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[POLL] Do you still use film cameras?

Discussion in 'Tech, Science, and Space' started by Kevin, Feb 8, 2008.

?
  1. Yes, I'm still using film!

    9.5%
  2. Yes, but I'm planning on going digital.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. No, I'm already using digital.

    81.0%
  4. No, I'm not into photography.

    9.5%
  1. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    One of my hobbies that I relax with is playing around with cameras. The fascination goes back quite a few years and, naturally, being a technology geek I stopped shooting with film cameras some time ago and shoot strictly digital. I've finally got the rest of the family shooting digital as well. There is still an SLR floating around the family but I don't think anybody has used it in recent memory.

    Today, as I was reading some of photography blogs, I came across the news that Polaroid, who already exited the camera business two years ago, is now exiting the film business as well! :eek:

    For you fans of the Polaroid Instant cameras, you better start stocking up on those film packs now.

    That news got me thinking... how many 'average' users are still shooting with film? It seems like everybody is shooting digital now. Go to any wedding and you'll find a half-dozen people following the hired photographer around, all toting their own equipment. Look around at the next local kids baseball or soccer game and you can find a sea of black & silver cameras in the bleachers.

    So if you aren't shooting digital already, are you planning to? Or will you be hanging on to your 35mm film until it goes the way of the disc film cartridges?
     
  2. Tim

    Tim Creative Writer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    England
    The problem with digital cameras is getting one with a fast enough shutter speed to be really useful.

    A lot of people going from film to digital aren't getting decent enough cameras that are similar enough to film that they are worthy, ie. the Canon EOS/EOD class cameras.

    My own Kodak Z740 is a good camera, but can't cope in many situations. It is a hobby camera rather than a professional one. The inability to shoot even humans swaying gently in the dark cripples it.

    The main reason for buying a digital camera is slowly turning into its video capability as mobile phones have better and better cameras on them!


    Also found the ultimate telephoto lens : http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/find/newsLetter/Mother-of-All-L-Lenses.jsp

    $99,000 36lbs in weight, 33" long, 9" front element
     
  3. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Looks like we're a digital crowd so far.

    Tim, you're right about shutter speed being an issue with most P&S digital cameras. The problem of the lower-end P&S models not having a fast shutter has led to an interesting situation... a lot of the "prosumer" digital SLR models, and even some of the high-end professional DSLR models, are finding use by people who are using them as a P&S camera (and never even using any setting other than the 'auto' mode) because they are better at capturing events like kids sports. Meanwhile others are getting some amazing results out of the low cost P&S models instead of a DSLR because they are concentrating on the art of photography instead.

    There is even a dedicated fan base of photographers out there using cameras like the Holga that is essentially a cheap plastic housing with minimal settings.

    Coming back around though... Tim, the next time you're shopping for a new model consider something like the Canon G9 or the Canon Powershot S5-IS. Both models are considered P&S cameras but they offer the advantage of having a hotshoe for external flashes. Coupled with an inexpensive flash they are greate for those humans swaying gently in the dark. ;)

    Just don't caught up with the great megapixel race. A lot of people are surprised when they see images from an older digital camera having better quality than some of today's top of the line models. Those older cameras with a large sensor & low megapixel count usually outshine the newer cameras that try to squeeze several times the amount of megapixels unto a much smaller sensor. The Canon Pro1 is a great example of that.
     
  4. Tim

    Tim Creative Writer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    England
    I can capture landscape type stuff with lowering my shutter speeds and using a tripod. Turning night into day almost.

    I frequently use the manual mode on my camera. It's fun because it is involving. Although max shutter speed is limited in manual mode whereas in auto it is a bit faster!

    But people moving indoors at pubs, clubs, events, even low light days with sports become a problem. And the flash on my camera is harsh and short reaching. I did buy for 'still' photography in the first place as best at its price range. I have a handful of filters and a wide angle lens too.

    Not going to have the cash to upgrade really, so sticking with this a while and using my eyes and brain for the stuff I cannot do! If I do upgrade though, I have handled quite a few DSLR's and have to say I'd stick with the Canon EOS/EOD range of course :)

    Although I hear that Kodak are supposed to come out retail with a new technology very shortly that will be expensive but totally overhaul the market. Currently sensors can capture one colour per pixel. The new technology can capture multiple colours per pixel. Can't remember how many, but it will turn digital into as close to film as it can get. Price will be a factor though of course.
     
  5. audiothor

    audiothor Indie Audio producer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    UK

    That's soooo true, hence our old 2 megapixel Minolta being used more than the newer 7 Megapixel camera we bought recently. The old batteries last longer as well.

    I wish they'd design each generation of camera to be better all round rather than just more impressive specs.
     
