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Illustrated Guide to Innovation

Camera


A camera is an optical device used to capture images. These images may be stored in the camera and or transmitted. Cameras allow us to document events or provide proof that something occurred.

Camera
Camera

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A camera is a device used to capture images. Modern cameras have a similar basic design which allows light to travel into an enclosed space through a series of lenses. The lenses focus the light to create an image. The amount of time the light is allowed to enter is controlled by a shutter mechanism. The image is then recorded using photographic film or an electronic sensor.

The word camera comes from the Latin camera obscura, meaning "dark chamber" or "dark room". A camera obscura is a phenomenon where an image can be projected onto a screen using a pin hole or a lens. Lenses have an advantage over pinhole cameras since they allow for a larger aperture. This increases the amount of light that passes through, which creates a brighter image.

The oldest surviving photograph was taken by Nicéphore Niépce in France in 1827. He captured the image using a camera obscura and a pewter plate coated in Bitumen of Judea. The Bitumen hardened when exposed to light, and the rest of the coating could be washed off to reveal an image. This process led to the Daguerreotype, a process involving a silver, light sensitive coating that would reproduce images when exposed to sunlight.

George Eastman developed photographic paper in 1885. Four years later, he created the first photographic film. Photographic film was coated in silver much like its Daguerreotype predecessor. Eastman founded the Kodak company. Eastman's film popularized photography by making camera film affordable.

The next major development for cameras was the advent of digital photography. Digital cameras replaced photographic film with electronic sensors. The first digital camera took its first photograph in 1975. Digital cameras changed the way photographers take images. They no longer need to wait to develop the film to see what the images are like. Photos can be easily deleted without wasting film. Digital images can be changed and edited using computer software. The first camera phone was made in 2000. Now, most modern smartphones have two cameras, one at the back and one at the front, leading to the invention of the word "selfie".

A video camera is similar to still cameras, but they take a series of still images that when played back quickly one after the other they give the illusion of moving. Film is run through a projector and can be either sped up or slowed down for added effect. The first motion pictures were created in the late 1890s.

The invention of the camera allowed people to easily capture proof of an event. People can document their lives or events easily and share images with others. Cameras are also used to produce entertainment and decoration, from framed images to blockbuster movies.

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