Who Invented It? From Household Items To Rocket

Who Invented The Camera?

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Many people are credited with having played a part in inventing the camera. Like many inventions, camera development went through many stages that included many different people. To answer the question simply, two men are responsible for having created the camera. The following is a brief history of cultures, inventors, and inventions that influenced the men, and what the two men created so that the camera as we know it could come to be.

The fundamental concept of the camera

The basics or fundamentals of camera obscura was discovered by Alhazen (Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham) when he invented the pinhole camera. Alhazen even went on to explain why the image produced by the pinhole camera was upside down. Alhazen was a great scientist and is known as the “Father of Modern Optics” by the scientific community.

Johann Heinrich SchulzeJohann Heinrich Schulze discovered that by using silver nitrate, he could create a black and white photo. The chemistry of silver nitrate allowed unexposed part of a film to be white, while the exposed part turned black. But, everything turned black over time.

Very Early History of the Camera: First Camera

The first idea for a camera-like device came from China early in the fifth century. A Chinese man realized that a process involving light, reflection, and a dark area would produce an identical copy of the image being produced. Later, Johann Heinrich Schulze discovered a process involving silver nitrate that would later be used to develop the camera. Without these two discoveries, the camera may not have come about when and how it did.

Joseph Nicephore Niepce and the schematics of his obscura camera designFrom top-left: Frenchman, Joseph Nicephore Niepce when he was younger, older and the schematics of his obscura camera design. The problem with his camera was that the pictures took too long to develop and once it did, the photo only lasted a few hours.

Photographs

Photographs are the product the cameras produce. In France, Joseph Nicephore Niepce used previously developed camera-like devices to capture images and print them as a photograph. His experiments worked, but the photos he took only lasted a few hours and took a very long time to develop.

The first pictures taken by Joseph Nicephore NiepceFrom top-left: Among the first pictures taken by Joseph Nicephore Niepce, a large scale version of his obscura camera, portable version of his obscura camera back and front views as well as a dining table picture, which was also part of his early pictures.

Louis-Jacques-Mande and George Eastman

The two men listed above are the two men that are known for their breakthroughs in camera development. Each of the men made separate but related breakthroughs to the camera made the device work more efficiently. Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, in 1836, produced the very first photographic machine that could capture images better than any of the earlier “camera” devices before him.

Louis-Jacques-Mandé DaguerreFrom left: Daguerre, first portrait picture ever taken, objects on a table and picture of a part of town. Daguerre made a big improvement in the photography field and his photos were much better than any previous camera ever produced.

George Eastman is important to camera’s history because he perfected the idea of film that had been developed earlier. First, he used paper to develop the images, but later, he would use celluloid film that would efficiently capture and hold images. Eastman is also the founder of Kodak cameras. He developed a camera with a lens, and he sold that camera with film so that his customers could take pictures of their favorite moments. Eastman’s Kodak camera and film came about in 1885.

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23 Comments on Who Invented The Camera?
  1. keairra:

    That smart that he invented.Now i can take pictures where ever i go. like with my family and i can take pictures in a club,and i love all all i can do with a camera.It so good that we can use things like this invents. It help use do more things that’s fun , we can always go to the pictures we took. that what i like love about the camera.I see young people like myself having a camera to.You know somebody in someones life dies sorry to say that but here comes the good even if they wont be there at less you can go to the pictures that you took and be a little happy well that all i have to say bye bye

  2. mouse:

    its all really good information but i wanted to know when the camera was invented.

  3. admin:

    Hi Mouse,

    It isn’t as simple as that. In fact, it was a continuous process and things simple got better as new technology came along. The new technology improved the old ones and over time we got to where we are today thanks to a number of people.

  4. alyssa& tatyana:

    you should have posted how it works

  5. blankis:

    good information, i just wish there would be a little bit more about each person. not necessarily a biography, but how they came to be camera inventors

  6. Aladdin:

    Dear Admin,

    Really great information but how come you didnt mention Ibn-Al Haytham he is the first one who tried and invented the camera that was named that days “Qumra” which means a room… The light used to come through a small hall inside the room to be reflected on a white background inside the room.

    “lhazen (Ibn Al-Haytham), a great authority on optics in the Middle Ages who lived around 1000AD, invented the first pinhole camera, (also called the Camera Obscura} and was able to explain why the images were upside down. The first casual reference to the optic laws that made pinhole cameras possible, was observed and noted by Aristotle around 330 BC, who questioned why the sun could make a circular image when it shined through a square hole”.

  7. admin:

    Hi Aladdin,

    Thanks for pointing that out. Yes Ibn Al-Haytam did contributed to the invention of the camera. You can read more here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhazen#Theory_of_Vision

  8. Harry:

    so why didnt you mention him here????

  9. Patricia:

    Thank you! The facts helped me for my essay!

  10. kossay:

    i really don’t understand why educated people like admin ignore the exact history and replace it with other that means we are destroying our history

  11. Megan:

    I agree with Mouse I wanted to know when the first camera was invented and by who..

  12. admin:

    Hi Megan,

    I think my answer is pretty clear. It is not as simple as saying this guy or that guy invented it. It is a series of steps that got better over time.

  13. Kosovo:

    This really helped me for my homework but I think you should include the first ever photograph too but beside that, this is a very good answer!

  14. admin:

    Hi Kosovo,

    I did add the first ever photograph. Look at pic number 3.

  15. Name (Required):

    thanks for the cameras they are a great things that we use in the world everyday

  16. marielys:

    thank you for the cameras because we need them

  17. harry:

    thanks dudes

  18. abdullah:

    why racism all over the world ?
    becaouse he is muslim you have not mentioned anything about him, but the real fact is that ibn al-haytham is the first man on earth have ever thought about it

    thanks

  19. admin:

    Hi Abdullah,

    I have now added the missing part of the story. In case you were wondering why i didn’t add him in the first place, no i’m not racist, it was because i wanted to go straight to the invention of the first device that could capture or record the image from the camera. After all, the title is “who invented the camera” not the history of cameras. So, i hope this clear things up and yes, Alhazen was the first guy to come up with the camera idea, the pinhole camera.

  20. Brittany:

    I’m really interested in cameras and photography and this is great information and very interesting! This also helped me out wit my essay for French. Thanks!

  21. baily:

    how am I to use this info you wrote if I don’t know who wrote it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. baily:

    i may sound mad but i can’t say this is credible without a author!! thanks get back to me soon please.;D

  23. admin:

    Hi Baily,

    You can quote my website, Yukozimo, and use the web address for this page as reference.

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