Thread: Film vs. Digital Photography

  • avatar
    • 8 years 6 months ago
    • Posts: 1982
    Yeah, I do have similar results to that.

    With a low ISO setting, my concert pics were coming out very blurry. Increased exposure or increasing brightness in post made things very grainy. Flash could fix both problems, but made really ugly shadows when close to the stage. Very high ISO [url=http://digital-photography-school.com/iso-settings]supposedly[/url] increases grain. But not too much with my camera, and makes a much more usable exposure. I have a pretty cheap Canon Powershot like this, I think it's an a1100:


    I used to have a much nicer camera like this one that my parents gave me, but it was stolen when my apartment got broke into. I never even got much time to play with it and learn the settings

    Quote by tangspot2
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  • avatar
    • 8 years 6 months ago
    • Posts: 1268
    Low light (I forget if this one was no flash & the other flash or if this was flash & the other was room light)
    http://allspark.net/cypherswipe/tree-lights.jpg

    high light
    http://allspark.net/cypherswipe/tree-ornaments.jpg

    The low light one as you can see is blurry & the lights themselves over-dominate. Additionally, the pic really isn't visible at all until you spend an hour tinkering with gamma/bright/con (which creates/makes visible grianiness & moire patterns (most visible at the bottom of the first pic).


    Outdoor xmas lights
    ============
    This one was without flash. You can see all the lights, but they overwhelm the camera & you can't make out any detail on them, and you really can barely see any non-lit stuff at all (even though the naked eye can easily see both IRL). Also notice how orange the lights turn.
    http://allspark.net/cypherswipe/xmas-lights-2011.jpg

    This one was with flash. Notice how the lights are much better defined & more pure white (which is closer to how they appear IRL. The santa & the 2 deer are the exact same ornaments in both pics.) Yet you can't make out anything at all beyond the lights themselves.
    http://allspark.net/cypherswipe/xmas-lights-2006b.jpg

    IRL, those lights (in both the above pics) light up the entire front yard, better than any street light.

    This one was taken (I forget whether it used flash or not, I suspect not), then editted to be visible. It kinda-worked, but resulted in a lot of the moire pattern and graniness, and makes it look like daylight (even though the pic was taken at full darkness).
    http://allspark.net/cypherswipe/lights-3.jpg
    Similar with this one (which I'm pretty sure was taken without flash).
    http://allspark.net/cypherswipe/xmas-lights-2006.jpg
    signature *WARNING: The above post may be highly opinionated, read at your own risk.

    Gee Caspah, you're a twicky one!
  • avatar
    • 8 years 6 months ago
    • Posts: 1982
    Quote by Drahken
    re low light pics: The scenario I have in mind is holiday lights.
    I haven't done that, and obviously there is no easy way for me to test now. I do it for concerts in small venues, so typically dealing with very dim lights. I'm not sure how comparable it is, but I think the same principles would apply.

    Here's a picture from the last concert I shot, couple weeks ago. Not the best composition, but I was playing with my camera that night after deciding I needed better low light performance. Not as much detail in the dark areas as I'd like but it's pretty good lightwise. Here the higher ISO helps a lot in low light, when you can't depend on long exposure time with a still subject or tripod.


    Scanners, yeah, not something everybody would buy, but can be useful for many reasons.
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  • avatar
    • 8 years 6 months ago
    • Posts: 2878
    Comparing film to digital cameras can be like comparing apples to oranges. If you are going to make a direct comparison, you should only be comparing 35mm film to a "full-frame" digital, since most digital cameras have smaller sensors.

    When you compare a smaller sensor to film, you are automatically going to give film an advantage since sensor size usually relates directly to dynamic range, low light and depth of field capabilities.
  • avatar
    • 8 years 6 months ago
    • Posts: 4632
    Quote by stake_n_sheak
    Quote by randomuser2349
    Digital quality doesn't have film age, but the framerates are usually much lower.

    Video, whether analog or digital, is usually about 30 frames per second and has rarely if ever been lower. Motion picture film is most often 24 frames per second.


    Most movies made for the cinema rather shot on film or digital is usually 24 fps. This is done intentionality on digital to give it the movie feel. Otherwise everything would move like a TV broadcast. Virtually every movie I get on Blu-ray is in 24 fps, but the bonus material on the disk is usually 30 fps. Both can look good as long as a low level of compression is used on the digital.

