography.

In layman’s terms, videography refers to the attempt to capture moving images on electronic media. This media often includes digital cameras and videotapes. The most common confusion in this arena is the difference between videography and cinematography. Videography revolves around small-scale projects, whereas cinematography covers high-end productions like films and music videos.

How Did Digital Video Cameras Come to Be?

In 1986, the first-ever digital video was created for commercial use with the Sony D1 format. This shift from analog to digital resulted in superior picture quality and easier video making. The camcorder is one such portable device created with this format for video recording.

In 1991, Kodak became the first company to build the first digital camera for professional use by photojournalists. Next came the Nikon F-3, with inbuilt 1.3-megapixel sensors. Moreover, videography has witnessed a steep rise in recent years owing to the latest social media sites that facilitate video creation and sharing. These include YouTube shorts, Instagram reels, Facebook videos, and many more. 

How Coding Helped Change Photography

Today, one doesn’t need to be a professional to take good pictures. Rather, with the help of coding, companies have come up with advanced mechanisms like portrait mode and others. These algorithms help in making calculations like the position of the face, background lighting, etc., in digital cameras.

If you’ve ever wanted to be a photographer or videographer, then this is just the way for you to start your journey. In modern times, the concept of digital recording has spread its branches, ranging from professional cameras to smartphones to even doorbells. With the help of smartphones, whether you are a newbie or a professional, beautiful pictures and videos are just a click away.

If you want to know more about digital technologies’ impact on photography and videography, then why not visit BYJU’s FutureSchool website? Leave your views in the comments section.

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