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CAMERA: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital

camera a history of photography.jpgI recently sold some early digital cameras on eBay and was startled to find there is an active market in the breed, so finding this book had appeared, I was already forewarned of the situation.

Camera collecting really came of age in the 1970s at a time when galloping technology was rapidly transforming traditional photography and its tools.

As electronic and computerised components took on the actual process of taking a photograph, so did the previous tools become obsolescent.

It goes almost without saying that photographs from the earliest days (circa 1840) have reached insane values at auction; the cameras that took them are also pulling high values that rival those of vintage cars.

The book kicks off with data and large, highly detailed photographs of cameras from the time of the Daguerreotype process, then moves onto rarities such as pistol and waistcoat cameras, stereo and panoramic models.

Author Gustavson describes and illustrates early timber, brass and leather cameras made by such companies as Kodak, Graflex, Sanderson and Marion.

Today’s digital-owning photographers can enjoy considerable pleasure when we reach the section describing the early NASA lunar probe cameras and the first digital camera designed by Steve Sasson in 1975: “A Hand Held Electronic Still Camera and its Playback Unit.”

Other important digital milestones are included: the Kodak DC40, the Dycam and Epson R-D1.

A book not only for collectors but also for those keen to discover the beginnings of photography and the place of digital capture in this saga.

CAMERA: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital Details

Author: T Gustavson.
Publisher: Sterling.
Distributor: Capricorn Link.
Length: 360 pages.
ISBN: 978 1 4027 5656 6.
Price: Get a price on CAMERA: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital at Amazon (at the time of publishing this review it is 37% off).

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category.

Barrie Smith is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

  • http://www.tylerrobbins.net Tyler

    I second this recommendation. I bought this book as a gift and then ordered one for myself. A great anthology of equipment and the tech behind photography. Most books of photo history only mention the cameras as secondary components to the images, but the cameras were a part of making the imagery. AWESOME!

  • http://www.chromakeystore.com chroma key

    i saw the book and read few pages with incredible photos of earlier technology. there are still people who are crazy about old collectibles. i owned a small Kodak DC camera given by my grand father, don’t know the range but kept it in by showcase. old is still gold.

  • http://martinsoler.com Martin Soler Photography

    Nice, will definitely give it a look. I remember when I was given my first film camera, I couldn’t afford film nor development and my photo experience rapidly came to an end.

  • http://www.joyfulexpressions-photography-art.com Beth

    My husband would love this book! I’ll definitely consider it for Christmas. it would also be good research for my own photography history highlights and famous photographers at http://www.joyfulexpressions-photography-art.com.

    I am seeking contributors to the site, Suggestions appreciated!

  • http://lulub-bracelets.com/gd/gd.php?photoId=582&type=1&dir=eshop Stretchy Bracelets

    My brother recommended I would possibly like this blog. He was once totally right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

Some older comments

  • Stretchy Bracelets

    February 11, 2013 01:24 pm

    My brother recommended I would possibly like this blog. He was once totally right. This post truly made my day. You cann't imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  • Beth

    September 11, 2010 01:59 am

    My husband would love this book! I'll definitely consider it for Christmas. it would also be good research for my own photography history highlights and famous photographers at www.joyfulexpressions-photography-art.com.

    I am seeking contributors to the site, Suggestions appreciated!

  • Martin Soler Photography

    July 3, 2010 07:48 am

    Nice, will definitely give it a look. I remember when I was given my first film camera, I couldn't afford film nor development and my photo experience rapidly came to an end.

  • chroma key

    July 2, 2010 10:39 pm

    i saw the book and read few pages with incredible photos of earlier technology. there are still people who are crazy about old collectibles. i owned a small Kodak DC camera given by my grand father, don't know the range but kept it in by showcase. old is still gold.

  • Tyler

    July 2, 2010 03:10 pm

    I second this recommendation. I bought this book as a gift and then ordered one for myself. A great anthology of equipment and the tech behind photography. Most books of photo history only mention the cameras as secondary components to the images, but the cameras were a part of making the imagery. AWESOME!

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