This strange looking device is the Leica S1, the first digital camera created by the company back in 1996. At at time when film was still the medium of choice in the photo industry, the S1 packed a whopping 26-megapixels, shooting 5140x5140px medium format images. The strange looking handles on either side help the user frame the shot, but aren’t designed for handheld stabilization — each shot took three minutes to expose. Only about 160 of these cameras were built, and were mostly sold to museums and research institutions.
Did you know that the first digital camera invented in 1975 didn’t actually produce the first digital photograph? The first digital photo actually came almost two decades earlier in 1957 when Russell Kirsch made a 176×176 pixel digital image by scanning a photograph of his three-month-old son. The low resolution was due to the fact that the computer they used wasn’t capable of storing more information.
This photograph of Boulevard du Temple in Paris was made in 1838 by Louis Daguerre, the brilliant guy that invented the daguerreotype process of photography. Aside from its distinction of being a super early photograph, it’s also the first photograph to ever include a human being. Because the image required an exposure time of over ten minutes, all the people, carriages, and other moving things disappear from the scene. However, in the bottom left hand corner is a man who just so happened to stay somewhat still during the shot — he was having his shoes shined. Read more…
Here’s what the next couple weeks are going to look like in terms of press events possibly related to DSLR announcements: Nikon goes first on August 19th, Sony does theirs on August 24th, and Canon has one scheduled August 26th. Nikon will likely be announcing the D3100, while Canon drops the 60D during theirs.
A big rumor regarding Sony’s upcoming unveiling is that they’re going to be showing us the world’s first pellicle mirror system on a DSLR camera. This means instead of a traditional bulky mirror that swings out of the way — as found in current DSLRs — the Sony DSLR will have an ultra-thin and ultra-lightweight semitransparent mirror that allows photos to be shot without the mirror swinging out the way. Read more…
If you’re a digital photography buff, here’s some required trivia knowledge: what you see above is a photograph of the first digital camera ever built. It was created in December 1975 by an engineer at Eastman Kodak named Steve Sasson, now regarded as the inventor of the digital camera. In a Kodak blog post written in 2007, Sasson explains how it was constructed:
It had a lens that we took from a used parts bin from the Super 8 movie camera production line downstairs from our little lab on the second floor in Bldg 4. On the side of our portable contraption, we shoehorned in a portable digital cassette instrumentation recorder. Add to that 16 nickel cadmium batteries, a highly temperamental new type of CCD imaging area array, an a/d converter implementation stolen from a digital voltmeter application, several dozen digital and analog circuits all wired together on approximately half a dozen circuit boards, and you have our interpretation of what a portable all electronic still camera might look like.
Just a reminder: the season finale of the popular TV show House, which was filmed entirely with the Canon 5D Mark II, will be airing tonight. The fact that the show turned to the HDSLR was one of the big stories last month, after the show’s director Greg Yaitanes made the announcement on Twitter and had a Q&A session via the service.
Canon also put out a press release today congratulating the show. Yuichi Ishizuka, the executive VP of Canon USA is quoted as saying,
We take great pleasure in congratulating the cast and crew of HOUSE on completing the first network television episode to be completely shot on a DSLR camera. This milestone marks a paradigm shift in the way professional cinematographers and filmmakers capture HD video.
This music video for the song “Doubtful Comforts” by Blue Roses is the first music video to employ wiggle stereoscopy to create a 3D effect that does not require special glasses to view.
Rather than use special glasses to provide two perspectives, wiggle stereoscopy alternates quickly between two perspectives in the image or video itself. While it’s probably the simplest 3D technique, many of you might find it nauseating.
Aaron Gustafson, a Seattle-based artist, has become the first person to ever shoot large format photographs while skydiving. Using a custom large format helmet camera he designed himself, Gustafson made one large format photograph on each jump while traveling at speeds upwards of 130 miles per hour.
The helmet camera is a cube-shaped acrylic and aluminum box that uses a wide angle lens and contains a single sheet of 4×5” large format film.
I wanted to upend the norms by making a [large-format] camera to be used in a wildly different way. This is what you’d get if you threw Ansel Adams out of a plane. [...] Photography is in a strange place now where everyone is taking camera-phone snapshots and posting them online. But photography can still be grand and larger-than-life. This project came out of a desire for that. It’s a hybrid of new and old, calm and chaos.
Here’s a video documenting one of his photographic jumps:
This is the first post of what will hopefully be an exciting journey…
First, a little about myself. My name is Michael Zhang, and I’m an entrepreneur, photographer, and web developer. I have a computer science degree from UC Berkeley, and have been passionate about photography since I started taking photography seriously in high school.
I started this blog both to improve in photography and to pass on what I learn and have learned. PetaPixel will hopefully become the kind of blog I wish existed but never found on the web – a blog geared towards those who have mastered the basics of photography and camera work, but want to learn more and improve the quality of their photos.