Cameras

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As early as the 11th century, a camera using a pinhole or lens was developed. This projected a specific image on a viewing surface. At that time, these images were preserved by manually tracing them, due to non-availability of adequate photographic technology and material. The first small and portable camera was invented in 1685. However it was not until 1826 that the first permanent photograph was made.

The word camera is derived from the Latin word ‘obscura latin,’ which means dark chamber. A photograph is a medium through which people can relive past events and revisit moments. From the days of stencils, black and white to color, cameras have come a long way.

A camera is essentially a lightproof box fitted with a lens. A shutter is used to collect incoming light and direct it onto the film within. There is a viewfinder, used to frame the scene and a mechanism that helps with focusing on the object. An external or internal flash maybe used to maximize lighting conditions.

The shutter speed controls the aperture through which light enters the camera. The higher the shutter speed the smaller the aperture, and vice versa. This mechanism controls the time during which light is permitted to enter the camera. Pinhole cameras use a tiny hole to focus on an image. Other cameras use a lens for focusing purposes. The focal length of a lens, which is the distance between the rear of the lens when set on infinity and the film, establishes viewing angle and the size of the viewed objects.

35-mm cameras are currently the most widely used cameras. Modern cameras are available in rangefinder and reflex models and use an integrated rapid film-transport mechanism. Lenses can also be interchanged with ease, using the same camera body. Photographers may use lens filters, flash bulbs, and tripods to support their photographic ventures.

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