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Thread: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

  1. #21

    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Of course they are, different lenses of course (5D is full-frame), but of the same range and perceived quality. There are differences, but conclusion was for overall.

    Here is another example, this time Canon performs slightly better. But again, the reviewer makes note of the conservative metering of the Nikon, which is why they had to change settings a bit to make the review, otherwise even the cheaper DSLRs from any brand would probably look better at first glance without changing the setting (post-processing sharpening is still better than the camera's internal one as ther eis more degree of control) :

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond200/page27.asp

    And Nikon D200 vs D2X, both blur at default settings :

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond200/page28.asp

    And ... post-processing RAW results:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond200/page29.asp


    Anyway, the point is on the power of digital processing ... before we go OT


    Quote Originally Posted by zac08
    But were the settings the same?
    Last edited by clubgrit; 21st September 2006 at 06:34 PM.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by jacob View Post
    one thing you should count in is the time your take to view and edit your digital pictures. pls count using mcdonald rate($4.50 per hour?) and see.

    Why do u need to pay mcdonald rate to view and edit your own digital pictures?

  3. #23
    Senior Member Ansel's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoweagle View Post
    For film, it's cost of buying and developing the films.

    For digital, it's just cost of buying a memory card and shutter change.
    Per my original post above, not that simple.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by clubgrit View Post
    Same here, this is the power of digital. With film, many of those great photographs we see in books or magazines have some filter used. With digital, no need, just add in later.
    Correct. With film, you need to work harder before exposure. But that doesn't mean you don't need to do any post processing. All the darkroom work (for b/w) *is* post processing. As for slide film, if you want to publish it/print it/display it, either you or someone need to scan and do some post processing as well. If you are printing your colour negs thru a lab, then the lab people will post process for you. If you print those colour negs yourself, the amount of post processing at the darkroom is horrendous!

    Don't get the flawed idea that "no post processing is required if you use film."

    Yes, with digital, you have the convenience of going straight from capture (exposure) to post processing, bypassing the chemical stages and it's associated costs.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
    Why do u need to pay mcdonald rate to view and edit your own digital pictures?
    alamak. if you use exec's pay eg $100 per hour. the total time you spend looking at your pictures..... is how much you can save. with digital you tend to scrutinise more pictures than on film since you'll be trigger happy with digicam.

    i thot your thread is "The Cost of shooting with DSLR".

  6. #26
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    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by jacob View Post
    alamak. if you use exec's pay eg $100 per hour. the total time you spend looking at your pictures..... is how much you can save. with digital you tend to scrutinise more pictures than on film since you'll be trigger happy with digicam.

    i thot your thread is "The Cost of shooting with DSLR".
    OIC....I was wondering why you need to go to macdonald's to view your images. You are refering to the time spent viewing your captured images, translating that into money based on what Mac will pay someone to work there. I get it.

  7. #27

    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    You guys left out the issue of pro quality SLR vs DSLR. If you want to use a pro quality SLR, in today's price, you can easily buy a used F4 (maybe F5) for a song. Definitely F3 for a song. D2Xs is like way above my threshold of pain, even D200 is.

    Given the cost of SLR equipment being the state it is in, it is to me cheaper to shot film as you get top SLR for peanuts and can shot like crazy and still not chalk up the price of a D2Xs. Pick up an F3 plus MD4 for next to nothing and shot away for 2 years, your cost would be less than the depreciated cost of D2Xs, unless you shot an excessively high number of shots.

    You can also pick up scanners for a song, so you can do your own (to me) high res scanning.

    And the DSLR becomes a door stop after about 2 years. I have definitely spent more money since moving to digital. The then expensive G2 is now worth less than $200, my A40 bit the dust, have a S70 and a D70. All in 3+ years. And the move to cropped frame DSLR necessitated the purchase of 2 lenses, 18-70 and 10-20, when what I had then was enough (my ultrawide was 20mm, which was manual and hence won't meter on my D70, and became a not so hot 30mm on cropped sensor). That plus the cost of the D70, and that the D70 is going to be worth nothing in not-too-distant future. Any move to prevent further loss of value is in itself a futile exercise - it involves the purchase of a D80 or D200 so that I can sell my D70 prior to it becoming a door stop. Spend more money then you save in the value of the to-be-door-stop D70, what an oxymoron move.

