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history of photography


  • the Kodak Brownie camera introduced in 1901 brought photography to the masses
  • Kodak introduced pre-packed 35mm film cartridges (135 film) in 1934 and color slide film (Kodachrome) in 1936, while color negative film was not produced until Agfa introduced it in 1939, and later, by Kodak as Kodacolor in 1942.
  • before the 1960's, most consumers only had access to a Kodak Brownie and took black and white photos, but those who could afford it, were most likely to have either a 35mm rangefinder or a 120 roll film twin lens reflex camera.
  • in the early 1960's, the Kodak Brownie was replaced by the Kodak Instamatic which used 126 drop-in cartridge film for ease of use.
  • Polaroid Instant cameras also became popular during the 1960's.
  • the increasing popularity of the SLR film camera during the 1960's, previously the domain on professionals, became very popular for amateurs in the 1970's, particularly with the advent of electronic flash and new smaller, lighter models such as the Olympus OM, Pentax ME, Canon AE and similar becoming more affordable and easier to use.
  • the 1980's saw the gradual introduction of autofocus cameras, culminating in the development of the new Canon EOS SLR's which dominated the professional photography world in the 1990's supplanting Nikon's previous dominance since 1959, largely due to the availability of fast AF combined with excellent fast aperture lenses which was needed for photojournalism in particular.
  • the 21st century saw the rapid improvement in digital technology which took the analog film world by surprise and relegated it to a niche market.
  • digital photography with its almost zero cost for each extra image, its immediacy of feedback, and unprecedented access to post-processing and publishing has made photography far more accessible to the consumer than ever before.

reverse timeline by year


  • Nikon D5 20mp pro sports dSLR takes ISO up to 102,400, and follows Canon's lead in adding radio TTL remote flash
  • Olympus release their sharpest lens ever - the Olympus mZD 300mm f/4 PRO lens, and for their 1st time, adds optical image stabiliser with class leading 6EV performance when combined with sensor IS.


  • 4K video becomes THE video to have on the latest cameras
  • Nikon's 1st Pressed Fresnel telephoto lens (similar to Canon's DO lens) to create a lighter 300mm f/4 lens
  • small interchangeable, large sensor cameras designed to be ONLY used with smartphones via WiFi such as the Olympus Air
  • Sony A7R II is a ground breaking 42mp high resolution full frame mirrorless camera with Olympus-style 5-axis sensor image stabiliser, 4K video and faster sensor-based PDAF for Canon EF lenses via a Metabones adapter


  • Canon 5DS 50mp full frame dSLR
  • most new cameras now have WiFi and NFC connectivity for live remote control by smartphones and wireless tethering




  • mirrorless camera systems become increasingly popular, replacing the need for entry-level digital SLR cameras
  • Micro Four Thirds system now account for 30% of all “dSLR/mirrorless” camera sales in Japan with Canon EOS falling to 20% and Nikon F to just under 25%
  • Panasonic premium class (X class) HD-optimised, ultra-compact 3x zoom lenses
  • Sony NEX7 24mp DX mirrorless camera with AVCHD 2.0 HD video and built-in OLED viewfinder
  • Olympus Pen E-P3 mirrorless camera with OLED screen and ultra-fast contrast-detect AF
  • Olympus m.Zuiko 12mm f/2.0 lens with DOF scale, analog-like MF ring
  • Panasonic G3 mirrorless camera with fast CD-AF, touch-screen LCD, built-in EVF, AVCHD 2.0 HD video
  • Canon 200-400mm f/4 IS L
  • Canon 600D dSLR


  • Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM - 1st fisheye to give both circular and full frame images, weatherproof
  • Canon release version II of 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, 300mm f/2.8L IS, 400mm f/2.8L IS, 500mm f/4L IS and 600mm f/4L IS lenses and version III of teleextenders
  • Canon 550D - Rebel version of the 7D; 18mp 3.7fps, HD video
  • Canon 60D - 18mp, 5fps, HD video, articulated screen
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM - an “affordable” L lens
  • Panasonic GH-2 mirrorless with near AVCHD 2.0 HD quality, and fast CD-AF
  • Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED
  • Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 G
  • Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4 G ED VR:
  • Nikon D7000 dSLR
  • Olympus E-5 dSLR - 12mp 5fps 720p video, flip out LCD
  • Olympus E-P2 Micro Four Thirds
  • Standard & Poor's removed Kodak from its S&P 500 index


  • Canon 1D Mark IV
  • Canon 7D
  • Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L tilt shift
  • Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 II L tilt shift
  • Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro hybrid IS L lens
  • Nikon upgrades to version II of AF-S 300mm f/2.8G ED VR, 70-200mmf/2.8 VR and to version III of its 2x teleconverter
  • Nikon D3s - 12mp 9fps full frame with 720p video
  • Nikon D3x - 24mp full frame very expensive
  • Nikon D300s - 12mp DX
  • Olympus E-450 - entry level dSLR
  • Olympus E-620 dSLR 12mp 4fps
  • Olympus E-30 dSLR 12mp 5fps
  • Olympus E-P1 Micro Four Thirds - the first “digital PEN camera”
  • Panasonic GH-1 Micro Four Thirds with 1080i 17mbps HD video
  • Leica M9 digital full frame sensor rangefinder, 18.5mp, no Live View.
  • Eastman Kodak Co announced that it will retire Kodachrome color film, ending its 74-year run after a dramatic decline in sales


