The Evolution of Cameras

Evolution of cameras infographic

Today, photography is very much a part of everyday life. Modern smartphones have at least two cameras, allowing you to snap great pictures and videos wherever you are. But you don’t have to go back too far to find photography in its infancy. Although its concept and history dates back thousands of years, photography as we know it today has only really developed in the last 200 years!


French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce developed the world’s earliest surviving photograph in 1826, which can still be seen to this day as part of the Gernsheim collection! Niépce called this process heliography, from the Greek word helios – literally “Drawing with the sun”.


George Eastman started a little company called Kodak in the 1880s, bringing photography to the masses. Kodak sold self-contained box cameras that held a hundred film exposures. You’d take your pictures, then send the camera back to the factory to get your photographs developed and printed. Not too dissimilar to modern disposable cameras!


The first commercially available Single-Lens Reflex – or SLR – camera was produced in 1933, called the Ihagee Exakta. These continued to progress and evolve into the modern SLR and Digital SLR cameras we have today!


The time it took to develop photographs from negatives was always a problem. In 1951, Polaroid solved this issue with the release of the Model 95! This iconic device allowed consumers to take and print photographs within seconds. It marked a huge step forward in consumer technology! The company stopped making instant film in 2008, but they’ve recently made a resurgence after being bought out in 2017!


Kodak showed off the world’s first ever digital camera in 1975. A glimpse into what was to come for consumer photography, the futuristic prototype device recorded black and white photos to a cassette tape! The first digital camera available to the public was the Dycam Model 1, which went on sale in 1990. The trend boomed, and even Apple joined the movement with its own Apple QuickTake!


The J-SH04 by Sharp Corporation was the very first mobile phone released with a camera. Only available in Japan, the phone was released in the year 2000. In the following years, the camera phone would continue to grow and evolve, until the iPhone came and revolutionised what a mobile could be in 2007.


Today, we’ve got more options than ever before when it comes to photography. Almost any smartphone you’ll come across boasts at least one high-quality digital camera, if not two to appease the selfie generation! DSLRs are now better than ever before, and we’re even seeing the return of instant-print cameras from companies like Fujifilm and Polaroid!

It’s never been a better time to be a photographer. Whether you’re an amateur snapper taking shots for your own enjoyment, or a professional photographer, you might want to think about insurance for your camera. At The Insurance Emporium, we provide cover for Theft, Loss Or Accidental Damage as standard for amateurs, semi-professionals, and professional photographers plus a range of other benefits. You could even benefit from a 25% Introductory Discount!*

* The 25% Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.

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