Did you know camera flashes used to use explosives? Not Xenon or LED. Explosives!

Exploding bulb flash from Technology Connections Video
(Image credit: Technology Connections)

Alright, I'll be honest – if I'd have given it some thought, I would have realized that was what was happening in the single-use flash, or those quirky cubes that my nanna had with her Kodak camera. But I didn't, because when you're young and the victim of the family photo you just want it to have happened as soon as possible.

On reflection, though, the economics of the family photograph back in the days of film are a real eye-opener, and not just because of the film itself – retro chic has already made this burden more than clear for the adventurous young and nostalgic alike. No, there was also a time when firing the camera flash was also disposable. First there were single-use zirconium bulbs, and then there were cubes – essentially four of the same.

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 


Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 


He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook