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Digital vs. 35mm comparison.

 
 
john@wexfordpress.com
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      06-28-2006
I have a very old Canon Ftb SLR with a 50mm 1.4 lens. It takes pictures
at a certain quality level.
Digital cameras have lesser or greater quality of picture based in part
on the number of meagpixels used for each frame.

My question is this: What megapixel level do I need for equivalent
precision in a digital camera to replace my film camera?

John Culleton

 
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David J Taylor
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      06-28-2006
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> I have a very old Canon Ftb SLR with a 50mm 1.4 lens. It takes
> pictures at a certain quality level.
> Digital cameras have lesser or greater quality of picture based in
> part on the number of meagpixels used for each frame.
>
> My question is this: What megapixel level do I need for equivalent
> precision in a digital camera to replace my film camera?
>
> John Culleton


There is no single answer to that question - perhaps a more useful answer
could be given if you state what you do with your images: computer display
(screen pixels?), prints (what size?) etc. What film do you use to
provide "your" quality?

For 8 x 10 inch prints, many people get quite satisfactory results with
good-quality 3MP camera, and many of today's cameras are in the 5 - 10MP
range. You may not need to go to an SLR to get equivalent quality
results.

David


 
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k-man
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      06-28-2006
Are you talking about image quality? Or, size of the print?

For quality, megapixel level is misleading. Compare a 7 MP P&S to a
high-end 6 MP dSLR. The dSLR will win in terms of picture quality.

Kevin


(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> I have a very old Canon Ftb SLR with a 50mm 1.4 lens. It takes pictures
> at a certain quality level.
> Digital cameras have lesser or greater quality of picture based in part
> on the number of meagpixels used for each frame.
>
> My question is this: What megapixel level do I need for equivalent
> precision in a digital camera to replace my film camera?
>
> John Culleton


 
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Dennis Pogson
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      06-28-2006
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> I have a very old Canon Ftb SLR with a 50mm 1.4 lens. It takes
> pictures at a certain quality level.
> Digital cameras have lesser or greater quality of picture based in
> part on the number of meagpixels used for each frame.
>
> My question is this: What megapixel level do I need for equivalent
> precision in a digital camera to replace my film camera?
>
> John Culleton


You have to take the lens resolution into account also. The resultant
digital image factors in a lot of different inputs, not least of which is
image stabilisation by the camera, if available. If you are going to print
out every image to say A4 or greater, and are prepared to work in a
non-compressed format such as raw, then I would say about 5-6 megapixels
would suffice, all other things being equal.

In practice, very few would want to create 10-inch prints from every image,
therefore the facility to do so may be used only rarely, but nevertheless
the camera would have to be capable of such resolution and contrast,
although with modern post-processing who knows what has been done to the
original image.

I personally prefer a non-SLR digital camera, with a good zoom lens, such as
the Panasonic FZ30, but many prefer to lug around a backpack of lenses and a
digital SLR. It's all a matter of choice, and there is plenty of that!

DP


 
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Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
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      06-28-2006
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> I have a very old Canon Ftb SLR with a 50mm 1.4 lens. It takes pictures
> at a certain quality level.
> Digital cameras have lesser or greater quality of picture based in part
> on the number of meagpixels used for each frame.
>
> My question is this: What megapixel level do I need for equivalent
> precision in a digital camera to replace my film camera?
>
> John Culleton
>


The answer depends on the film. See:
http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedeta....summary1.html

then many other articles at:
http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail

There are other factors too, including dynamic range (DSLRs
have much greater dynamic range than slide or print film), and
signal-to-noise ratios (DSLRs are much higher S/N than any film).
Most good digital cameras are photon noise limited for their
given quantum efficiency. You don't get better than that.
The implication of that fact means that larger pixels collect
more photons, so pixel size is also a factor.

