ITS Capstone Project
Amanda Vanneste
Shin-Ping Tucker
Spring 2017

Narrative

I remember being so excited on Christmas morning ten years ago when I tore through the wrapping paper and saw a camera. I would take my camera everywhere with me, snapping pictures of anything going on around me. Now, we hardly see cameras flashing when at an event or out on the town. We may see flashes, but they are more than likely coming from phones or tablets. So, how did the camera get to this point?

When a Chinese philosopher named Mozi observed rays of light falling on the walls of a darkened room through a pinhole made on the opposite side, he saw the world outside as upside down. With proper research he reached the conclusion that since light travels in a straight line, such a phenomenon takes place in nature. This was the building block for modern cameras and photography. Mozi’s method of projecting an inverted picture through a pinhole was marvelous, but unfortunately there was no way to store the end result.

In the year 1839, Louis Daguerre, a French artist developed a process to actually store the projected image forever on a shiny mirror finished copper plate treated with chemicals. This was the first time an object was made to be light sensitive to capture information on it and store it forever by treating it with chemicals. Daguerre made the process public in return for a lifetime pension, and this process paved the way for the film cameras that we have used in the past.

In the year 1900, The Reise Camera changed the bulky, boxy stigma cameras carried. This was the world’s first truly portable camera, with its ability to be folded into a compact shape and being extremely light weight as compared to other models available on the market, this was the thing for people who were looking to travel around and shoot photos.

Leica was the first compact camera that packed a superb f/3.5 lens and was able to shoot photos on 35mm films. Modern cameras that we use today started to come into existence at this stage.

While more and more new cameras were being launched onto the market, a camera became a household object everywhere. However, the whole process of taking a photo and developing the final photograph from the negatives was a tedious and time consuming job. A company named Polaroid recognized this problem and decided to compress this whole process into a matter of seconds. Thus came Polaroid Model 95 onto the market. With this camera photographers could just take a shot and get the photo printed on a special paper supplied by Polaroid itself in minutes.

In the year 1975, Steven Sasson of Kodak, developed the world’s first digital camera. This invention showed the camera industry a glimpse into the future, with everything being digitized and things being done at less time. However, it wasn’t until 1991 when the first digital camera was made available on the market at a hefty price tag of $13,000.

Though cameras had evolved a lot in all these years, there was still one thing that was keeping this superb device out of the reach of many around the world – the price. Fujifilm, a film and camera making company completely shattered that barrier by inventing the world’s first single use disposable camera, the Fuji QuickSnap. Each of these cameras were worth only $4, and could capture 27 shots with its inbuilt film supplied by Fujifilm.

There was no doubt that cameras were getting smaller, more advanced and even digital as days were passing by, but how compact could cameras get? Apparently small enough to fit on a cell phone and take pictures on the go. Sharp introduced a cell phone in the year 2000 which had a tiny camera installed on the back panel and which could shoot, process and display photos on the cell phone display instantly. This was the world’s first cell phone with an inbuilt digital camera, and it paved the way for today’s cell phones which boast high quality digital cameras on their back.

With the invention of the Apple iPhone in the year 2007, digital cameras in cell phones got a new life. The iPhone camera had superb imaging technology and delivered great photos in every lighting condition. It was capable enough to give traditional point and shoot digital cameras a run for their money.

While everyone else was focusing on creating cameras that were to be used to capture indoor and outdoor moments by regular customers, GoPro was trying to develop something for the people who were more adventurous and were looking forward to capture their adventurous moments.

With HD HERO, GoPro introduced a camera that was able to shoot videos at 1080p and could be taken along with you on mountain biking, surfing or any other adventurous sport that you can think of. Do you know, when Felix Baumgartner jumped from space the whole event was recorded with the help of 6 GoPro cameras strapped to his suit? Talk about tough, GoPro can beat anyone.

High-end DSLRs such as the Canon EOS 1D-C offer superb image quality and video recording at 4K resolution in a compact body. Who thought that a compact camera like this could actually offer movie quality video recording and could actually have the potential to replace the huge movie cameras we are accustomed to?

Technology has come a long way from the year 1500. But this isn’t the end for the camera. Imagine if you could in the near future have the raw power of a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) put into a camera the size of a coin. A designer named Funamizu imagined this and even designed a 3D model of how it might look.

This little camera would be attached anywhere and would transmit captured photos wirelessly to nearby devices instantly. There isn’t any official development going on for this idea, but this could be a major leap for the photographic industry.

The Sophie is another concept from Mac Funamizu. The iPhone dock/case prints photos just like a Polaroid. A QR code and geo tagged map can also be printed to link it to a digital version somewhere on the web like Flickr. Clever and simple.

After all these years of advancement, cameras now have superb power, portability and are packed with numerous features to allow us to shoot a moment and share it with the world in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, now billions of people have a camera with them and are capturing their best moments every day. It has become a part of our daily life. So think about this, how do you use a camera today?