  • Canon 5D MII 21mp affordable full frame with 1080i HD video
  • Canon 50D
  • Canon 24mm f/1.4L II
  • Canon 450D
  • Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM
  • Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM
  • Nikon D90 12mp - 1st dSLR with 720p HD video
  • Nikon PC-E Micro 85mm f/2.8D tilt-shift macro lens
  • Nikon PC-E Micro 45mm f/2.8D ED tilt-shift macro lens
  • Nikon SB-900 flashlight
  • Nikon D700 12mp full frame 5fps
  • Olympus E-520 / E-420 12mp
  • Panasonic G1 - the 1st of the Micro Four Thirds system
  • Linhof Techno monorail camera for digital backs
  • Polaroid ceases production of all instant film products, citing the rise of digital imaging technology.


  • Canon 40D
  • Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM
  • Canon 1Ds Mark III 21mp 5fps full frame
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 IS USM
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
  • Canon 1D Mark III - 10mp 10fps
  • Nikon D3 - 12mp full frame 9fps with Live View - Nikon's 1st digital full frame
  • Nikon D300 - 12mp 6-8fps DX
  • Nikon D40 / D40x
  • Olympus E-3 dSLR 12mp 5fps
  • Olympus E-510/E-410 12mp 3fps


  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
  • Canon 400D or Rebel XTi
  • Canon 30D 8mp
  • Nikon D80 10mp 3fps
  • Nikon D2Xs 12mp 5fps
  • Olympus E-400 - smallest dSLR yet; live view;
  • Olympus E-330 - 1st hybrid dSLR with full time live view
  • Leica M8 digital cropped sensor rangefinder
  • Dalsa produces 111 megapixel CCD sensor


  • Canon IS lenses now 3 stops - Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
  • Canon 5D - 12.7mp 3fps full frame
  • Canon 1D Mark IIN - 8mp 8.5fps
  • Canon 20Da - special astrophotography version of 20D allowing limited live preview and less IR blocking
  • Canon 350D or Rebel XT - 8mp 2.8fps
  • Nikon D200 10mp
  • Nikon D50 6mp 2.5fps
  • Nikon D70S 6mp
  • Nikon D2HS 4mp 8fps
  • Olympus E-500
  • AgfaPhoto files for bankruptcy. Production of Agfa brand consumer films ends.


  • Canon 1Ds Mark II - 16.6mp full frame
  • Canon 1D Mark II - 8mp, 8.5fps
  • Canon 20D - 8mp, 5fps
  • Canon E-TTL II flash technology
  • Kodak DCS Pro SLR - 13.5mp full frame in Canon or Nikon mounts
  • Canon EOS 300X film SLR - the last Canon film SLR
  • Nikon D2X 12mp 5fps
  • Nikon D70 6mp
  • Olympus E-300 8mp 2.5fps
  • 8mp prosumer fixed lens digitals such as Olympus 8080 dominate the enthusiast market
  • Bronica ETR 645, SQ 6×6 series, GS 6×7 series film cameras cease production
  • Eastman Kodak Company is removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average index on April 8, 2004; having been listed for the past 74 years


  • Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
  • Canon 10D 6mp 3fps
  • Canon 300D/Rebel 6pm 2.5fps
  • Nikon D2H 4mp 8fps
  • Olympus ceases OM film camera production to embark on new Olympus Four Thirds dSLR system
  • Olympus E-1 5mp


  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
  • Canon D60 6mp 3fps
  • Canon 1Ds 11mp full frame 3fps
  • Nikon D100 6mp 3fps
  • Leica M7 - Leica's last 35mm film rangefinder camera - remained in production until 2007


  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM
  • Canon 1D - 4mp 8fps - Panasonic CCD sensor
  • Nikon D1X 5mp 3fps
  • Nikon D1H 2.6mp 5fps
  • Hasselblad 905 SWC 6×6 leaf shutter camera with fixed 38mm lens - remained in production until 2006


  • Canon D30 - 3mp 3fps
  • Canon 1V film SLR - the last Canon pro film SLR
  • Canon E-TTL flash technology supercedes A-TTL
  • Nikon AF-S G type lenses without aperture rings introduced
  • Linhof M 679 cc monorail camera for film or digital


  • new IS line of Canon EF L series lenses introduced
  • Nikon D1 2.6mp 4.5fps
  • Mamiya 7 II 6×7 rangefinder


