how does an 8mp digital camera compare to 35mm film?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mike Henley, May 20, 2004.

  1. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    The one i have in mind is the Olympus C-8080 WZ... I really like this
    camera, but it's very expensive.

    For a 1/10 of the price i can get a high quality second-hand 35mm
    camera. What would you guys think about this?

    I would still have a 3mp point-and-shoot camera but could learn the
    artsy stuff on a 35mm... would this make sense? or do you think an
    expensive digital is worth it?
    Mike Henley, May 20, 2004
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  2. Mike Henley

    JR Guest

    I would say get a Nikon D70 or a Canon 300D if you are serious about
    photography. The ability to use different lenses for different
    applications is crucial. Also, these camera while being 6mp cameras
    have larger sensors and lower noise, thus better picture quality than
    the 8mp consumer cams. So if you are serious, look into the Nikon d70
    or Canon 300D. I would say if you don't have anything, go with the D70,
    it's a better camera.

    JR, May 20, 2004
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  3. Mike Henley

    JR Guest answer your question, my 35mm film gives me 200mb 16b bit files
    that are 22"x17" @ 300 DPI or somewhere around there. My 6mp D70 gives
    me 10"x7 1/2" @ 300DPI. At 8x10 you cannot really tell the difference.
    Larger, then you can start to see film is superior still. An 8mp
    consumer digicam would be worse than the 6mp D70.

    JR, May 20, 2004
  4. Don't learn to drive with a Stanly Steamer. If you want to work in a wet
    darkroom shoot film...otherwise get the camera you feel you need. That
    camera is not that expensive. A part time job for the summer will get it for

    One last point. You will learn more about shooting with a digital...if you
    really look at your work. You get better by shooting more. With a digital
    you can shoot endlessly without thinking about the cost...and the feedback
    is immediate.
    Gene Palmiter, May 20, 2004
  5. Digicams can beat 35mm film in resolution and color quality but film
    still has advantages. One problem that you'll notice about most
    digicams, including the Olys, is sensor noise in low light. Which kind
    of camera eats more money in accessories depends on your use of it.
    Pros may find digital to be cheaper because they're only printing the
    very best pictures out of thousands taken. A casual user is likely to
    save money with film camera.

    Visit camera review sites and carefully examine the image quality, read
    the reviews, try them in a store, and determine if a digicam is worth
    the cost.
    Kevin McMurtrie, May 20, 2004
  6. Mike Henley

    gsum Guest

    I used 35mm film for 40 years and currently use medium format alongside
    a digital SLR. I have found that the dSLR beats 35mm (just) for quality
    and is infinitely better in all other respects - immediacy, costs, workflow
    etc. etc. Tbese advantages over 35mm have made photography much
    more enjoyable and have made me much better at it.

    Before you decide, take a look at the various reviews of the 8mp P&S
    cameras. Many reveiws seem to be saying that the 8mp sensor is
    noisy and that results are no better than with lower mp sensors.
    The dSLRs such as the Canon 300D or Nikon D70 will provide
    better quality than P&S due to the larger sensor size, and of course
    you're buying into a lens system. If you are keen, a dSLR is worth the
    extra cost.

    gsum, May 20, 2004
  7. Mike Henley

    Ron Hunter Guest

    It depends on what you want to do, and what you want the pictures for.
    If you just want to learn the mechanics of taking pictures, go out and
    buy an old Argus C3 35 mm film camera. You can learn everything you
    need to know with it. If you want to have the convenience and low per
    picture cost of digital and learn on state of the art equipment, then
    get a DSLR with a 6 to 8 mp sensor and enough flexibility to both learn
    the mechanics and produce good pictures with the convenience of digital.
    Ron Hunter, May 20, 2004
  8. Mike Henley

    Alfred Molon Guest

    An 8MP camera has more or less the same amount of resolution or a small
    format film frame (36x24mm).

    Concerning which camera to get, that depends on your needs. If you value
    compact size and light weight you are better served with the Olympus

    If interchangeable lenses and the ability to go up to ISO 1600 are
    important, then get a Nion D70 or Canon 300D as others have mentioned.
    Alfred Molon, May 20, 2004
  9. []
    Nikon 8700, Minolta A2, Canon and Sony are others offering the same size
    and weight advantages. Each have their own good and bad points.

    David J Taylor, May 20, 2004
  10. I carried a bag full of SLR gear around for some years, then swore off
    it. "Never again!"
    I got the Oly C8080 on the strength of dpreview's 8 Mpix testing.

    Since I do quite a bit of panorama/mosaic photography, the minimal
    vignetting, low noise and high resolution made me change over from my
    initial decision to get the Minolta A2.

