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Photography has gone a long way from the early attempts at capturing images using the camera obscura to today’s digital photography. However, photography’s development has never been as fast as the development seen today in the digital age.

Digital photography began with the concept of digitizing images for the use of astronauts when having missions on planets. A company called Texas Instruments also designed a filmless analog camera in 1972, but it was never produced.

However, the first digital camera was built by Steven Sasson of Kodak three years later. Unlike the compact cameras of today, Sasson’s creation was a bulky eight-pound camera which took 23 seconds to capture an image to a cassette and another 23 seconds to play it back on a television screen. The first image had a resolution of 0.01 megapixels but it was a start.

There were other attempts at building digital cameras but it was only in the late 1980s when the first true digital camera was created. The Fuji DS-1P was built in 1988 but it was never mass-marketed.

The 1990s saw the rise of commercially-available digital cameras. They were, however, pricey at first and had very low image resolutions. But later developments led to more consumer-friendly prices and better resolutions.

Today, digital photography has crossed-over to different gadgets aside from the digital camera. Most cellular phones and PDAs now have cameras built in to them. Some even have resolutions as big as 5 megapixels. But unlike professional digital cameras, phone cameras can only save pictures in a compressed JPG format.

 

Unlike the 35mm film camera which differed only in the number of shots and manufacturers, different digital cameras use different storage media. This is usually the case for different camera manufacturers as some brands prefer to have a proprietary storage medium for their cameras.

Aside from the different types of storage media, they also differ in the amount of memory they can handle. Today’s cameras eat up more memory which is why bigger memory is the order of the day especially for professionals.

Here are some of the most popular storage media used by digital cameras today:

1. Compact flash – this is perhaps the most common storage device for digital cameras, especially high-end ones like digital SLRs. Compact flash memory comes in two flavors: Type I and II. Most cameras accept Type I although the Type II varieties have a higher capacity.

2. Memory Stick – this is a proprietary storage media produced and developed by Sony not only for their digital cameras but also on their other products. Early Memory Sticks were able to store only up to 256MB although Sony has already come up with the Memory Stick Pro which has capacities up to 1GB.

3. Secure Digital (SD) and MultiMedia Cards – are yet other varieties of storage media. Aside from digital cameras, they can also be used on a host of devices such as mobile phones. These varieties are the smallest among storage media especially when the micro SD memory was introduced to the public. The SD card and the MMC (MultiMedia Card) are basically the same except for the fact that SD cards have a write-protect switch to protect the data that is stored inside.