How has digital photography developed over the past five years?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In 2011, the digital camera has all but completely replaced film as the photography medium of choice. Film is so rare that Kodak, the famous camera and film company, has almost stopped producing film cameras entirely in the United States; the only Kodak film cameras available are disposable.

Digital photography dates back to at least the 1950s, with the advent of Video Tape. Video tape recorded an image as a coded signal instead of as an actual negative image, and so was the first type of "digital" photography.

Two of the major changes in digital photography are the widespread availability of High Definition images, also known as Multiple Megapixel images, and the worldwide changeover in movies from 35mm film to digital projection.

When the first digital cameras for still photography became available, most were low-quality, offering a standard definition of 640x480 at best. The first megapixel camera, with resolutions better than one million pixels per image, was released by Kodak in 1991. In 2011, cameras with 8, 12, or 16 megapixel resolutions are common.

In motion pictures, 35mm film projection was common as recently as 2008, when many major theater chains started to roll out digital projectors to show newly created 3D movies. By 2011, Regal Entertainment, the largest theater chain in the world, was installing digital projectors in all its locations, replacing 35mm entirely for all films shown. Production and distribution of 35mm film prints has dropped dramatically between 2007-2011 for this reason.

Kodak still produces film for certain specialty cameras and for filming movies, but it is likely that film will become a rarity in the coming years. HD cameras are common and cheap, and it is easy for amateurs to take pictures and upload them to social networking sites, eliminating the need for physical prints entirely.