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Digital Photography Timeline Part 3--2000 And Beyond

In the first part of our Digital Photography Timeline we covered the decades of 1960, 1970 and 1980 which marked the beginning stages of digital photography.

Then in the second part of our Digital Photography Timeline we covered the decade of the 1990's when digital photography made many key advancements.

Now we will finish our brief history of digital photography by highlighting some key events from 2000 through 2010.

[h2]Digital Photography Timeline from 2000 on:[/h2]

  • Canon EOS D30

    2000: Canon releases the EOS D30 with a 3.25 megapixel CMOS image sensor and a RGB color filter. This camera was characterized by a small and light body and had a fully automatic mode that made it appealing to consumers and helped expand the non-professional use of digital SLR’s.

  • 2000: The development of "microlens array" technology paves the way for the production of higher megapixel image sensors. A microlens array is basically a small lens that helps direct light to each individual pixel of the image sensor. This technology is key in allowing higher resolution image sensors to be made while maintaining relatively low noise levels.

  • 2001: Sony releases the DSC-F707 their first Cyber-shot camera with a 5 megapixel sensor. This camera also featured Sony’s “NightShot” technology that enabled users to take pictures at night without flash.

  • PowerShot S402001: Canon releases the PowerShot S40 with a 4.0 megapixel CCD Sensor. In just three short years CCD image sensor resolution had increased dramatically from 810,000 pixels (.81 megapixels) in 1998 to 4 megapixels in 2001. Not only was image sensor resolution increasing rapidly but so were advancements in auto focus, auto exposure and auto white balance making 2001 an important year on the digital photography timeline.

  • 2002: The Foveon image sensor is introduced. This unique CMOS image sensor is the first one to capture color information for red, green and blue light at every pixel location during a single exposure. Click here for more information on Foveon Image Sensors and the technology behind them. Sigma is currently the only camera manufacturer to use the Foveon Image Sensor. Click here for more information on Sigma's line of digital cameras.

  • 2003: Canon launches the Digital Rebel one of the first affordable DSLR’s aimed at the non-professional market. These cameras allowed Canon owners with film SLR’s to transition to the digital world using their existing Canon lenses.

  • 2003: Olympus introduces the first DSLR with a self-cleaning image sensor. Because the image sensors of DSLR's are susceptible to dust getting on them when a lens is changed this new technology was an important break through and is standard equipment on most DSLR's today.

  • Nikon D902006: Another key event in the digital photography timeline was when Nikon discontinued most of its film cameras and its large format lenses to focus on digital models. As of 2010 the Nikon F6, a professional model film based SLR is the only non-digital camera still being made by Nikon.

  • 2007: Nikon releases the Nikon D3 a “full frame” DSLR followed shortly by the Nikon D700 a few months later.

  • 2008: The Nikon D90 became the first DSLR camera to record video, marking another important milestone on the digital photography timeline.

  • 2009: Canon releases the EOS-7D DSLR . This camera was the first DSLR with an 18MP APS-C image sensor and the first one to use dual image processors. It had a 5184 X 3456 image sensor and sold for around $1700.

  • Sony NEX VG102010: Sony introduces the NEX-VG10 icon the first consumer camcorder to use an interchangeable lens and a 14 megapixel APS-C HD CMOS image sensor. This camcorder further blurs the lines as more and more DSLR’s feature the ability to capture HD video and now there is a HD camcorder capable of taking DSLR quality still images. The NEX-VG10 is priced at $2,000 with a 18mm-200mm zoom lens. Using the same image sensor and lens mount as the recently released NEX-3 iconand NEX-5 icondigital cameras this addition to the Sony lineup promises to shake things up by giving people the option of having a camcorder with DSLR-like image quality and lens interchangeability.

  • 2010: In August 2010 Canon announced the largest CMOS image sensor ever made. The new sensor measures 202mm by 205mm (8 inches by 8.1 inches). It is about 40 times the size of full-frame image sensor and is capable of capturing images using 1/100 of the light a normal professional DSLR. This means that the new sensor is capable of capturing 60 fps video at the unbelievable light level of 0.3 lux (0.27 lux being the equivalent of a full moon on a clear night). Canon's new sensor is an important milestone in the world of digital photography.

  • Sony SLT A552010: Sony introduces the Sony SLT-A55 iconand SLT-A33 iconDSLR's that use a fixed translucent mirror instead of the typical mirror assembly found in DSLR's. This type of mirror assembly is known as a pellicle mirror and is not new technology but Sony's implementation of along with a phase detection autofocus system has won rave reviews including being named one of the "50 Best Inventions of 2010" by Time magazine. With a 16.2 megapixel image sensor and the ability to capture images at 10 frames per second the Sony SLT-A55 icon sets new levels of performance for DSLR's in it's price range. Sony's innovative new design marks another milestone in the digital photography timeline. You can find a quick review of the Sony SLT-A55 here.

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