The digital camera is all but ubiquitous these days, with the technology now standard issue on everything from smartphones to laptops. The very first digital camera, however, will be 36 years old this year — the very first digital photograph was taken in December 1975.

The digital camera is all but ubiquitous these days, with the technology now standard issue on everything from smartphones to laptops. The very first digital camera, however, will be 36 years old this year — the very first digital photograph was taken in December 1975.

Kodak engineer Steven Sasson invented the digital camera and there’s a great (if somewhat short) video interview with him over at the David Friedman Photography blog.

In it, Sasson shows that same digital camera he first created in 1975 — it’s about the size of an electric toaster and weights 8lbs. The camera had a resolution of 0.01-megapixels (a resolution of approximately 120 x 80 pixels) and took 23 seconds to store a single image onto a compact cassette tape — the only viable permanent storage medium available at the time. Images could then be replayed on a separate TV (there was no built-in display).

The camera could store 30 images onto each cassette, but this wasn’t a technological limitation. As Sasson explains in the video, he was keen to make the technology familiar to camera-users of the time and was mindful not to make his invention so far removed from 1975 technology that few people could imagine ever using it.

So, rather than opt for 1,000 images (a storage capacity he considered few people able to comprehend, let alone actually be able to cope with, in 1975), he picked 30 images as a mid-way point between the 24-shot and 36-shot rolls of 35mm film that were freely available.

 

Sasson reckoned that it would take between 15 to 20 years for his invention to be developed as a consumer device, and he wasn’t far wrong. Apple launched one of the first mass market digital cameras, the QuickTake, in 1994 and it could store eight photos at a resolution of 640 x 480. Something to think about when you’re snapping away with the 5-megapixel camera on a 16GB iPhone 4…

[David Friedman Photography]

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent motorhome reviews

The Practical Motorhome Wellhouse Terrier Lux-XL review – 1 - The Wellhouse Terrier Lux-XL is priced from £42,000 OTR – this example is £44,175 OTR (© Nick Harding/Practical Motorhome)

Devon Vitesse

£52,536OTR

The Practical Motorhome Devon Vitesse review – 1 - You get an unusually high pop-top in this Mercedes-Benz-based camper van from Devon Conversions (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Auto Campers MRV

£47,500OTR

The Practical Motorhome Auto Campers MRV review – 1 - The Auto Campers MRV is priced from £47,500 – this example with its options comes to £53,836 (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Adria Coral 690 SC Platinum review – 1 - This Fiat Ducato-based 2017-season Adria is £57,990 OTR,
 £62,474 as tested – the Thule awning costs £675 (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome – Mobilvetta K-Yacht Tekno Line MH-85 review – 1 - The Mobilvetta K-Yacht Tekno Line MH-85 costs £67,995 OTR, £69,745 as tested (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)

Swift Escape 685

£48,215OTR

The Practical Motorhome Swift Escape 685 review – 1 - This six-berth 2017-season Swift Escape 685 is priced from £48,215 OTR (£49,910 as tested) (© Practical Motorhome)