Digital EOS Rebel VS. Film EOS Rebel

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by fowweezer, May 31, 2005.

  1. fowweezer

    fowweezer TPF Noob!

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    Okay. I have a Canon EOS Rebel SLR....had it for a couple years now and I've been satisfied with it in all regards. But then again, it's the only nice camera I've ever owned.

    Now I'm debating getting the digital model to replace it, since I'm spending a ton of money on film development and can't really afford it as a starving college student.

    I know some of the differences between normal film SLR's and digital SLR's. I've done a bit of research on those things. BUT, on a side by side comparison of IDENTICAL models (both EOS Rebels), what are the differences in film and digital versions of this camera?

    Am I going to lose some image quality with the digital version (as I have read)?? ANy other important distinctions (specifically related to picture-taking quality...I don't worry too much about features since all my pictures are taken on full manual or aperture-preferred mode). THANKS. I realize this may have been covered in advance, and so I apologize.....I'll do a search of the forum also. Thanks again.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you are happy with your film Rebel, you should be pretty happy with the Digital Rebel (especially Rebel XT). The models are not exactly IDENTICAL, there have been many versions of the film EOS Rebel, each slightly different from the others. The Digital Rebel will be different because, well, it's digital.

    The 'Rebel' name is just the entry level SLR cameras in the Canon lineup. Basically that means that a lot of plastic is used in the construction and some of the features found on higher level cameras will be missing. That's not to say they aren't great cameras, just that they are made for the average consumer rather than a pro photographer.

    Image quality...I've read an article that compared 35mm ISO 100 film to the EOS 1Ds Mk II ($8000), and they were pretty close with the digital just edging out the film on most categories. The digital rebels are not as good as the 1Ds so in most things, 35mm film still has many advantages.

    One of the most evident differences is the exposure latitude. Negative (print) film has more latitude than most/all digital cameras. This means that your exposure has to be more accurate to avoid bright highlights & dark shadows. OF course, if you shoot in RAW mode, you will have more flexibility when you start to edit the digital images.

    I hope some of this was helpful.
     
  3. fowweezer

    fowweezer TPF Noob!

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    Does this mean that a digital SLR requires more accurate exposure, or film cameras require more accurate exposure? Thanks
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Digital has less latitude (than negative film) so digital would require more accurate exposure. It's probably not a big deal though...Most of the time, the camera's meter will get a pretty good exposure.

    Keep in mind that if you have been shooting negative print film, the lab has most likely been making adjustments to your photos at the print stage. So if your exposure had been slightly off, you might not even know. When you take digital images directly off of the camera, you might notice that they need some tweaks. Exposure adjustments, maybe color, sharpening etc. The bad part is that you would need to make these tweaks yourself, as opposed to having a lab do it for you. The good part is that you would have full control of your images rather than sharing it with some punk at the lab.
     
  5. fowweezer

    fowweezer TPF Noob!

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    Would I be able to make exposure adjustments of that type in Photoshop elements, or is there a program that will come with most digital SLR's that will allow me to do that?


    If that's the primary difference, I'm okay with that.

    Oh, and on reduced image quality from film to digital (as mentioned in your first reply).....how much different will it be? If I take a picture with the two different varieties of EOS Rebel's, will I be able to blow the film version up to 8x10 (without much graininess) versus only 5x7 for digital? Or is the difference smaller than that?
     
  6. Chase

    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Photoshop elements should allow you to make any of the typical adjustments most people do on a day-to-day basis. As far as print size, you should easily be able to make full quality 8x10s and larger. I'd say the quality difference between the digital slr and the 35mm film camera is quite small.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The camera should come with a RAW converter program that will allow you to convert the RAW camera files into a format that Photoshop can read (JPEG, TIFF etc.) Some versions of Photoshop can actually read the RAW files directly. You could set the camera to create Tiff or JPEG files directly but you would lose some of the flexibility that you get when converting RAW files.

    In real world terms, there is very little quality difference between 35mm photos and digital images from a good digital SLR camera. You should be able to get good looking prints up to 20" with a digital rebel. Keep in mind that there are many other factors that affect how a photo will look when enlarged, same as with film. The quality of the lens matters, the steadiness of the camera (tripod & remote shutter), the method of enlarging and printing etc.

    If you are concerned that you will be getting much less quality by switching to a digital Rebel from 35mm film...don't worry about it. If you have done (or are planning to do) any digital editing with film, you had to scan at some point. Files from the camera are probably as good or better than most scanned images.
     

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