We take a lot for granted in the digital era, particularly the automation of a lot of functions. In the early days of film, everything was fully manual, and even one parameter set incorrectly could ruin an entire roll. Later in the 20th century, a standard called DX (Digital indeX) was introduced, and it automated a lot of settings, reducing errors and making photography more accessible to amateurs and casual users. How did it work? This neat video takes you behind the scenes of the surprisingly sophisticated system.
Coming to you from Technology Connections, this interesting video will show you how DX film encoding worked. First introduced by Kodak in 1983, the DX system had multiple parts: a barcode on the edge of the film strip below the sprocket holes, encoding on the cartridge itself, and a barcode used for developing. While the DX system was tremendously useful for photo developers, it also made photography easier by automating a lot of things. A camera capable of reading DX encoding could automatically set the ISO, exposure count, and exposure tolerance when a cartridge was inserted in the camera. This might seem minor, but if you forgot to set the ISO, you could over- or underexpose an entire roll. On top of that, knowing exactly how many exposures you had left was always useful, and having exposure tolerance settings was great for cameras with advanced functions. Check out the video above for the full rundown.