Skip to toolbar

Getting a new camera- digital vs film

Forums Forums Get Technical Hardware Getting a new camera- digital vs film

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #529
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’m trying to figure out which type of camera to get….digital or film. 😉 I know that this is a fairly subjective issue, but I’m trying to get as many opinions as possible before making my decision. I personally like film cameras better (perhaps because that’s what I’m more familar with and used in my art and photography courses), but digital is appealing for a number of advantages also. Unfortunately I can only afford one type right now, so I’m doing a fair bit of research before making my decision. Any advice?

    #4651
    monkeybort
    Participant

    I love film, i love the darkroom, i love printing, i love grain, i love crystal clear slides….i pretty much love everything to do with film.

    that said, i haven’t touched my film body since i got my 20d. digital is just so easy and convenient. you never have to worry about running out of film in the middle of a shoot/sequence/event, you can edit on-site if you need to, everything you shoot in color can easily be converted to b/w….

    i DO miss some of the experimental aspects of film – doing polaroid lifts and such from slides, non-silver printing, etc etc.

    but digital is just so dang immediate.

    i don’t know if any of this helps, just my $.02

    #4652
    staplermofo
    Participant

    Opinion #1:

    If you can only afford one camera, get a digital one. It’s a one time expense, so if money is an issue at all it’s much better to take a picture that would have been nicer with film than to not take a picture at all because you wanted to eat that night.
    You can take all the pictures you want, recklessly, mockingly, any which way at all and not spend another penny for the rest of your life.
    It’s a wonderful sense of freedom.

    I don’t know how much you’re looking to spend though, which might change things a bit.
    Which cameras have you been looking at?

    #4653
    sleeping
    Participant

    I’m not about to give up my D70, but I’ve been shooting more and more film recently, myself. I like using older equipment, and it’s much cheaper than digital gear – you can get a manual focus SLR and a couple of excellent lenses for under $100, and prices for used medium format gear have fallen a lot too.

    You do have to pay the ongoing film and development costs, but there are ways to get that fairly cheaply – Fuji slide mailers, for example, or you can get 35mm C41 processing and a CD of JPEGs for like $5 from CVS if you don’t get prints (you’ve got to find one where the photo staff aren’t idiots though). I’ve posted information about easily processing your own B&W here somewhere too.

    #4654
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Right now I’m kind of just researching and trying to figure out which is better for me. I think $1000ish CDN is the maximum I’ll be willing to go at this point, although more is doable it would mean saving up for longer.

    Two things I’m worried about with digital (aside from the storage issues…) which have me still sticking with film are the actual colour tones from a digital camera and the pixelation for resizing. I’m assuming that if I want prints I can take the memory card to a photo shop and just give them the numbers, else the cost of buying a high-quality printer/ink/paper would be prohibitive.

    Regarding the colour…I’ve not seen a digital image that has as true a representation as a film-based one. Perhaps I’ve been seeing images from poor quality cameras, I’m not sure. Digital images also seem to lack a kind of “warmth” that film ones have, though I’m not entirely sure if that’s my imagination playing the romantic.

    If I want to blow up an image to 8×10, 11×14, or larger, I don’t want to have the image become too pixellated. Obviously, this isn’t a concern with film, but with digital it may be. How well do digital images enlarge?

    I do enjoy shooting in black & white, though perhaps a digital colour image stripped to grayscale would work. I’ve not tried it.

    #4655
    staplermofo
    Participant

    Right now I’m kind of just researching and trying to figure out which is better for me. I think $1000ish CDN is the maximum I’ll be willing to go at this point, although more is doable it would mean saving up for longer.

    With that kind of budget you could get one hell of a digital camera (fancy D-SLR with lenses) and crazy storage (ie, a 2 gig card, a DVD burner and 100 DVDs) and gobs of prints.

    Two things I’m worried about with digital (aside from the storage issues…) which have me still sticking with film are the actual colour tones from a digital camera and the pixelation for resizing. I’m assuming that if I want prints I can take the memory card to a photo shop and just give them the numbers, else the cost of buying a high-quality printer/ink/paper would be prohibitive.

    Regarding the colour…I’ve not seen a digital image that has as true a representation as a film-based one. Perhaps I’ve been seeing images from poor quality cameras, I’m not sure. Digital images also seem to lack a kind of “warmth” that film ones have, though I’m not entirely sure if that’s my imagination playing the romantic.