  • Canon introduces 45pt AF in Canon EOS 3 film SLR
  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L USM
  • Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
  • Kodak/Canon D2000 and D6000 dSLRs
  • Fuji GA645zi 6×4.5cm AF with 55-90mm f/4.5-6.9 4 stage zoom lens
  • Hasselblad 202 FA 6×6 focal plane shutter modular camera produced (similar to 203FE) until 2002
  • Hasselblad 555 ELD 6×6 leaf shutter modular camera with electric winder (added contacts for digital backs) produced until 2006


  • Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM - the first L lens (whether EF or FD types) to feature both UD and aspherical elements in its constructions.
  • Olympus OM-2000
  • Fuji GA645Wi 6×4.5cm AF wide angle with 45mm f/4.0 lens
  • Fuji GA645i 6×4.5cm AF with 60mm f/4.0 lens
  • Hasselblad 501CM 6×6 leaf shutter modular camera (gliding mirror system added) produced until 2005


  • Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM Mark II
  • Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
  • Bronica SQ-B entry-level 6×6 film camera with no metering; the last Bronica model.
  • Linhof Technorama 617 S III 6x17cm panorama film camera
  • Linhof M 679 monorail medium format film and digital-ready system
  • Hasselblad 503CW 6×6 leaf shutter modular camera (gliding mirror system added) produced until 200?


  • Canon 1N RS SLR: pro sports film SLR with fixed pellicle mirror
  • Canon DSC3 dSLR - made in conjunction with Kodak
  • Canon DSC1 dSLR - made in conjunction with Kodak
  • Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - 1st SLR lens with built-in image stabilization
  • Olympus OM-3Ti - the legendary mechanical manual exposure with TTL flash and spot metering 35mm SLR
  • Mamiya 7 6×7 rangefinder
  • Fuji GA645W 6×4.5cm AF wide angle with 45mm f/4.0 lens
  • Fuji GA645 6×4.5cm AF with 60mm f/4.0 lens
  • Hasselblad 205 FCC 6×6 focal plane shutter modular camera (improved electronics) produced until 2004
  • Hasselblad FlexBody 6×6 leaf shutter modular camera with tilt/shift bellows produced until 2003


  • Canon 1N SLR: pro film SLR (A-TTL flash)
  • Hasselblad 203 FE 6×6 focal plane shutter modular camera (OTF flash, autometer) produced until 2004
  • Hasselblad 500CXi 6×6 leaf shutter modular camera (winder ability added) produced until 1996


  • Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  • Mamiya RZ67 Pro II 6×7 film camera
  • Fuji GX617 6x17cm rangefinder panorama film camera


  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
  • Canon EOS 5 / A2e SLR has eye-controlled AF (ECF) allowing user to select one of 5 AF points using their eye
  • Fuji GW670III 6x7cm rangefinder with 90mm f/3.5 lens
  • Fuji GW690III 6x9cm rangefinder with 90mm f/3.5 lens
  • Fuji GSW690III 6x9cm wide angle rangefinder with 65mm f/5.6 lens
  • Minolta Maxxum 9xi - fastest FP shutter ever used in a film camera giving 1/12,000th sec. and 1/300th sec. X-sync with a 1.8 ms curtain travel time
  • Nikonos RS - 1st waterproof 35 mm system SLR for 100 m maximum depth, underwater diving use


  • Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L USM
  • Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L
  • Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM
  • Hasselblad 205 TCC 6×6 focal plane shutter modular camera (added OTF TTL flash and spot metering) produced until 1994
  • Kodak Digital Camera System DCS - 1st digital still capture SLR. Manual focus, 1.3mp sensor in a Nikon F3 based body with tethered 200Mb hard drive!


  • Bronica SQ-Ai 6×6 film camera - OTF TTL flash, optional motor drive
  • Mamiya RB67Pro-sd 6×7 film camera - larger lens throat for new K/L lens range
  • Canon T60 - the last FD mount Canon SLR


  • Canon EOS 1 SLR - 1st pro EOS film SLR
  • Canon EOS RT SLR - fixed pellicle mirror
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.0L USM
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM


  • Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L
  • Olympus OM-101 PF / OM-88 - power focus SLR
  • Minolta Maxxum 7000i - 1st multi-sensor 3pt passive autofocus SLR
  • Hasselblad 2003 FCW 6×6 focal plane shutter modular camera produced until 1991
  • Hasselblad 553 ELX 6×6 leaf shutter modular camera with electric winder (now AA betteries used) produced until 1999
  • Hasselblad 500CX 6×6 leaf shutter modular camera (OTF TTL flash added) produced until 1994
  • Hasselblad 903 SWC 6×6 leaf shutter camera with fixed 38mm lens - remained in production until 2001


