Maui Photography- Digital vs. Film

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The debate between digital cameras and film cameras is relatively new – digital photography itself has only in the past few years made it to the point where it could rival film, and most agree that it has finally met (if not surpassed) its rival in ease and flexibility. The range of camera choices above 3 megapixels (which is comparable to good quality point and shoot cameras) is very wide, while 5 mega pixel cameras or greater are available near the top of almost every camera line for excellent quality results.

quality differences

The results are similar from both film and digital cameras, especially in the case of outdoor shots where the difference can be almost indistinguishable between the two. With low light levels indoors, photos taken with both types of cameras can be susceptible to granularity or artifacts, however most users don’t notice the effects – and many software applications exist that can reduce the artifacts, whether from a digital camera or from a film print that is scanned in. Ultimately, the camera industry has taken the tools to a point where even though the canvas has changed, the quality is similar – so the decision can be made by the artist whether they want film or digital, with many now choosing digital because of the inherent flexibility. Film quality also relates primarily to the quality of the lens and the film, where digital camera quality is also impacted by the amount of resolution the camera is capable of, and the in-camera processing that is done when a shot is taken – prior to even taking a picture, you will know whether your digital camera is capable of taking pictures that can be displayed/printed in larger sizes (the higher the resolution, the larger prints that can be made at a similar quality). Many higher-end cameras also allow pictures to be taken in a ‘raw’ format, which bypasses the image processing done in the camera – this requires the photographer to do more work after the photo is taken, but it provides more control over the final image. In contrast, taking a photo with film permanently records it based on the conditions at the time (including choices between colour or black and white), although film images can always be scanned and manipulated later.

advantages of digital

Some of the main advantages to digital photography are:

  • the ability to easily preview pictures and delete any bad shots, and know immediately if a particular photo needs to be re-shot
  • the costs of film are replaced with memory cards/sticks that can be re-used again and again, with the larger cards/sticks having a capacity of thousands of pictures
  • since pictures are saved on memory cards/sticks, you can easily share pictures by copying off the photos, or sharing the card/stick
  • decisions on effects like cropping, sepia tones or black and white, can be easily made after the picture has already been taken