I know this has been beaten to death but I came across an interesting view and thought I would share
The spelling errors are not mine!
Film -vs- Digital
Everyone is running to Digital but is this the right choice ? People are enamored with the fact that they can see the photo instantly after being taken, which is a great feature. You feel the savings piling up in your pocket book as you never have to buy film again, right ? Well maybe, lets look at reality instead of trend.
Quickness & Convenience:
Film is the winner here and you probably think I'm nuts but I'll tell you why. Lets simply look at two real life scenerios.
1. Film - On your way home from work, you take your film to the local Rite Aid or Costco and drop the film cartridge in a bag, and walk away. Takes about 2 minutes. Later that day (for 1 hour) or next day for std. standard overnight prosessing, you pick up your Pictures complete with a CD Picture Disk so you can E-Mail your pictures easily to all your friends and family. You have a copy of each and every picture, even doubles if you want to give one to womeone else or hang one on your cubicle at work. Takes about another 2 minutes to pick up your processed film. Total time involved - 4 minutes (depending on how fast you write, or if you are smart enough to being an address label with you to stick on the envelope). (WINNER)
2. Digital - You got a large 512MB memory card so you could store a million pictures on one card because bigger is better right ? You have a hundred or more photos stuffed on one card and decide to upload these to your computer or if you are smart you simply put the card in your attached memory card reader already attached to your computer. It will take you at least 10 minutes to start your PC, make a folder and upload your pictures. You then try to look at ll the pictures in your local photo editing program or Photoshop only to find that you have too many pictures for your Fast computer to even load ina timely fashion, so you decide to break the folders up into more sizeable film like quantities of 20-30 so you can work with them (some people just give up at this point as there computer locks up). This takes another 10 minutes or so, longer for you mothers with needy screaming children or the PC challenged. You noew decide which pictures you like and want to print. You edit the photograph to your liking and then have to size it properly for printing or E-Mailing (most of us will have to do both) making this a redundant operation needed just for sizing). you decide to print one and find out either your:
A. Out of Color ink half way through the arduous printing process
B. Your Print heads need cleaning becuase you are getting red streaks or lines through your print
C. You sized the picture incorrectly for the paper or your paper/picture orientation was incorrect - fix and start over
D. You want different sizes including wallets (God help you)
E. The print arrives on the other side of the printer at last, but the colors are off from what you are looking at on your monitor. Congradulations, your monitor is not synced to your your printer (like most of us). Stat messing with the colors and try again.
Ok, we are now into this for about 1 hour and we have almost one acceptable print image. What about the other 35 pictures ? Foget about it too late,I have other things to do, I will have to get back to this project. Most of us will never get a batch of finished pictures. Let us not forget about worrying about saving the edited pciture fro the orginal, a backup onto CD for when our computer crashes and the other issues associated with this time saving digital procedure.
You then ask yourself, isn't there a better way to do this ? You find that there is not enough time in the world to print your own digital pictures, so you take your memory card to the local Walmart for processing and find that its much quicker and easier but you the sizing is incorrect for the format of picture and you lost the ability to all those great things you planned to do with the digital picture on the PC anyway.
Hands down you will fiind that FILM is quicker and easier.
Control over the Image:
1. Film: simply scan your image with a film scanner and do the same thing you would do with your digital camera or use your darkroom for a piece of hand made art. Send your Film to a Quality lab with instrictions and let them do the work. (WINNER)
2. Ditigal: Load onto your computer and learn how to use the easy editing software programs that came with your better quality digital camera or fight with your ****ty software that came with your digital camera. By photoshop and after a few years you will be good enough to have complete creative control on your PC. Send your File to your digital processor and best of luck.
1. Film: Still better quality than digital (WINNER)
2. Digital: Good enough quality for most print and picture size applications, after all how many 16x20's do you have hanging on your wall ? Most photo's up to your standard 8x10 will be a push in perceived image quality, in other words, just as good as film for the most part.
Low Light & Latitude
1. Film: Depends on the Film you use, but typically if you use color negative film you will get a couple stops of latitude. If you use Slide film you will usually get between 1/2 & 1 stop of latitude.
2. Digital: Digital just simply has better low light capability than film. Latitude on a good CCD or CMOS is about 5 stops which is way better than film. What this means to you is better pictures in low light situations such as indoor shots (kids birthday party etc..) Most POint and Shoot cameras come with a small flash unit that is barely ample for indoor shots. With digital the small flash is usually plenty. It also means that shadow detail will be better with digital and shot whwre you simpky odn;t have enough light for a good shot or where your exposure is off will be salvageble in photoshop and more than likey yield you a shot where film would not. (WINNER)
Documentation and Archival Quality
1. Film: Easy to keep track of, negatives will easily last several lifetimes. Hold the negatives up to light and see for yourself instantly or better yet look at the index print that comes with your developing to easily find a particular image (WINNER)
2. Digital: Develop your own system for keeping track of where they are and how to locate them. A CD filing system ? Great until CD's switch to DVD technology, then you will have to convert your images over to DVD's. Great until DVD's turn into ?? and you have to convert to this new technology. CD's and DVD's easily get scratched rendering a hundreds of images unreadable and useless. Where is that picture anyway ? God help you to find it in that stack of CD's, may take forever. A CD will last forever, right ? Sure it will, as long as you know where it is and is kept properly and technology never changes (ya, that will happen).
Lets face it, a box of negatives is faster and easier to locate and all we always put our picture envelopes in one box/spot. Difficult to lose something that you can see or is contained in a big box in one location.
COST of Picture
1. Film: Gee a roll of color negative film costs $1.99. A good reason to switch to digital right ? Batteries, last seemingly forever. No memory cards. Costs of processing and prints. (WINNER)
2. Digital: I saved that $1.99 on film WHOO-HAAA!! Now I can by a $10 lithium battery, or proprietary re-chargeable Lithium Battery for $49-$89, you will get at least two so you can have one in the camera while the other is charging). The memory cards are cheap at $29-$199 depending on size, and you will get at least two of these. The processing if you do it yourself will cost way more on Photo Paper, Wasted Photo Paper and Ink - not to mention wasted time. If you take it to your local Walmart you are paying the same or a little more than your std. film processing.
I bought this digital camera to save me the costs of Film, to save myself time and to gain creative cotrol with my Digital Darkroom.
A: You never use the digital camera because it is a pain
B: You use your digital camera but never make a picture because it is too time consuming and frustrating and no longer have a viable photo album on your coffee table to show your guests
C: You ended up spending more money on something that was going to save you money (how did that happen ?)
D: Your digital camera is now a piece of electronics that became instantly worthless in re-sale value the moment you bought it because of instant obsolescence. Your film camera if you remember correctly was always worth something no matter how long you owned it. If you bought a High Quality film camera, chances are it was worth more after 10 years than when you bought it because of inflation or collectibility.
E: Manufacturers will continue to make digital camera's and forget about making new film camera models. Why ? Because you the consumer drives the market, but who's steering - look back to the manufacturers making the money and spending there big marketing $$'s convincing you how great digital is.
F: Many people are buying back there old film cameras because they found everything I just mentioned to be true. How about you ? I think that digital cameras have there place as a viable creative tool and they make even more sense for the Professional that relies on there pictures to make there living. Digital has definate advantages for Professionals, like knowing instantly that you have your money shot (and Pro's use a LOT of film, so this part actually makes sense for them). Remember, the biggest advantage of Digital is the ability to Immediatly view the picture when taken, this is a big advantage for certain people in certain situations (Pro's, Sports Photographers, Photo Journalists etc..). The advantages of film are more numerous and listed above.