It's hard to believe that digital cameras have been in existence for over four decades, but thanks to one creative engineer, we have one of the most ubiquitous pieces of modern technology. Hear the story of the birth of our beloved cameras from the inventor himself.
Way back in 1974, a young engineer at Kodak named Steven Sasson was given a project: examining the imaging performance of CCDs (charge-coupled devices). Sasson quickly realized the potential of the device, and about a year later, he took the first digital camera image ever. His device had a resolution of 0.01 megapixels, weighed 8 pounds, and took 23 seconds to record a single image to a cassette tape. Nonetheless, the idea and proof of its viability were there, though unfortunately, Kodak management failed to see the full potential. In fact, Sasson and Robert Hills made a modernized single-unit camera in 1989, but Kodak axed the idea of selling it for fear it would cannibalize film sales, and we all know what became of the company. Talk about your all-time miscalculations. Sasson went on to receive many accolades for his invention, including the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation and the Royal Photographic Society Progress Medal.