Kevin Briggs Photography

A Quick Note on the Development of Digital Photography

Kevin Briggs

Even though I began my photographic education with film cameras, I’ve been shooting medium-format digital throughout my entire professional career. Film photography will probably always be around, as there are those photographers who still prefer this realm of the photographic medium.

Yet what is captured in a wonderful (but brief) history of the development of digital photography (pun intended) illustrates how a giant in the film photography world utterly misjudged the future of the medium it had dominated for a very long time.

As Michael Zhang of PetaPixel writes,

In 1975, a 24-year-old engineer named Steven Sasson invented digital photography while working at Eastman Kodak by creating the world’s first digital camera. Kodak wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about the industry-changing breakthrough.

In short, Kodak did not believe that digital photography would ever fully develop (once again, pardon the pun). As Sasson recals, 

"They were convinced that no one would ever want to look at their pictures on a television set. Print had been with us for over 100 years, no one was complaining about prints, they were very inexpensive, so…"

So according to Kodak, no big deal.

Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2012.