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Thread: Is digital makes beginner poorer in knowledge?

  1. #1

    Question Is digital makes beginner poorer in knowledge?

    Most newbies that take up photography now will choose digital over film. Many don't know and don't care what aperture is, what shutter speed is, what DOF is, what compensation is...all they do is just snap...snap...snap...view the results, no good? Turn some dial (Landscape, Portrait, Macro, or Program) ...snap...snap...snap...again...using try and error method.

    Is digital make them (newbies) "poorer" in knowledge? No doubt some can still capture beautiful professional photos...but in terms of photography knowledge/terms...err...if you told them this photo is lack of DOF...they will ask you what is DOF...Lanscape mode? oh yes...
    DR KOH KHO KING

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    What you said hold some truth but we shouldn't put the entire blame on technology. If someone decided to learn more about photography, then nothing can stop him/her, regardless of what camera he/she uses.

  3. #3

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    when using film, one have to be conservative as they have to pay for the developing fees. However, when using digital...one will shoot as much as he/she can, and later choose the one that looks ok.
    DR KOH KHO KING

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Ok, this has been discussed before. I still think it doesn't matter what medium you use, its the user that counts.

    If someone chosed to do what you've described then sure, chances of him/her improving as a photgrapher might be significantly lower. So for these people, do you blame the digital camera for being too convenient to them? Many digital cameras do come with full manual, aperture/shutter priority control so..................(you fill in the blanks).

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Using film doesn't necessary means better results too. Conservative or not, if you don't learn and develop a critical attitude towards your own work, you won't improve. Applies to both film and digital.....period.

  6. #6
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    This is a very interesting discussion....

    Yes, I would agree that digital tends to make one lazy and ignorant about the finer points of photography. Medium/large formats are known to make you really think about composition, lighting, exposure, etc. Cos it's usually bulky, you'll be on tripod, maybe use an exposure meter, and films for these formats are not cheap.

    Next is the popular 35mm SLR film camera. And I think followed by digital.

    Of the many pple I know who use digital, a good percentage hardly want to carry a tripod and the desire to be strict in techniques is lacking. After all, you can fire away 10 shots at different exposures and choose the best. For films, would you want to do that?

    Somehow, I do notice these days, many novices and youngsters go into digital straight away. The convenience and novelty of digital are arguably far too tempting to give it a miss. In fact, film compact cameras are not as popular now as 10-20 years ago. I was just joking with my colleague the other day that, 15 or so years from now, maybe the youngsters will not even know or bother about film cameras!

    Personally this is what I feel: digital indeed can make one trigger happy without considering other important points of photography. I've seen many shots taken by friends and beginners on the internet. Very often, they are just snapshots.

    But it is certainly not fair or true to say pple into digital can't take good photos. At the end, it's up to you if you want to dwell deeper into the field of photography.

    For me, using both digital and 35mm film SLR, I'd say digital cams are still no where near the 'robust' feel of the film SLR and indeed, I'm more conscious and feel more in control of what I'm taking when I use films. I learnt photography for more than 10 years the hard way using films and it is much easier when switching to digital. I'm not sure if it works the other way round...

  7. #7

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    i disagree with it

    digital photography helps to get more ppl either young or old into taking pictures

    w/o it many wouldnt even try it because of the cost involved in experimenting with it

    basically wat i can tink of is there are two types of ppl who take photos

    1. professional/amatuer/ppl too free like retired ppl who can spend the time and money and most impt interest in photography

    2. ppl whether young or old who just wanna take some pictures as a memory or for fun

    as wat i can see from here most of the ppl here belong to group 1

    so does that mean that ppl from group 2 getting a P&S cam and shooting around are irritating ppl from, group 1 because of the lack of professionalism? as mentioned earlier on, if a person is really interested in photography then no one can stop him/her from reading up more details and info on it rite?

    in the end....... i feel that digital photography is a plus point because it attracts more ppl into this hobby and being that there will be more ppl to share this interest and widen it rite?

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    Well, some people may be what you have described... Yes, I can't deny that it creates newbies with shoot, shoot, and shoot, think about it later mentality. Some digital cameras have been marketed as tools that allows you to just snap, snap and snap and don't bother about the cost, a tool that allows you to capture memories and moments more conveniently and economical compared to film. So we can't blame the amount of users that "shoot without thinking", because this is the reason they buy the camera, the way they want to use the camera and spend their money.

