Sure if you love photography you will have the curiosity to know about digital photography history timeline & also camera invention history.

The following are some photos of the famous photographers

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre:

Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre
Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre. Heliogravure by Dujardin. Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre. Heliogravure by Dujardin. Published: – Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only license CC BY 4.0

He was a French artist and photographer, born on 18 November 1787, he recognized for his invention of the daguerreotype process of photography, in 1829 he performed a partnership with Joseph Niepce, Niepce took the first permanent photograph in 1826-1827, he died in 1833


After many years of experimentation, Daguerre developed an effective method of photography naming it Daguerreotypein 1839 Daguerre & Niepce’s son sold the rights for the daguerreotype to the French government & published a book explaining the process, by 1850 there were a seventy daguerreotype studios in “photography” which is derived from the Greek word photos (“Light”) & graphic (“to draw”), The word was first used by the scientist Sir John F.W Herschel in 1839, it is a method of recording images by the action of light, or related radiation, or sensitive material.


Sir F.W. Herschel

Portrait of Sir F.W. Herschel, 1792-1871




In 1827, it took 8 hours for Joseph Niepce to obtain the first fixed image, About the same time Daguerre was experimenting to find a way to capture an image.

Pinhole camera:

El Hassan Ibn El Haytham, a great authority on optics in the middle east invented the pinhole camera & explained why the image is upside down.



Ibn El Haytham

The camera obscura: Aristotle to Zahn

The first casual reference to the camera obscura is by Aristotle (330 BC), who questions how the sun can make a circular image when it shines through a square hole. Johannes Kepler was the first person to coin the phrase camera obscura in 1604, in 1609 Kepler suggested the use of a lens to improve the image projected by a camera obscura.



Aristotle (330 BC)

Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler


camera boxCamera_obscura

The principle of the camera obscura.

Magnetic Lantern – Slide projector:

The Magnetic lantern was the forerunner of the modern slide projector.

Flashlight powder:

Was invented in Germany in 1887 by Adolf Miethe & Johannes Gaedicke, Lycopodium powder was used in early flash powder.

old photo

Early color photograph by Adolf Miethe, printed from three color-filtered black-and-white negatives made with a color camera designed by Miethe.

Flash Bulbs:

The first modern photo flash bulb or the flash bulb was invented by Austrian, Paul Vierkotter, he used magnesium-coated wire in an evacuated glass globe. The magnesium-coated wire was soon replaced by aluminum foil in oxygen, in 1930, the first commercially available photo flash bulb was patented by German, Johannes Ostermeier.

Photography Time Line History


5th-4th Centuries B.C: Chinese & Greek Philosophers describe the basic principles of optics & the camera

166464-1666: Isaac Newton discovers the white light is composed of different colors.

1727: Johann Heinrich discovered that silver nitrate darkened upon exposure to light.

1794: First panorama open, the forerunner of the movie house invented by Robert Barker.

1814: Joseph Niepce archives first photographic image with camera Obscura- however, the image required 8 hours of light exposure & later faded.

1837: Daguerre’s first daguerreotype, the first image that was fixed & didn’t fade & needed under 30 minutes of light exposure.

1840: First American patent issued in photography to Alexander Walcott for his camera.

1843: First advertisement with a photograph made in Philadelphia.

1859: Panoramic camera patented- the Sutton.

1861: Oliver Wendell Holmes invents stereoscope viewer.

1865: Photographs & photographic negatives are added to protected works under copyright.

1884: George Eastman invents flexible, paper-based photographic film.

1888: Eastman patents Kodak roll-film camera.

1913/1914: First 35 mm still camera developed.

1927: General electric invents the modern flash bulb.

1932: First light meter with photoelectric cell introduced.

1941: Eastman Kodak introduces soda color negative film.

1942: Chester Carlson receives a patent for electric photography (xerography).

1948: Edwin Land markets the Polaroid camera.

1954: Eastman Kodak introduces high-speed Tri-X Film.

1960: EG & G develops extreme depth underwater camera for U.S Navy.

1963: Polaroid introduces the instant color film.

1968: Photograph of the Earth from the moon.

1973: Polaroid introduces one-step instant photography with SX-70 camera.

1978: Konica introduces the first point & shoot auto focus camera.

1980: Sony demonstrates first consumer camcorder.

1984: Canon demonstrates first digital electronic still camera.

1985: Pixar introduces digital image processing.

1987: The popular canon EOS system introduced, with the new all-electronic lens mount.

1990: Eastman Kodak announces Photo CD as a digital image storage medium. & Adobe Photoshop released.

1991: Kodak DCS-100 first digital SLR, a modified Nikon F3.

1992: Kodak introduces Photo CD.

1999: Nikon D1 SLR, 2.74 megapixels for US$6000, first ground-up DSLR design by a leading manufacturer.

2000: Camera phone introduced in Japan by Sharp/J-phone.

2001: Polaroid goes bankrupt.

2003: Canon digital Rebel introduced for less than US$1000.

2004: Kodak Ceases production of film cameras.

2005: Canon EOS 5D, first consumer-priced full-frame digital SLR, with a 24×36 mm CMOS sensor for US$3000.



Daguerreotype camera made by Maison Suisse fereres in 1839

Self-portrait with the first movie camera, Perth, 1933-34.

studio camera

Late 19th-century studio camera

  Brownie box camera

Kodak No. 2 Brownie box camera, circa 1910

Leica I, 1925

  Leica I, 1925

Argus C3, 1939
DCF 1.0

Argus C3, 1939

Nikon F of 1959

Nikon F of 1959

Polaroid Model J66, 1961

 Polaroid Model J66, 1961

Sony Mavica, 1981

Sony Mavica, 1981  

Canon RC-701, 1986

Canon RC-701, 1986

The first portable digital SLR camera, introduced by Minolta in 1995.

The first portable digital SLR camera, introduced by Minolta in 1995.

Nikon D1, 1999

Nikon D1, 1999

EOS 5D (DSLR) camera body- 22 August 2005

EOS 5D (DSLR) camera body- 22 August 2005


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  1. Very interesting article on the history of photography.

    I managed to learn some new things from your post, which is saying something, since I once published an article in a camera magazine on this very subject back in 1985.

    Where did you manage to find all the great old photos?

  2. I love photography as well. I am glad there is a website like this. The camera has come a long way since the beginning.

    Educating people on this matter is very important. I really like Eastman. People say if it wasn’t for him the average joe wouldn’t be using a camera in today’s time.

    It is a shame the back in the day cameras and equipment could only be bought by the rich.

    So happy I might buy a brand new camera :).

  3. Thank you for mentioning El Hassan Ibn El Haytham. The reason why Middle Easterners suffer so much racism is because schools nowadays never teach their accomplishments and history. It’s no doubt that many of the world’s most overlooked historical geniuses are from the Middle East or Islamic Spain, including people like Albucasis (first surgeon), Averroes and Ibn Batuta.

    1. Hey there, thanks for your comment, i don’t like biased reviews,contents, & posts, so sure here you will find unbiased thoughts of everything from photography history till small products reviews.

  4. Great post on the photography history timeline. It is always fun taking a walk through history at the look of how something comes to be in this case photography. You stepped back in time to get all the crucial moments that the changes for each segment took place, well done and I have always enjoyed everything about photography. Great site and I also follow you on Google+.

  5. Hi Ehab,
    Wow! I’m impressed! For someone who loves photography like me, your website is just great. I like your “Digital photography history timeline” page. I actually found out many interesting facts. I really enjoyed walking through your gallery, you should add more of your photos. I found your photography classes very useful. I wish you good luck and a lot of success.

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