TPF Noob!
May 12, 2003
Reaction score
San Diego, Ca
Hey everyone,

Ive been shooting photography with my Minolta F100 for 1/2 a year. I am considering investing in an slr. (possibily a cannon eos rebel 2000 or a nikon n65) What are the pros and cons between slr and digital photography?
I'm a purist from way back...but I think I'm coming around to digital. I have an Olympus Camedia c-720 and I recently took it and my milota out to a carnival to take pictures. The digital blew the SLR away! hands down.

As long as you have at least 3 megapixels, then you're getting pretty close to film resolution. Now digital printing is nowhere near that of conventional methods....even with professional quality printers. So you can take a disk down to your local photo shop and they'll print it on real film paper.

The only downside I've found to digital is that it is autofocus...which I hate. First, it takes the creativity out because it chooses what to focus on. Second, it will not focus in low light...what so there you go.
well scott,
Im glad you posed this question. I just bought a nikon n75. Its all that and more. And for the price I cant find a digital camera that doesnt look like one of those cheap point and shoot kodaks...(trust me, i have one of those too!).
so my take will ALWAYS be old school. sorry for those guys who are harcore digital. There is nothing like the feel of having that picture in your hand or even developing it yourself.


It is very difficult to get an objective answer this question. Emotions usually run strong. That said, it all depends on the application. For web postings, documentations and general photography, digital is OK. But if you want to do large size prints to hang or even to sell, digital quality becomes far more expensive. Today, the Kodak DCS 14n digital has BETTER resolution than a 35mm negative, but it will cost over $5,000. On the other hand, if you want to learn about photography, you can get fairly good SLR's outfits for less than $200. The only "drawback" if we can call it, of film, is the waste. On a digital, you can take a gazillion pics and simply erase the ones you don't like. The "drawback" in digital is resolution per $.
I use a Sony Mavica FD-85 digital for web postings and most everyday photography, but my Pentax K1000 is the choice for special occasions or special subjects.

Fist of all, thank you all, your responses are greatly appreciated.
I have always wanted to decorate my apartment with my own photography for quite some time. 8x10s turn out pretty good with my 4.1 meg digital camera but I desire larger pics. I have discussed this issue with a friend of mine who is amatuer phographer, and he recomended looking into slr photography. In addition, I am unable to zoom very far (4x) with my digital camera which also frusterates me. I havent had much experience with manual fuctions so I cannont really comment on that. Is SLR right for me?
By all means YES! An SLR is right for you.
If you want to learn and understand the variables involved in photography, a manual SLR will get you going. By manually playing with focus, aperture and shutter speed, you'll get a first hand feeling of what effect each one has. A Pentax ZX-M comes to mind. Autofocus cameras have come a long way in recent years, and you can get many features for almost the same price of a manual. The Pentax ZX-50 comes to mind. These cameras will do almost everything for you, selecting the parameters, but also allow manual over-ride so you can decide on the parameters yourself.
A huge advantage of interchangeable lenses is just that: you can get an endless amount of lenses from fisheyes (around 9mm focal lenght), to wide angles (28mm) to normal (50mm) to medium telephoto (300mm) to hi-end telephoto lenses over 1000mm in focal lenght. Have you seen a baseball game with photographers in the Center field taking close ups of batters? Those are huge telephoto lenses with big apertures, so they are called "fast" lenses. As a rule of thumb, use the 50-55mm as 1X, so a 300mm is somewhere like a 6X and so on. The most versatile lenses are the zooms like 28-80mm that will give you a range for composition, so you don't have to walk back and forth. And there are many brands out there to fit almost any SLR body.
But remember, the higher-end the camera, not only the more expensive, but the more electronics in it, the more delicate typically, and they use a lot of battery power. Mechanical manual SLRs like the Pentax K1000 use battery only for the light meter, but will always shoot.
I hope this helps.
What makes you think I'm a Pentax guy? :D

Ismael is Abso-freakin-lutely right! I believe in the power of SLR and i think in order to appreciate amatuer photography, thats where one must start. im glad you have such enthusiasm!

good post ismael. :D

I have one of each. I didn't want to get into digital at first, but I got a job as staff photographer for a local magazine and it just wasn't convenient to use my slr. But now that I have a digital, there are things I really like about both. I'm still learning alot about my digital and starting to get into some photo programs. Just have fun with your photos :D
I seem to have gone back-to-front in my experiance with cameras! I started a few years ago with a borrowed Sony Mavica CD-R with 3.3 MP which was really good to use. Then i got an autofocus autoflash autolackofcreativity 35mm Kodak camera (that was really annoying - the flash would go off every time) then i got an old SLR this year from my grandfather (Olympus OM-1) and got prints at the minilab then just recently i've developed some photos at home in black and white. I thikn the most satifying is the developing at home. Putting the exposed piece of paper into the developer and seeing the image begin to form and get darker and darker..its really very satisfying.
Just one more bit to chew on....SLRs are great learning tools and can sometimes be used professionally. mentioned you wanted to blow up pics past 8 X 10 and that's just not practical for 35mm (if you want nice pics). 8 x 10 is usually the largest you should go from 35mm.

In fact, most magazines and photo libraries do not consider 35mm satisfactory for commercial prints. So if you plan on using a 35mm for blowing up pics...make sure it's a really good one. I'm not saying you must go out and get a medium format camera, but just don't expect your enlargements to be of great quality.
You can get fine grain films that easily blow up over 8x10.

I think of film like the tube. Sure solid state amps do their job good but there is just something about tubes that make sound feel so rich.
Well, I've made 16x20 enlargements from 35mm and they were fine. The important thing is to use a quality low ISO film. Remember the Ektar 25? I miss it. :cry:

If you've got the bucks then go with the best of both worlds i.e. the digital SLR's.
All the manual controls you need plus the instant gratification of digital.
Cameras such as the Canon EOS-10D ot the Nikon D100 sell for around $1,300 to $1,400 and with their 6 Mp's you can make some very large prints. If you have megabucks then there are cameras such as the kodak DCS 14n that Ismael mentioned.

Most reactions