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I 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.
Author: T Gustavson.
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).
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