Digital or 35mm film?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Axel, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Axel

    Axel TPF Noob!

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    I have been reading some photo magazines and I see that a lot of pros are saying that they prefer the digital cameras.
    I have always thought that the 35mm film cameras are way better... At least that's what I was told a few years ago.

    What are the advantages/disadvantages (apart from the obvious "you can see what you have shot immediately" when it comes to digital) with the two types?

    And a last one; Are digital cameras here to stay? Somebody told me not too long ago that the film cameras have survived all other "inventions" as the preferred ones among pros.

    An example: Which camera performs the best: Nikon's F6 or Canon's EOS-1DS MARK II? Or should I say Canon's EOS-1v or Canon's EOS 1DS MARKII... What I mean is, if you take the top models from either company, is it to prefer the digital or the film camera?

    Input, please!
     
  2. santino

    santino TPF Noob!

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    IMO the Eos 1DS MARKII has a way better quality than every 35mm film camera (when it comes to color film, except slide film). The MARKII's resolution is much higher compared to 35mm film, if you want unreached quality by digital you should stick up with medium or large format. 35mm color film is a dying breed (IMO) :)
     
  3. Axel

    Axel TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your input santino. But could you (or anybody else) explain the disadvantages/advantages with each format? Why do you think 35mm is a dying breed? I have also read about pros that think they will survive the digital cameras... But I obviously have no clue, otherwise I wouldn't ask.. :lol:
     
  4. Jovian

    Jovian TPF Noob!

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    Films adavantages right now are exposure latitude, you get more depth with film. Even slide film which has a narrow depth as it is, can still give you 3 more stops of difference as opposed to digital. For the most part right now digital still doesn't have the resolution you get from film. I say mostly on this one...just because that is quickly changing with many cameras. Thirdly, cost...no film to buy. No processing, just cheap printing. Not to mention the time it saves. They both have advantages right now...yes...I see digital surpassing film in the near future, but film wont "die" it will still be used by enthusiasts, and people who have fun with film...I don't know...its early I have to quit typing, and get my coffee....
     
  5. Axel

    Axel TPF Noob!

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    BTW, talking about formats.

    When the CD's started to be mass produced, everyone got a CD player. Everyone said that was the future. And it still seem to be the most POPULAR format. But among audiophiles, the vinyls are still kicking butt! They may not be produced as much, but they are very attractive on the marked for the soft sound.

    The same goes for amplifiers. Tubes were very common in amps in the past. Today they are produced, but not many people know how to apreciate the sound, which is warmer than the regular amps. But every single audiophile is dreaming of a tube amp today!

    The same goes for the old tape players that had those rolls. The cassettes took over, but everyone who knows about audio also knows that the rolls were way better!

    Take video. We had the Betamax format before the VHS. Today we realize that the Betamax was a better format and had way better picture quality. However VHS took over. Then the laser discs. And now the DVD which "seems" to stay, but I am not so sure about it....

    It just seems like the old technology beats the new one over and over...
     
  6. santino

    santino TPF Noob!

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    I'm a film guy myself :)
    but:

    Digital SLR's:
    advantages: High resolution, no film (which means no developing), instant overview over your pics, easy to edit on pcs (no scanning and stuff), higher capacity, lower costs for the long time.
    disadvantages: Very pricey.

    Film SLR's (35mm)
    advantages: When it comes to b&w the pics look far better (IMO) you can develop them by your own (give them a special touch etc.), the pics are not flat cause film has three layers (or even sometimes more), slide film is great!, the cams are rather cheap compared to digital.
    disadvantages: Film is much more expensive than a CF card (in the long run), developing plus prints cost you a lot of money, lower resolution, no instant overview etc.

    hope that helps :p
     
  7. Scurra

    Scurra TPF Noob!

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    I say both! I have one of each and love them equally, there is something very tangible about using film, it feels more satisfying when something goes right. Digital on the other hand is superbly convenient, you can review your images straight away and make any changes to the shot you feel are necessary, it removes the guess work.
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    99% of the photo mags are just paid advertisements for the camera manufacturers, and the camera manufacturers want to go digital now!
    For the foreseeable future, the technology is just going to keep getting better every year (or few months), and that means they're gonna sell a whole lotta cameras, lenses (besides the greater expense of a larger sensor, by not making the sensors 35mm frame sized they get to market a whole new line of lenses specific to the new format), and other gear. If you are a pro then you get to write the new gear off as a business expense :D If you are a consumer, you're going to be paying, and paying to keep up :(

    From the independant reviews and tests I've seen, it does appear to me that the top of the line Canon DSLR may be slightly better at resolving detail than ISO 100 35mm film. Whether or not it's dynamic range equals that of slide film seems to be up for some debate, but it is very close. In my opinion this is the first DSLR to match 35mm film quality.

    I think it's important to try to step back from the marketing, and accurately access what would be best for your photography. Most of the potential for a great photo is in the photographer, and not the gear. I've heard photogs says things like "You need auto-focus to sucessfully photograph children." What? No body photographed children before 1990?? Digital will dominate the consumer and professional market, but there will always be pros and amateurs continuing to use film.

    On the other hand, gear is fun! And I often do better work when I'm having fun. I love to use my vintage cameras. Everybody is running around with a big, black DSLR these days, and I pull out an old medium format folder or the Widelux. But I'm sure I'll also have lot's of fun with my big, black DSLR when I finally break down and get one :lol:

    If you want to shoot film, shoot film it's great! If you want to shoot digital, that's good too. I'm another one for shooting both.
     
  9. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    True, you won't have to buy sacks of film, but you are forced to buy the high end equipment to "keep up with quality" every "fortnight". For a pro or a consumer, that is an added expense. So, IMO cost probably cannot be considered as a factor while comparing film and digital.
     
  10. santino

    santino TPF Noob!

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    what high-end equipment? lenses? memory cards?
     
  11. Ant

    Ant TPF Noob!

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    Nobody is forced to do anything. If anyone is impressionable enough to believe they've got to do that then that's their problem, not that of the technology.

    If I buy a film SLR today then I have to buy film and pay for developing or no pics. If I buy a digital SLR and a decent memory card then I don't have to buy anything else at all (assuming I've already got a PC and some imaging s/w, which most people already have) I can keep taking pics for a couple of years with no further costs.
     
  12. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    No, the camera itself. By the time we are all set to get the MarkII, 2D is going to come out with a 24MP. Two weeks later, a 100MP equipment is going to come out. :)
    I'm not comfortable with this marketing game!
     

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