The first camera was the camera obscura, a device that used a lens or small hole to project an image onto a screen inside the camera. It was invented around 1000 A.D. by the scientist and inventor Alhazen. Modern photographic cameras are descended from the camera obscura.
The first camera capable of creating a photographic image was invented by Joseph Nicephore Niepce, who first used it in 1827. Niepce inserted a photographic plate into the bottom of a camera obscura. The camera projected a pattern of light and shadow onto the plate that could be developed into an image. The light exposure time for this type of camera was more than 8 hours. About 12 years later, Louis Daguerre reduced the exposure time to 30 minutes.