The First Digital Camera and Its Amazing Story

In 1975, a young Kodak engineer invented the first digital camera in history. However, our introduction to the digital camera was later than expected. So what was the reason for this?

A world without smartphones and social media, where only one company stands out in photography… This is the world in the 1970s. Its leader was Kodak.

However, this content is not from Kodak’s story, We will talk about the interesting story of the first digital camera. Our protagonist in this story is Steven Sasson, who started working at Kodak as an ordinary engineer.

No one expected that Sasson, who started working at Kodak in 1973, would invent the digital camera two years later.

Sasson’s job at the company, which is only 24 years old, is one of the important technologies used in digital imaging. load coupled devices (CCD) To develop an application for According to Sasson, the main reason he was given the job was to keep him from getting in trouble because he was a new employee.

But Sasson discovered something completely unexpected. Let us take photos with our phones, send photos around the world in seconds, and invented the process that allows us to share it with millions of people.

The first digital camera was quite complex.

first digital

The machine that Sasson invented consisted of a digital tape recorder, a Super-8 movie camera, an analog-to-digital converter, and circuit boards. back then 50 milliseconds to capture an image, 23 milliseconds to record on tape was going on.

After the photo is taken, the cassette is inserted into another device and after about 30 seconds 100X100 pixel black and white image was projected onto the screen. So it was a little difficult to see the photo. But for Sasson it was more than just a camera and it was the beginning of the digital photography era.

Sasson; made a series of presentations to executive groups from the marketing, technical and business departments and then to his bosses.

first image

He brought the portable camera into the meeting room and introduced the system by taking pictures of the people in the room. Despite the poor quality of the projected photo, according to Sasson, resolution will increase rapidly as technology advances and they would be able to compete with 110 film and 135 film cameras in the consumer market.

But Kodak officials weren’t convinced that anyone would want to look at their screen shots. Because printing was a method used for years, nobody had any complaints about it and it was very cheap. Also, Kodak is in the U.S. photo market. a large market share he had.

Although this invention was not welcomed, Sasson was allowed to continue his work in this field.


The first digital camera was patented in 1978. It was called the “electronic fixed camera”. However, Sasson was not allowed to speak publicly about it or show his prototype to anyone but Kodak. First digital camera approx. It weighed 3.6 kg and only It was drawing 0.01MP.

The first product was not accepted, but Sasson did not give up.


In 1989 Sasson and his colleague Robert Hills produced a camera that looked like today’s professional models. The first working modern digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, 1.2 megapixel sensor had; was using image compression and memory cards. All was well, it was only a matter of time before the product was released.

But Kodak again read what it knew. The marketing department wasn’t interested in this camera either. They could, but they didn’t want to sell it because the digital camera was the company’s It could have taken a huge hit on movie sales. That’s why the camera never saw daylight.

Yet by 2007 Kodak had made billions of dollars thanks to its digital camera patent.

Although the company eventually made sales in both professional and consumer cameras, it did not fully embrace the field and entered the field late. It filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

sasson obama

Sasson’s first digital camera, made in 1975, is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. President Obama to Sasson at the 2009 White House ceremony National Medal of Technology and Innovation gave.

How fast has technology progressed since those days? We went from 30 images on a precision tape to thousands on something as small as a fingernail.


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