Digital v Film

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Simon Marchini, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. I am sure that this has been debated on this group many times before but as
    I am pondering whether to make the switch I would welcome views:

    I currently have a film set up with a digital slide scanner. This produces
    very acceptable digital images that I then process using Adobe. However
    this has a number of disadvantages:

    1, Delay in getting the film back from the processors;
    2, On cost of processing and film;
    3, Storage and image handling.

    On the flip side to this though the benefits are:

    1, The slide scanner can produce much higher quality digital images than any
    camera on the market at the moment;
    2, The cost of digital equipment is still high - currently at UK prices a
    digital camera (I am thinking of the Canon EOS 10D) would not start to pay
    for itself until 12/18 months;
    3, Moore's Law - i.e. twice the price half the cost - again the recent Canon
    10D conforms to this compared to the previous cameras launched only 12
    months previous. So when is the best time to but equipment that is
    essentially a small computer? I already have seen this my Nikon Coolpix
    775 which was a good camera for my needs 12 months ago - now it is replaced
    by better and cheaper models.
    4, When will digital technology mature much as the PC market has?

    I suspect that this is a dilemma that many of the people on the group has
    confronted and so feedback would be welcome.


    Simon Marchini, Jul 13, 2003
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  2. Simon Marchini

    Matti Vuori Guest

    Shouldn't you in that case use Google to search for the old debates?
    Adobe is the name of an US company, not an application...
    Matti Vuori, Jul 13, 2003
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  3. Simon Marchini

    SamMan Guest

    A.R.S. is the acronym for your condition...

    SamMan, Jul 13, 2003
  4. Simon Marchini

    Mxsmanic Guest

    FYI, Moore's law does not apply to digital cameras, because they are
    analog devices.
    The most important part of a digicam is the image sensor, which is an
    analog device.
    It's an individual decision, and I suspect you've already made up your
    mind, so go with that.
    Mxsmanic, Jul 13, 2003
  5. I think this is the major point where you are wrong. 5 megapixel digital
    images are much better than scans of 35mm slides. There is more detail in
    the shadows, much less grain, and the file sizes are much smaller.
    Tony Whitaker, Jul 13, 2003
  6. Why would be 6MP camera be out of date in 3 years? I just printed my
    first 11x17 last night and it's stunning. I will still be able to do
    that in 3 years with this camera and printer. Even if the new camera is
    12MP I will still be able to print 11x17 with my camera. How is that

    If you want to make the argument that digital cameras become obselete,
    you must make the same argumetn for film cameras. They are alwasy
    adding new features to those cameras. More accurate metering, higher
    shutter speeds, faster flash syncs, faster autofocus, more powerful
    flashes, etc.

    Manufacturers are always coming out with more features and improvements
    to existing features, even on toasters. Does that make my current
    toaster useless? No. It still makes toast.
    Andrew McDonald, Jul 13, 2003
  7. I am going to reply to your question from the vangtage point of someone
    who has been in photo for 20 years. Professionally for about 7. Film scanners
    are the best option for me at this time to produce anything done digitally,
    I have a conventional wet darkroom which I use for very many reasons also.

    The price/ and quality of digital cameras is still to high / low for my needs
    a close camera that could fit my needs is the new Kodak DCS Pro14n
    reviewd by Shutter Bug, the camera however has an unacceptable comprise
    for me to use it professionally doing weddings. The Pro14n is also a little more expensive than
    I wish to pay its about 5K, it accepts Nikon lens. I bought my Bronica SQAI
    for around 3K. The DCSPro 14n will at max resolution give you a file about 1/2 the size
    I typically scan at for 16x20 inch prints, I have stated before when a camera
    is available at a reasonable price which will match my 6x6 in its ablity it will be a no brain, win win solution
    to carrying heavier equiptment. Digital cameras in my experience as well as what
    I have heard from reviewers still require corrections within photo editing programs to correct
    skin values etc. The issue here is for me that I can take my film to a pro lab and get reasonabley
    correct convential prints without any file set up or dinking with color correction,
    thereby saving my time, worst case scenario now is I ocassionaly have to reprint an image that requires
    burning or dodging.

