who invented the film camera and its history

Who Invented Film Camera?

The camera and photography had come a long way since the ancient times when people had no idea what an image or a picture was. The quick snaps and pocket-size digital cameras have a history that dates back to ancient Greeks. The process of inventing the camera that we drag around everywhere in our backpacks or even pockets started with a prototype as large as a room.

Who invented film camera? Well, read on to find out.

What is a film camera?

Before we dwell on the long history of “who invented the film camera,” let’s get to know the film camera first. A film camera is a type of camera that uses the light coming from the surroundings to project an image on a roll of film. It is also called an analog camera, and the photography done with this camera is known as analog photography.

The rolls of film have a history that also dates back to the first camera ever. 

A brief history of film camera

Here is where you will get to know who invented the film camera and the process through which it became the camera we see today.

Camera obscura

The early Greek and Chinese civilizations had a simple, very large optical device that they used to call Camera Obscura. The prototype camera was used to emit light through a hole onto a surface or a wall, and there was no way to freeze an image.

Nicephore and Daguerre

If we skip forward to the 1800s, that’s where the actual fun started. In 1827, a French scientist by the name of Nicephore Niepce took the first-ever photograph with the wooden camera that could slide, which was invented by two French opticians, Charles and Vincent Chevalier. Louise Daguerre, who was a partner of Nicephore Niepce, continued with his experiments with the camera and introduced the first-ever photographic process called daguerreotype. 


Almost the same time, as the daguerreotype was introduced, a British inventor by the name William Henry Fox Talbot developed the calotype. With this process, he was able to develop the first-ever photograph, which was taken on paper. Hey look don’t miss article for film camera parts!

SLRs- Single Lens Reflex Cameras

After World War II, brands such as Canon and Nikon became the market leaders with their Single Lens Reflex Cameras or more commonly SLRs. In 1948, the instant camera invented by Edwin Land became popular as it was able to print the images on paper the moment a picture was taken.


By the 1900s, the cameras were being mass-produced by a company called Kodak. George Eastman, who was the owner of the company Kodak, invented the first-ever photographic roll. In later times, these rolls were mass-produced by different companies around the world and became films as see it today. The first-ever portable camera was the classic brownie camera, which was invented by George Eastman. With this invention, the company sold millions of copies and started a revolution in the photography industry.

Digital age

A young graduate from Kodak named Steven Sasson became the inventor of the digital cameras, which have evolved to be the go-to cameras as we see them today. In 1976, when the US government used digital cameras for satellites, the world got introduced to a lot of applications for the camera instead of photography and cinema. 

In 2000, the first-ever camera phone was invented, and with it, the digital revolution started, which led to smartphones using the highest quality cameras.

So, to sum it up, from Camera Obscura to the digital age, film camera was where it all started. 

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