  6. Tim

    Tim Creative Writer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    England
    I can't stand the usage of these new batteries in cameras. They aren't very convenient when you are away from a power source/charger/laptop/whatever

    I like my camera because it takes 4xAA batteries and I chuck 2400mah rechargeables in there for normal usage, then use Duracell or Energiser batteries when I go away for convenience as they last longer and I can replace them anywhere I am in the world.
     
  7. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    It's one of the reasons why I'm still hesitant about upgrading my current P&S, a Canon S2IS, to something newer. Before the S2 I shot with a Canon G2 and loved the images but noticed the smaller sensor of the S2 definitely made a difference in image quality. The current S series, the S5IS, has some nice features but I keep going back & forth on thinking of switching back to the G series with the G9.


    Do you follow any of the forums like DPReview? It seems like as more & more end users learn about the affects of megapixel cramming on tiny sensors that the demand goes up for essentially marrying a large sensor, low MP model with the features of the current generation of P&S models (eg: face detection, etc.). I know that it is something that I'd be interested in at least.
     
  8. painkiller64

    painkiller64 Avoid A Void

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    kansas
    i use digital more than regular film but i still use it. there is something about film that can inspire a person.
     
  9. angelamia

    angelamia Scout

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    I only use digital but I also hardly use a camera. I took a photo class in high school and I thought the whole process of using film was worth it and I don't think it will ever die.
     
  10. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Even with today's high MP DSLR camera I still think there is a certain 'richness' (for lack of a better word) that comes with film images in the right hands (certainly not mine :p).

    I like playing around with cameras, trying different settings & techniques, but since for me it is only a hobby the cost of film vs. digital is one of the biggest reasons why I went completely digital.
     
  11. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    It's been quite a while since I had a photo class as well (thinking out loud... it's going on 25 years!). I really should take a refresher at one of the local colleges.

    I think film will eventually go the way of Polaroid instatamatics, carbon copies, typewriters, and rotary phones but it won't be for a long time. Supposedly (and if I recall the numbers correctly) a 12mp full-frame sensor is supposed to give the same results as 35mm, and Photoshop filters can give the same feel of Kodachrome file & others, I still believe that a film camera in the right hands can achieve a result not yet seen in digital. That may be just thinking based on nostalgia but I suspect for at least a few more generations that thought will live on.
     
  12. ABofSeattle

    ABofSeattle ABofSeattle

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington State, USA
    I use digital for almost everything, but when I download the images, I NEVER save them in the original JPEG format.

    You may not know this, but jpeg has a bad habit. Every time you save an image in jpeg, it degrades a bit. Better to download them and save them in png or my personal favorite...TIFF.

    Film is still useful under certain conditions. One is set-up portraits, but you need a really good camera. I still use an old Yashica Electro-whatever from the late 70's that came with all the extra lenses, etc. It gets second looks wherever it goes. Probably sympathy looks, though...(laughs)
     
  13. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    With most of today's P&S models, the original is almost always going to be in JPEG. Very few P&S models still offer alternative choices. For those models with a RAW option, I prefer keeping the original RAW files (burning them to CD or DVD for archive) and then transferring them down to a portable format as needed/wanted.


    ... or you'll get the looks from the geeks like me wondering about the type of gear you're carrying. :D
     
  14. ABofSeattle

    ABofSeattle ABofSeattle

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington State, USA
    I'm always cruising the books at Barnes and Noble, and I saw a couple of them last week about digital photography. You're right about the RAW files, but the writers suggest downloading the jpeg onto your computer, and then before you start playing with them at all, save them first in a loss-less format like TIFF or Windows Bitmap. I'm not an expert on this stuff, but ever since I started doing this, the images I use for magazine covers and book interiors come out a LOT sharper and crisper. Tiff seems to work particularly well, but they are fat files indeed. Keep the jpeg versions for any web pics.
     
  15. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    Someone want to tell me what is wrong with .jpeg?
     
  16. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Essentially it isn't a lossless format. The very first copy, the one saved directly from a digital camera, might look fine but, just like an old VHS VCR tape, every time a copy is made it loses some of the quality from the copy before it.
     
  17. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    Thanx, I understand now. 99% of my 18GB of pictures are .jpeg.
    Is there any way to save them?
     
  18. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Unless you edit your photos, or make other changes to them (eg: apply 'sharpening' to them or other changes) then I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    My current Canon P&S only does jpegs as well and I just remember to keep a copy of the original somewhere rather than modifying it directly.
     
  19. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    Good idea
     
  20. craig

    craig Scout

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    No, I am not using a film camera anymore because I am now into digital. For me digital is the way to go now because it is more easier and more convenient.
     

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