Digital photography is a complete set of technologies which, via the use of an electronic sensor, allow a photograph to be generated, processed, and distributed.
History of digital photography
The origins of the invention of digital photography go back to 1970, with the appearance of the first video cameras aimed at the public and the invention of CCD (“Charge-Coupled Device”) sensors. In 1981, Sony applied its video expertise to create the first digital camera, the Mavica (Magnetic Video Camera). To store the NTSC images – up to 50 photos, with a resolution of 490 × 570 pixels, giving a total resolution of 280,000 pixels – it used a magnetic disc. A dedicated disk drive allowed the photos to be viewed on a TV screen. Other manufacturers responded by adopting the 2” diskette as a standard “digital” storage format, albeit that this was not true digital photography as the image was stored in an analogue format on magnetic media, even though it was captured as a series of pixels. Canon launched the Xapshot in 1989, featuring a resolution of 786 × 300 pixels, and this would be succeeded by the "Ion" range. A digital back was added to a Nikon F3, a traditional SLR film camera, in 1991 by Kodak, targeting a professional audience. It would later face competition from FujiFIlm’s FujiX and Nikon, which would offer cameras with similar characteristics. Logitech, which was best known as a manufacturer of computer mice, entered the digital photography market in 1992, launching the Fotoman, which was a small digital still camera that could be connected to a computer. With a memory that held 36 photos at a resolution of 376 × 284 pixels, the Fotoman as the first true digital camera. A year later, Apple launched its own version of the Fotoman, the Quicktake, which offered a choice of resolutions: 640×480 or 320×240. Not until 1994-1996 would digital cameras appear as we would recognize them today, complete with their color LCD screens on the back. On November 14th, 1994, Casio was the first to present a digital camera with an LCD screen, allowing the picture to be viewed in real time, and allowing the photo to be saved to memory. Four years later, over the course of 1997 and 1998, the number of models on the market increased dramatically and the market exploded. Despite their low resolution at the start – fewer than one million pixels – cameras would go on to give better results for their users, with 24 mega pixels being available by 2009! In addition, reflex lenses mean that it is now possible to create high definition (HD) videos with a 1080P resolution or more.
Photography in practice
Unlike film photography, which allows a photograph to be obtained via a chemical process, exposing a photosensitive film to light, after which it is developed, digital photography is the result of a series of electronic processes. The light is captured by an electronic component, the shutter (which is a mechanical component in SLR (reflex) camera, and electronic in other cases) integrated in the sensor (CCD, CMOS or FOVEON), which then converts the light information received into electrical signals. The electrical signal is in turn translated into a matrix of luminosity values and stored on a flash memory card. Most current digital cameras also process the pixels for better results, with interpolation, filtering, highlighting, and color correction operations taking place. When compared to film photography, digital photography has a number of benefits, the most obvious being the physical advantages due to the absence of photographic film. In addition, digital cameras generate better photo quality due to the exponential growth in the number of pixels, with definition continuing to improve. Snapshots are becoming increasingly precise and crisp, instant photos can be created, with almost no latency between pressing the button to take the shot and the appearance of an image in the camera. The digital aspect is also a substantial benefit when it comes to processing the photos, as they can be transferred to a computer or a smartphone, displayed on a TV screen, burned to CD or DVD, or saved on an external hard disc – and in each case, transferring the data is really easy.
Finally, digital photos – as well as making photo editing more accessible via Photoshop or Lightroom for example, have helped perfect the art of editing and have massively increased its potential to achieve better results.
Photography tutorials and video courses !
You’ll find photography tutorials that will help you to get to grips with your digital SLR camera. These video-based photography courses offer training on the basics of photography (rules of photography that are just as valid for film photography) such as the rules of composition, framing, the rule of thirds, the concept of focus, and field depth. Thanks to these photo tutorials you’ll also learn how to hold your camera correctly, how to choose and attach a lens, and how to adjust your camera’s shutter speed and aperture. These photography training courses, delivered by video, will also teach you how to create amazing photos by addressing a variety of topics: portrait photography, controlling the light in studio shots, natural light for outdoor shots, how to shoot urban scenes, landscapes, food, and animals, how to take pack shots, and macro photography. You’ll also learn how to film videos with your DSLR. Photo tutorials also show you how to direct models, particularly for nude photography.