The Evolution of Cameras and Photography: From Optics to Digital Images

TLDR The history of cameras and photography spans from the development of optics to the creation of telescopes and microscopes. From the first proto-photos in the 18th century to the introduction of digital images, advancements in film, cameras, and lenses have revolutionized the way we capture and preserve moments.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The history and evolution of cameras and photography, from the development of optics to the creation of telescopes and microscopes.
02:01 The discovery of silver compounds that darken when exposed to light led to the creation of the first proto-photos by Thomas Wedgewood in the 18th century, which were images created without a camera by placing objects directly on photosensitive paper.
03:48 Niep's system of Heliography, which involved long exposures and produced low-quality images, was followed by Louis Degueur's Degueurotype process in 1839, which used a silver-plated copper plate exposed to halogen and bromine fumes and developed with mercury, and eventually gave way to the wet plate process that allowed for shorter exposure times and was simpler to use.
05:33 In 1885, George Eastman developed a dry gel that could be applied to paper, which eventually led to the creation of photographic film on celluloid and the introduction of the world's first commercial camera, the Kodak, in 1888.
07:22 The development of Kodak Kodachrome film in 1935 revolutionized color photography, and while there were continuous advancements in film, cameras, and lenses, the fundamentals of photographic film remained the same for the next 75 years until the advent of digital images.
09:12 CCDs were first developed in 1969 and are still used in limited high-end applications, but newer image sensors called active pixel sensors are now used in modern smartphones; the sensor on a smartphone camera is small and has a limited light-gathering area, while the sensor in a proper digital camera is larger and gathers more light, but having more megapixels can actually reduce the quality of the images.
11:00 JPEG is a digital image format that compresses images by condensing similar pixels, and digital photography has completely replaced film photography.
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