Camera, its working and it’s Brief History

In the age of Instagram and Facebook taking pictures and uploading them the social networking sites is a trend now a days. You also might be taking candid pictures from your DSLR camera’s, or point to shoot camera’s or at least you might be using a smartphone with a camera. Well, then what is a camera? We have tried answering it in this article.

What is Camera?

A camera is a box that controls the amount of light that reaches the light sensitive surface inside that may either be a film, a digital sensor.

Basic Working : When a picture is taken, the camera’s shutter opens and closes, exposing the photosensitive film with light recording the image onto the film.

The original camera’s however did not even have a glass lens, though today we can say that most cameras include: a light-tight box, a glass lens, and a surface that captures light.

Fun Fact: The resolution of human eye is 576 megapixel

Brief History

It all started back in time of camera-obscura – a device that used lens or pinhole to project images upside down on viewing surfaces by ancient Greeks and Chinese. But there was no method to preserve the images. All one could do to preserve these images was to trace it with their hands.


Camera Obscura. Source: Google Image Search

The transition from room sized camera to a portable size was envisaged in 1685 by Johann Zahn. The first camera was invented by Alexander Wolcott. His design was patented on 8 may, 1840. With the invention of Alexander Wolcott it was possible to click candid pictures that did not fade away with time.

However, the earliest photographs were not taken with Alexander Wolcott’s invention. It was Joseph Nicéphore Niépce who used a sliding wooden box to take photographs.

The daguerreotype camera Source: Google Image Search


1600 A.D- Camera Obscura

1839 A.D- Daguerreotype camera

1841 A.D- Calotypes 

1879 A.D- Dry Plate 

1947 A.D- Polaroid Model 95

1948 A.D- SLR Cameras

1991 A.D- Digital Cameras

2000 A.D- Sharp J-SHO4

2007 A.D- Apple Iphone

Present- High End DSLR camera’s

We hope that the size of the cameras keep on decreasing so that they become more and more portable (especially DSLR cameras).

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