One of modern day’s biggest breakthroughs in digital technology, the digital camera, offers high-quality visuals that can last a long time. With a digital camera, gone are the days that you have to take pictures and wait for hours, sometimes days, before you can look at the photos. In addition, most digital cameras also take videos that you can view on a small built-in viewer that also shows the photos you take.
It all began in 1975 when Steven Sasson of Eastman Kodak created the very first digital camera. Weighing 3.6 kg, the first digital camera initially captured pictures at a rate of 20 seconds per frame. However, the very first publicly launched digital camera came from Fuji — the Fuji DS-1P, which launched in 1988 in the United States. In 1991, not wanting to remain a second fiddle, Kodak launched the very first professional digital camera, the DCS-100, which sold for $13,000.
Digital cameras come in different sizes. The portable ultra-compact digital cameras can fit snugly in the palm of your hand and pocket and let you take quick shots. The larger, top-of-the line digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, on the other hand, are ideal for professional photographers because of their state-of-the art features that produce high-resolution image quality.
Digital cameras use megapixels, which are millions of tiny squares that form a mosaic or puzzle to create images. The resolution of your images depends largely on how these tiny squares pack together in a small space; the higher the megapixels, the higher the image resolution. Digital cameras can zoom in on tiny and long distance shots with their lenses. Each lens has several lens elements that direct the path of the light rays to recreate the image as accurately as possible into the digital sensor. Some newer models of digital cameras have autofocus features and face detection modes that make them smart cameras. Some models even let you edit the photos right after taking the shots, such as reducing red or flashy eyes on the subjects. Some models also have touch screens to make taking, editing and viewing digital photos and videos easier. Digital cameras offer built-in memory space and memory card slots that support high-speed memory cards that can hold hundreds of photos and hours of videos.
Digital cameras, like most gadgets, have their share of technical issues. Most users are familiar with the E18 Error, which happens when the lens freezes or sticks and will not align or retract correctly. The E18 error is usually a result of exposure to certain harsh elements and extreme shock. In addition, defective image sensor problems may develop over time if you use digital cameras frequently in areas with extreme heat temperature and high levels of humidity.
Digital cameras no longer just come from standalone types of cameras — they also come built into other tech gadgets such as cell phones and laptops. The latest models are becoming smaller, thinner and lighter. Newer models come with HD and 3-D technologies, which offer clearer, crisper images and more depth. As of 2010, digital camera makers are coming up with more features such as dual lenses that provide better self-portraits and panoramic shots.