Digital camera versus Digital Film Scanner

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mike, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Has anyone a link or material to share regarding how digital camera's
    compare to scanning film on a film scanner?

    Is the sensor technology the same or is one better than the other?

    Assuming I had the same number of megapixels would one have better
    color information than the other? For example, reading about CMOS
    sensors in digital cameras, each pixel is a gray value in RAW. The
    camera then interprets the colors based on surrounding pixels and the
    bayer filter values, is that the way film scanners work too?

    Any other major differences in quality of output?
    Mike, Jul 1, 2004
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  2. In general good cameras produce cleaner image files at a smaller
    size.....but film allows for a much larger print to be made.

    If you want nice digital files you'll pay either way.

    A good alternative is shoot Medium format and scan it.

    That way your not spending 14k
    on an Imacon scanner or 5K on a 1D Mark II.
    Silvio Manuel, Jul 1, 2004
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  3. Generally speaking, digital-original pixels (captured directly with a
    digital camera) are worth considerably more than scanned-film pixels;
    that is, a 6 megapixel digital original is much better than a 6
    megapixel film scan. I don't think there's a clear factor; I use 2x
    as a rule of thumb, but it's very rough and not arrived at by any
    scientific process. The quality of the digital camera also makes a
    difference; the bigger sensors on digital SLRs really do give lower
    noise and hence better pictures, especially at high ISO.

    Scanners actually scan each primary color at each pixel individually,
    unlike most digital SLRs. This makes less difference than you might
    expect (see all the Sigma/Foveon threads), but it makes some

    Scanning takes quite a lot of time (or costs quite a lot of money).
    Workflow issues are driving many high-volume professionals to shooting
    digitally even if other reasons don't.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jul 1, 2004
  4. Mike

    bmoag Guest

    The digital afficionado will claim the superiority of the orginal digital

    Digital is more convenient. Current higher end digital cameras deliver high
    quality images under the appropriate cirmumstances.

    The reality is that scanned 35mm film, particularly negative film, shows
    greater latitude and contains exponentially more picture information than
    most digital originals. I have been working with both. I am starting to
    habitually reach for the digital camera, because it is easier and faster to
    get the digital image into Photoshop that way.

    But when I take the time to scan a 35mm negative it is obvious how far
    digital sesnors have to go.
    bmoag, Jul 2, 2004
  5. Mike

    Bob C Guest

    I have spent a little time (too much) examining nagatives and slides
    under a microscope, and found that there is a great deal of detail
    that simply does not come out with normal digital printing you get at
    most photo labs. A small object I can see on a negative will appear
    as pixels on a print or .JPG file. I don't know what resolution is
    required to get all the information, but I suspect it's not far short
    of 4000 dpi.
    Bob C, Jul 4, 2004
  6. If the low ISO film image was shot with a quality lens and preferably on
    tripod, 6000 to 8000 ppi is more likely. Note that the scanning stage
    introduces some optical (sampling and contrast) loss aswell, but part of
    that can be restored by postprocessing. Optical printing will also introduce
    small optical (contrast) losses, but they cannot be compensated.
    See and for some
    practical examples.

    Bart van der Wolf, Jul 4, 2004
  7. At 4000 dpi from a Nikon LS5000 ED I can see the grain patterns at 20,
    although it's very tiny, in Kodak Gold ASA 100, Ektachrome 100, and
    Fuji 100 slides and negatives.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    Roger Halstead, Jul 5, 2004
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