Innovation Award Goes to First Digital Camera Developer

This year’s Economist Innovation Award in Consumer Products went to Kodak’s Steve Sasson who took advantage of digital sensors to develop the first functioning digital camera in 1975. (See Nobel Prize in Physics.) It’s hard to believe that digital cameras have been around 34 years. In their announcement the Economist states:

Steve Sasson, a Kodak electrical engineer, built the world’s first digital camera in 1975, though it was many years before this type of camera made it to market and became the huge consumer hit that it is today. Texas Instruments designed a filmless analog camera three years earlier, but Sasson was the first to create a filmless digital camera.

Sasson’s original prototype weighed eight pounds, recorded black and white images to a cassette tape, had a resolution of 0.01 megapixel and took 23 seconds to capture its first image. The prototype camera was a technical exercise, not intended for production. In 1978, Sasson was issued a U.S. patent for the digital camera.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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