George Eastman House photography museum in Rochester, New York, has made its most important acquisition in decades: the Eastman Kodak Company Tactical Camera.
Designed in 1989, the Tactical Camera is the earliest digital single-lens reflex camera in existence.
Eastman Kodak produced its first megapixel imaging sensor in the mid 1980s. James McGarvey, a company engineer, designed and built the M1 sensor which was installed in a Canon F1 film camera to make the world’s first digital SLR camera. Called the Electro-Optic (E-O) Camera, it was built in 1988 for the U.S. government for use in covert operations. The Tactical Camera evolved from the E-O project the following year and was used to demonstrate Eastman Kodak's digital technology to potential customers.
Eastman House's Technology Curator Todd Gustavson said, “the Tactical Camera may well be the most important object acquired during my 24 years at Eastman House. There is nothing like it in the collection. Not only is it is the oldest digital camera in the collection, but more importantly, it is one of only two ever made, and it is from these models that all digital cameras were derived.”
George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film is the world's oldest museum dedicated to still and moving images. Its collection of vintage cameras is outstanding.
Opened to the public in 1949, Eastman House combines the world’s leading photography collection and film archive with the pleasure of visiting the National Historic Landmark mansion where George Eastman lived from 1905 to 1932. Founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, George Eastman is considered the father of modern photography and motion picture film.
Rochester is 169 miles (271 km) from Toronto, just over three hours by car. Canadians need a passport to cross the U.S. border.