A camera is an optical instrument that stores images that have been recorded through a lens then transmitted to another location. The images are processed or developed in a range of ways depending on the camera. The word camera is derived from a Latin word meaning ‘dark chamber’. All cameras use the same basic design whereby light enters a box through a small lens and then the image is transferred onto a light sensitive medium. The camera has a shutter system that restricts the amount of light that can enter the image. A camera works rather in the same way as the human eye. Most cameras have an added focus function that allows the image being recorded to be as real a copy as possible. The camera has a way for the user to see the scene that will be captured. This can be achieved through a plain lens or, more recently, through a screen.
A video camera works along the same lines, although images are taken simultaneously to create a moving image.
Cameras were first though to have been used in fifth century China. These were in the form of a pin hole camera that used the tiny pin point of light to burn an image. These are a far cry from the digital cameras that are the norm today.
It was not until 1826 that the first permanent image was taken with a camera. This type of camera was a wooden box with a siding mechanism.
The first commercially available cameras were built in France and cost four hundred francs. The pictures would take between five and thirty minutes to develop.
In 1975, a Kodac engineer began to develop the first attempt at a security camera installation Sydney. It created a zero point one megapixel image. These images were then transferred to a cassette that could then be attached to a TV monitor.
Today, cameras are part of mobile phones, tablets and most computers. The images can be taken then deleted, instantly uploaded then shared with the world via social media. This is accessible in seconds from most enabled devices.
Digital camera still work along the same lines as their earlier cousins. The shutter still restricts the light and captures the image rather like the human eye. Today cameras can store multiple images but the technology is digital rather than chemical. Photos can then be edited, cropped, recoloured and merged all from the small screen and internal functions.
Most customers are reported to base the selection of their next mobile phone by the criteria of the high quality images. Mobile phones and cameras have become fully integrated and phone suffices as most people’s camera choice. It is a far cry from the days of pin hole imaging and lengthy developing. Digital cameras really are a tool of the twenty first century and it begs the question of what is next? Three dimensional images, who knows? One thing is clear the camera is an ever evolving piece of equipment that is a must have for most people today.