  • Canon introduce their new EOS SLR system with new AF-compatible bayonet EF mount to replace manual focus FD mount system
  • Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 soft focus
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
  • Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 compact macro
  • Canon EF 100-300mm f/5.6L AFD
  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L USM
  • Olympus OM-4Ti SLR
    • a true photographer's camera, sure it didn't have the dummies features of the Canon AE-1 Program, nor autofocus, but it did have what traditional thoughtful photography enthusiasts loved:
      • well built, beautiful ergonomics in a compact, light size
      • OTF TTL flash without resorting to annoying preflashes as with its competitors
      • multi-spot metering for zone metering enthusiasts
      • the 1st camera with FP flash sync to 1/2000th sec to allow use of wide apertures in sunlight with fill-in flash
      • a full range of superb lenses and accessories, particularly macrophotography
      • easy to use bayonet lens mount instead of fiddly breech-lock mounts
      • it was later complimented by the superb OM-3Ti which was mechanical and could be used in conditions where batteries would fail.
  • 1st Rolleiflex 2.8GX series TLR 6×6 film camera - 80mm Planar HFT f/2.8 taking lens, LED readout metering, series produced until 2000
  • Pentax SFX - Pentax's 2nd AF SLR, but this time based on the Minolta phase contrast method; 1st interchangeable lens SLR with built-in electronic flash and 1st camera with built-in TTL flash.


  • Olympus OM-707 - the only OM SLR with true AF albeit slow and 8 AF lenses to suit; FP flash sync to 1/2000th sec (a world first);
  • Canon T90
  • Linhof Kardan Master GTL and Kardan GT monorail 4“x5”/8“x10” large format camera
  • Kodak scientists invent the world's 1st megapixel sensor, capable of recording 1.4 million pixels, capable of producing a photo-quality 5×7 inch print.


  • Minolta Maxxum 7000 - 1st useful AF system in a 35mm SLR - based on phase contrast detection instead of earlier contrast detection methods, and had better integration, wider lens selection. Minolta created a new AF-compatible mount system. Canon sees the light and its future - in 1987, it would also change its lens mount totally and create a new line of phase-contrast AF lenses and cameras - their EOS system which would dominate the SLR world for the next 20 years!
  • Olympus OM-40 program
  • Canon T80
  • Fuji GW670II 6x7cm rangefinder with 90mm lens
  • Fuji GW690II 6x9cm rangefinder with 90mm lens
  • Fuji GSW690II 6x9cm wide angle rangefinder with 65mm lens
  • Kiron 28-210mm f/4-5.6 - 1st very large ratio focal length “superzoom” lens for still cameras.


  • Olympus OM-4
  • Olympus OM-2SP - spot metering
  • Canon T70
  • Fuji GS645S 6×4.5cm wide angle rangefinder with 60mm f/4.0 lens
  • Linhof Technikardan foldable, monorail 6×9, 6×12 camera
  • Hasselblad 2000 FCW 6×6 focal plane shutter modular camera (winder connection added) produced until 1988
  • Hasselblad 500ELX 6×6 leaf shutter modular camera with electric winder (OTF TTL flash added) produced until 1988
  • Leica M6 35mm rangefinder - remained in production until 1999


  • Olympus OM-3 - 1st camera to have multi-spot metering for zone metering.
  • Olympus OM-20
  • Olympus OM-30 / OM-F - added slow AF capability
  • Nikon F3 AF - added slow AF capability
  • Nikon FE2 - flash sync boosted to 1/250th sec
  • Nikon FA - 1st camera with multi-segmented (or matrix or evaluative) light meter.
  • Canon T50
  • Fuji G617 6x17cm rangefinder panorama film camera
  • Fuji GS645W 6×4.5cm wide angle rangefinder with 45mm f/5.6 lens
  • Fuji GS645 6×4.5cm folding bellows rangefinder with 75mm f/3.5 lens - problematic bellows, production ceased 1985?
  • Linhof Technorama 612 6x12cm panorama viewfinder film camera
  • Pentax Super A - 1st SLR with external LCD data display


  • Canon AL-1 - added slow AF capability
  • Nikon FM2 - shutter to 1/4000th sec. and 1/200th sec. flash X-sync with a vertical-travel FP shutter using honeycomb pattern etched titanium foil blades
  • Bronica SQ-A adds mirror lockup and extra viewfinder pins to allow auto-metering.
  • Mamiya RZ67 6×7 film camera adds electronic shutter
  • Hasselblad 2000 FC/M 6×6 focal plane shutter modular camera produced until 1984


  • Canon update their FDlens mount to the New FD mount, and launch their Canon New F-1
  • Canon AE-1 Program
  • Pentax ME F - the 1st autofocus 35mm SLR to reach production, but its AF function required the unique SMC Pentax AF 35mm-70mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens autofocus lens using a special Pentax K-F lens mount. It used contrast-detect AF sensors in the mirror housing but the AF motors and batteries for them were in the lens housing. It, like its subsequent competitors in the next few years were not successful as the AF was slow, cubersome and required near stationary, high-contrast subjects. AF technology was still too immature. Production was ceased in 1984.
  • Sigma 21-35mm f/3.5-4 - 1st super-wide angle zoom lens for SLRs