    That's not counting the ink and the paper cost.

    Don't get me wrong, I am shooting digital entirely since I bought the G2. Got hold of the second shipment of D70 when it came in. I enjoy digital a lot, like using the 10-20 to get an extremely wide shot, and use PS to post-process and straighten some buildings. All fun.

    But if you count the cost, it is cheaper shooting film if all things being equal. But digital is definitely more fun.

  8. #28

    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Your calculation is fine, although you could have saved $750-1,000 if you skipped the scanning or did it yourself with a $200 scanner.

    Solely from a processing cost standpoint, there's no argument, if you shoot beyond X rolls per year, it's cheaper to shoot digital. X depends on the cost of your processing vs the rate of depreciation of your DSLR equipment. Whether your calculation of X is correct or incorrect doesn't change this principle, that there is a breakeven point.

    However, there are other costs to consider, incl. cost of your time (post-processing, PS-ing), cost of archival storage (DVD burner, photo management system, etc), cost of additional hardware and software (Lightroom, Photoshop, PC, RAM, monitor, colour calibration software, etc). Archival and longevity of backup media such as DVD's are also not trivial.

    Wai Leong
    ===
    Quote Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
    I want to compare the cost of shooting with a DSLR verses a film SLR. For those who are still contemplating whether to jump into the DSLR bandwagon or stick to 35mm film solely from the cost standpoint, this may be an interesting case study.

    I bought my D70 kit in 2004 at about $2100. I sold it recently at $800.

    My shutter count at that point was around 18k give or take 1k. So I have spent $1300 for those 18000 shots.

    If I were shooting film, I would have been less trigger happy, so let's assume that for every 3 shots in digital, I would have taken just 1 shot if I were using film. This will translate to 6000 (18000/3) shots in film.

    6000 exposures will translate to 150 rolls (assume 40 exp/roll).

    The cost of shooting 1 roll of film is roughly $15 (film~ $5, processing ~ $5, low-res scanning ~$5, conservatively).

    So I would have paid at least $2250 (150x$15) if I had shot film.

    $1300 for digital, $2250 for film. For the roughly the same amount of shooting pleasure.

    If I had shot more with the D70, then my cost would have come down even more. Conversly, if I had shot less, then, I might have been better off shooting film.

    Was my calculation flawed in any way? Please comment.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Ansel's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    Your calculation is fine, although you could have saved $750-1,000 if you skipped the scanning or did it yourself with a $200 scanner.
    ......
    However, there are other costs to consider, incl. cost of your time (post-processing, PS-ing), cost of archival storage (DVD burner, photo management system, etc), cost of additional hardware and software (Lightroom, Photoshop, PC, RAM, monitor, colour calibration software, etc). Archival and longevity of backup media such as DVD's are also not trivial.

    Wai Leong
    ===
    Ah...I tried scanning my own film initially, but you know how long it took to scan one roll of film? Even with the auto feature of scanners that took a whole strip of film, it took *at least* 15 mins to scan the entire roll! Well, you may say I can do other things while the scanning is going on, but then you have to reload every couple of minutes. How much thing can u do during the interim? If I take time=money, how much money would that translate to? I am better off sending it out for scanning. Hence the scanning costs.

    The other items you mentioned, like PC, PS, etc, those things you will still need even if you shoot film, in our modern days. Like I wrote earlier, with film you will still need to do some amount of post processing. So, I wouldn't charge it entirely to digital photography.

    I agree with most of the other things you wrote though.

  10. #30

    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    I print B&W using an enlarger, in a darkroom, using trays and chemicals. No software necessary, and darkroom stuff is dirt cheap these days. Or I can just give the negs to Fee Fee to print, no scanning necessary.

    For colour, I give it to Colorlab. 30-40 cents per 4R print. Collect next day. End of story.

    So technically no PC necessary. Or at least, I can get by with a simple PC without having to have Photoshop CS2, Lightroom, huge amount of RAM, DVD burner, etc.

    If I want to post or email a picture, I might scan the neg/slide. Else, why bother? Scanning entire roll takes too much time. I do contact 8x10 prints for my B&W. For colour, I can shoot slides (which means no contact print needed), or I can get an index print done.