    As for still photography both 35 mm and digital can look good as well. I have seen some amazing pictures shot on a digital camera. So as long as a low level of compression is used on a digital image I'm fine with it. The problem today is compression is everywhere and it's overuse is really ruining audio and video alike.
  • avatar
    • 8 years 6 months ago
    • Posts: 1268
    Speed is one other reason why I might concievably use film cameras for something. Both for taking pics in rapid sequence and for trying to get non-blurry pics of fast moving objects.

    Yes, of course scanners can be used to do the aforementioned stuff with digital pics, but why bother? All you're doing is spending more time, money, and effort to do what the digital cam does by default. Besides the additional cost of buying a scanner (if you don't already have one), there's the cost of buying film (since digital "film" is reusable, it's essentially free, you only need to buy extra cards for your cam if you're planning to take a huge ammount of pics without being able to download them to your comp in between), then the cost of developing the film. Plus a scanner doesn't do away with the waiting for the film to be used up and then waiting again for the developement process.
    On top of that, if the developer screwed up, you might not be able to fix it (at least not without a negative scanner). I have often had photos that the developer supposedly couldn't develope, yet were crystal clear if you looked ta the negative). Plus (without a negative scanner), you introduce another layer of noise into the image in the form of film grain (unless you scan it too low res to see the grain, but then you get low resolution images).

    re low light pics: The scenario I have in mind is holiday lights. If you take a pic of a lit tree with a film cam, you can usually see both the ornaments & the glowing lights in full detail. If you try the same thing with a digital cam, you either get just the ornaments (if you use a flash/turn on the room lights) or just blurry glows (without flash).
    The problem is essentially reversed when trying to get outdoor decorations. Turning the flash on shortens the shutter time but doesn't actually light the scene (due to distance/trying to get everything in the shot), so you wind up with a mostly dark pic with some bright lights (which if you tinker with gamma/bright/con, you can make the scene visible, but with massive ammounts of digital noise). Turning the flash off results in a more evenly lit scene, but then the lightsget completely washed out from overexposure.
    signature *WARNING: The above post may be highly opinionated, read at your own risk.

    Gee Caspah, you're a twicky one!
  • avatar
    • 8 years 6 months ago
    • Posts: 1982
    Quote by Drahken


    This last bit comes in several forms; 1) You can enhance bad photos. 2) You can quickly & easily share them online. 3) You can do digital effects ranging from simple text overlays to advanced 'shopping.

    I don't think I'll ever go back to film photography, unless it's for some special low-light event, where digital cams just plain suck.
    Enhancing and effects can be fairly simple for film photos with assistance of a scanner. It is an added expense but it doesn't have to be much (under $100) of course, it will be slower just because of development time. I'd like to have a negative scanner which can do a lot better, but haven't been able to justify the cost of that.

    Digital cameras are often less good in low light, but I've found with flash can be just as good. I've also found just one or two steps above the cheapest and using custom options (instead of fully automatic), digital stills can perform well in those situations by increasing the ISO setting to 3200 or higher.

    Quote by randomuser2349

    I have a bunch of film camcorders at home, and also a series of digital cameras. My camcorders tend to have a much higher framerate than all the others for some reason.
    Then again I'm not really a camera expert.
    It's because cameras are for different purposes. Camcorders are made for moving pictures, and can be digital or analog. They don't use film per se; film is exposed directly, whereas video is exposed to an image sensor and translated to video tape (which is not film) or to disk space.

    Digital still cameras translate exlusively to storage media. Their strength is on still pictures and high resolution, which is why they are often slower and can't take many exposures per second.

    Not sure how clear that all is, I'm keeping it simple, if you have specific questions I will try to answer.
    Quote by tangspot2
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  • avatar
    • 8 years 6 months ago
    • Posts: 585
    Quote by stake_n_sheak
    Video, whether analog or digital, is usually about 30 frames per second and has rarely if ever been lower. Motion picture film is most often 24 frames per second.


    Oh, I didn't really know that. ops:
    I have a bunch of film camcorders at home, and also a series of digital cameras. My camcorders tend to have a much higher framerate than all the others for some reason.
    Then again I'm not really a camera expert.
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  • avatar
    • 8 years 6 months ago
    • Posts: 1268
    It's probably been about 20yrs since I used a film camera. I think I still have some film that needs developed from around that time.
    I started using digital cams around 12~15 yrs ago. Between then 2, I just didn't feel a pressing need to take pictures.

