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Digital vs. Film

 
 
Ryan Morin
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      08-01-2004
I am looking to purchase a new camera and need some advice as to
whether I should go digital or film.

I am mostly going to be using it for snapping pics while out camping,
canoeing, climbing etc. Typically I take more pics of scenery than
anything else.

I am looking at getting something that will be with me for many years
to come. If anyone has some opinions on this please let me know.
Strengths and weaknesses etc of both would be really appreciated.

RPM
 
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SleeperMan
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      08-01-2004
Ryan Morin typed:

> I am looking to purchase a new camera and need some advice as to
> whether I should go digital or film.
>
> I am mostly going to be using it for snapping pics while out camping,
> canoeing, climbing etc. Typically I take more pics of scenery than
> anything else.
>
> I am looking at getting something that will be with me for many years
> to come. If anyone has some opinions on this please let me know.
> Strengths and weaknesses etc of both would be really appreciated.
>
> RPM


I look this way: if you have film camera, you have 24 or 36 shots (well, you
can have more films with you...) and you think before each and every shot
you make - maybe it's not worthed... also you can't really tell how that
shot looks, if it's good, too dark, too blurry etc...
With digital you have (normally) several 100 shots available, you don't
really think too much before you shoot, you just press the shutter. You can
see, how that shot looks, and if it's bad, you delete it and take another
one. at the end, with film camera you end up with some 36 shots, of which
about 10-15 are good, and with digital with some 300 shots - of which 50 or
100 are good. But bear in mind that for good digital you must buy a bit more
costly one, look for good zoom (analog, forget digital one), and possibly
some manual settings.
At the end, with film you can miss some pretty good or dear scenes just
because you think too much before shooting and you try to save shots for
possible later good scenes, while with digital you end up with a lot of
crap, which by the way can easily be deleted.

Now you decide...i just tell you this: i did have (still do somewhere) film
camera, and i used to shoot one film every year or so... maximum...now with
digital, i made over thousand shots in less than one year...of which at
least 100 are really good and it would be pitty if i missed them. I always
thought, when i looked at good scene - this would be so nice if i could take
a picture... - now i just press the shutter. And digitals are being really
good. But, if you're for extreme high quality, film pics are still of more
quality than digital - but you must have costly film camera then and you
must be quite a photographer.


 
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Tonka
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      08-01-2004

"Ryan Morin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> I am looking to purchase a new camera and need some advice as to
> whether I should go digital or film.
>
> I am mostly going to be using it for snapping pics while out camping,
> canoeing, climbing etc. Typically I take more pics of scenery than
> anything else.
>
> I am looking at getting something that will be with me for many years
> to come. If anyone has some opinions on this please let me know.
> Strengths and weaknesses etc of both would be really appreciated.
>
> RPM


to add to SleeperMan, once you have your 24 or 36 film shots of which 5 or 6
may be good to reasonable, you then look at them once and place them either
back into the pack they came in or an album which you get out maybe once or
twice a year. With my digital pics I have them in folders (file) on my
computer and I set the screen saver to a different folder (file) each week +
I have a special folder where all the memorable ones are for a long term
repeating screen saver.

DJ


 
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Dave Head
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      08-01-2004
On 31 Jul 2004 22:08:52 -0700, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Ryan Morin) wrote:

>I am looking to purchase a new camera and need some advice as to
>whether I should go digital or film.
>
>I am mostly going to be using it for snapping pics while out camping,
>canoeing, climbing etc. Typically I take more pics of scenery than
>anything else.
>
>I am looking at getting something that will be with me for many years
>to come. If anyone has some opinions on this please let me know.
>Strengths and weaknesses etc of both would be really appreciated.
>
>RPM


Both kinds of cameras have expendables that are significant for camping and
hiking.

The film camera requires carrying a lot of film, but the battery is incredibly
small and light on most cameras without a motor drive. The film is also
relatively lightweight, although if you're going to take a lot of shots, it
could get bulky. You also have the problem that you can't review your shots
until they're developed - if you screw up something really neat, you won't know
it 'til its too late.

The digital camera requires carrying lots of batteries. Small cameras with AA
cells would probably be best, as the batteries tend to last for a while and are
small and not too heavy. On larger cameras like some of the pro cameras, you
have to deal with a big battery pack that weighs a lot. Some only last 2 1/2
hrs. of shooting. But of course the medium, such as compact flash, can be had
in gigabyte denominations, and even really large file sizes can be handled by a
handfull of cards that will provide 1000's of shots of storage.

