Skip to Main Content

Photographic Equipment Technicians


Although the first permanent photographs were made in the 1820s, it was the introduction of the Kodak camera in 1888 that brought photography within reach of the amateur. This hand-held, roll-film camera developed by George Eastman replaced the earlier bulky cameras and complicated dry-plate developing processes that had restricted photography to professionals. The Leica camera, the first 35-millimeter "miniature" camera, was introduced in 1924. It immediately created an immense interest in candid photography and had a great impact on both everyday American life and on the use of photography as an art form, an entertainment medium, and an influential advertising tool.

The early development of motion pictures was also tied to a series of inventions—flexible celluloid film; Thomas Edison's kinetoscope, in which motion pictures were viewed by looking through a peephole at revolving reels of film; and his later projecting kinetoscope, the immediate forerunner of the modern film projector. In 1876, Edison presented the first public exhibition of motion pictures projected on a screen.

Further improvements in cameras, projectors, lighting equipment, films, and prints have contributed to making still and motion picture photography one of the most popular hobbies. Early cameras were completely mechanical. Now they are computerized, with internal light meters, and automatic focus and film advancement. Photographic equipment technicians must be able to repair both the mechanics and the electronics of modern cameras. Digital cameras are the newest development in photographic technology. Film has been replaced by microchips that record a picture in digital format, which can then be downloaded onto a computer.