    But let's look at the digital medium. What I feel is that it actually does what it claims, open photography to the masses. It introduce functions and controls that was available only on more sophisticated SLR cameras to the masses. So, it all depends on what the user wants. So if you want to just shoot, so be it, set the camera to the programmed/auto mode and shoot. If this is the extent they want to ultilize the equipment and the type of 'photography' they want to engage in, they way they want to spend their money, we cannot stop them, we cannot complain. But there are people who wants to learn, like Revenant in our forum who shows an effort in learning, people who we should help and introduce them to the art of "seeing with one eye". And don't forget some people with digital camera 'promotes' themselves, from a leisure snapper, to a hobbyist. This may be due to the fact that they shoot at everything as it cost nothing, unlike film. They shoot sceneries, abstracts, portraits, macros, streets...They compare their own picture with those by others and wonder how did the photographer do that? and they learn, they ask their friends, read books, come to forums like this and in the end, they may end up deep in the entanglements of photography. And this is because they actually start shooting, they have a try at photography, and a taste to see if its the right cake for them, if not, they can continue snapping, as they like it.

    So I guess the digital medium has its merits. But I also cannot deny that film promotes better learning in certain points such as composition. But I believe the digital medium promotes learning in other technicalities such as exposure...

  9. #9

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    Shoot and shoot is a good way to start off, to get the feel of the art of photography. Those more serious one will end getting more into this art.

    Without proper training, all a newbie can do is to shot aimlessly like a tourist. Personal preferences will surface over time, forming their style of photography. If their passion do last them that long, they will want to improve themself and make better pictures.

    As for use of digital camera... its a matter of cost than anything else. In the look for a proper equipment, without proper skills, usage of films would be expensive for a newbie like me. Therefore, i have taken the path of digital, which allows me to see my results instantly and through the learning proccess of trial and error, you guys can see my picture improving with each posting i made.

    Infact, i'm looking at a film based SLR as my next logical step of upgrade, But that another possible choice can be to spend more and get a DSLR like D30 or if possible a D60.

  10. #10

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    a film based SLR doesn't necessarily make a better photographer as well. with the focus now on more automated features, there is not much difference in term of learning experience between a top-of-the-line SLR and a point & shoot, what more a digital camera.

    user factor would be have the most weightage here, to be able to squeeze every ounce of usability out of his/her camera, film or digital.

    personally, digital medium would be the ideal way to start. sure, in encourages snapshots, but what better way to learn than to take and take and take shots.

    don't forget that having a digital camera doesn't endow one with shake-free hands nor artistic compositional skills, so even a casual snapshooter with no intention of going further in photography will find himself wanting to put his investment to better use.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Is digital makes beginner poorer in knowledge?

    Originally posted by Kho King
    Most newbies that take up photography now will choose digital over film. Many don't know and don't care what aperture is, what shutter speed is, what DOF is, what compensation is...all they do is just snap...snap...snap...view the results, no good? Turn some dial (Landscape, Portrait, Macro, or Program) ...snap...snap...snap...again...using try and error method.
    even if the same people in your context have got film cameras instead, the same will happen, only difference is that they will be more stingy with their shots. But still, if they did not have the enthusiasm to learn in the first place, they won't learn with a film camera as well. I've seen people taken beautiful pictures with PnS film cameras, and they don't intend to learn about photography. But the point at the end of the day is, they are very happy with the photos.


    Is digital make them (newbies) "poorer" in knowledge? No doubt some can still capture beautiful professional photos...but in terms of photography knowledge/terms...err...if you told them this photo is lack of DOF...they will ask you what is DOF...Lanscape mode? oh yes...
    I was once like that when I started out....but I have learnt. This is a learning process for everyone, as long as they have the heart to learn (deutero-learning). In fact, my digicam let me have a fairly good understanding of basic photography terms, concepts and technique, before I tried out my Dad's film SLR. I wouldn't say that I'm good enough with the film SLR now, but my digicam definitely helped in building my knowledge base.

