Back in 1975 a group of engineers at Kodak, headed by inventor Steve Sasson, tried to develop the first camera that didn’t use any form of light-sensitive film.
It was a camera that didn’t use any film to capture still images – a camera that would capture images using a CCD imager and digitize the captured scene and store the digital info on a standard cassette. It took 23 seconds to record the digitized image to the cassette. The image was viewed by removing the cassette from the camera and placing it in a custom playback device. This playback device incorporated a cassette reader and a specially built frame store. This custom frame store received the data from the tape, interpolated the 100 captured lines to 400 lines, and generated a standard NTSC video signal, which was then sent to a television set.
The inventors cobbled it together out of used parts, without a clue as to how their device would evolve over the next three and half decades. When they previewed it at the time they were of course faced with questions like:
Why would anyone ever want to view his or her pictures on a TV? How would you store these images? What does an electronic photo album look like?
How’d have thought that digital photography would be where it is today.
Steve Sasson’s full write up is available to read here