Film or digital - Which is best for a beginner?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Tinkgrrbell, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. Tinkgrrbell

    Tinkgrrbell TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,

    I am new to photography and would like to learn a little bit more about it. I have a basic Pentax A3000 and am looking into getting some zoom lenses for it; now I know good pictures can come from that camera but will they look ok if developed and put on a disk? I'd like to upload my pictures taken with the Pentax but it seems like they might end up pixelated or only be veiwable as a 4"x6". Is this true?

    If I do decided to go digital, what would be a good set up for a beginner? I'd like to keep it under $500.

    Thanks very much! I appreciate everyones opinions.
     
  2. ScottS

    ScottS TPF Noob!

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    Film is good because you take your time and think about the things that influence the photo a little more, Digital is good because you get instant results and can see instantly what the changes you made had on the photo.


    Either is fine in my book.
     
  3. Tinkgrrbell

    Tinkgrrbell TPF Noob!

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    So if I use the film I shouldn't be dissapointed when I have the film developed on disk? I'm really nervous about that...
     
  4. Zatodragon

    Zatodragon TPF Noob!

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    I also recommend starting with film and a manual camera. Once you get a solid base foundation on exposure and figuring out how aperture and focusing difference can effect a picture, you can transfer all that knowledge to the digital world and get exactly what your wanting.

    Don't worry about getting the filmed scanned to a cd. The important part is how the picture comes out.
     
  5. ScottS

    ScottS TPF Noob!

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    I have never gotten film scanned. I use my schools $500,000 lab. :mrgreen:
     
  6. MellowD

    MellowD TPF Noob!

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    like mentioned earlier, a digital camera is a lot easier to transfer to the computer. everything is digital these days which is why i probably wouldnt go back to a film camera. you can still get great shots though.
     
  7. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I recommend digital.

    You get instant feedback, you don't have to mess with buying film, having limited number of shots, taking film in to get it developed/scanned and frankly digital is a lot better for the environment.

    In the long run, digital is much cheaper if you take a lot of pictures.

    People will say "film forces you to limit yourself" because you only have a few shots. Ignore this... the same thing can be done by only taking a very small memory card for your camera (say one that only holds 30 high res shots)... that shouldn't be a consideration.

    Digital is the future, I say learn in the modern medium instead of one from the past.
     
  8. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I also recomend film, there is some things that can only be learned by setting restrictions. With Digital photography a photographer can shoot a thousand shots for a dime, However a thousand shots with the same mistake is only a dime wasted. With film, one only has 24/36 shots at the cost of three or four bucks, 24/36 shots with the same mistake is three or four bucks wasted. Not wanting to waste money adds incentive to improve and makes people think more about every shot and want to make every one count for something. This habitual knowledge can later be crossed into digital where as digital habits can not.


    Be prepaired for some level of dissapointment, most consumergrade print labs are problemadic about this. It will work for you if need be untill you are sure you want to dedicate the money towards film scanning equipment of your own.

    I my self personally disapprove of photolab CD's from local providers such as wal-mart or drugstores for beginners. My personal feeling is you would be better served by using an inexpencive flatbed for standard processing prints untill you are sure you want to continue on in photogtraphy. Even then flatbedding prints has it's issues too but, it is a cheaper solution if you have a scanner.

    Beginners make mistakes, it's only natural, but they need to be seen to be fixed.
     
  9. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When I bought my digi P-shooter the first thing the woman at the counter did was grab a 1 gig card and added it to my purchase. Just having the thing available defeates this as most beginners are correct in the assumption Practice Practice Practice. This inevitably leads to use of the larger card by habit because they can take more practice shots at any given time, that's given that they think to go out and get a smaller one for this purpose.
     
  10. jwkwd

    jwkwd TPF Noob!

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    At this point I don't think that it matters. I have shot film for over 30 years and enjoy the waiting for prints or slides. I take my time with a picture. It almost seems that people these days have zero patience, they have to have the fastest this and that, I guess because they feel like they are going to miss something. I only recently got an old digital, just because it was cheap, and I could use the lenses ( both AF and manual ) that I already have. I found that I use it in manual mode and take the same amount of time with a picture and take about the same amount of pictures. On the positive side of digital, I think that it is a great tool that helps people get into photography because of the nearly instant gratification. Yes if you screw a bunch of things up, you can see it right away and correct them without any loss of money, but that would not matter with a basic understanding of photography.
     
  11. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Any comparison between pixels and film is an exercise in futility because we really don't have a choice. R&D for film-based photography stopped seven or eight years ago. The good old Kodachrome has been unavailable for perhaps ten years. Today, Nikon has only two models of film cameras, both of which are old designs. Within ten years, film will have gone the way of the Dagaurreotype.
     
  12. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    I'm with you. I don't shoot any differently with digital than I did with film, other than more of a willingness to "machine-gun" a dozen shots of an action event. (I do take advantage of having a "roll" with 200 shots.) I do my own cropping in the computer but, except in very rare instances, I don't do any manipulation.
     

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