Moderately high-end digital vs middle-of-the-road film?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Anthony Buckland, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. I'm considering going digital, but one of the main points would be to
    get improved
    sensitivity, i.e. reasonable hand-held exposure times, compared to my
    reliable old
    pocket film Olympus, which starts to get difficult in moderate indoor
    lighting or at night
    outdoors due to the long exposure times (I seem to be able to handhold
    1/8 seconds
    and sometimes 1/4 fairly reliably, and usually use 100 film for airport
    safety and
    because my flash attachment has only 100 and 400 settings, not the currently
    popular 200). On my latest vacation, I noticed digital users getting
    nice bright
    previews even in conditions where I gave up due to over-1-second exposures.
    From a current 3 to 4 Mpx camera like the Pentax Option S4 or its Sony
    or Canon
    competitors, could I expect easy non-flash photography in conditions
    like, say, dimly-lit
    aquarium tanks, bars, nighttime cityscapes, exhibits lit dimly to avoid
    light damage,
    and other conditions to which human eyes can adjust but non-flash film
    not on tripods barf at?

    By the way, one property of that old Olympus I don't see replicated in
    ads for
    film _or_ digital cameras nowadays is the open-until-you-get-enough-light
    exposure setting. I recall standing it on solid objects and getting
    scenes like
    Hong Kong by night with exposures that just kept going and going ... to
    30 seconds before that final click.
    Anthony Buckland, Dec 2, 2003
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  2. Anthony Buckland

    Ed E. Guest

    What you'll want to look at is the speed of the lens, measured by f/. The
    lower the number, the less light the lens needs. I remember my old film
    Olympus was f/11 (extremely slow lens.) It's not too hard to find them at
    or under f/2.8. You also will want to determine what the fastest ISO rating
    the camera can be set to. The higher the number, the faster the shutter
    closes but the tradeoff is more noise in the final image.
    Ed E., Dec 2, 2003
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  3. Anthony Buckland

    Mark Johnson Guest

    Well, the C-series, particularly the 4040 and 5050 were known for low
    light photography. I used a 4040 less than a month ago to shoot inside
    a darkened arena, from maybe 200 feet away, fast enough not to blur
    the image, but with only a spot and green laser-show light, above. I
    even got the laser-show light. And if you lighten, there's very little
    noise in the shadows.

    The whole f/stop thing is supposedly tied to the image surface. So a
    CCD is a lot smaller than a 35mm film. And so a f/22 would be the
    equivalent, perhaps, of an f/4 in a digicam. And a digicam f/8 (the
    4040 had an f/10, which they dropped in the 5050) should get sharpness
    from the bushes beside you to the birds flying over the hills five
    miles in the distance.
    Mark Johnson, Dec 3, 2003
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