  • Zenza Bronica introduces a 6×6 medium format film system based on the Bronica SQ camera
  • Fuji GSW690 6x9cm wide angle rangefinder with 65mm lens
  • Hasselblad SWC/M 6×6 leaf shutter camera with fixed 38mm lens - remained in production until 1988
  • Leica M4-P 35mm rangefinder - remained in production until 1987
  • Nikon F3 - 1st SLR with viewfinder liquid crystal display digital data display


  • Canon AV-1
  • Konica FS-1 1st SLR with built-in motorized autoloading
  • Hanimex Reflex Flash 35 - 1st SLR with built-in electronic flash.
  • Tamron introduce their Adaptall-2 interchangeable SLR lens mount system and their SP range of high quality lenses


  • Olympus OM-2n
  • Olympus OM-1n
  • Canon A-1 - new Program exposure mode which sets both aperture and shutter speed automatically - ideal for dummies.
  • Fuji GW690 6x9cm rangefinder with 90mm lens
  • Fuji GW670 6x7cm rangefinder with 90mm lens
  • Leica M4-2 35mm rangefinder - remained in production until 1980
  • Polaroid SX-70 Sonar - 1st electronic autofocus SLR
  • Asahi Pentax Auto 110 - 1st interchangeable lens Pocket Instamatic 110 film system SLR.


  • Hasselblad 2000 FC 6×6 focal plane shutter modular camera produced until 1982 - the 1st of the 2000 series
  • Canon AT-1
  • Fujica AZ-1 - 1st interchangeable lens camera to be sold with a zoom lens as the primary lens


  • Canon F-1n
  • Canon AE-1 - thanks to heavy marketing, it became a very popular camera as it was a much smaller, cheaper and easier to use camera than the pro-level F-1, in response to competition from the compact Olympus OM-2. 1st camera with a CPU.
  • Zenza Bronica introduce their compact 645 medium format film system - and their Zenza Bronica ETR camera with electronic leaf shutter to 1/500th sec with flash sync at all speeds. Production of this system ceased in 2004.
  • Linhof Technorama 6×17 viewfinder camera for extreme wide-screen (1:3 aspect ratio) shots
  • the Bayer Pattern color filter array (CFA) is invented by Eastman Kodak researcher Bryce Bayer
  • Minolta 110 Zoom SLR - 1st Pocket Instamatic 110 cartridge film SLR
  • Tamron introduce their Adaptall interchangeable SLR lens mount system which allowed lens aperture diaphragm control by cameras


  • Olympus OM-2 - world's 1st off-the-film (OTF) through-the-lens (TTL) flash metering camera
  • Canon TX SLR
  • Mamiya introduce their 645 medium format film system - and their modular Mamiya 645 camera
  • invention of the digital camera by Steven Sasson, then an electrical engineer at Eastman Kodak.
  • E. Leitz APO-Telyt-R 180mm f/3.4 - 1st apochromatic lens for consumer cameras
  • Pentax K bayonet mount introduced to replace the M42 screw mount


  • Olympus OM-1MD
  • Canon TLB SLR
  • Vivitar Series 1 70–210mm f/3.5 - 1st professional-level quality close focusing “macro” zoom lens for 35 mm SLRs
  • the arithmetic ASA and logarithmic DIN film speed and exposure systems combined in a ISO system which essentially just uses both values


  • Leica CL compact version 35mm rangefinder
  • Canon FTbn SLR
  • Canon EF SLR
  • Fairchild Semiconductor releases the 1st large image forming CCD chip: 100 rows and 100 columns.


  • Olympus OM-1 - the SLR that changed the 35mm camera world by introducing a much (30%) quieter, smaller and lighter camera system
  • Nikon F-2 - better mirror locking method, 1/2000th shutter speed, Photomic meter prisms,
  • Fujica ST801 - 1st SLR with viewfinder light emitting diodes
  • Polaroid SX-70 - 1st instant film SLR


  • Leica M5 35mm rangefinder
  • Canon F-1 35mm modular SLR the 1st of the Canon FD mount SLRs - it had one of the largest set of accessories of any 35mm SLR ever produced, but despite this, the Canon FD SLR's could not break the stranglehold Nikon had on the pro 35mm SLR market stemming from their reputation for quality. Canon finally managed to overtake Nikon pro SLRs when they became a force to be reckoned with as a result of their AF technology and their decision to change to a new EF mount in the late 1980's. They did manage to make great in-roads on marketshare of the amateur SLR genre once they introduced their feature-laden, relatively cheap, easy to use, heavily marketed Canon AE-1 in 1976 which had sales of over 5 million bodies.
  • CanonFTb SLR - extra pins on hotshoe for dedicated flash control.
  • Canon FD 55mm f/1.2 AL - 1st rectilinear aspheric SLR lens
  • Asahi Pentax Electro Spotmatic SLR - 1st 35 mm SLR with electronic aperture priority autoexposure
  • Asahi Optical the 1st to offer publicly available anti-reflection multicoated lenses - SMC Takumar lenses.
  • Fujica ST701 - 1st SLR with silicon photodiode light meter sensors


  • Hasselblad 500C/M 6×6 leaf shutter modular camera (focus screen now interchangeable) produced until 1994
  • Hasselblad 500EL/M 6×6 leaf shutter modular camera with electric winder (focus screen now interchangeable) produced until 1984
  • Mamiya RB67 SLR


  • Pentax 6×7 medium format SLR


  • Canon TL (FL mount) camera
  • Konica Autoreflex T - 1st SLR with internal open aperture TTL metering autoexposure (mechanical shutter-priority)
  • OP Fisheye-Nikkor 10mm f/5.6 - 1st SLR lens with aspherical elements.


