It took 30 years for the digital camera to move from the Kodak R&D lab to become one of the most ubiquitous consumer devices, as a standalone device, in phones, web cams, 2005 marks the 30th

It was in 1975 that the world’s first digital photograph was taken at a Kodak lab -that’s before the Compact Disc, the Personal Computer and the Internet.

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The Kodak engineer who invented the world’s first digital camera – Steven Sasson – is in Australia to celebrate Kodak’s anniversary.

In 1974 Steven Sasson, an engineer at Kodak’s Applied Electronics Research Centre, was tasked with devising an “electronic handheld still camera”. The following year his first working prototype – weighing 8.5 pounds (3.8kg) and powered by 16 AA batteries – took the first ever digital still camera photograph. The image was recorded on an audio cassette.

“When I took the first digital image in 1975, I had no idea of the impact it would have on the world of photography,” enthuses Sasson, who still works for Kodak today. “Kodak’s flair for fostering innovation allowed us to continue developing our vision of digital imaging, which has come to fruition through the advent of the PC and the Internet.  Kodak has continued to push the limits of the technology, ensuring that we stay at the cutting edge of photographic innovation.”

Sasson predicted the digital revolution more than 15 years ahead of time. He knew that digital imaging would be huge, but not until technology in the computer environment had caught up. Now that has happened, digital imaging has revolutionised photography. Digital cameras’ instant results have generated mass consumer appeal to the degree that digital images are now used in everyday communications at home and at work.

In 2004, the 74 million digital cameras sold worldwide outstripped film camera sales for the first time. Forty billion digital snapshots will be taken in 2005.

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