The first digital camera was invented by Steven Sassoon, while working at Eastman Kodak, in 1975. Before that all cameras (regular cameras, often called still film cameras) were mechanical cameras. It’s hard to believe now, but they didn’t even use electricity. Basically they were composed of three parts: the lens, the chemically treated film, and a box (the camera structure itself which would include the mechanism to move the film forward to the next frame, etc.)
Digital cameras are a whole different ball park. It’s sort of like comparing a beautifully made chariot to a race car. Digital cameras must be computerized and run on batteries, so all of them have a built-in computer and all of them record images electronically.
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How Digital Cameras Works
We are so used to just pointing our small digital camera (or phone) and seeing the photo two seconds later that we don’t realize the behind-the-scenes of how miraculous it is. This miracle has two basic parts: a sensing grid and a reading program.
The sensing grid, which should have a cool name like Light Capturer or Light Hawk, or Amazing Light Sensor, or something, is called a Charge Coupled Device or CCD. You point your camera at your cat and the CCD takes that scene and “sees” the light energy and captures it on all of the teensy eentsy minute squares on its grid and immediately turns it into electrical pulses. The CCD sends the electricity, as very specific coded messages, to the reading program (also called the firmware).
Now the firmware (FW) changes those messages into digital code which can be sent to a camera screen, printer, CNN, or your mother-in-law in Boise.
The first digital camera weighed 8 pounds (3.6 kg) and cost $10,000. This is one of the many reasons that Ideas Design Studio, a new product development firm that specializes in helping inventors, suggests that when you have a new idea you should have a professional listen to your idea, look at your drawings, and make up a 3-D prototype for you.
When you look at how radically different the ‘How do they work?’ processes of still film cameras and digital cameras are you will get an idea of a truism about many inventions. Many completely new inventions don’t necessarily create a new end product that has never been seen before but rather think up and design a brand new way of getting the job done.
Now that you know how digital cameras work, let that inspire you to look at products you use and see if you can create a totally different method of making the same end result. Experts at Ideas Design Studio stress that while some inventors think that they have to do it all on their own, in actuality it always takes many people to bring an idea from ‘What if?’ to people all around the world asking ‘How does that work?’
Author Bio: Joel Cordle, is the Marketing lead at Idea Design Studio. Idea Design Studio is a product development firm that specializes in top-of-the-line design work for inventors. If you have any question on how to get invention help just contact Idea Design Studio.