Who Invented The Camera?
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 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.
From 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 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.
From 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.
From 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.