When & How – Film, TV, Miniaturization and Digital


The first publicly available camera was available on the market in 1888. It was created by George Eastman and was named “Kodak”, however the very first patented camera Le-prince-cameraprojector-type1-mark2-1888was made in 1888 by Louis Le Prince. He built a 16 lens camera the year before, but perfected the single lens camera in 1888. The camera shot at 12 fps and 20 fps in some of the first moving sequences in the world called Roundhay Garden Scene and Leeds Bridge. He used George Eastman’s paper film that he created in 1885 before Eastman created the celluloid film in 1889.

The first feature film to use sound including synchronized dialogue was called “The Jazz Singer” and was released in October 1927.

The first camera worked manually by a person physically cranked in order for the camera to film. The first colour film was made by Frederick Marshall Lee and it was footage of his children playing in the garden. He used his own technology called Lee-Turner Colour Process.


The first successfully demonstrated TV that used Electricity was in 1927, created by Philo Taylor Farnsworth. The image was scanned by a beam of electrons and transferred by being coded onto radio waves and then turned back into a picture on the screen.

The first colour transmissions took place in 1967 and were of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, by 1968 most shows on BBC 2 were broadcast in colour and by the next year both BBC1 and 2 regularly broadcast in colour. British TV is transmitted at 25 fps due to the AC current in the UK running at 50Hz.

Colour broadcasting came earlier in America with NTSC, it had backward compatibility with Black and White televisions, but didn’t have nearly the same quality that PAL did in the UK in 1967. American TV is transmitted at 29.97 fps dude to the AC current running at 60Hz, the current is used as the basis of a timing circuit, however running shows at 60fps would have been excessive and so it was halved.


The very first Film cameras were very large and not very portable at all, it meant that there was no movement in the camera at all and so the actors were the only movement in the scene. It made outside shots very difficult.

Since then cameras have become extremely portable with action cameras becoming lightweight and wearable and still being able to record in 1080p and up to 4k. Cameras used for TV broadcasts and films are now mostly handheld and lightweight.


One of the first films ever to be shot using on digital recording is in 1999 “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” which was a hybrid of some scenes using traditional film and some using the new HD digital cameras. The sequel “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” was shot using entirely Digital Cameras.

The digital revolution was not taken well by some people like director Quentin Tarantino who called it “Television in public” and even threatened to retire if the majority of cinemas couldn’t show his films in traditional 35mm, as he believes they should be.

Films now are shot in 4K, 2.7K or 1080p and resolutions keep growing with the emergence of 8K quality. Some cameras can now shoot up to 10,000fps for super extreme slow motion shots, but most feature films rarely need more than 96fps for their slow motion shots.

Instead of the image being imprinted onto film reels frame by frame digital cameras save video files onto hard drives.

When & How – Film, TV, Miniaturization and Digital

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