I think I'd find a way to make digital work. Lug around heavy batteries or lug
around bulky film - 6 of 1, half dozen of the other. Cameras can likely be
found that have good battery life per picture taken, so you're going to want to
research that for your purchase.

Longevity will probably be equal, except that whatever digital you get will
probably be surpassed rapidly by newer, better equipment. 30 years from now, I
expect you'll likely still be able to get CF cards, but the cameras then will
likely be 50 megapixels or more, and CF cards will be available with
terabyte(s) storage. The risk there would be whether the smallest CF card you
could get might be larger capacity than the biggest card your camera can
handle. If your camera can currently accept a 4 Gb microdrive CF, but the
electronics won't address more than that, but the smallest available CF card in
2035 is 50 Gb, then you must hope that at some time between now and then your
camera manufacturer offered an upgrade.

The film camera 30 years from now has the risk that film could be rare. You'll
probably still be able to buy film, but with the economy of scale in
manufacturing being lost to the rarity of film sales, a roll might cost $40 in
today's money's terms, and finding processing could be difficult. Finding
specialty film such as very fast film, slide film, infrared film, maybe even
black and white film could be impossible or very expensive.

Dave Head
 
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John Appleby
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      08-01-2004

"Ryan Morin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> I am looking to purchase a new camera and need some advice as to
> whether I should go digital or film.
>
> I am mostly going to be using it for snapping pics while out camping,
> canoeing, climbing etc. Typically I take more pics of scenery than
> anything else.
>
> I am looking at getting something that will be with me for many years
> to come. If anyone has some opinions on this please let me know.
> Strengths and weaknesses etc of both would be really appreciated.


I'm going to throw a spanner in the works here. There are a few things that
you might want to take into consideration:

1) Cost. Digital is clearly masses cheaper for the amateurs amongst us, long
term. Do the maths on film and processing costs and you will make your money
back. But a digital camera of a given quality is 2-5x more expensive than
its film friend. Compare N80 to D100 for example.

2) Durability. It is very questionable as to whether there are any sensibly
priced digital cameras which are really durable to the elements. Most suffer
from sensor dirt which needs an AC adapter to clean off; even at (or perhaps
especially at) the $1000-2000 range you will get something which is very
averse to a few spots of water or a dusty environment. I also doubt that a
digital camera will last you more than 2-3 years before it requires at least
a major service. I don't know the statistics for this though, so take it
with a pinch of salt.

3) Number of pictures you can take. With a digital camera you need to spend
out on cards, on a film camera you need to spend out on film. Either way if
you have the budget, you can take an almost unlimited number of shots. Film,
once it is in its protective case, can obviously be subjected to pretty
harsh elements. Most CF cases aren't even vaguely waterproof.

Given where you are talking about using it, you might want to consider
whether you can keep it moisture and dust free. If you can't, you might want
to consider going with a film camera. If you're not clumsy and you can keep
good care of it, you might like the flexibility of a digital camera.

Regards,

John


 
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Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
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      08-01-2004
Ryan Morin wrote:

> I am looking to purchase a new camera and need some advice as to
> whether I should go digital or film.
>
> I am mostly going to be using it for snapping pics while out camping,
> canoeing, climbing etc. Typically I take more pics of scenery than
> anything else.
>
> I am looking at getting something that will be with me for many years
> to come. If anyone has some opinions on this please let me know.
> Strengths and weaknesses etc of both would be really appreciated.
>
> RPM


Ryan,
To answer your question, a little more info is needed.

1) Do you want the option of making big enlargements
that show a wealth of detail?

2) Do you use a tripod?

3) For landscape images, do you maximize depth of field
by stopping down?

If the answer is no to all the above questions, then digital
will probably be fine for you. If you answer yes, then
maybe film would be better (it depends on how far you
want to push the technology). Then, are you comfortable
with working on your images on a computer (this takes
a lot of time too).

If you want a point and shoot for snapshots, there are many
fine digital cameras that will be great. The instant
feedback of digital helps teach and you know you've
"got the shot" immediately. Just take at least 2 spare
batteries.

