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Thread: Digital vs. regular SLRs

  1. #21

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    Originally posted by ckiang


    Heh. I blew up that pic to 100% on that Mac. There are signs of oversharpening.

    Regards
    CK
    At 8R and at 8R viewing range..... whoa. Didn't think the non DSLRs were capable of such output.

  2. #22

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    Some of the reasons why you would want to retain a 35mm SLR would be:

    1. Use of wide angle focal lengths
    2. Proven backup to unproven DSLRs
    3. Exclusively shoot and *project* slides

    I haven't come across any good digital projectors (don't even say affordable) that can display properly digital photos. If you do alot of slide shows, 35mm would still be the way to go. I suppose you could output digital to slide film (?) but I'm not so sure about the quality of such a transfer.

  3. #23
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    Okay, long post warning:

    [1] Film contains more pixels than a digital image. While strictly true, how many of those pixels are clean pixels that actually contribute to the image? Digital is here and now, even in terms of quality.

    [2] Some film types are nice and their effects are not replicable digitally. Well, you can do just about any effect in digital, and usually a lot more easily as well. Custom profiles can be created if you were really that interested in recreating Velvia or Astia for example. Or a film that hasn't been created for that matter.

    [3] TMax pushed 2 stops, cross processing are all simulatable in Photoshop.

    [4] There is a misconception about cost savings when going to digital as Darren points out. Your printing habits will change when you make the switch, which chances are would result in slightly more printing costs than before. Obviously there will be no film costs however.

    [5] The archivability, or lack of, in digital pictures is another great misconception. Here digital wins hands down. Current storage media like CDs should last a decade, at which point a copy can be made that is 100% identical to the original, to extend the life another decade, etc. And new storage forms will be brought up that extends this time period. As to people being afraid that we will not be able to read formats, aside from Microsoft giving problems with software that might read RAW files, JPEG conversion filters are likely to be around forever, and you can always re-convert to another format. Whereas with film, once your original deteriorates, that's it.

    [6] Agree with Darren. If you are only normally shooting say 20 rolls of film in a year, and suddenly shoot 100 rolls equivalent after buying a digital camera, you cannot calculate your cost savings based on 100 rolls, it really should be done on 20/year.

    [7] I'm not sure I agree with the time difference. Pulling up pictures and looking at them requires no investment in time, and personally anyway, I only edit what I really like. So there isn't that much to be done. And if there is, it's time well spent because they are pictures that I'm happy with.

    [8] Digital running costs are not ultimately going to be lower than shooting film. For starters, the capital cost needs to be factored into the equation. The rate of knots at which digital makes up for it on a day to day basis are less than a lot of people anticipate. And how many people here can resist the next best thing in 18 months time as well?

    [9] Jason, your argument suffers from that same last point above. What difference does it matter that the DSLR you bought a year ago suddenly looks antique? If it did the job then, it will do the job now. It's never stopped people from buying computers, because we've come to accept the oncoming obsolesence. Equipment envy and lust is a great danger.

    [10] Holding value in the face of a new model is a factor that should be considered marginally at best. Unless you plan to trade in (not trade-in) cameras, then it really isn't a consideration. You buy a camera to use it, not to plan to sell it in 24 months.

    [11] Will all DSLRs use the X3? Do we know that for sure? Rumours are that Sigma has a 1 year exclusive license. Rumours also abound that X3 chips are not very light sensitive and struggle to attain high ISOs. I think it's amazing how we're all already overtaken by new technology that hasn't even been proven yet. Sure it sounds nice, but I wouldn't worry about it now. If a conventional CCD camera came out now or in 6 months or even when the X3 is out; if it does the job, I'd still buy it.

    [12] Agree with tomshen that digital allows experimentation and learning, but it also requires the learning attitude. Digital can also breed laziness. Where before you were forced to learn to understand how things work so you can apply the same technique in future without wasting film, with digital the temptation is there to just shoot, trial and error, and just do exactly the same again the next time out.

    [13] The quality of slides is unbeatable as of now. Not true. Nor is digital only on a par up to 5R for example. Personally, I think 8R images from digital beats 35mm film. And holds its own all the way up to poster size, and probably is better too. So I wouldn't say the limitations of digital are more readily apparent beyond 12R as Lennier proposes. Thing is, to see the advantages there, you really are asking for MF and beyond. 35mm film is really not that great for large enlargements; there are some schools of thought that don't believe 35mm can be used beyond 8R. So while digital may not be perfect at large sizes, neither is 35mm.

    [14] Lennier: DSLRs have conventional shutters too. So if anything, this places the disadvantage on digital as there are two things to fail, shutter and CCD instead of just shutter. Also bear that in mind, all those people who are indiscriminately snapping away.

    [15] Firefox, holding back from unnecessary shots may not be altogether a bad thing. If it was unnecessary with film - it's still unncessary with digital. While it doesn't cost you anything, it removes the constant self-evaluation of what you're doing when you're shooting with film.