    I was on a bit of a photography craze when I was around 10~11, but the magic quickly wore off. After that I found photography to be mostly just tedious & only occaisionally useful (but never much fun). The hassle of having to either waste half a roll of film or not see your photos until months later when you finally use up the rool just sucks beyond description.
    My interest in photography was slightly revigorated with digital cams. Partly because you suddenly have the ability to go ahead & take photos of random interesting things and not just save it for special occaisions, partly because you can see if the pic borked & retake it right away, partly because you can view the pics immediately instead of having to wait weeks or months to enjoy them, and partly because of the unique new ability to do digital stuff with the pics.
    This last bit comes in several forms; 1) You can enhance bad photos. 2) You can quickly & easily share them online. 3) You can do digital effects ranging from simple text overlays to advanced 'shopping.

    I don't think I'll ever go back to film photography, unless it's for some special low-light event, where digital cams just plain suck.
    signature *WARNING: The above post may be highly opinionated, read at your own risk.

    Gee Caspah, you're a twicky one!
  • avatar
    • 8 years 6 months ago
    • Posts: 1982
    Quote by randomuser2349
    Digital quality doesn't have film age, but the framerates are usually much lower.

    Video, whether analog or digital, is usually about 30 frames per second and has rarely if ever been lower. Motion picture film is most often 24 frames per second.

    As for still photography, digital is definitely the way to go for consumers. Hobbyists and pros might go either way, although I think pros are far more likely to use digital these days; certainly jounalists and studio for hire types. Film I could only see as useful for artistic intent any more. But the original, lo-res, floppy disk Mavica is equally useful (for different purposes) in certain artist's hands.

    I still like disposable 35mm cameras and Polaroids, but the majority of my pics now are digital. The quality is quite good enough, and it's so cheap and easy.

    I think digital stills can match film quality now, but such cameras are still high end. "Point & shoot" cameras aren't there yet. Either way, the lens is as important as the medium if high quality is the goal. Digital also relies on image sensor quality.
    Quote by tangspot2
    Mrs. stake you say some nasty on my threads. Dirty bitch
  • avatar
    • 8 years 6 months ago
    • Posts: 585
    I made a post about camera quality a while ago.

    Digital quality doesn't have film age, but the framerates for them tend to much lower. For example, I saw a movie from 2010 and the film quality was choppy to the point that it looked like a late 80's or early 90's film. In the opposite way, when I saw Outbreak I honestly thought it was a modern movie, when it actually came out in 1995.

    As for static images, a high-quality digital camera is the best. They have such high quality and they never age in quality. However, when it comes to standard digital cell-phone cameras, the quality is so poor that even a 1960's colour camera could do better.

    I still do use film cameras, but only for one camcorder. I switched my standard cameras to digital in the mid-2000's.
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  • avatar
    • 8 years 6 months ago
    • Posts: 520
    Although I'm at times "old school" when it comes to listening to music, such as on vinyl records and cassette tapes, it has been at least 5 years since I last took pictures using a film camera. In fact, I've been into digital photography for over 10 years now. The camera I had when I first got into digital photography (although wasn't my very first digital camera) was a 3.2 megapixel Sony CD Mavica, which used 3" CD-R/RW discs. The cameras I use today are a 14 megapixel Nikon Coolpix that I bought back in October and a Sony HD Handycam which doubles as a 10.2 megapixel still camera that I bought 4 years ago. Back in 2001, I was told that 35mm (film) photos were far more superior in quality than digital photos of that time, but I'm not sure if that still holds true today. I got rid of my film cameras a few years ago and do not plan on going back to film photography. Unlike film photography, with digital you get to see your pictures the instant you take them, of coarse allowing you to delete and retake them if they didn't come out the way you wanted. No more waiting for a roll of film to be used up...then waiting a couple of hours up to a couple of days for your pictures to get developed before you finally get to see them.
    Anyway, when was the last time you used a film camera as your primary method of taking pictures??? When did you ditch film for digital? Would you consider today's digital photos more superior in quality than (35mm) film photos?
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