Digital versus film image detail is summarized at:
http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedeta....summary1.html

If you want big enlargements of some of the places you visit,
and use a tripod and slow speed film (like Fujichrome Velvia),
and stop down to f/11, f/16, ..., then film, in my testing,
and in my opinion will work better. If you want a DSLR
and stop down for depth of field, dust on an electronic sensor
can be a problem, so film would be better.

If you want to get into wildlife photography, then digital will
most likely be better if you get a DSLR.

Roger
Photos, other digital info at:
http://www.clarkvision.com


 
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Ron Hunter
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2004
Ryan Morin wrote:
> I am looking to purchase a new camera and need some advice as to
> whether I should go digital or film.
>
> I am mostly going to be using it for snapping pics while out camping,
> canoeing, climbing etc. Typically I take more pics of scenery than
> anything else.
>
> I am looking at getting something that will be with me for many years
> to come. If anyone has some opinions on this please let me know.
> Strengths and weaknesses etc of both would be really appreciated.
>
> RPM


Film cameras are a mature technology. That is, you can buy a film
camera and count on only slight changes from one year to the next, and
likely nothing to make you want to buy a new one for several years (if
not decades). This is NOT true of digitals which seem to be on a fast
track for innovation and change at this time. If you want something
that won't become hopelessly obsolete in a couple of years, stick to film.

If, on the other hand, you like the features of immediacy and
flexibility, and low per picture cost, then digital may be the way to
go, but don't expect to keep the same camera for decades.
 
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Ron Hunter
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2004
John Appleby wrote:

> "Ryan Morin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
>
>>I am looking to purchase a new camera and need some advice as to
>>whether I should go digital or film.
>>
>>I am mostly going to be using it for snapping pics while out camping,
>>canoeing, climbing etc. Typically I take more pics of scenery than
>>anything else.
>>
>>I am looking at getting something that will be with me for many years
>>to come. If anyone has some opinions on this please let me know.
>>Strengths and weaknesses etc of both would be really appreciated.

>
>
> I'm going to throw a spanner in the works here. There are a few things that
> you might want to take into consideration:
>
> 1) Cost. Digital is clearly masses cheaper for the amateurs amongst us, long
> term. Do the maths on film and processing costs and you will make your money
> back. But a digital camera of a given quality is 2-5x more expensive than
> its film friend. Compare N80 to D100 for example.
>
> 2) Durability. It is very questionable as to whether there are any sensibly
> priced digital cameras which are really durable to the elements. Most suffer
> from sensor dirt which needs an AC adapter to clean off; even at (or perhaps
> especially at) the $1000-2000 range you will get something which is very
> averse to a few spots of water or a dusty environment. I also doubt that a
> digital camera will last you more than 2-3 years before it requires at least
> a major service. I don't know the statistics for this though, so take it
> with a pinch of salt.
>
> 3) Number of pictures you can take. With a digital camera you need to spend
> out on cards, on a film camera you need to spend out on film. Either way if
> you have the budget, you can take an almost unlimited number of shots. Film,
> once it is in its protective case, can obviously be subjected to pretty
> harsh elements. Most CF cases aren't even vaguely waterproof.


CF cards aren't adversely affected by water. Just dry them throughly
before reuse.

>
> Given where you are talking about using it, you might want to consider
> whether you can keep it moisture and dust free. If you can't, you might want
> to consider going with a film camera. If you're not clumsy and you can keep
> good care of it, you might like the flexibility of a digital camera.
>
> Regards,
>
> John
>
>

 
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Lourens Smak
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2004
In article <410ce995$0$25120$(E-Mail Removed)>,
"John Appleby" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> once it is in its protective case, can obviously be subjected to pretty
> harsh elements. Most CF cases aren't even vaguely waterproof.


read this:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3939333.stm

Cards can be boiled in water and survive; nailing them to a tree is when
memory-cards give up...

Lourens
 
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John McWilliams
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2004
Lourens Smak wrote:
> In article <410ce995$0$25120$(E-Mail Removed)>,
> "John Appleby" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>>once it is in its protective case, can obviously be subjected to pretty
>>harsh elements. Most CF cases aren't even vaguely waterproof.

>
>
> read this:
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3939333.stm
>
> Cards can be boiled in water and survive; nailing them to a tree is when
> memory-cards give up...
>

Yes, and I hate when that happens!

Ryan-

Are you ready to take the plunge?

--

John McWilliams
 
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