Inventing the Digital Camera
About this video
Meet the man who created the first digital camera.
A beautifully shot portrait of American electrical-engineer Steven Sasson who built the first digital camera way back in 1975.
The toaster-sized camera used a charge-coupled device (CCD) image sensor and took about 23 seconds to record each image onto a digital memory card. Up to 30 images could be stored onto a standard cassette tape - a limit deliberately chosen as the midway point between the 24 and 36 analogue film canisters.
What stands out is Sasson's awareness of the social and technological culture his invention was born into. Using Moore's Law he estimated that it would take about fifteen to twenty years to truly influence consumer behaviour – an estimate that proved pretty accurate as Kodak launched the first commercially available DSRL in 1991.
"By the time the idea matures, it will be in an entirely different world."
Filmmaker David Friedman notes that the first digital photo was a picture of a lab technician named Joy but the image wasn't saved.