A.J. Feather

Journalist, Developer

I'm a Missouri native currently seeking a dual masters in computer science and journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Every week I also host an awesome podcast called "Integrate" with my friend Mikah, which you can find at Integrate.FM.

Before moving to New York, I obtained undergraduate degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In Columbia, I hosted a weekly show called "Talking Politics" for KBIA, the local NPR member station and produced, wrote and anchored video for Newsy.com way too early in the morning.

There has never been a political column I did not enjoy reading or an Apple product I did not enjoy using.


This week in class, we got our first hands-on experience with a DSLR (Digital single-lens reflex) camera.  So it made me think, what's so special about DSLR?  How are they different from my iPhone's camera? The main difference is the reflex design scheme.  The reflex design scheme allows light to travel through a single lens and a mirror, which is used to reflect some of that light to the viewfinder.  The D stands for digital, which similar to almost every other camera in use today, including smartphones.

The first camera that was successful in using a digital sensor was developed by two Nobel Prize winning scientists in 1969.  Kodak made the first commercially released Digital SLR - the Kodak DCS-100 - in 1991.  The DCS-100 only shot 1.3 megapixel images and cost about $30,000.  Today, almost every smartphone's camera shoots 5 megapixels or more. Even as late as 2001, the EOS-1D DSLR only shot 4.1 megapixel images.  Nikon released the first DSLR that could record video in 2009. All of that is great, but my favorite advance in DSLR technology is the DSLR attachment for iPhones from Photojojo.com.

DSLR cameras continue to improve.  Now, they come with touch-screens and take up to 18 megapixel images for just $849.99, which is substantially less than $30,000 the technology cost in 1991.  It's impossible to tell what the future of DSLR will be, but I would bet that its convergence with smartphones continues.