    If I want to blow up an image to 8×10, 11×14, or larger, I don’t want to have the image become too pixellated. Obviously, this isn’t a concern with film, but with digital it may be. How well do digital images enlarge?

    I don’t know about 11×14, but even with my Canon A620 I can crop quite a bit and still get really nice 8×10 prints. I’m sure with a fancier camera you could print larger. It’s not quite film quality, but it’ll take some squinting to see a difference (at least for me).
    As for tones, you can check out full-size images here: http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/
    It varies camera to camera, but again, with your budget you should find something you can be very happy with. I’m sure you can find someone on here that could give you a full-size image of the camera you’re looking at if you want to try one the many, very easy to use online printing services out there. There are usually coupons out that’ll let you try at least one service for free, if not a couple. So definitly try before you buy.

    I do enjoy shooting in black & white, though perhaps a digital colour image stripped to grayscale would work. I’ve not tried it.

    (I know nothing about B&W)

    Opinion #2

    See if you like the Nikon D50 (digital, $400(US) factory reconditioned). You can get a 2 gig card for about $60(US) and a refurbed Nikon N75 for about $140 (US). That leaves you a nice $275 (US) for lenses, so you should be able to find something respectable that’ll fit both bodies. They’re both pretty entry-level, but they’re award-winning and well-loved.

    I just ordered a D-SLR myself, if you were wondering why I had these prices so handy.

    #4656
    monkeybort
    Participant

    If I want to blow up an image to 8×10, 11×14, or larger, I don’t want to have the image become too pixellated. Obviously, this isn’t a concern with film, but with digital it may be. How well do digital images enlarge?

    I do enjoy shooting in black & white, though perhaps a digital colour image stripped to grayscale would work. I’ve not tried it.

    i use the channel mixer to switch to b/w from color – you have more control over the tones that way. if you just change the color space to b/w your image generally comes out looking flat.

    http://www.pbase.com/monkeybort/image/58821044

    an image that i converted using the channel mixer – it’s just snapshots, but i think it came out pretty well.

    and just about everything on that site and my other were shot digitally.

    i print from my 20D up to 20×30 (i think, i don’t remember the final size of the big ones for sure – damn big, i know that) and they look pretty damn good (from a 24 mb orig. file). you have to up the file size in stages, not just jump from the orig. to 20×30 at 300 dpi. i increase 10% at a time and it seems to work out pretty well.

    whatever you decide – enjoy!!! SLR’s are so fun!!!

    #4657
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Okay, so I was a little ambitious with my budget. 😛 Blame tax return euphoria.

    I’m now considering the Nikon Coolpix P4 (the P3 seems to be identical but $50 more?)…does anyone have experience with that camera? Any opinions (whether good or bad) would be appreciated.

    #4658
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I don’t know anything about the Nikon Coolpix, but I have the Canon A620 that Staplermofo mentioned, and it’s a wonderful camera. 7MP (though there’s a 5MP little brother, the A610), and very nifty swivel LCD screen. Has all the manual controls you could want, but in a size that’s small enough to fit in a coat or purse (or a big pocket). I think it’s down to around US $300, and I think the A610 is down to US $250. If you want to do enlargements or want to be able to crop and still print an enlargement, get the A620 with 7MP. I haven’t printed huge prints, but I’ve printed 8×10’s and they were gorgeous. I don’t think you’d ever know they were digital and not film.

    If you’re looking for a DSLR, the Nikon D50 someone else mentioned is an excellent camera, and the price just keeps coming down on it. Pentax also has a lower end DSLR that got pretty good reviews, and you can use any Pentax lens ever made to boot.

    There are a number of good online photo processors. I’ve used PhotoWorks and generally like them, though their color is sometimes inconsistent in their larger prints. But their prices for 3×5 and 4×6 prints are excellent (15-19 cents, depending on how many you print, and even cheaper the more you print), so they’re great for snapshots. Mpix is another online site that does a lot of professional and advanced amature prints. I have a friend who uses them and swears by them. She told me if I use them to be sure to mark the box on the order that says do NOT color correct. Some labs do an automatic color correction that will completely mess with the colors you have on your photos. I don’t know what either of these outfits charges for shipping to Canada, but I think I’ve seen mention of similar labs in Canada…do some searching online and hopefully you’ll turn them up.

    Good luck finding the right camera for you. I have tax return euphoria myself–I’m drooling over a DSLR, but I just got the A620 for Christmas!

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.