    I am really waiting for a camera to come along with which I don't have to accept compromise,
    even then I expect the majority of my personal "art photography" as opposed
    to client work to remain centered around film,...indefinately.
    I wouldn't consider a $1,500 purchase this year knowing that two years from now that
    all my issues with digital cameras will more than likely be addressed and for about what I would pay
    for a nice medium format system.
    Just my 2 cents. If your into LF cameras check out my article in this months View Camera magazine
    on film tests for Fuji Acros film.

    Check out My Homepage at

    Support bacteria - they're the only culture
    some people have." -Stephen Wright
    Gregory W. Blank, Jul 13, 2003
  8. Which PC market are you looking at? I buy a USB 1.1 card and then they
    come out with USB 2.0. I buy a 1Ghz processor and then they come out
    with 1.2Ghz. I spend $900 on a flat screen LCD monitor and three months
    later it can be bought for $700.
    Andrew McDonald, Jul 13, 2003
  9. Simon Marchini

    friend Guest

    Why don't you check archives of that group on Google?
    friend, Jul 13, 2003
  10. (Gregory W. Blank) wrote in
    Are you talking about >>35mm<< film vs digital? If so, I think you are
    mistaken. Have you ever compared digital images to 35mm slide scans? I
    have. I thought it was going to be a close competition, but the digital
    images are far superior. I'd love to see a sample image of yours that shows
    the superiority of a scanned slide to an equivalent digital image. I'll
    have to put up the sample I got done. It'll just take a few minutes.
    Tony Whitaker, Jul 13, 2003
  11. I am not arguing that a film camera will become obselete because of new
    features, I am arguing that if a digicam becomes obselete because of
    more megapixels or some other feature then it follows that film cameras
    could have the same issue. The only difference to me is that on a film
    camera the sensor can be replaced more easily (load a new roll of film).
    Other than that they have all the same issues.

    As for getting parts for older cameras, I don't see that film cameras
    have that big an advantage over digital. I was in the camera shop the
    other day and the guy down the counter from me was discovering that they
    don't make the battery any more for his Honeywell Pentax. If you can't
    find the battery I imagine internals could be even more tough although I
    suppose you could scavenge them from other cameras.

    People always gripe about their computer becoming obselete because a
    faster processor comes out. Why? Did their old PC stop working when
    Intel introduced the next chip? Probably not. Mine is still working.
    I have a 300mhz PC that is working great. Is it as fast as my 1.6ghz?
    Well, no of course not. But it's still working and it will do
    everything the faster machine does.

    By most people's argument your LF camera is useless because it does not
    have all the whiz-bang features of newer cameras. My argument is that
    if it still does what it was intended to do, it's not obselete.
    Andrew McDonald, Jul 13, 2003
  12. Simon Marchini

    Annika1980 Guest

    From: "Simon Marchini"
    So it was your needs that changed then?
    Does the camera still work?
    Perhaps it was your perception of what your needs really are that changed.

    I'd like to have a 8000dpi film scanner. However, I don't NEED one as I can do
    what I need to do on my own equipment with perfectly acceptable results.

    Similarly, my D60 fulfills just about all my needs at this time. :)
    Some day I'll get one with even more megapixels or faster fps, but the quality
    of the pics won't change much. I'll just be able to make larger prints and
    take more shots to choose from.
    Annika1980, Jul 13, 2003
  13. Simon Marchini

    Paul H. Guest

    Adobe is actually a building construction method employing sun-dried mud
    bricks, not a U.S. company, as long as we're being anal and unhelpful.
    Paul H., Jul 13, 2003
  14. No, I am refering to 6x6 verses 35mm. I do very little work on 35mm.

