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CAMERAS

1839

In stores: the Giroux Daguerreotype, the world’s first consumer camera.

1859

Wide-field: Sutton patents a panoramic camera.

1888

Kodak introduces its first consumer camera; $25 buys you 100 exposures.

1900

Kodak’s Brownie brings photography to the people. A British poster advertises the camera for 5 shillings; cost in the U.S. is $1.

1912

The 35mm still camera is developed; the format soon dominates.

1959

The Nikon F sets the modern 35mm SLR standard.

1960

Holography, first proposed in the late 1940s, becomes possible with the invention of the pulsed ruby laser.

1963

The Kodak Instamatic goes on sale. Its new format challenges 35mm.

1972

Instant gratification: Polaroid introduces the 1-step SX-70 (left).

1976

Digital brain: canon’s AE-1 is the first camera with a microprocessor.

1977

Easy snap: Konica
introduces the first point-and-shoot autofocus camera.

1982

Kodak’s Disc Camera offers another alternative to 35mm film; the format flops.

1990

Start the digital revolution: Dycam’s 0.09MP Model 1 is the world’s first consumer digital cam.

1994

Kodak creates A 6MP digital camera for professionals; Consumer 6MP cameras are still 8 years off.

1995

Casio QV-10’s in-camera display lets you see your pictures instantly.

1996

Canon’s Elph (right) is the first Advanced Photo System camera, with unpleasantly grainy results.

2003

Fujifilm announces a 20MP image sensor for pros.

PHOTOGRAPHS

1826

Joseph Nicephore Niepce takes the first photograph, out his window, an
8-hour
exposure.

1877

Eadweard Muybridge’s cameras stop time: His multiple-camera shots detail a horse’s motion.

1931

Harold Edgerton develops strobe photography.

1939

Researchers first see a virus when an electron
microscope magnifies the tobacco mosaic strain.

1960

First spy in the sky:
The corona satellite system snaps photos high above the USSR (above).

1968

Small blue ball:
Apollo 8 astronauts take the first image of Earth from the Moon.

1993

After an in-orbit repair, the Hubble Space
Telescope takes its first clear picture (right).

2002

The fastest “picture”: a simulation of electrons moving within an atom, captured in 200 attoseconds.

TECHNOLOGY

1727

Johann Heinrich Schulze discovers that a
mixture of chalk and silver nitrate darkens when exposed to light, paving the way for film.

1871

In the first commercial photographic process (above), light splits apart transparent silver bromide molecules (1), forming unbound metallic silver atoms (2)
and releasing bromide ions as a by-product. A chemical bath of developer makes the opaque silver particles grow (3); those particles form the dark regions on a negative (4).

1882

George Eastman and William Walker
devise a roll film holder and flexible film. In modified form, this configuration is used by most nondigital cameras today.

1904

Wire photos: Arthur Korn scans a photo with light and transmits the info
via telegraph wires.

1907

The Lumiere brothers’ Autochrome film uses colored starch grains to create images by filtering light.

1925

Paul Vierkotter invents the modern flashbulb, a magnesium wire encased in glass.

1936

Agfacolor?Neu film uses a silver-based system similar to B&W, but with three layers of film, each treated with dye that absorbs its color complement (above).

1969

The CCD: Light strikes a silicon pixel, creating a charge. A computer reconstructs the image from these charges (above).

2002

Unlike CCDs, which record one color per pixel, a Foveon
detector records three: The silicon senses the colors as light
penetrates to different depths (above).

2008

Organic light-emitting diodes replace LCDs in most cameras.

2010

Show off your pictures on thin electronic paper.

2040

Project your life-size 3-D pictures into the center of a room.

2100

Built-in embedded eyeball camera: Just press a tooth or think a command to snap a photo from your retina.

Compiled by Martha Harbison

Photographs, from top:

Courtesy Eastman Kodak

Courtesy Canon

Courtesy NASA

National Archives/Cartographic Section

Illustrations by Jason Lee

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