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Camera

 

A camera is an optical instrument to capture still images or to record moving images, which are stored in a physical medium such as in a digital system or on photographic film. A camera consists of a lens which focuses light from the scene, and a camera body which holds the image capture mechanism.
The word camera comes from camera obscura, which means "dark chamber" and is the Latin name of the original device for projecting an image of external reality onto a flat surface. The modern photographic camera evolved from the camera obscura. The functioning of the camera is very similar to the functioning of the human eye. The first permanent photograph was made in 1825 by Joseph Nicephore Niepce.
The first permanent photograph of a camera image was made in 1825 by Joseph Nicephore Niepce using a sliding wooden box camera made by Charles and Vincent Chevalier in Paris. Niepce had been experimenting with ways to fix the images of a camera obscura since 1816. The photograph Niepce succeeded in creating shows the view from his window. It was made using an 8-hour exposure on pewter coated with bitumen. Niepce called his process "heliography". Niepce corresponded with the inventor Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre, and the pair entered into a partnership to improve the heliographic process. Niepce had experimented further with other chemicals, to improve contrast in his heliographs. Daguerre contributed an improved camera obscura design, but the partnership ended when Niepce died in 1833. Daguerre succeeded in developing a high-contrast and extremely sharp image by exposing on a plate coated with silver iodide, and exposing this plate again to mercury vapor. By 1837, he was able to fix the images with a common salt solution. He called this process Daguerreotype, and tried unsuccessfully for a couple years to commercialize it. Eventually, with help of the scientist and politician Francois Arago, the French government acquired Daguerre's process for public release. In exchange, pensions were provided to Daguerre as well as Niepce's son, Isidore.
Within a decade of being introduced in America, 3 general forms of camera were in popular use: the American- or chamfered-box camera, the Robert's-type camera or Boston box, and the Lewis-type camera. The American-box camera had beveled edges at the front and rear, and an opening in the rear where the formed image could be viewed on ground glass. The top of the camera had hinged doors for placing photographic plates. Inside there was one available slot for distant objects, and another slot in the back for close-ups. The lens was focused either by sliding or with a rack and pinion mechanism. The Robert's-type cameras were similar to the American-box, except for having a knob-fronted worm gear on the front of the camera, which moved the back box for focusing. Many Robert's-type cameras allowed focusing directly on the lens mount. The third popular daguerreotype camera in America was the Lewis-type, introduced in 1851, which utilized a bellows for focusing. The main body of the Lewis-type camera was mounted on the front box, but the rear section was slotted into the bed for easy sliding. Once focused, a set screw was tightened to hold the rear section in place. Having the bellows in the middle of the body facilitated making a second, in-camera copy of the original image.
The first camera using digital electronics to capture and store images was developed by Kodak engineer Steven Sasson in 1975. He used a charge-coupled device (CCD) provided by Fairchild Semiconductor, which provided only 0.01 megapixels to capture images. Sasson combined the CCD device with movie camera parts to create a digital camera that saved black and white images onto a cassette tape. The images were then read from the cassette and viewed on a TV monitor. Later, cassette tapes were replaced by flash memory.
In 2000, Sharp introduced the world's first digital camera phone, the J-SH04 J-Phone, in Japan. By the mid-2000s, higher-end cell phones had an integrated digital camera. By the beginning of the 2010s, almost all smartphones had an integrated digital camera.

 

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