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    To me....starting off with a digital is a good thing. Firstly we talk abt cost savings in term of the films tec. Also we must not forget that digital is a very good way to start off someone's ideas of getting the BEST picture he takes. Why? Like you say they know nuts abt photography. thus taking so many shots (FREE) which he will be very willing to do so can help him see his pic and know what settings to try and use different settings to play ard and thus get the best effect. In a way it teaches the photographer the settings and functions of his camera. Doesn't matter he dun know the term DOF etc...he knows how to play with his camera and get the desired pic he wants. That is the MOST important point in photograpghy. Satified himself in the shots he take.

    Just my point...I started off with a digital knowing nothing. now I am still learning.

  13. #13

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    and shooting with digital in some way 'forces' you to learn more - image editing and touch up for example.

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    hmm, i never tot of it that way. wat i tot is that dcs would help a newbie to learn faster as u can see how well u have taken rite after taking it. Its also slightly cheaper since we dun have to develop the film. But its also true that it can impede one's learning process. I guess its a double-edged sword.

  15. #15

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    Personally, I have never bothered with aperture and exposure until I got my digitaln camera and started following discussions in the forum. Mind you, I had a P&S film camera for many years.

    Due to the immediate feedback of your shots thru digital cameras, it cause you to think abt the shot you just took and why it turn our this way.

    I personally think digital camera is a good way for newbies to start as they can experment with shot without worrying abt costs and feedback is immediate.

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    Actually, before venturing to digital cameras, I don't know anything about aperture, shutter speed, DOF, exposure compensation, ISO, GN, filters, etc.

    It's only when I started on my first real digital camera (Fujifilm 4700Z) that sparked my interest in photography. I went on to learn more about photography so that I could improve my technique, etc. I actually begin to think more before each shot too.
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

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    Originally posted by mpenza
    Actually, before venturing to digital cameras, I don't know anything about aperture, shutter speed, DOF, exposure compensation, ISO, GN, filters, etc.

    It's only when I started on my first real digital camera (Fujifilm 4700Z) that sparked my interest in photography. I went on to learn more about photography so that I could improve my technique, etc. I actually begin to think more before each shot too.
    I was like that too.. and alot of things I dunno...then pple here started to tell me...Thanks man. So it's alot of new stuffs even for a digital.
    Maybe he was refering to the lower ends of digital where you cab't play with the settings like shuttle and aperture...am I right?

  18. #18

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    correct me if i'm wrong here:

    digital camera owners would in the long run, with the right attitude, make more creative photographers. i'm actually referring to those who don't own a DSLR and thus do not have the flexibilty of a typical film SLR.

    reason being that (at least for now) digicams are quite expensive, and not everyone would be wiling to pay for all the accesories for a particular camera, and even if they would, the whole system would still be fairly limited. so i guess someone who is stuck with a digicam with a 2x zoom and 2.1mp would be cursing like hell reading about the newest DSLRs, but hey, you still can get good shots with an old camera. it depends on how you use it, and how willing you are to experiment with it.

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    Default Re: Is digital makes beginner poorer in knowledge?

    Originally posted by Kho King
    Most newbies that take up photography now will choose digital over film. Many don't know and don't care what aperture is, what shutter speed is, what DOF is, what compensation is...all they do is just snap...snap...snap...view the results, no good? Turn some dial (Landscape, Portrait, Macro, or Program) ...snap...snap...snap...again...using try and error method.

    Is digital make them (newbies) "poorer" in knowledge? No doubt some can still capture beautiful professional photos...but in terms of photography knowledge/terms...err...if you told them this photo is lack of DOF...they will ask you what is DOF...Lanscape mode? oh yes...
    I agree, because i'm a newbie in digital camera. Eventhough i know aperture and shuttle speed, i'm always fully undercontrol by my camera. This is when the camera tells me the exposure range and i being control to adjust my aperture and shuttle speed without my own knowledge and experience

  20. #20
    rainyboy
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    I guess you are right, but there should be more encouragement for pple who want to pick up this beautiful hobby. Perhaps you feel insulted at the way pple use cameras nowadays, without precision that is, but we are all learning arent we. Cool it, if there werent digital cameras, i wouldnt be able to afford picking up film photography and thus I wouldnt be able toenjoy the satisfaction it gives. Cheers, I love my G2.

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