    Real (ie genuine) software is expensive. At least $1,000-$2,000 to have a complete suite of software, probably more. Good hardware (dual-core processors, etc) is expensive too.

    All these are real costs if you want to shoot digital. Whether you want to add it in or not is a separate matter.

    ===
    The point is that, if you want to shoot film, do a traditional workflow all the way, it will be cheaper and easier.

    If you want to shoot film but use a digital workflow, scanning every frame (esp high quality scans) will kill you, either in time or in money.

    If you want to do things in digital, start in digital. Scanners were made basically because they were needed for the transition stage from film to digital photography. Now that mainstream photography has gone fully digital, there is no reason to adopt a hybrid workflow as a matter of course. That's why no mainstream manufacturer has released new film scanners lately-- basically because there's no more need now that essentially all pro photographers use DSLR's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
    Ah...I tried scanning my own film initially, but you know how long it took to scan one roll of film? Even with the auto feature of scanners that took a whole strip of film, it took *at least* 15 mins to scan the entire roll! Well, you may say I can do other things while the scanning is going on, but then you have to reload every couple of minutes. How much thing can u do during the interim? If I take time=money, how much money would that translate to? I am better off sending it out for scanning. Hence the scanning costs.

    The other items you mentioned, like PC, PS, etc, those things you will still need even if you shoot film, in our modern days. Like I wrote earlier, with film you will still need to do some amount of post processing. So, I wouldn't charge it entirely to digital photography.

    I agree with most of the other things you wrote though.
    Last edited by waileong; 27th September 2006 at 01:53 PM.

  11. #31

    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    I do contact 8x10 prints for my B&W.
    You photograph with 8x10 gear?

  12. #32

    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by student View Post
    You photograph with 8x10 gear?
    He probably meant printing a roll of 35mm bw neg on a single 8x10 contact sheet.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    I picked up 4x5 LF a yr ago. It takes 15mins to set up LF, and perhaps another 5mins or upto 1hr to complete one shot. Each outing, I do anything from nothing to 6 frames.. i carry upto 3 film holders each time.. if i could just get 1 shot perfectly right, I would remain happy and contended for the the rest of the week or month. That's my photography.

    the cost? 220pieces of velvia purchased and dev = a minty D70.


    If one prefers machine gun like shots.. may be he should buy a video camera, then he could do continuous and uninterrupted shooting for hours.
    Last edited by boochap; 27th September 2006 at 08:23 PM.

  14. #34

    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by boochap View Post
    I picked up 4x5 LF a yr ago. It takes 15mins to set up LF, and perhaps another 5mins or upto 1hr to complete one shot. Each outing, I do anything from nothing to 6 frames.. i carry upto 3 film holders each time.. if i could just get 1 shot perfectly right, I would remain happy and contended for the the rest of the week or month. That's my photography.
    This I gotta see...
    Unfortunately your geocity website only allowed me to view the Jawa and the Taiwan shots... Exceeded quotas apparently....
    Impressed nonetheless...
    If you don't mind an opinion? I think you landscape photos are superb, the people photos are so so. But that's limited to only a glimpse before geocity dropped me off...
    Wish I could shot landscape like you...
    Last edited by diediealsomustdive; 27th September 2006 at 09:44 PM.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    I print B&W using an enlarger, in a darkroom, using trays and chemicals. No software necessary, and darkroom stuff is dirt cheap these days. Or I can just give the negs to Fee Fee to print, no scanning necessary.

    For colour, I give it to Colorlab. 30-40 cents per 4R print. Collect next day. End of story.

    So technically no PC necessary. Or at least, I can get by with a simple PC without having to have Photoshop CS2, Lightroom, huge amount of RAM, DVD burner, etc.

    If I want to post or email a picture, I might scan the neg/slide. Else, why bother? Scanning entire roll takes too much time. I do contact 8x10 prints for my B&W. For colour, I can shoot slides (which means no contact print needed), or I can get an index print done.

    Real (ie genuine) software is expensive. At least $1,000-$2,000 to have a complete suite of software, probably more. Good hardware (dual-core processors, etc) is expensive too.