Roger
 
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tomm42
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      06-28-2006

(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> I have a very old Canon Ftb SLR with a 50mm 1.4 lens. It takes pictures
> at a certain quality level.
> Digital cameras have lesser or greater quality of picture based in part
> on the number of meagpixels used for each frame.
>
> My question is this: What megapixel level do I need for equivalent
> precision in a digital camera to replace my film camera?
>
> John Culleton


There is no pat answer to this. Probably the best answer would be with
an APS sensor (the sensor most DSLRs have 6 or 8 mp seems to be the
cross over point compared to 35mm. The problem is that film reacts
differently than a digital sensor. I belong to the group that believes
digital is leaving film behind, other photographers don't like digital
at all.
I have done large format digital printing, worked extensively with 4x5
cameras. I have seen digital images from a 6mp camera surpass even low
end (6x4.5) medium format. a few observations (assuming APS digital
sensor):
1) Large format photography 6x7 and above are hard to beat, though the
39mp mf sensors for Hasselblad are very close, at $30000, but that was
the price of early 6mp cameras 10 years ago.
2) digital does enlarge better, at 8x10 35mm film may have an upper
hand but at 16x20 digital is clearly better
3) with variable ISO settings digital cameras are a lot more
convenient, at high ISO settings, above ISO400, digital is clearly
better than film.
4) digital goes to print much easier than film and at lower cost
5) digital photography are much more than just what comes out of the
camera, it requires knowledge of photoediting programs and asset
(picture file) management to be used to its fullest possibilities.
6) There isn't a digital camera nearly as simple as your FTb, and it is
a shame Canon totally orphaned FD systems, I have 2 F1s in a case.


Tom

 
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Ron Hunter
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      06-28-2006
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> I have a very old Canon Ftb SLR with a 50mm 1.4 lens. It takes pictures
> at a certain quality level.
> Digital cameras have lesser or greater quality of picture based in part
> on the number of meagpixels used for each frame.
>
> My question is this: What megapixel level do I need for equivalent
> precision in a digital camera to replace my film camera?
>
> John Culleton
>

That depends. Are we talking about 4x6 prints, slides, or 24x36
posters? Just about any digital camera of 1.3 mp or more will produce a
4x6 print that will equal a 35 mm film camera output. If you are
talking slides, the 35 mm will do better than any current consumer
digital. For posters of 24x36, you will probably have trouble
distinguishing between a 8 mp and 35 mm film. In the final analysis
only you can make this judgment.
 
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Don Stauffer
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      06-28-2006
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> I have a very old Canon Ftb SLR with a 50mm 1.4 lens. It takes pictures
> at a certain quality level.
> Digital cameras have lesser or greater quality of picture based in part
> on the number of meagpixels used for each frame.
>
> My question is this: What megapixel level do I need for equivalent
> precision in a digital camera to replace my film camera?
>
> John Culleton
>

What film do you normally shoot in the 35? The film is the sensor and
there is a great variation in resolution between various films. Going
from something like Pan-X to an ASA 1600 color print film is a big
difference.

If you are used to shooting slow but sharp black and white you may need
more pixels than if you regularly shot high speed color print.
 
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Bill Hilton
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      06-28-2006

>(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> I have a very old Canon Ftb SLR with a 50mm 1.4 lens. It takes pictures
> at a certain quality level.
> Digital cameras have lesser or greater quality of picture based in part
> on the number of meagpixels used for each frame.
>
> My question is this: What megapixel level do I need for equivalent
> precision in a digital camera to replace my film camera?
>
> John Culleton


I don't disagree with what the other posters wrote, but to give you a
simple, straight-forward answer ... eight megapixels (or more) from a
good 1.6x - 1.3x sized sensor will get you close enough to 35 mm
quality that you will likely never want to shoot 35 mm film again.

Bill

 
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teflon nonstick
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      06-28-2006
On 28/6/06 12:49, in article
(E-Mail Removed) om,
"(E-Mail Removed)" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I have a very old Canon Ftb SLR with a 50mm 1.4 lens. It takes pictures
> at a certain quality level.
> Digital cameras have lesser or greater quality of picture based in part
> on the number of meagpixels used for each frame.
>
> My question is this: What megapixel level do I need for equivalent
> precision in a digital camera to replace my film camera?
>
> John Culleton
>


A basic 6 mb slr will give you good quality up to about A4 - same as 35mm.

Borrow one for the day and find out.

 
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