The First Digital Camera was created in 1975 and could take images and store it to tape. There was playback device to display image on tv set. Credits for this device goes to Steve Sasson. From technical specification first digital camera had 10000 pixels (0.1 Mega Pixels) resolution as Fairchild CCD sensor native resolution was 100 x 100 pixels and it was not color camera, but Black and White Digital Camera.
It started as low budget, 2-3 people part time project in 1974 without specific technical goals, but build portable camera device, than can display capture images on video screen without any moving mechanical parts. Project was given to Steve Sasson, Kodak engineer.
First working images were captured/displayed in Dec 1975,
Prototype was demonstrated only in Kodak company and
patent is filed in May 1977 US4131919A
As you may see most of our retro computers did not exist yet. Some CPU s did exists ie in March 1974 Motorola come with 6800 in April Intel with its 8080 CPU, In 1975 MOS with 6502 and in March 1976 there was Z80 released.
Overall technology then was not ready yet to have portable digital camera yet as captured image was to small, amount of ram stored was to big, compression was still primitive, image storage was bulky and camera was barely portable. Not to mention that had 1g AA batteries and after you grap digital photo it needed 23 seconds of time to storage it to tape.
It past some years and in 1989 Kodak created something that actually look like digital camera today and there is a slot for memory card named D5000 (only 6 of them are created and only one still exists)
But first commercial Digital Camera From Kodak come later in 1989 and one of them even went to space on 1991 space shuttle mission.
It took a bit longer, to moore law did it’s thing in technology and finally ordinary user could afford to buy consumer camera around 🙂
In link below there is a video you want to watch from 2011 filmed in Linda Hall Library where Steve Sasson explains how was He engaged in a number of early digital imaging projects and the design and construction of the first digital still camera and playback system in 1975. (Video produced by The Video Works of Roeland Park, Kansas.)
Patent: Electronic Still Camera US4131919A
Source:The Story of the First Digital Camera
Source:Awards 2012 – Steven Sasson Hon FRPS
Source:Digital Cam History From Web Archives