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When Was the Camera Invented

Cameras are devices which record images as still pictures (traditional or digital camera) or moving pictures (a video camera). But when was the camera invented? This post will answer that question and then give you a few interesting facts about cameras.

When was the camera invented?

To answer that question it is important to go back to the time before camera (as we know them today) existed. The camera obscura, the precursor of the camera, was first described between 1015 and 1021 by Arabic scientist Ibn al-Haytham in his ‘Book of Optics’. This optical device allowed an image to be projected onto a screen. However, it was not possible to record and store the picture. It wasn’t until 1685 that the camera was invented by Johann Zahn. His invention was both small and portable and was capable of capturing an image on a medium. However, it was over 150 years until photography was invented, allowing images to be preserved.

Interesting facts about cameras

  • Electronic video camera tubes, invented in the 1920’s, eventually resulted in the invention of digital cameras.
  • Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, with help from English inventor and photographer Thomas Sutton, made the first color photograph in 1861.
  • Traditional cameras capture light (the image) onto a photographic film or plate. Digital cameras use electronic images sensors. This is usually a charged couple device (CCD) or complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS). The captured images are stored on a memory card.

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