    All these are real costs if you want to shoot digital. Whether you want to add it in or not is a separate matter.
    You are right in saying that traditional photography does not require a PC with software and that I agree. People have been doing traditional photography for more than a century without the need for a computer.

    Yet, the PC is now a ubiquitous appliance in any home or office. Don't most people already have a PC whether they shoot digital or film? You use your PC (or Mac) for many things other than Digital Photography. For the beginner or amateur digital photographer, investing in expensive digital editing software is not required. The software that comes free with the camera typically already allows you to do basic editing and image management. What I am trying to say is that PC costs should not be *entirely* attributed to digital photography.

    You do agree that if you want to use your analog images in an email, website, in a powerpoint presentation (i hardly hear of anybody using a slide projector nowadays), post it for critique, etc, you will have to scan it in some way, and thereafter perform some very basic image adjustments. Yes, you need a PC for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    ===
    The point is that, if you want to shoot film, do a traditional workflow all the way, it will be cheaper and easier.

    If you want to shoot film but use a digital workflow, scanning every frame (esp high quality scans) will kill you, either in time or in money.
    Are you sure "do a traditional workflow all the way" is cheaper? Why then did pros go digital? How much does a A1 size "traditional" print cost? Dollars and cents is everything in pro photography right?

    For 35mm negs, I scan the entire roll because it is cheaper than paying for a tiny album of 4R prints. It is also more effective to archive the digital images because they wont fade or subject themselves to fungal infestations.

    For slides, the best and the most practical way to print them is to scan them into the digital domain and print them digitally. Cibachrome is history, in this country at least.

    So, the PC is useful for analog photography too.

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    If you want to do things in digital, start in digital. Scanners were made basically because they were needed for the transition stage from film to digital photography. Now that mainstream photography has gone fully digital, there is no reason to adopt a hybrid workflow as a matter of course. That's why no mainstream manufacturer has released new film scanners lately-- basically because there's no more need now that essentially all pro photographers use DSLR's.
    YES!! I agree with you 100%

  16. #36

    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    PS software can be attributed to digital photography. Unless you are already a graphic artist to begin with, and use it for doing website illustrations or artwork.

    A traditional workflow all the way is cheap because of the fallen prices of darkroom equipment, and because you avoid the expense of scanning (time + money).

    You're not getting your photo development done at the right place. If you went to 7-11, you'll find they have tie-ups to get developing + printing of 36-38 color pix for $9.951 That's less than 20 cents per print, assuming developing cost of $3. You have to order 200 prints or more for labs to match that for digital.

    I would take a 4R print over a lousy 4base scan any time.

    An A1 size traditional colour print costs no more than the same-sized print from a digital file. You just give the neg to the lab, the price list is the same.

    Printing from slides cost a little more, however you never worry about colour accuracy because you can always complain about the print until they can get it to match the slide. Yes, Cibachrome is history, but it was always more expensive anyway, since slides are meant to be projected and not printed.

    An A1 traditional B&W print is of course expensive if you ask someone else to do it, since it is handmade. However, if you learn to do it yourself, paper cost and chemical cost is very very low compared to the doing a quadtone print on an expensive and very large Epson high-end printer with dedicated B&W inks on expensive paper. And one is proven to be archival while the other is not yet proven to be so.

    Pros went digital because the rest of the world went digital, and because the clients want the results like yesterday. It's not only dollars and cents. It's what they do that decides what they use. Eg. You'd be surprised, in the US there are still portrait photographers who shoot medium format film. These people get commissioned for jobs by people who live in huge mansions and they pose in front of their fireplaces or their castles. These enlargements are meant to be framed above their fireplace or handed down for posterity. They don't have to deliver results yesterday, so they can and do shoot film because of the quality that is demanded.

    In summary, scanning is a pain, and those who shoot film should seriously consider why they want to scan every frame, and why they don't shoot digital if they want their output to be digital. Why go thru all the pain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
    Are you sure "do a traditional workflow all the way" is cheaper? Why then did pros go digital? How much does a A1 size "traditional" print cost? Dollars and cents is everything in pro photography right?

    For 35mm negs, I scan the entire roll because it is cheaper than paying for a tiny album of 4R prints. It is also more effective to archive the digital images because they wont fade or subject themselves to fungal infestations.