  • Leica M4 35mm rangefinder - remained in production until 1974?


  • Canon FT QL and Pellix QL FL mount cameras
  • Praktica Electronic - 1st SLR with an electronically controlled shutter
  • Konica Autorex - 1st 35 mm SLR with successful shutter-priority automation


  • Hasselblad 500EL 6×6 leaf shutter modular camera with built-in electric winder - produced until 1970
  • Canon Pellix FL mount camera - 1st pellicle reflex mirror SLR


  • 1st Pentax Spotmatic SLR
  • Canon FL mount introduced with the Canon FX and FP SLRs, replacing the older Canon R mount
  • Kodak Retina Reflex IV - 1st SLR with standard ISO hot shoe atop the pentaprism housing for direct flash mounting and synchronization


  • Kodak introduces the Instamatic camera
  • 1st Olympus Pen half-frame SLR camera using a porroprism allowing a flat top - Olympus Pen F - these were also exceptional in that all used a rotary shutter, rather than the traditional horizontally travelling focal-plane shutter commonly used in other SLR camera designs. It was the smallest SLR system camera (the later Pentax 110 was smaller but more limited in lens range and image quality).


  • Topcon RE-Super is 1st SLR in production with TTL metering, despite Pentax showing a prototype Spotmatic in 1961 with a CdS TTL metering system.


  • 1st Rolleiflex 2.8F series TLR 6×6 film camera - 80mm f/2.8 taking lens, series produced until 1984
  • Konica F - 1st SLR with 1/2000 second and 1/125 second flash X-synchronization focal-plane shutter


  • Leica M1 35mm rangefinder - remained in production until 1964, 9,392 produced.
  • Leica M2 35mm rangefinder (started in 1958?) - remained in production until 1967, 88.000 produced.
  • Hasselblad SWC 6×6 leaf shutter camera with fixed 38mm lens - remained in production until 1979
  • 1st Tele-Rolleiflex series TLR 6×6 film camera - 135mm f/4.0 taking lens, series produced until 1975
  • 1st Nikon F SLR - the world's 1st successful system camera, 1st electric motor drive accessory for SLR - sold almost a million units and made the 35 mm SLR the dominant professional miniature format camera by the early 1960's, displacing the 35mm rangefinders. The popularity of the 35mm and 6×6 SLR's quickly supplanted the TLR in the 1960's.
  • Yashica's 1st SLR - the Pentamatic 35mm SLR
  • Canon's 1st SLR - the Canonflex SLR - automatic diaphragm and was introduced with an interchangeable black pentaprism housing, Canon R breech-lock lens mount
  • AGFA introduces the 1st fully automatic camera, the Optima.
  • Zeiss Ikon Contarex - 1st SLR with a built-in light meter coupled to a viewfinder exposure control indicator


  • Leica M3 SS 35mm rangefinder - remained in production until 1968?
  • 1st Rolleiflex T type series TLR 6×6 film camera, metering optional, lanthanum glass, produced until 1976
  • 1st Rolleiflex 3.5F series TLR 6×6 film camera - 75mm f/3.5 taking lens
  • 1st Minolta SLR, the Minolta SR-2
  • Zunow SLR - 1st internal auto-diaphragm (Zunow-matic Diaphragm System) 35 mm SLR and lenses
  • Nikon SP 35 mm rangefinder camera - 1st electric motor drive for any camera type


  • Hasselblad 500C 6×6 leaf shutter modular camera produced until 1970 - the 1st of this legendary series of cameras, replacing the problematic focal plane shutter of the 1600F/1000F cameras.
  • 1st Asahi Pentax SLR and 1st Japanese fixed-pentaprism SLR, it's success led the company to change its name to Pentax. It used the M42 screw mount (as with the Contax S) and was the 1st SLR to use Leica's right-hand single-stroke film advance lever style. 1st microprism focusing aid. 1st Asahi SLR with M42 screw mount. Established the modern control layout of 35mm SLR.
  • Tamron (then known as Taisei Optical) invent the 1st interchangeable SLR lens mount - the T mount - a screw mount with 55mm film-lens distance allowing adapters for all the 35mm film SLRs (the Pentax M42 screw mount lens could not be adapted for Nikon SLRs as the film-lens distance was too short)


  • 1st Rolleiflex 3.5E series TLR 6×6 film camera - 75mm f/3.5 taking lens, optional meter
  • Zeiss Ikon Contaflex III 1st high-quality, interchangeable lens, leaf shutter 35 mm SLR.


