April 2013

TPHS MeetingNews April 2013_img_0 The Photographic Historical Society
APRIL 15, 2013 MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT AND NEWS by Sharon Bloemendaal

Contact us:


P.O. Box 10342
Rochester, NY 14610

Visit us on the web: http://www.tphs.org

Check our Facebook page

Become a member:

6 month free trial

Annual dues: 20.00

individual membership

30.00 family membership

Dues are payable to: TPHS P.O. Box 10342 Rochester, NY 14610

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Next meeting: Thursday, April 18, 2013

at: Barnes & Noble
3344 Monroe Ave. Pittsford Plaza
time: 7:30 p.m.

Guest Speaker:

Stephen L. Schultz, chief technology officer of Pictometry International Corp. will speak.


In 1994, Steve Schultz, a 10year veteran of imaging science at the time, began work on developing an idea generated by a co-worker at RIT: can you develop a means to geo-reference oblique aerial images that would allow a user to measure 3D information within a single 2D image? Thus, Pictometry was born. From a proof of concept involving Lego(r) building blocks to the largest fleet of commercial aerial capture systems; Pictometry has grown tremendously over the past 20 years. See a recap of the innovations that have made that possible and the process behind them. He will share some of the first imagery captured, and some of the more “historic” images, such as events that unfolded as their planes were overhead. Check out http://www.Pictometry.com/

Future meetings:

May 16 meeting:

Jennifer Cisney, Kodak Social Media Manager

and Chief Blogger, will discuss her work at Kodak. Jennifer Cisney has been with Eastman Kodak for 15 years, resulting in a broad knowledge of the various Kodak businesses and in-depth experience with internet marketing. She developed and launched Kodak’s social media initiatives on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the corporate blog. She now manages the Kodak social media program and outlines the social media strategy worldwide for the company. Jennifer has been a speaker at such social media conferences as BlogWorld, BlogHer, Evo Conference, Marketing to Women, 140 Characters Conference and The Inbound Marketing Summit. Jennifer was also recognized as one of Advertising Age’s 2009 Women to Watch.

In her spare time she collects vintage Kodak still and motion picture cameras along with Kodak memorabilia. She also enjoys digital as well as film photography. Jennifer sits on the board of the Genesee Center for the Arts and Education, which houses the Community Darkroom. She will share how Kodak has used social media to connect with customers and the recent increase in interest in film photography and vintage cameras.

June 20 meeting:

Mike Clayton speaks on “The Rochester

Connection to the National Reconnaissance Program.” He can address recently declassified information from the 1956-1985 program. Projects just declassified in 2011 include SAMOS, CORONA and GAMBIT. Clayton began working for Kodak in 1965 and retired in 2007 from ITT. He is presently writing a book on the program and the people involved. He believes that the engineering miracle prevented WWIII.

Review of March Meeting

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Jim McGarvey enthralled a capacity crowd as he told of his experience with the DSLR, the first commercial application of the digital camera, a project for the Federal Government.

The 1987 device used a standard Canon camera, with
a connection to a unit that could fit into a camera bag,
thus being rather unobtrusive.

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He had been the lead engineer on the project, and told of his search for the existing camera, rescuing the prototype just before it was trashed. The one sent to the government has been elusive so far.

Jim formulated a color DCS Timeline that showed the digital field in general, from a Fairchild CCD (charge coupled device) around 1975, to developments up to 2005. He separated Kodak’s participation, picturing Steve Sasson’s 1975 first digital camera. Steve and his co-inventor used an analog to digital converter, a cassette tape and a television.

The timeline also listed the media or storage medium, from an 8-inch disc to an SD card.

Another item on the timeline was the memory capability from 16Kbit to 1Gbit. He noted that .01 megapixel is 100 x 100 pixels. The timeline is available on McGarvey’s site:


He noted the efforts of Willard Boyle and George Smith in 1969 at Bell Laboratories, as they worked on a CCD. The 1981 Sony Mavica was groundbreaking, but the 1986 Canon RC701 was the first still video camera marketed.

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The Fuji DS-1P was the first digital camera with a memory card in 1989. In 1990 the first commercial consumer digital camera was the Dycam Model l.

He quoted Moore’s law: “The number of transistors that will fit in a single chip will double every two years.” This has been true for 30 years, he noted.

The first commercial Kodak DCS camera was announced in 1991. It sold for more than $20,000 and came with its accessories in a suitcase weighing about 50 lbs. It could take 160 images that could be transmitted on phone lines, as there was as yet no web. They sold 400 before being ordered to crush the remaining parts. Then 300 more were ordered.

The DCS camera used a Nikon F3 body, and without prior knowledge, Nikon was pleasantly surprised at the launch.

McGarvey noted that the innovations went back and forth between capability and size.

He showed an NC2000 with clear housing to show its mechanism. Done by Kodak in cooperation with the Associated Press, it sold for about $17,000.

The first consumer digital camera made by Kodak was the Apple Quicktake 100, in 1994. The next year, Kodak marketed the DC40 under its own brand.

Fuji and Nikon worked on several models of the DSLR, with no LCD on the back.

The 1998 DCS520 by Kodak had a display in color, a removable memory card, and a “Pong” game added.

The 1999 Nikon D1, with 1.3 megapixels, was the first real competition to the Kodak DSLR line.

Kodak’s DCS760 of 2001 could be used in the vacuum of space without major modification. These cameras were used on shuttle missions until the end of the shuttle program.

By the time the DCS Pro14n with 14 megapixels was introduced, the price was down to $5,000. Buying camera bodies from competitors was an ongoing cost problem, and in 2004, Kodak exited the professional camera field.

Today, Canon, Nikon and several other companies ship over a million DSLRs each month, priced from $6,000 to $450.

DCT compression was developed in 1989; the JPEG standard in 1991.

McGarvey displayed many of these cameras on a table; some of the members showed others. Two of Jim’s long-time co-workers also attended the meeting: Mark Prescott and Tom McCarthy.

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