    For slides, the best and the most practical way to print them is to scan them into the digital domain and print them digitally. Cibachrome is history, in this country at least.

    So, the PC is useful for analog photography too.
    Last edited by waileong; 28th September 2006 at 09:01 PM.

  17. #37

    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    My 2nd hand film slr cost $80.
    Film I bot is $2.8, process and scan is $6.5, total $9.3
    I only make print as and when for that few I want to put in my portfolio album so min cost.
    Rest put online to share with friends.

    For $2100 less $80 is $2020.
    $2020 divide by $9.3 = 217 rolls.
    Multiply by 36 frame for 217 rolls = 7812.

    Of cause I am a hobbist, I do not need to fork out $2k to persue my hobby although my pay monthly is enough to buy 1 new EOS 5D each month and still can live happily. Film is like expenses to me and probably cheaper then cigrarette (lucky I dun smoke too, many can spend $11 per pack a day even).

    Important is you shoot right? Your money right? Just shoot.
    Last edited by whoelse; 28th September 2006 at 09:54 PM.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by diediealsomustdive View Post
    This I gotta see...
    Unfortunately your geocity website only allowed me to view the Jawa and the Taiwan shots... Exceeded quotas apparently....
    Impressed nonetheless...
    If you don't mind an opinion? I think you landscape photos are superb, the people photos are so so. But that's limited to only a glimpse before geocity dropped me off...
    Wish I could shot landscape like you...
    haha.. so sorry for the trouble. i hope you can try again some other day, most of the time it's actually under quota. ya my ppl shots are lousy..i getting sick of it too. if u don't mind the touble, any suggestions for improvement?

  19. #39
    Senior Member Ansel's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cost of shooting with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    PS software can be attributed to digital photography. Unless you are already a graphic artist to begin with, and use it for doing website illustrations or artwork.

    A traditional workflow all the way is cheap because of the fallen prices of darkroom equipment, and because you avoid the expense of scanning (time + money).

    You're not getting your photo development done at the right place. If you went to 7-11, you'll find they have tie-ups to get developing + printing of 36-38 color pix for $9.951 That's less than 20 cents per print, assuming developing cost of $3. You have to order 200 prints or more for labs to match that for digital.

    I would take a 4R print over a lousy 4base scan any time.

    An A1 size traditional colour print costs no more than the same-sized print from a digital file. You just give the neg to the lab, the price list is the same.

    Printing from slides cost a little more, however you never worry about colour accuracy because you can always complain about the print until they can get it to match the slide. Yes, Cibachrome is history, but it was always more expensive anyway, since slides are meant to be projected and not printed.

    An A1 traditional B&W print is of course expensive if you ask someone else to do it, since it is handmade. However, if you learn to do it yourself, paper cost and chemical cost is very very low compared to the doing a quadtone print on an expensive and very large Epson high-end printer with dedicated B&W inks on expensive paper. And one is proven to be archival while the other is not yet proven to be so.

    Pros went digital because the rest of the world went digital, and because the clients want the results like yesterday. It's not only dollars and cents. It's what they do that decides what they use. Eg. You'd be surprised, in the US there are still portrait photographers who shoot medium format film. These people get commissioned for jobs by people who live in huge mansions and they pose in front of their fireplaces or their castles. These enlargements are meant to be framed above their fireplace or handed down for posterity. They don't have to deliver results yesterday, so they can and do shoot film because of the quality that is demanded.

    In summary, scanning is a pain, and those who shoot film should seriously consider why they want to scan every frame, and why they don't shoot digital if they want their output to be digital. Why go thru all the pain?
    OK, you are telling us, that analog photography is cheaper and digital is expensive, providing your shooting volume is not excessive. Well, that was in fact the conclusion of my original post. The only thing you disagreed was the scanning of film, which by the way worked out to about the same cost, whether you do analog all the way or you scan it into the digital domain. My cost for developing and scanning a roll of film is also about $10, the same as your developing and printing into 4R.

    But your last sentence, "They don't have to deliver results yesterday, so they can and do shoot film because of the quality that is demanded," implies that film has better quality than digital, and that has the potential to start an explosive debate.

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