It is a cliché that our TV watching habits are changed a lot in the past few decades. But if we look back in time, we can see how broadcasting technology has been changing continuously since the first television programs were telecasted for the first TV sets, and how broadcasters have innovated to keep us entertained.


The following pictorial review tries to sum up these changes focusing on one technology aspect: the state of the art television camera that sends live electronic moving images to our home screens. The photos below show an amazing variety of professional television cameras, milestones of broadcasting history, how the need in broadcasting sport and political events became the main driving force in embracing and applying the latest innovations.

1937: Arsenal players peering into a Marconi-EMI instantaneous TV camera after playing in the first football match to be broadcasted live on television.

Photo: Hudson/Getty Images

1945: Broadcaster Huw Thomas reading the news in front of a PYE television camera.

Photo: John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images

1946: The Windmill Girls being filmed by a BBC mobile Marconi camera during a test broadcast.

Photo: Central Press/Getty Images

1949: Chorus members of ‘Ice Calvacade’ at Olympia rehearsing in front of TV cameras.

Photo: Monty Fresco/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

1949: Japan’s Emperor Hirohito and the empress were delighted with the television camera.

Photo: Charles Gorry/AP

1949: Flowers being televised in natural colour on the PYE stand, at the 16th National Radio Exhibition at Olympia in London, using the first commercial colour television equipment.

Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

1950: A Marconi Image Orthicon camera, which was used by the BBC to televise scenes over London from a British transport plane. It was the first time that television was taken into the air.

Photo: Fox Photos/Getty Images

1951: Actress Susan Peters sitting behind a desk in her wheelchair, in front of a WPTZ television camera filming her show.

Photo: Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1951: Outside broadcast. A BBC camera crew awaiting the arrival of dignitaries to Downing street, London.

Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

1952: A remote control Pye television camera at the 19th annual Radio and Television exhibition, London.

Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

1952: A Marconi waterproof television camera.

Photo: Stanley Sherman/Express/Getty Images

1954: Gloria Clarry posing in colourful clothes for the camera during a demonstration of colour television at Marconi House.

Photo: Reg Speller/Getty Images

1955: A station anchorwoman facing a huge studio crew and equipment at the Independent Commercial Television Network.

Photo: Fox Photos/Getty Images

1957: Recording of ‘The Frank Sinatra Show’ television program. Cameramen and assorted crew surround the performers.

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1957: British psychologist, Doctor Cyril Franks conducts an experiment in sensory deprivation on TV.

Photo: Fred Ramage/Keystone/Getty Images

1957: Cameraman Pentti Valkeala is testing German Fernseh GmbH’s Orthicon camera, type KIO at the first broadcast of the Finnish Independence Day celebrations.

Photo: Yle Archives

1960: A new type TV camera of the ‘candid’ type known as a ‘walking creeper’ is carried on the shoulder of a cameraman.

Photo: Fred Morley/Getty Images

1964: A CBS cameraman at the Democratic convention in Atlantic City waits for orders from the control booth. He is using a very small, battery-powered camera, known as a ‘creepie peepie’.

Photo: Keystone Features/Getty Images

1965: Filming a television program at Frenckell’s studio in Tampere, Finland.

Photo: Yle Archives

1967: A discussion programme being filmed with two studio cameras at the BBC Television Centre in White City, London.

Photo: Peter King/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1969: Westinghouse Apollo Lunar Television Camera, as it was mounted on the side of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module when it telecasted Armstrong’s One small step, and later mounted on a tripod to show the progress of the first Lunar EVA.

Photo: NASA/Apollo Archive

1971: The Apollo 15 liftoff is tracked by a television camera at the Kennedy Space Center press site.

Photo: AP

1973: Wembley Stadium shown from the top of a crane, used by the World of Sport TV camera (Philips).

Photo: Graham Wood/Evening Standard/Getty Images

1974: Margaret Thatcher with a television crew during the UK general election campaign (camera: Philips).

Photo: Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1978: The television studio in which ‘Top of the Pops’ is recorded.

Photo: Colin Davey/Evening Standard/Getty Images

1982: Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi addresses crowds at Independence Day celebrations.

Photo: Keystone/Getty Images

1988: ABC’s remote television camera mounted on top of the field goal post during the Super Bowl.

Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

1990: Paul Gascoigne of England makes a funny face to a stabilized television camera.

Photo: Billy Sticlkand/Getty Images

1993: A CBS television camera with Fujinon lens.

Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

1998: A Hitachi digital television camera equipped with Fujinon zoom lens during the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.

Photo: John Gichigi /Allsport/Getty Images

2001: ESPN’s Philips television camera.

Photo: Danny Moloshok/Allsport/Getty Images

2003-2004: Different types of suspended remote television cameras.

Photo: Craig Jones/Ronald Martinez/Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

2007: A tiny television action camera attached to a sportsman helmet.

Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

2008: A television camera attached to a goal post.

Photo: Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

2008: A high definition television camera broadcasting a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York.

Photo: Kathy Willens/AP

2010: NASA TV’s External TV Camera Group (ETVCG) on the international Space Station for live broadcasting spacewalks and view of Earth.


2013: Tracked broadcast cameras at the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

2014: A 4K camera and a 3D camera are set on the St. Peter’s colonnade as the CTV (Vatican Television) is preparing for a 4K and 3D coverage of the Canonisation of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII in Vatican City, Vatican.

Photos: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

2015: The Sky TV drone camera and its operator during a cricket match in Wellington, New Zealand.

Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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