Imaging Technology

Photography cameras and video cameras has seen a great technology development through the last centuries and decades.

Camera Development History

Still image cameras have been around since the 17’th century. The development of these cameras has seen three major milestones: The development of the autofocus cameras, SLR cameras and the digital camera. The digital camera revolution started around year 2000, when consumers started buying digital cameras instead of analog cameras. The use of digital cameras has since then increased. Today, you have a high quality camera in your pocket.

Old Twin Lens Camera


Camcorder Developent Timeline

Film cameras were invented in the early 1900’s and has since then seen a very advanced technological development. The invention of video technology, through the invention of the CCD sensor, made moving pictures available to anyone.

From Analog to Digital

Yesterday’s analog technology is now starting to be replaced by digital systems, enabled by CMOS Image sensors and advanced encoding algorithms and encoding chipsets.

Digital Video

Digital video has become a standard within the camcorder and broadcasting industry. Early digital camcorders were based on the DV standard, which is gradually being phased out, while new amcorders are based on the HDV (High Definition Tape based recording) and the even newer AVC HD standard. Some digital still image cameras also features MPEG-4 video recording.

The MPEG Standard

The MPEG standard emerged as a successor to the MJPEG video standard and analog to the H.261 standard. MPEG-1 is essentially the same codec as H.261 and MPEG-2 is very similar to H.263. MPEG-4 can be regarded as a blend between H.263 and H.264. H.264 is also sometimes referred to as MPEG-4 part 10.




Todays standard for digital video is AVC HD or H.264 as it is dubbed. This format has been adopted by Video conferencing equipment, web video (youtube, Joost and flash video), Apple quicktime, Sony, Panasonic, Canon and other AVC HD camcoder manufacturers. With such heavy backing, the H.264 codec is the most popular digital video codec to date. Broadcast systems are currently using MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, but are also looking to make the jump to H.264 in order to offer better quality over lower bandwidths, which again will offer more channels and additional services.

Network Video

Some of the digital video standards are designed specifically for live IP network streaming. This is particularly true for MPEG-4 and H.263 as well as the newer H.264 standard. These standards come in base profile versions which is particularly suited for low latency, real time applications like live web streaming and video conferencing.

Visit the Streaming video section to learn more about codecs.