    Terje Mathisen, May 20, 2004
  11. Mike Henley

    Don Stauffer Guest

    Which film? which lens? There is at least an order of magnitude
    difference in resolution of various films. Difference between slow
    monochrome films (Pan X in dilute developer) to fast color films is
    Don Stauffer, May 20, 2004
  12. Mike Henley

    gsum Guest

    I think it would be reasonable to assume a comparison of like for like e.g.
    we're not comparing digital to very slow colour film due to the extreme
    limitations imposed by these films. A reasonable example film for a
    comparison would be Provia 100.

    gsum, May 20, 2004
  13. Mike Henley

    m Ransley Guest

    I have an old A1 and good lenses I shoot about a roll a month I just
    shoot 4 rolls of Kodachrome 64 and have to wait 8 days to see the photos
    as they go to New Jersey to be developed . With digital I could have
    shot 40 rolls and have them immediatly. Im thinking about a Rebel or
    Nikon 6 mp because they are good, not as good as K64 but good enough for
    90% of what i need . Think of the money you will save on film and your
    convienence of not paying for more film and waiting. Then the cost of
    enlargements. You can do it all yourself better and cheaper and easier
    with digital. If you expand you may regret not being able to get
    different lenses. And good lenses never become obsolete. Also some
    cameras wont take filters. for outdoors a polariser does alot , plus a
    30 $ filter protects that 600$ lens. Thats why that used camera is
    selling for cheap.
    m Ransley, May 20, 2004
  14. Mike Henley

    Bill Funk Guest

    Personal opinion...
    I have an Oly C3030Z; when I went to upgrade, the 8080 was one of the
    cameras I looked at.
    The 3030 is a nice camera for us; it does what we want it to do, but
    more is always better :), so we upgraded.
    The 8080 turned into a no-go because it lacks a (to me) very important
    part that the 3030 spoiled me for: a seperate LCP screen that shows
    various parameters of the current camera settings.
    The 3030 has this panel on the top; my new camera, a Digital Rebel
    (300D) has this panel on the back (it's also illuminated, a really
    nice touch!). The 8080 lacks this panel; all info is shown in the
    color preview LCD panel.
    To me, this sucks. I would need to *do something* to even see how many
    shots I have left. With the DR, I can just look; no fiddling with
    controls needed. Of course, the panel also shows much more than just
    the number of shots left, and this panel uses far less battery power
    than the color LCD.
    Another problem with the 8080 is that low-light pics show far more
    noise than the same pics with the DR.

    The lens on the 8080 is nice; I do a lot of landscape pics on
    vacations, so that is definitely a plus.
    But overall, the ergonomics of the lack of that second LCD panel is
    very important to me.
    Bill Funk, May 20, 2004
  15. or do you think an
    is it worth it to buy a $100k Jag to
    go to the grocery store?
    to impress a hot date, maybe.
    a good film SLR could be had for $500.
    digital 8mp+ SLRs are mucho $$$.
    stay with p&s till prices drop.
    Developwebsites, May 20, 2004
  16. Mike Henley

    Bill Funk Guest

    I forgot the other question...
    Many here will give technical details about the abiloity of digital to
    meet or surpass 35mm. That's fine.
    My take is this: for the vast majority of people, digital already
    surpasses film, for many reasons.
    Practice is a bery important part of learning how to take good pics;
    digital is far less expensive, and far more immediate than film for
    this. Both are important.
    Most people never make prints larger than 4x6"; that's just a fact of
    life. Vacation pics go to the photo developer in the grocery store or
    Sam's or Costco. Digital (even 3 MP) will do those prints every bit as
    well as film, at lower cost.
    Digital is easier to post-process than film, no question.
    With more and more people sharing their pics online, digital is the
    natural choice over film for this.

    In the price point you're looking at ($1000), there are several very
    good cameras. If you can, get hands-on time with each one; see if you
    can find a shop that will let you handle them. Even better, find
    someone who has one, and see if they till let you try them. (That's
    how I got my impressions of the 8080.)

    Learning the artsy stuff is *MUCH* easier on digital, as well as far
    less expensive.
    As an example, this image took less than 5 minutes in PSP:
    I have no idea how to do something like this in a darkroom (although
    I'm sure some can post one or more ways :) ).
    Bill Funk, May 20, 2004
  17. Mike Henley

    ;o\)-max- Guest

    "Mike Henley"

    The difference between your old p&s and a new 8mp digicam will be
    very limited, imo not a great improvement and in some respects the
    8mp digicam will give worse results

    Your best option is to pick up a second hand Nikon D1 series camera
    and secondhand lenses, the D1 series work with the older and very cheap
    super high quility MF Nikon lenses. What to look for in second hand dslr
    among other things is the battery, they are often the weak link, but new
    no name alternatives can be had at a reasonable price.

    If you buy the D70, you will have to get new or newer second hand
    lenses and they are quite expencive.

    Pixel count is not very importaint, the size of the sensor is, and all
    digicams have tiny sensors, making creative selective focus very
    limited, so imo forget about digicams, except if you specialize in
    macro and to some extend landscape photography.. ;o)-max-
    ;o\)-max-, May 21, 2004
  18. Mike Henley

    Patrick Guest

    I wish :-( Canon AE1 Program with a 7.5mm fish eye a 28mm a 50mm and a 70
    to 210mm. All very good quality lenses unusable on the 300D

    Patrick, May 21, 2004
  19. Mike Henley

    Alfred Molon Guest

    More than twice the resolution - and you call that a "very limited
    difference" and "not a great improvement". I'd say it's a very
    substantial difference.
    Alfred Molon, May 21, 2004
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