Saturday, November 15, 2008
Street Photography # 6: Street Camera
It was not long ago that a video camera (camcorder) was an expensive gadget that only a few could afford. Now, it's everywhere. Thanks to the revolution in digital technology, video cameras have not only become more affordable to more and more people, they have also become smaller, more versatile, and easier to operate.
Did you know who invented a video camera? When it was invented? How much the first video camera was sold for?
The first practical video camera - the early ancestor of today's camcorder - is said to be invented by a group of scientists working for the Ampex Corporation in the early 1950s. Three of them were credited for the invention: Ray Dolby, Charles Ginsberg, and Charles Anderson. The first model of this camera was introduced to the public on April 14th, 1956 and was offered for approximately US$75,000 (seventy five thousand US dollars) per piece. Because of its bulky size and price, only large television companies could afford to buy it.
The real camcorder (or video camera) that was designed for personal use began to be offered to the general public in 1980's. Even then, the size and price were still bulky and heavy that only serious and wealthy few could afford. Since then, and thanks to the revolution in digital technology, however, it has been possible to reduce the size and prize of this wonderful gadget. By the 1990's it was not only small and portable enough to carry around, but also cheap enough for the average people to want to have one. Who would have thought then that in slightly more than a decade, it has become so small that it can now be incorporated into a cell phone?
All that aside, I took this photo at a recent street festival held in Bandung. I was amazed at how many cameras - both still and videos, carried by pros as well as amateurs - were there to cover the event. This young man was busy trying to get the best angle for his shot. Amused by what he was trying to do, I snapped a couple of shots. Technically they were not good ones, I'm afraid, but I like the action captured here.