Who Developed the Earliest Portable Movie Cameras?

Did you know the world’s first portable movie camera was a 12fps Rifle? Shocked? Aren’t you? Who Developed the Earliest Portable Movie Cameras? Along with the straight answer, I will also give some additional information regarding this topic.

Well… Here’s a fun piece of photographic history that I am going to explain maintaining a chorology. Let’s dive into it.

Pre Statement

The first-ever portable motion picture camera was invented and developed by a French scientist named Étienne-Jules Marey. It was in the shape of a gun. Sort of a great grandfather to the Mark III Hythe Machine Gun Camera used by the British during WWI to train aerial gunners, the Fusil Photographique made its debut on the scene all the way back in 1882.

Who Developed the Earliest Portable Movie Cameras

However, Marey’s rifle camera was designed to take motion pictures of birds in flight. It could shoot 12 images per second and it was the first invention to capture moving images on the same chromatographic plate using a metal shutter. Twelve exposures would be shot in a second and captured on a circular gelatin plate. Each shot was exposed for 1/720th of a second and the resulting footage served to help Marey study the movement of animals, insects, birds, and even humans.

He would line up his subject by pointing the rifle at them, alter the length of the barrel to achieve proper focus, and then literally ‘shoot’ 12 exposures in quick succession. And because the rifle was so much lighter, smaller, and more moveable than a stationary camera, he was able to track his subject.

Gradual History of Earliest Portable Movie Cameras


Thomas Edison has a light-bulb moment and files a claim with the U.S. Patent Office to create the Kinetoscope, which will do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear.


Brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière patent the Cinématographe, a triple-threat motion picture film camera, projector, and developer.


The Aeroscope was the first hand-held movie camera in 1909. Bell & Howell introduces the first all-metal movie camera, the 2709 standard 35-mm. Furthermore, mildew and termites destroy the wood and leather camera of husband and wife filmmakers Martin and Osa Johnson as they travel through Africa.


Philo Farnsworth’s video camera tube converts images into electrical signals. This later begets the boob tube and we don’t mean Cinemax.


Eastman Kodak’s new 8-mm film upstages 16-mm. Therefore, it becomes the standard for home movies.


Bell & Howell creates the first lightweight movie camera for amateur filmmakers.


Color becomes accessible when Eastman Kodak introduces Kodachrome. The film later inspires a lawsuit, a Paul Simon song, and even a state park in Utah. Color us impressed.


This Is Cinerama premieres in New York City on Sept. 30. Likewise, Cinerama, an ultra-widescreen format, entails synchronized filming by three 35-mm cameras.


Eastman Kodak revamps its 8-mm film and dubs it Super 8. The film covers a 30 percent larger image, allowing more detail. Kids’ recitals have never looked better on camera.


Sony introduces the first one-piece video camcorder, Beta movie. But by this point, the Betamax format is already losing the war with VHS.

Last Words

Above all, a Portable movie camera has improved over time. Marey’s developed rifle camera has evolved and many high-quality portable movie cameras have arrived today. With the advent of digital portable movie camera Television Industry and new media flourished more than the film industry. Every individual is taking advantage of these developed movie cameras and utilize the opportunities in social media platforms like YouTube.

You can also take advantage of potable movie cameras and practice filmmaking in your own way. By making independent films and publishing on YouTube yon can also become famous for showing your talents. Best wishes!