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Introductory camera guide and beginners guide on film camera and digital camera for still photography

STsite's Guide to Still Photography Camera

Inifinity Focus

Gomz Sputnik Stereo Camera You have reached the final section of this camera guide. So you know first the lens is needed to gather the light and focus the images on the image sensor or film. Then the shutter together with the aperture and the electronic to set the right exposure to expose the images on the image sensor or film. Additionally for digital cameras the digital memory card is needed to store the captured images. Finally the camera body to house and hold all these components together in one single unit that is our camera.

Kine Exakta of 1936
Kine Exatra of 1950 - The first 35mm SLR camera with interchangeble finder attachement and field lenses -- and
battery not required!
Other components such as the viewfinder are needed to aid in composing and for aiming at what you are photographing. The built-in flash to assist when ambience lighting is low or insufficient for proper exposure. The other components that make up the modern camera such as date and time stamp, sound recording, on-camera editing etc. are not essential but they do make photography easy and fun.

Initially cameras are purely an optical and mechanical instrument. As time progresses, more and more electronic components are added to the camera. First it was the light sensor that measures the brightness of light and that became the exposure meter, later it progressed to an auto exposure camera. Many years later a new light sensor together with new electronic circuit was added that performed electronic assisted focusing. This electronic focusing aid quickly advanced into what is now the auto-focus camera of today.

Sony Mavica of 1981, first consumer electronic camera
First consumer electronic camera -- Sony Mavica of 1981
Following the advancement in integrated electronic chips design and production of CCD on a conventional wafer fabrication line the cost of the CCD has become affordable to be used as an imaging capturing device for consumer digital photography. The first consumer electronic camera from Sony -- the Mavica electronic camera was released on August 25, 1981. Since then Sony has maintained a series of digital cameras under the Mavica brand name.

However the first Mavica camera was not the first camera that used a CCD to capture electronic images. The first operational electronic CCD still image camera pototype was from Kodak in 1975. It captured black and white pictures and took half a minute to store the image to a cassette tape and the camera weighed 81/2lb or 3.9KG!
first Kodak electronic CCD still image camera, 1975
Kodak engineer, Steve J. Sasson, holds the world's first known operational electronic CCD still image camera. - 1975
The sensor used in the Kodak camera was the first commercial CCD produced by Fairchild Imaging in 1973 - a 100 X 100 pixel black and white CCD.

You may have noticed we used the word electronic instead of digital on the first Mavica and the Kodak camera. Reason being these two cameras were not digital cameras but electronic cameras. They do not contain digital electronic component and the CCD is actually an analogue electronic component not digital electronic component.

Further advancements in digital electronic and miniaturization of micro chip were made. Tiny but powerful CPU chip that runs on battery become feasible to produce for digital cameras. With that cameras were never the same again and today's digital cameras are a pocket computer by itself.
Ricoh rdc digital camera is also a PDA
This Ricoh digital camera the RDC is the first digital camera-cum-PDA and can be used for sending email via a mobile phone
As the market craves for higher megapixels in digital cameras, cpu chip with higher and higher computing power are produced to matche the demand of higher megapixel imaging need. A high end digital camera of today may have more computing power than a PDA. Cameras have grown from a pure optical and mechanical instrument to become what is now an optical and digital instrument with just some supporting mechanical components.

Traditional camera shops have also evolved. Modern photography shops not only sell cameras, they also carry many IT products such as computer printers, imaging software, USB cables and video capture cards, etc. At the other end you can also find many computer shops selling wide range of digital cameras, mostly for connecting to the Internet such as web cams and video conferencing equipment. Now you also see these computer shops having a range of "real" digital cameras from branded camera manufacturers on their shelves. Soon it may be difficult to draw a line who is who and a convergence evolution is here to behold.

Pencam mini - all in one mini digital camera, Web-cam and movie camera With all these great steps and advancements in digital electronic and photography it is still not easy to find a good digital camera that can perform perfectly in all areas. A 5 megapixels digital camera from the camera maker for your photography needs and an inexpensive web-cam for your Internet needs is the solution at the moment. There are times you may want to use a mobile phone for taking picture where a real camera can get in the way. As we have always said "the right tool for the right job"!

We trust this camera guide helps impart enough info to our readers to make a sound judgement in selecting the right camera. Hopefully also empowers them with sufficient knowledge of camera to size up the shop assistant in the camera shop whether he is trying to hard sell or offering sincere advice.

If by now we have wet your appetite and you are ready to explore further to learn more we would like to share with you a few good photography sites. pictureFirst the two websites we mentioned in the first chapter,  Steve DigiCams and Camera Labs can provide you with the latest developments and reviews on digital cameras. Use them to shortlist your choice before stepping into the camera store or order online.

That's all folks for now, we will leave you here for the time being. Photography is one subject that has grown with time and technology. As a photographer we too need to constantly grow with time and advance with technology or we will become just another faded old photograph ourself. So continue to explore and focus beyond the infinity!!!

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