How would I learn to be a camera engineer?

What kind of education would you need to be an entry-level camera designer? Electrical engineering? Mechanical engineering? Any such thing as a specialty in this? I suppose it takes a big team to design today’s modern complex DSLRs, but someone must be the lead concept guy.

No practical purpose, just wondering. I helped my high-school-student daughter with a math project to reverse engineer a DSLR exposure program and I started thinking that someone designed that program to start with, and I was wondering how you get that job.

Well, Nikon, Canon and Pentax were all founded by opticians/lensmakers. George Eastman, who founded Kodak, was a photographer by trade. Edwin Land, who founded Polaroid, invented a new type of film (polarizing) and incorporated the technique into filters and lenses.

Steve Sasson was an electrical engineer for Kodak when he invented the digital camera. So it looks like you can either work from the lens back, or from the image receptor forward.

Moving to GQ as you requested.

I don’t have camera specific knowledge, but for things like this generally there is a product line manager that determines the high level make up of a product line. They’re going to say ok our entry level needs to be priced at X, mid-level Y, and top-level Z. Then they are going to work with the various engineering teams, supply chain, etc. to get the product designed to meet those requirements. Teams/people involved would be industrial design for the body, UX for software, software engineer for UI, software engineer for the image processing, chip designer, and probably a mechanical engineer for the body structure and heat dissipation.

In terms of education, that’s generally a business position. So a business degree would be the best bet, but realistically it could be anything.

‘chip designer’ in this case would be an electrical engineer who designs things using exisiting chips, not a person designing brand-new integrated circuit chips.

And, more importantly, there’s still going to be an optical engineer involved, though they’re probably sadly seeing their role be less and less.