Digital camera

Updated: 06/30/2019 by Computer Hope
A Lumix digital camera

A digital camera is a hardware device that takes pictures like a regular camera, but stores the image as data on a memory card instead of printing it to film. Many digital cameras are capable of recording video in addition to taking photos. The picture is of a Casio QV-R62 with 6-megapixel resolution, an example of a typical digital camera.

Note

A camera that is always connected to your computer with no storage could also be referred to as a digital camera. However, it is more appropriate to refer to this device as a webcam.

Note

A digital camera may be considered both an input and output device (sometimes referred to as an I/O device) as it can both take pictures (input) and send them to your computer (output).

What are the advantages of using a digital camera?

Below are key advantages that make digital cameras a popular choice when compared to film cameras.

LCD screen

The rear-mounted LCD screen on a digital camera allows users to see their photos and videos immediately after they have been taken. The LCD screen can also make it easier to frame your pictures.

Storage

A digital camera can store thousands of pictures, instead of only up to 36 pictures.

Picture development

Digital camera pictures can be developed like on a standard film camera, but you can pick and choose which pictures to develop instead of having to do the whole roll of film.

Size

Because a digital camera does not need a place for film (not an SLR), it takes up far less space and can easily be carried in your pocket or purse.

Digital camera picture quality

The quality of pictures that a digital camera is capable of taking is primarily based on its megapixel rating. The higher the megapixels, the better the picture quality. For example, a 10 MP (megapixel) digital camera takes better pictures than a 7-megapixel digital camera.

Other factors that can affect picture quality include the type of camera lens, size of the lens (measured in millimeters), and type of camera itself. Lower cost digital cameras often feature a lower quality and standard size lens and provide minimal zoom capability. Higher priced, higher quality digital cameras include a better quality lens, possibly a larger size lens, and feature increased zoom capabilities.

Some digital cameras, like a digital SLR camera, allow users to adjust lighting, aperture, shutter speed, and other settings, providing improved control over picture quality. These digital cameras also allow for accessory attachments to increase or decrease the size of a lens and length of zoom.

History of the digital camera

Although the idea for a digital camera originated in 1961, the technology to create one didn't exist. The first digital camera was invented in 1975 by Steven Sasson, an engineer at Eastman Kodak. It primarily used a charge coupled device, a type of image sensor, but originally used a camera tube for image capture. That functionality was later digitized by Kodak. The first digital cameras were used by the military and for scientific purposes. Medical businesses and News reporting companies began to use digital cameras a few years later.

Digital cameras did not become common consumer electronic devices until the mid-1990s. By the mid-2000s, digital cameras mostly replaced film cameras as the camera of choice by consumers.

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