  • Kilfitt 4 cm f/3.5 Makro-Kilar - 1st close focussing macro lens for 35mm SLRs giving 1:1 macro.


  • Hasselblad Super Wide Angle 6×6 leaf shutter camera with fixed 38mm lens
  • Leica M 35mm rangefinder
  • Asahiflex IIB was the 1st Japanese SLR with a reliable instant-return mirror
  • Praktina FX (East Germany): 1st available spring powered motor drive accessory for SLR, 1st breech-lock lens mount


  • Hasselblad 1000F 6×6 focal plane shutter camera
  • Leica M3 DS 35mm rangefinder - remained in production until 1958, 200,000 produced.
  • Contax E - 1st built-in light meter SLR
  • Zeiss Ikon Contaflex I - 1st leaf shutter 35 mm SLR
  • Metz/Kilfitt Mecaflex - 1st and only square format 35mm SLR - took 50 exp. of 24x24mm on a roll of 135 film.


  • The 3-D film craze begins - usually using dual 24x24mm frames on 135mm film
  • Asahiflex I: 1st Japanese 35 mm SLR


  • Zenit - 1st Russian pentaprism eyelevel viewing 35 mm SLR


  • Ihagee Exakta Varex - 1st interchangeable viewfinder, 1st interchangeable focusing screens, 1st viewfinder condenser lens SLR
  • Angénieux 35mm f/2.5 Retrofocus Type R 1 - 1st retrofocus wide angle lens for 35mm SLRs


  • 1st Rolleiflex 2.8 series TLR 6×6 film camera - f/2.8 taking lens instead of older f/3.5 lens in the Automats - this series was produced until 1965
  • Contax S camera - the 1st 35mm SLR camera with pentaprism for eye-level viewing. 1st M42 screw mount camera


  • Hasselblad 1600F 6×6 focal plane shutter camera - the 1st Hasselblad camera and 1st 6×6 SLR suitable for professional use
  • Edwin H. Land introduces the 1st Polaroid instant image camera


  • Dennis Gabor invents holography
  • Hungarian Gamma Duflex - 1st instant return mirror SLR, 1st metal focal-plane shutter SLR, 1st internal semi-automatic lens diaphragm SLR Unfortunately it was too unreliable and this was Gamma's only SLR produced.
  • the photographers Robert Capa, David “Chim” Seymour, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and William Vandivert were the founding members of Magnum photography agency in Paris. It was one of the first photographic cooperatives. W. Eugene Smith joined in 1955.


  • Linhof Technika III 4“x5” swing/tilt foldable camera
  • Richard Avedon starts up his own studio and provides images to Vogue and Life, and soon becomes the chief photographer for Harper's Bazaar
  • Helmut Newton sets up a studio in Flinders Lane in Melbourne and worked on fashion and theatre photography in the affluent post-war years before securing a contract with British Vogue in 1957, and then developing his erotic style of photography in the 1960's in Paris.


  • ASA film speed system defined to replace the Weston system (which was devised in 1932), the GE system (devised in 1937), the DIN system (devised in 1930), and the Hurter & Driffield system (devised in 1890)


  • Kodacolor, Kodak's first “color print” film


  • Ansel Adams creates his “zone system” for determining correct exposure and tonal gradation for landscapes
  • Yousuf Karsh's famous portrait of Winston Churchill


  • Agfacolor negative-positive color material, the 1st modern “color print” film
  • View-Master stereo viewer
  • 35mm amateur rangefinders become very popular, with 3 million models of the Argus C3 being sold.
  • W. Eugene Smith secures a contract with Life magazine after having worked for Newsweek in 1937-38.


  • Agfacolor-Neu reversal color film
  • Edward Weston awarded a grant by the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation which allowed him to travel for two years around California and neighbouring states.


  • 1st Linhof Technika 4“x5” large format film camera
  • Kodak Kodachrome film - 1st color film - ISO 8
  • Ihagee Kine Exakta 1, the 1st 35mm SLR camera, 1st bayonet lens mount, production ceased during World War II, but Exakta became the best known 35mm SLR brand until the Japanese manufacturers introduced their models in 1959.
  • Robert Capa's famous Spanish Civil War photo: Death of a Spanish Loyalist


  • Ihagee VP Exakta a 127 roll film SLR - 1st SLR with shutter syncronised to the newly invented flashbulbs
  • Zeiss Ikon Contaflex - 35mm TLR - 1st camera with a built-in light meter
  • Dorothea Lange documented living conditions of rural USA stricken by poverty from the Great Depression - one of her most famous photographs Migrant Mother was taken in California in 1936


  • The 135 film cartridge was introduced, making 35mm easy to use.
  • Eichapfel Noviflex - 1st 6×6 medium format roll film SLR - used 120 roll film, had fixed lens (1937 model had interchangeable lenses) and focal plane shutter, but was not commercially successful, this was left to the Franz Kochmann Reflex-Korelle to establish the popularity of 6×6 120 roll film SLR.
  • German DIN system for exposure and film speed published and continued to be used despite the American ASA system of 1943. Superceded by the ISO system in the 1980s.


