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How long before digital overtakes 35mm?

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Attention!

This topic is locked.
Reason: This topic was started an awful long time ago and has generated a lot of discussion. Many good points have been raised, but I feel we can now draw things to a close, so have locked this topic. Will.
shooter
shooter  12105 forum posts Canada
6 Nov 2002 - 1:47 AM

I shot both food and industrial subjects, and have to say 2 things:
1) at common print sizes, digital IS better:
For most uses, a digital print is OK up to about 12x18 inches. Honestly, how often do you print bigger than that? Forget the math, and DO IT, print a carefully prepared (levels and USM) digital file on a Frontier or Lightjet. See for yourself. Fairly compare a professionally treated and printed file with a professionally developed and printed film - not a pro lab vs. an amateur job.
2) if you shoot any quantity at all, it's far cheaper:
About 2 years ago I bought one of the first Fuji s-1 bodies hereabouts. I thought it was expensive. I was wrong. I saved the cost of film, processing, driving back and forth to the lab, and driving back and forth to the customer. My payments per month on the Fuji and its accompanying Macintosh and bits were less than I'd been paying on film, lab, and car expenses. When I do the math, I see a Canon EOS 1-DS or Kodak 14 coming soon.

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6 Nov 2002 - 1:47 AM

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cerberus
cerberus  11
17 Dec 2002 - 10:40 AM

I had been considering getting a digital camera last year, when I started a part time buisness in photography. I had a Mamiya C33 (6x6) and a Ricoh XR-1 (35mm). I did a few portrait jobs and got very good results, but on my first wedding, all of the 6x6 fims were lost by kodak!! Very embarassing for me, and Jessops who sent the films to Kodak for processing. That was the deciding factor for me. Eventually the photos turned up, six months later, but I had already changed cameras by then. Now with my 3.3 mega pixel Minolta Dimage 5, I have complete control over every aspect of my photography, and no chance of a third party to lose the films. I have had no complaints about image quality from my customers, and that includes two further wedding albums. Since buying the digital, I have used the film cameras so rarely, that I have sold most of them off. I am now considering an upgrade to the dimage 7, more features and 5 MP....

pablo perez
19 Dec 2002 - 8:22 AM

i like to use instant polaroid and 110 films to experiment,as well as alternative software and photocopy.people will continue to print photos,even if they are digital,just like they still buy and listen records.thats the craft.digital and photographic art are great together or not.

photoworks
photoworks  11317 forum posts United Kingdom
10 Jan 2003 - 11:04 AM

There are thing the digital technology cannot reproduce :

- the polariser effect
- the polaroid effect, like the polaroid shots made by Paolo roversi with his 20x25 view camera.

photoworks
photoworks  11317 forum posts United Kingdom
10 Jan 2003 - 11:06 AM

i mean you can definitely scan it, mind you, but you cannot obtain the same effect with a digital camera.

haegar
haegar  11
11 Jan 2003 - 11:54 PM

Hello there!

This is my first time, so forgive my naivit. I've got a few questions, which I would like to have answered as objectively as possible.

Concerning photography (I'm actually a writer who takes pictures to sharpen my skills of observation)I would call myself an interested amateur but by no means a professional. I have several point-and-shoot and SLR cameras, mostly manufactured by Olympus (which I think makes really good cameras), and I've always enjoyed opening that envelope with my new pictures in it. In the last two years or so, however,I've been a bit worried by the digital craze; make no mistake: I work on my computer up to about 10 hours a day, I use it as a communicative tool (also via webcam), I listen to the radio and mp3s with it and I've met a lot of interesting people from all over the world, most of whom I first got to know in internet chatrooms or forums, so I would not call myself an anti-computer rebel. Still, there's one thing I don't really want to do and that is to trade in my film camera equipment for one of those nifty little devices one nowadays seems to be confronted with on a nearly secondly basis - digital cameras.

To say it quite frankly, I feel put under pressure by the consumer-market machine and, having talked this issue over with other people sharing my interest in photography, I have come to the conclusion that I'm not alone.

The questions I would like to put forward are: does it make sense to buy a digital camera at the present moment? I've been following the development of digital cameras for about three years and all I can see is that every new generation of cameras makes anything older than two seconds seem worthless. Why should I buy a 3 megapixel camera for 400 today, if I can get the same performance for half the price a few months later? Can any of you please tell me how the race for pixels will develop, say, in the next two years?

Secondly: I take a lot of photographs and as everyone who is into this area knows, only ten of thousand pictures are good enough to keep. I know that this is a very good argument for buying a digital camera, but I have one big problem (apart from the price issue): I quite like hanging my pictures on the wall - yep, I'm the kind of idiot who frustrates his friends with all those boring stories about how this and that picture came into being - and for this I sometimes blow them up to (let me think inches here, I'm used to centimetres) about 20 X 24 inches; as far as I've gathered, enlargements of this size require a camera with at least 5 megapixels (or more..?), which involves putting a lot of money on the counter, too much in my opinion if you look at the much higher quality you can get from much cheaper 35mm cameras. Am I right in the assumption that I should better wait at least a year or two?

Thirdly: I love going out and shooting in the very early morning or in the late evening hours and I'd like to know, how good digital cameras are in these circumstances - and also if they are comparable to a good 35mm (c'mon, be honest).

Apart from all this, I'd like to say that I've already entered the world of digital imaging because not one photograph I've taken in the last few years isn't recorded on CD. I also enjoy playing around with photo software; exactly this leads me - costs aside, I actually don't care THAT much about the dough - to the next question: why in heaven's name should I "upgrade" (I don't regard this term as correct in this particular context, after all we're certainly not talking DVD- I have one - versus VHS - still in use, but less and less - here, are we?) to digital in the foreseeable future? I would be very thankful indeed if you good give me GOOD reasons for going digital instead of relying on well-tested material capable of storing much higher amounts of information than digital can do.

