Can digicams do anything better than film SLR's??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mark.worthington, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. I'm curious about this. Is there anything, for example macro shots
    (which I know can get very close and sharp with digital), which digital
    can outclass film SLR's with?

    By the way, what is MF??

    mark.worthington, Apr 15, 2004
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  2. mark.worthington

    Ian Stirling Guest

    Time to print can be faster than even 'instant' cameras. (with the
    appropriate printer)

    The ability to take thousands of pictures without
    changing anything. (well, some cameras with large batteries)

    Not having to worry about changing films nearly so often, so you'r
    less likely to miss a shot.

    The ability to take a voice note with a picture can be valuable.

    Macro shots are relatively easy, due to the small sensor meaning that
    the lens does not have to work as hard as with a 35mm lens.

    Depth of focus is much deeper with digital cameras, which can be a bad
    thing in some cases.

    For compulsive shooters, or those on a budget, or learning, the cost of
    each shot is nothing, so there is no reason not to experiment.

    Mesium format.

    Using bigger than 35mm film, but less than the insane sizes some people
    go to.
    Ian Stirling, Apr 15, 2004
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  3. Thanks for the email Ian,

    I have a film SLR (minolta dynax 500si) which I suspect would outclass any
    mid-range digital in the' landscape pics' area (know you of any digital
    cameras which are good in this dept?) but I am interested in getting into
    real close-up macro photography( insects/flowers) and digiscoping ( I plan on
    attempting a moonshot through a spotting scope for which I suspect a good
    digital may have an edge over an SLR for light reasons)..

    mark.worthington, Apr 15, 2004
  4. Although digital SLRs (e.g. the 300D) provide image quality at ISO 100 that
    is slightly worse than 35mm with the best professional films, at ISO 400 and
    above, the digital SLRs are much better than 35mm film.

    So the answer is available light photography.

    The crop factor in dSLRs makes telephoto photography cheaper and easier.

    But consumer dcams are problematic: their only advantage over 35mm is
    It sometimes means "manual focus" (usually referring to older (or classic
    but still in production) 35mm cameras), but here it usually means "medium
    format". MF cameras use 120 or 220 film. While the width (across the film)
    of the image area on 35mm is 24 mm, 120 and 220 film are 56mm across. MF
    cameras come in a wide range of image sizes. The smallest is "645" which is
    41 x 56 mm, well over twice the area of 35mm. "6x9" is 56x83mm, and is five
    times the area of 35mm. The cameras are bigger, film is more expensive,
    lenses are slower, and image quality a lot better than 35mm. 35mm is a
    low-quality subminiature format inadequate to producing prints larger than
    5x7. At A4 and larger, MF looks a lot better.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Apr 16, 2004
  5. mark.worthington

    Ron Andrews Guest

    I'm picking nits today. Depth of focus refers to the image focus behind
    the lens. This gets more critical with shorter focal length lenses used with
    digital cameras. Depth of field refers to the subject in front of the lens.
    This is what gets deeper with most digital cameras.
    To be fair, I'd have to say I've seen these terms misused by major
    Ron Andrews, Apr 16, 2004
  6. mark.worthington

    DM Guest

    Yes, digitals can outclass film SLR's in the battery department by
    guzzling batteries 300x faster than film cameras. Seriously, I haven't
    changed the batteries on my EOS-3 for 8 months and I shoot a lot.
    DM, Apr 16, 2004
  7. []
    I do hope you check them for leaking occasionally.....

    David J Taylor, Apr 16, 2004
  8. mark.worthington

    O R Guest

    Non-SLR digital cameras can be better tools than SLRs in situations
    where the KERPLUNK sound of a mirror bouncing up and down is highly
    undesireable, such as during a stage play.
    O R, Apr 16, 2004
  9. mark.worthington

    Tom Monego Guest

    Depends on the medium format camera, while I would agree that 6x7 and 6x9
    cameras out do 6mp Dslrs, it is less clear with 6x6 and 6x4.5 cameras. Our 760
    DSR images are clearly better than out old Mamiya 645 (could be heavy usage
    too) we sold the 645. I have always had a problem with Mamiya lenses on their
    645 and 6x6 models they ahve alway seemed soft to me. Their 6x7 cameras are
    close to flawless. The Hassleblad we now borrow on occasion is clearly better
    than the 760 but our clients usually use the 760 pics because they can have
    them is 24 hours, where drum scans of the Hassleblad take time. It's funny i
    could do scans of the Hassleblad images but the prepress people always either
    want the digital or drum scans.

    Tom Monego, Apr 16, 2004
  10. mark.worthington

    zbzbzb Guest

    Depends on the medium format camera, while I would agree that 6x7 and 6x9

    I had a Fuji GA645 and there was no comaprison with prints from 6 megapixel
    Dslrs. The Fuji prints were in a class by themselves as they were against 35mm.
    The difference was very obvious.
    zbzbzb, Apr 16, 2004
  11. Really. (I have the earlier GS645S.) I don't know why he couldn't get good
    images from his Mamiya 645: all four of the lenses I have for it are lovely
    and easily capture twice the detail any 6MP digital. Of course, scanning is
    a pain and I'll happily retire it when affordable full-frame digital shows

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Apr 16, 2004
  12. mark.worthington

    Ian Stirling Guest

    I did in fact mean to type depth of field, but evil aliens took over
    my keyboard...
    Ian Stirling, Apr 16, 2004
  13. mark.worthington

    Tom Monego Guest

    The one we used had been heavily used professionally, could be the lenses were
    just at the end of their lives. A DCS 760 puts out excellent images, we have
    good glass too. I know one guy who sold his Fiji S2 to get one. The F5 body is
    great, except for those who don't like BIG Dslrs.

    Tom Monego, Apr 16, 2004
  14. I suspect you were not able to get the images off the film. My experience
    with the Nikon 8000 is that focus is critical, and the film has to be very
    flat to get a sharp image (since the scanner's DOF is really narrow). Any
    areas that go out of the critically sharp range are mush. Michael Reichmann
    found his 1Ds made just as good 12x16 prints as his 6x7 did, but his Imacon
    scans and 1Ds images were significantly inferior to a quality 4000 dpi scan
    he showed on that page. But quality scans are seriously expensive (or
    grossly time consuming with an expensive scanner).

    My ranting about how wonderful MF is is really quite silly since it's
    essentially impossible to get the images off the film.
    I just don't get people's love for those monster bodies. Completely
    incomprehensible. But it's really hard to tell the difference between 6MP
    digital and the better technologies in magazine reproduction, so 6MP digital
    is clearly the right tool.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Apr 17, 2004
  15. mark.worthington

    Don Guest

    For openers if you travel by air and you need to make a couple of stops you
    won't have to worry about loss of of contrast when you go through the X-ray
    Don, Apr 17, 2004
  16. mark.worthington

    George Guest

    MF = manual focus
    George, Apr 18, 2004
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