When looking at cameras for the future it is useful to consider those from the past to see just how technology has developed to satisfy a photographer’s needs.
The first ever permanent photograph was produced by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce during the early part of the 19th century. At this time, cameras would simply consist of a pair of nested boxes with a lens at one end and a focusing screen made of glass at the other.
In 1900, the Kodak Box “Brownie” was introduced and would go on to become a popular camera of its day. To load the box brownie with a film you would need to remove its inner case, which is imprinted with TOP to show you which way it needs to go back, wind the winder anti-clockwise, then look out for the number in the counter window to appear.
Many early, and even later cameras would not wind on their 35mm films automatically between shots. Advancements in camera technology would later make this possible with all cameras so that photographers would not have to manually wind their films along and then back into their casing to be sent away for processing.
Pocket 110 Cameras
The first camera to take a cartridge rather than a film was the Kodak Pocket Instamatic camera from 1972. This was an easier way of changing the film inside the camera. With 35mm films you would have to remove them from the camera in a darkened place so not to expose any of the film to light before it was developed. The camera’s pocket size made it extremely popular. It would take away sales of the subminiature cameras already on the market, such as the Minolta 16 series.
SLR and DSLR Cameras
The term SLR has now become DSLR. Digital has been added to the acronym for Single Lens Reflex cameras. The advantage of this type of camera historically has been that you can look right down its lens so that what you see is exactly the image that you capture. This was not entirely possible with viewfinder cameras. It was rather a hit and miss affair and would be disappointing sometimes to discover after your photographs had been processed that heads had been inadvertently chopped off from subjects. Particularly when you were being blamed as the photographer.
The development of digital cameras has meant that now you can instantly see what you have taken, and if you decide that you do not like it, it can be easily deleted and no portion of film has been wasted, as in the old days. With mobile phones now taking pictures, too, they can be quickly shared with social media platforms. That is, after you have enhanced and jazzed them up using image manipulation software.
The best of the digital SLR cameras currently on the market are thought to be the Nikon D3500, Canon EOS 90D, and Nikon D7500. It is no surprise that Nikon makes the top three twice and Canon features top. Both companies have a long history of camera manufacture and are keen to attract professional photographers to their product. They both produce a high-speed sports camera that is of interest to professionals. In terms of their history, Canon was founded in Japan in 1937, and the first Nikon camera was launched in March 1948. Professionals have grown to trust both brands.
So, three very different types of camera. The SLR as a DSLR continues to be available for the professional but many amateur photographers are capturing quality images on today’s mobile phones and sharing them instantly with friends and family. I suppose, there are two sides to photography. The pictures that are snapped without much thought but capture the moment, and those that are produced with magazines and calendars in mind. Location is important but so is the equipment used. Portability can increase the chance of having your camera with you and being able to capture something that others have missed, and then sharing it before others have the chance to do so.