  • 1st Rolleicord series TLR 6×6 film camera the “Art Deco” - 75mm f/4.5 taking lens, Rolleicord series produced until 1976


  • The 1st full-color movie, the cartoon Flowers and Trees, is made in Technicolor by Disney.
  • 1st 8mm amateur motion-picture film, cameras, and projectors are introduced by Kodak.
  • Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham et al form the “f/64” photography group of landscape photographers using large format field cameras. This group would become an important forum for straight photography.


  • Taylor-Hobson 35mm f/2 - 1st retrofocus or inverted telephoto lens - designed for the Technicolor beam-splitter for 3-color image formation
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson stops painting and takes up photography, buying a 35mm Leica with 50mm lens, and soon becomes the “father of modern photojournalism”, a master of candid photography, a pioneer of “street photography” or “life reportage” style. He is famous too for le moment decisif - the decisive moment in photography when the photographer decides to press the shutter to capture a critical instant of time.


  • 1st Rolleiflex TLR 6×6 film camera
  • flashbulb invented and marketed as Vakublitz.


  • Cecil Beaton's photography is used regularly by Vogue


  • Ermanox Reflex - 1st SLR with high speed lens (10.5 cm f/1.8 or 85mm f/1.8 Ernostar), made available light photojournalism possible
  • Leica A 35mm camera


  • Time magazine founded by Briton Hadden and Henry Luce, making it the first weekly news magazine in the United States


  • the last double-edition of Camera Work is dedicated exclusively to Paul Strand


  • Man Ray turns to photography and begins work as a freelance photographer, movie-maker and painter.
  • Paul Strand begins producing abstract photographs and, later, along with Edward Weston, introduced a new style: straight photography


  • Kodak introduced the Autographic film system.
  • Multi-Speed Shutter Co. Simplex camera used 35mm motion film to create 24x36mm still images (double the size of cine images) - this was to become standard 35mm “full frame” size in the early 1950's, after Leitz adopted this size in their Leica A camera on 1925.


  • Kodak makes 35 mm panchromatic motion picture film available on a bulk special order basis (becomes regular stock in 1922)


  • Vest Pocket Kodak camera using 127 film.


  • Autochrome Lumière is the first color photography process marketed.
  • Folmer & Schwing Graflex No. 1A (USA) - 1st medium format roll film SLR - used 116 film, while model 3A used 122 roll film.


  • Alfred Steiglitz, Edward Steichen and Alvin Langdon Coburn found Photo Secession and the journal Camera Work (the latter ceased publication in 1917)


  • 1st Kodak Brownie roll film camera brings photography to the masses.
  • Kodak introduce 120 film


  • Kodak introduced their Folding Pocket Kodak camera
  • W. Watson Cambier Bolton (UK): first focal-plane shutter SLR - allowed shutters of 1/20th-1/1000th sec whereas leaf shutters of the day only went to 1/250th sec.
  • film ISO usually 1-3 thus large apertures, tripod and stationary subjects important.
  • Eugene Atget commences photographing buildings in Paris using a wooden 18x24cm camera and plates.


  • Auguste and Louis Lumière – invent the cinématographe.


  • Arthur Turnure founded Vogue as a weekly publication in the United States.


  • Thomas Edison patents the “kinetoscopic camera” (motion pictures)


  • Eastman's Kodak camera is marketed. The 1st commercial roll film camera.


  • Linhof company founded and production starts on metal circular leaf shutters for camera lenses - a world first. Linhof started producing all-metal 9x12cm rollfilm and plate cameras in 1889.


  • George Eastman, of Rochester, New York, developed dry gel on paper, or film, to replace the photographic plate so that a photographer no longer needed to carry boxes of plates and toxic chemicals around.


  • Life magazine founded


  • Harper’s Bazaar,an American women's fashion magazine is founded


  • Slovene Janez Puhar invented a process for making photographs on glass that was easier than Hershel's method.


  • Fox Talbot invented the calotype process. He coated paper sheets with silver chloride to create an intermediate negative image. Unlike a daguerreotype, a calotype negative could be used to reproduce positive prints, like most chemical films do today.


  • daguerreotype invented by Louis Daguerre using notes left to him by Niépce who had died from stroke in 1833, and then used silver on a copper plate, exposed to iodine vapour before light, then to mercury fumes after the exposure, then bathed in a salt bath to fix the image.
  • astronomer John Herschel made the first glass negative using sodium thiosulfate (hypo) to dissolve silver salts and fix the image.


  • French-Brazilian painter and inventor Hercules Florence had already created a very similar process to the daguerreotype, naming it Photographie.



  • Johann Heinrich Schultz discovers that silver nitrate (AgNO3) darkens when exposed to light. This was to become the basis for film photography.
photo/history.txt · Last modified: 2016/01/16 23:53 by gary1

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