Forty Eight Years of Photographic Industry

What's happened in nearly fifty years of photographic history?

Rodney Bates, the founder and Sales Director of Firstcall Photographic Limited, recently had a birthday celebration at which point he was reminded that he had now continuously “served” the photographic trade for over forty-eight years.

Party conversations then led to exactly what the milestone events and product launches were that occurred during these years and how the industry had changed during his time.

What follows is his listing, a single development during each year, as to which were the most memorable events of consequence.

If you would like to agree (or disagree) in relevance to your own experiences, then please join the debate on our Twitter page to give your personal views.

Year        Star Introduction or thoughts
1972        SX-70, a folding single lens reflex Land Camera is first produced by the Polaroid Corporation
1973        Kodak introduces the 110 format Pocket Instamatic
1974        Contax RTS 35mm SLR, camera forged between merging Yashica technology and Zeiss lenses
1975        Pentax K1000, 35mm SLR camera. Probably the world's most popular SLR even today
1976        Olympus Trip 35 advert by David Bailey - the camera is eight years old, but the advert is everlasting
1977        Konica C35 AF - the world's first production autofocus camera
1978        The Russian Zenit-E, 35mm SLR camera, makes hobbyist photography available to the masses
1979        Rollei 35T became the world's smallest 35mm
1980        Nikon introduces the F3 -, electronically controlled shutter, aperture-priority auto-exposure
1981        Sony Mavica heralds a new era in electronic photography
1982        Kodak debuts the Disc camera
1983        JVC GR-C1, the first  VHS single-unit video camcorder.  
1984        Leica introduces the M6 35mm rangefinder camera
1985        Minolta 7000, the fantastic first fully integrated autofocus SLR
1986        Fujifilm introduces the QuickSnap, the first single-use camera
1987        Canon introduces their first EOS camera, the 650, from which all Canon SLRs and DSLRs descend
1988        The Fuji DS-1P becomes the world's first fully digital camera
1989        Fujifilm's DS-X, the world's first digital camera to hold stored images on a flashcard
1990        Contax T2, the world's most fashionable 35mm film camera, is introduced
1991        Firstcall Photographic Limited Launched
1992        Kodak introduces Photo CD
1993        Ilford launches their last Cibachrome paper - Cibachrome Classic
1994        Kodak launches Ektapro their last carousel slide projector range
1995        Ilford introduce Multigrade IV darkroom paper
1996        Kodak, Agfa, Konica Canon and Nikon launch the APF film system
1997        Durst introduces the M670VC enlarger - more sold to schools and colleges than any other
1998        Canon introduces its first range of DV, digital video camcorders
1999        Single-use cameras become ubiquitous - Ilford launches the first HP5 b/w version
2000        Digital cameras become #1 on Christmas wish list - Fuji FinePix DX-10 is the best seller
2001        Sony launch their Mavica range of digital cameras using floppy disk or CD for storage
2002        Adobe introduces Photoshop Elements - image manipulation for the masses (PS7 for the pros)
2003        Fuji launches the Acros 100 - the finest grain black and white 100 ISO film so far
2004        Film scanners reach maximum sales - best seller is the new Minolta range like Dual Scan IV
2005        Epson's PictureMate makes printing quality 6x4 inch prints at home a reality
2006        Canon debuted their full-frame EOS 5D, 12.8mp at a £2300.
2007        Adobe lunches Photoshop Lightroom 1.0
2008        The year professional inkjet print quality matched traditional prints like with the Canon Pro 9000
2009        Video recording comes to SLR shooting like with the new Nikon D90
2010        Firstcall launch the unique transfer service of writing digital images back to photographic film
2011        Lytro releases their light-field camera, capable of refocusing images after they are taken
2012        Fujifilm launch their Premium Camera X-series with the X-Pro1
2013        Ilford launch MG Art 300 - the best silver gelatine monochrome paper ever
2014        Pro-level cameras point the way to the salvation of the photo trade with the launch of Nikon D750
2015        Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark ll sensor-based 5-axis image stabilization  for video as well as stills
2016        Action Cameras come of age with the launch of Go Pro Hero 4
2017        Resurgence in analogue photography with new launches from Bergger, Washi & CineStill
2018        Instant film sales hit new highs with Instax, Leica and Polaroid all with new camera launches
2019        LabBox from Ars Imago reinvents mobile film processing in the daylight
2020        Fujifilm's 102 mp GFX100 medium format camera captures stunning quality images

Posted by Rodney Bates
30th July 2020

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