    [16] Where the client only accepts negs and trannies. This is a good point and one that has led to my hanging on to my F5, although it is not long now before it will go. To be honest, I've not encountered too many, but the belief does exist among some clients that 35mm film is better. It's not any longer, show any like for like comparisons and they'll see. There also exists a camp that already realise that digital is better than photography, and will be pleased when you shoot in digital. And there are also clients for whom digital is essential, like my current lot of paymasters.

    [17] How have I not talked about digital FL multipliers yet? I personally haven't worried too much about it. Several points. With current mutipliers, you can effectively get down to 20mm in 35mm terms. This is wide enough for a great many applications, and frankly, it's difficult to use a wider lens than that because anything not within a few meters of the camera appears tiny. And I mean tiny. Secondly, all this is a lot of griping that you don't hear from medium format users, who are also limited to 20mm, and whose 20mm lenses cost as much as if not more than it would cost you to get to 20mm with a digital camera. The same holds true for large format users. Furthermore, your drawback in the wide department is your gain in the telephoto department. Everyone moans about the short end, no one sings the praises at the long end. You have to take the good with the bad, and in this situation, the good is often overlooked... curious in the light of how everyone is discussing teleconverters and shooting in the bird park and zoo. Lastly, the overall cost if you buy professional level lenses, to set up the same focal lengths, is actually cheaper with the focal length mutiplier than without. And lighter on the back as well.

    [18] I agree with camera1001 - there isn't a lot of price difference between digital and film.

    [19] I don't see why you need a film backup to an "unproven" digital. Why not buy a proven digital as a backup? If we're established that digital is cheaper (although as above I don't agree) in the long run, then there's no reason not to get a second digital as well.

    [20] Yes, digital projectors aren't great, and more importantly, still very expensive in relation to 35mm projectors. But honestly speaking, how many people here run slide shows? How many people get a group of people in to project their work for? And also, personally anyway, when I look at a projected image, I don't really fuss about the quality. I'm usually sitting 10m away or so, and then my primary interest is in examining the image as an image, not as a series of pixels, and I can't pick out intricacies from that distance anyway. While I would agree that cost is an issue, I wouldn't think this is a great handicap unless, as Lennier says, you do a lot of slide shows. But don't ignore the computer either... with digital presentation you can spruce up your presentation, and if I'm honest I have no doubt which would impress a client more, even in a straight presentation. I'd rather be walking in with a laptop and digital projector than with a box of slides and conventional projector.

    There are other factors which people haven't mentioned as well. For some reason, no one's mentioned dust. With film you get a new imager at every shot, with digital you are re-using the same one over and over again. As I've already touched on above, from my experience anyway (and I am leaving out sports) there are more jobs to be had that can only be undertaken with digital than vice versa. Many clients prefer (this is a separate point) digital to film. Although they will accept both, the film would just need to be scanned which adds an extra step of work for them, and prefer the file delivered digitally so they can eliminate that step. The fact is a lot of publishing houses have gone digital and prefer digital submissions from start to finish. Furthermore, archiving and storage is a lot more convenient with digital. It is far easier to find a specific shot taken 5 years ago than it is to retrieve a negative. It is far easier to catalog images as well.

  4. #24
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    Originally posted by Lennier
    Some of the reasons why you would want to retain a 35mm SLR would be:

    1. Use of wide angle focal lengths
    2. Proven backup to unproven DSLRs
    3. Exclusively shoot and *project* slides

    I haven't come across any good digital projectors (don't even say affordable) that can display properly digital photos. If you do alot of slide shows, 35mm would still be the way to go. I suppose you could output digital to slide film (?) but I'm not so sure about the quality of such a transfer.
    None of the common LCD/DLP projectors look good to me when doing PC output. Worse, a lot of people are now doing slide shows on Powerpoint or a similar software. The images projected this way doesn't look very good. Of coz, there are those super expensive HDTV-capable projectors, but they probably cost more than a HDB flat.

    As for digital output to slides, DON'T try unless you have to do it. The last I checked, typical rates are about $40 per image to a 35mm slide.

    Regards
    CK

  5. #25
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    thanks for the very insightful comments Jed. think you made a very compelling case for DSLRs.

  6. #26
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    Originally posted by Lennier


    At 8R and at 8R viewing range..... whoa. Didn't think the non DSLRs were capable of such output.
    Trust me, they are. I had the opportunity to print an wedding image from Red Dawn's D30. I used Genuine Fractals to interpolate it up to 10 x 15" at 240dpi, then printed it to an old Epson Stylus EX. The output blew us away.

    Regards
    CK

  7. #27

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    Hmm I am thinking of upgrading my good old S10 to a D60 liao.

  8. #28
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    Originally posted by Jason Ho
    Hmm I am thinking of upgrading my good old S10 to a D60 liao.
    Wah...still thinking? Mai tu liao!

    JUST DO IT!

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