I mentioned above that I and some friends of mine feel that we're being pressurised by all this digital talk and especially by the industry. It seems that the end of the 35mm-camera is just around the corner and that the industry is trying to push us old-fashioned analog dinosours into something that we don't yet feel familiar enough with. Can any of you with a little bit of background knowledge tell me what the future of film photography will look like for the next, say, 10-20 years? Will the big companies stop selling film someday, will film and digital co-exist side by side, will 35mm disappear alltogether or at least survive in a little niche for those people who are still interested in sticking photographs into antique albums instead of spending hours and hours and hours in front of a screen trying to handle all that great new software? In my personal opinion there will always be a segment of the population who will neither have a computer nor use the internet but will nevertheless be interested in conventional photography - what's going to happen to them? Isn't "normal" photography the ideal solution for many many people not interested in fooling around with keyboards and CD-ROMs or whichever other media comes along in an everchanging information society? Aren't we binary-mad folks all overlooking this fact in the discussion of digital vs. conventional?

Oh, yes, and a last question before I stop pulling your teeth: Does anyone of you know which role slide films will play in the next years? As far as I have gathered, this is a field yet totally uncovered by digicams or am I wrong?

Thanks for reading to this point and taking so much interest,

Werner, Austria

frankwilliams
12 Jan 2003 - 7:34 PM

Believe this when i say but within another 2 years there will be digital SLR at 30 million pixels..What next, we shall see.

bppowell
bppowell e2 Member 122122 forum postsbppowell vcard England2 Constructive Critique Points
12 Jan 2003 - 7:59 PM

You would need one hell of a big hard drive to store images that sort of camera would create.

Barry

Big Bri
Big Bri  1315547 forum posts England
12 Jan 2003 - 11:38 PM

Barry, because part of my company's work involves sending images over the internet for printing by digital minilab, we are looking into new file formats other than JPEG and TIFF. One we are examining at the moment claims to be lossless and 10 times smaller than a good quality JPG, that means about 100 to 1 compression ratio. So they will take up lots less disk space. Of course, the code to decompress them will require ever faster processors !

anon
anon  1131 forum posts
17 Jan 2003 - 9:42 AM

As an avid yachtie, I recently purchased Rick Tomlinson's Portfolio Calendar, which is about 12x18 and one of the definitive glossy calendars for anyone into sailing. After the sort of discussions going on here, I was surprised to find that the photos were a combination of digital and 35mm. The digital ones were taken on a Nikon D1x which is only, compared to the Canons being mentioned, 5.3MP. I could see no difference between them.
If 5.3MP is good enough for a large glossy magazine, then the slightly smaller 4MP is plenty for me at the moment.
While bigger pictures might require a higher definition in theory, generally they will be viewed from further away (you don't hold a 18x12 as close to your face as you would a 7x5). With this in mind you dont need to print at such a high resolution: If you stand a metre from a picture, the dots are a third of the angular size that they would be if you were viewing it from a foot away. Therefore 100dpi should be plenty from this distance!

photoworks
photoworks  11317 forum posts United Kingdom
17 Jan 2003 - 10:42 AM

hello i tend to disagree with you anon, having tried to print a 12x18 image with 100 dpi quality.

i regret to say that you do see the pixel

Big Bri
Big Bri  1315547 forum posts England
17 Jan 2003 - 10:50 AM

It depends on the printer. If you are printing with an inkjet which only has a limited number of colours, you have to have very small dots for decent quality. If you print to a continous tone printer like a dye-sub or laser driven digital minilab, you can get away with lower resolution.

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17 Jan 2003 - 2:18 PM

I think one thing that is missing in all these arguments is that you can only do a fair comparrison if a person does both a conventional print and a digital print of the same subject and even then you would have to have equal skills in both mediums. I know people that are very good at conventional but not so good at digital and vice versa. I am print sec. for my local camera club and I see hundreds of photos in a season both at my club and other clubs and now most people are not bothered if the image is conventional or digtal it is the quality of the final result that matters, in fact judges now don't comment on the medium just the photo. In the end isn't the final result that goes on show what really matters, and I know you can get good and bad in both mediums it all depends on each persons individual skills. Finally the only thing that bothers me is that the people who shout the loudest are usually those people who have not tackled both mediums, and if like me you have done both you will know that to do justice to either you have to have a great deal of knowledge and skill,

bikerbob
bikerbob  12173 forum posts
17 Jan 2003 - 2:19 PM

I think one thing that is missing in all these arguments is that you can only do a fair comparrison if a person does both a conventional print and a digital print of the same subject and even then you would have to have equal skills in both mediums. I know people that are very good at conventional but not so good at digital and vice versa. I am print sec. for my local camera club and I see hundreds of photos in a season both at my club and other clubs and now most people are not bothered if the image is conventional or digtal it is the quality of the final result that matters, in fact judges now don't comment on the medium just the photo. In the end isn't the final result that goes on show what really matters, and I know you can get good and bad in both mediums it all depends on each persons individual skills. Finally the only thing that bothers me is that the people who shout the loudest are usually those people who have not tackled both mediums, and if like me you have done both you will know that to do justice to either you have to have a great deal of knowledge and skill,

cerberus
cerberus  11
17 Jan 2003 - 2:48 PM

I agree RJ STOKELL, I dabbled with black and white processing before going digital, and I find it much easier to produce good results from the computer. However, my dad has little knowledge of computers, but much experience in a dark room. So for him the whole thing is reversed.

Attention!

This topic is locked.
Reason: This topic was started an awful long time ago and has generated a lot of discussion. Many good points have been raised, but I feel we can now draw things to a close, so have locked this topic. Will.