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Old December 23rd, 2004, 02:30 PM   #1
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film or digital?

Ok, here is my dilema. I have been shooting on 35mm but have been considering switching to digital. For now, I have the film professionally developed onto a CD and that seems to work just fine, so this is what I would like to ask. Are some of the better didgital cameras on the market today capable of capturing the same or better quality images than film and what are those cameras.
Also, since I always order to have my negatives scanned to disk, are those images than suffering the loss of quality and would I have been better off shooting with a digital camera in the first place?
Thanks in advance.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 03:24 AM   #2
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Well, there is no simple answer to your question. You say you are shooting on 35mm film. Do you use a SLR and are you thinking of buying a DSLR? If so, would you need a set of lenses for that DSLR or could you use the lenses you have?

I think that digital photography is mature now and it has some real advantages over film. But it really depends on what you are shooting. I shoot a lot of sports (formation dancing mostly) and wildlife. In the pre digital time I had may be 2 or 3 good slides per film and dumped all the rest. On a typical day I would shoot some 20 to 25 films (about 200,-- Euros including development). So it was an easy decision for me. The savings in film stock over a month were enough to buy a decent DSLR (a 20D in my case) and I am extremely happy with it. I would not go back to film.

Qualitywise your approach is very good. You have the original slide or negative and a (professional) scan of it. So you got the best of both worlds, but at a price. However, if you shoot only 3 or 4 films a month it would not be too expensive.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 09:18 AM   #3
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Thanks Rainer. Based on your answer, it sounds like the decision really narrows down to the economics since the quality of the picture itself is virtually the same between scanned photo and a digital photo.
I cannot say that I shoot as much stills as you do, but it's getting to the point that it's almost a roll per day and any smart solution to increase the revenue would be welcomed.
Thanks again for your answwer.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 09:56 AM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rafal Krolik : Thanks Rainer. Based on your answer, it sounds like the decision really narrows down to the economics since the quality of the picture itself is virtually the same between scanned photo and a digital photo.
-->>>

Of course there is more to it than economics. I just wanted to point out, that one of the advantages of digital photography is an economic one provided you take a lot of pictures. On the other hand, if you have to buy a body and a set of lenses this might cost you several thousand bucks. That's many rolls of film! And don't forget, you need a reasonably fast computer and software (if you don't have it already).

What I personally like very much is the fact, that I can set the speed to, say, 400 ISO and still have very low noise (or grain) as compared with a silver film of the same speed. And, of course, you can see immediately, if the exposure is correct, etc.

For me it was the right decision to go digital. Wether it's the right decision for you is entirely up to you.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 10:42 AM   #5
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Just to add, there are many printers now that will accept input directly from the camera and will also allow rudminetary cropping and other adjustment. Also, a computer from four years ago can do an adequate job of Photoshop so you don't need the latest greatest PC or Mac to edit photos, it is just less pain to do so the more powerful system you have (for someone who is new to computers, they wouldn't know what to compare to so why not pick up someone's 2nd hand computer?)
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Old December 27th, 2004, 10:55 AM   #6
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Thanks to both of you guys. Fortunately my main gig is video so the PC I got is pretty tough.
Rainer, you just threw one more thing at me which made me lean that much closer to going with DSLR, and that's clarity of the shot. I shot ten rolls this week on a model who for the purpose of the shoot kept dancing. I got 400 film and although the grain is not too bad, less would have been better. Of course if would be much nicer to be able to sit down right away and discuss which photos we're going to use instead of waiting a day which in and out of itself is time and money wasted.
Tell me, besides the megapixel advantage, what was your main reason for going with the 20D as opposed to Digital Rebel?
I did a side by side comparison on BH and cannot seem to justify the price difference.
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Old December 28th, 2004, 01:44 AM   #7
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Rafal, for what I shoot mostly I wanted a faster camera than the Digital Rebel. The 20D shoots up to 23 frames at a rate of 5 frames per second and the autofocus is faster than that of the Rebel (it's called "300D" in Europe).

Furthermore, it has a metal body and is more rugged than the 300D and the viewfinder is somewhat brighter. Personally I find the handling of the camera, especially the AE shift, better than that of the Rebel. And finally, the shots show even less noise, especially at high ISO ratings.

Anyway, the Rebel is a fine entry level DSLR (I've got one myself) and the price is very reasonable. If you are on a tight budget then go for the Digital Rebel and invest in some good glass. You can upgrade to a better camera body later if you feel the need.
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Old December 28th, 2004, 07:58 AM   #8
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Thanks again for your great advice.
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