    Check out My Homepage at

    Support bacteria - they're the only culture
    some people have." -Stephen Wright
    Gregory W. Blank, Jul 13, 2003
  15. Not entirely, purely mechanical cameras & lenses are very easy to fix, its
    the electronics that become the issue.
    Or have pieces and parts machined.
    True, when something internal wears out then you have replace or find
    some who still can repair it.
    My point entirely as well.

    Check out My Homepage at

    Support bacteria - they're the only culture
    some people have." -Stephen Wright
    Gregory W. Blank, Jul 13, 2003
  16. Simon Marchini

    Don Stauffer Guest

    It sounds like there is no need for you to switch, per se.

    You must already have a film camera, by the looks of your post. So one
    can consider you have the option of digital AND film, as well as digital
    OR film.

    I would recommend going digital AND saving your film equipment. Then
    you have the best of both worlds. You may not need to buy as good of a
    digital camera. Just about any decent digital camera today will give
    you an image usable for most things, especially things you need in a
    hurry. You have the film for when you need the highest res.

    I am assuming your film scanner can scan print film as well as slide
    film. Usually the difference is in software, and most scanners do
    both. That way, you can get neg scans back in an hour or so, or at
    least by next day.
    Don Stauffer, Jul 13, 2003
  17. Not as much as you think. Original pixels are worth considerably more
    than scanned pixels.
    Since the PC market hasn't shown much in the way of signs of maturing,
    I think it'll be a *long* time before digital sensor settle down.
    My Fuji S2 does everything exect extreme wideangle that I used to use
    film for better. I didn't used to use 35mm film for large prints.
    With the S2, I've seen prints up to 16x24 inches, which are better
    than I'd expect from film (though I haven't made prints from film that
    big in so long that the films have improved, and maybe *today's* films
    would make better prints).
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jul 13, 2003
  18. Moore's law depends (at least hypothetichally) upon electronics
    getting smaller and smaller. Sensors cannot get smaller and
    smaller due to the wave nature of light. Therefore, Moore's law
    do not directly apply.

    But ... I am one of those that does not really believe in Moores
    law - at least not the explanation for it. I believe Moores law
    mainly is a marketing law. You have to follow it - or die! So -
    you follow it.

    Roland Karlsson, Jul 13, 2003
  19. Simon Marchini

    JN Guest

    At first, my was _not_ that digicams become obselete. It's just that peoples
    requirements for the product get bigger and bigger as the technology
    As Roland wrote a couple of posts further:
    "But ... I am one of those that does not really believe in Moores
    law - at least not the explanation for it. I believe Moores law
    mainly is a marketing law. You have to follow it - or die! So -
    you follow it"
    This was also my point.
    People just don't want to die. For example a T-Ford was designed to move
    from place A to place B. This is why a car was designed. Still people buy
    new cars.Why? Because they get something else that just a car. There's radio
    and air condition and so on. My point was that there's no need to follow
    this marketing law. In my opinion it may even be better to "die". Now some
    of you are saying that I'm changing my opinion. No, I'm not. I still prefer
    a film camera because I think that there is still too much room for
    development in digital SLRs.The digicams, which are affordable for average
    user, don't even have a full size sensor. And yes, they add new features to
    film cams too, but those changes aren't so dramatic as in digital ones. I
    prefer changing film than changing the whole camera to get a better sensor.
    JN, Jul 13, 2003
  20. Well you are missing out. The full frame sensor is not an issue, at
    least with my D100. I just printed my very first 11x17 digital photo
    last night and was amazed at the quality. The largest I had done until
    now was 8x10 and I thought those were pretty good.

    The great thing was I had total control over the image. I could crop
    exactly what I wanted, I could adjust the contrast or color to my liking
    and 5 minutes later I had a beautiful 11x17 ready for framing.

    Sure I could do this with film and a dark room. Or I could pay someone
    else to do it and still not get what I want.

    For years I wanted to set up a dark room but there was never a good spot
    in the house or it was going to be too expensive to get the plumbing run
    or whatever. Now I have my darkroom but I don't have to stand in the
    dark to use it.
    Andrew McDonald, Jul 13, 2003
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