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Old Jun 27, 2004, 8:26 PM   #1
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I posted this on a general topic forum and was toldI may get a better explanation on the Nikon Forum. So here goes:

I've read Steve's and many other reviews of the D70. I finally thought it might be
time to go digital.

I went to Bedford camera in Little Rock; used the camera and took 18 photos
inside, outside and macro. They printed these photographs and also gave me a CD
of them. I took the CD to the local one hour Wal-mart for them to print also.

Took the prints home and started comparing the digital photos to ones made by my
35 year old minolta 101 and also to a little $75 fuji point and shoot that my
wife used for quick shots of kids,etc.

Results - the prints from the film were clear, crisp and sharply defined. BTW
- most of these were made at Wal-Mart one-hour. There was a discernible
difference from the D70 printed photographs. The digital photos were almost
blurred in comparison.

I was thinking the digital had finally caught up with film in print quality.
Was I wrong - or could my test be invalid?

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Old Jun 27, 2004, 9:18 PM   #2
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I think the test was invalid. Some additional information would help.
a) have you used a Dslr before?
b) what lens were you using?
c) how did you have the camera set up?
d) were you using manual focus or auto focus (if so which mode)?
e) what was the ISO, capture resolution, format of the images produced?
f) When they printed them what did they
use and how did they process them?
g) Did you do all available light? If so did you set the white balance correctly?
h) If you used flash, was it the builtin or an external?

Each of those questions/answers can lead to a detailed discussion of features, usage, and things that happen.

Dslr's are not just a simple digital camera.
They do a lot for you... IF you know how to use the features.

When you first got the 101 how long did it take you to get exactly what you intended in a photo?
(I know I'm asking for a major dredge of the graymatter.;{)..
I had to remember this when I first started in digital.
It took me time to get the focus, metering , the framing, shutter/f-stop,
and the depth of field right.
These all change with each camera and lens combination.
If you've used an SLR you've got a jump on the system!
BUT you still need to learn the tool. If you've never used
a Dslr before, picking up a camera and shooting away tells
you very little, unfortunately...

Hope that helps,
ps - the post processing on the images is another ball game as well...

The photo in the avitar was done with a Fuji S2 using
Nikon 24-85 AFs lens, It will blow up to 16x20 with
crystal clarity , the D70 can do this as well.

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Old Jun 28, 2004, 1:32 AM   #3
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I dont think Digital SLRS are yet up to par with film yet has film as a better dynamic range overall. I believe in order for Digital to match film the camera would have to be close to 28-32 mega pixels. The only nice thing about digital is convienience. Dont expect to get the same quality on enlargements (16x20 and up) from digital unless your using good fractal softwrae. Im still a film guy ill use digital for quick projects and film for quality.

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Old Jun 28, 2004, 8:38 AM   #4
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That is a general misconception I've heard from film users, IMHO it is lack of knowledge.

I used medium format film for 6 years and then switched my business to digital completely
a year ago. I still do film under duress and on special
request otherwise it's digital.

The quality of the enlargements is dictated by the skill of the photographer
and the tools used including the camera, lens, postprocessing, printer, and paper;
just like in a film environment.
If you do your printing at the local Walmart you'll get Walmart quality,
if you personally hand print and you have skills at it....
well the argument goes on and on.

All I know is what I see.


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Old Jun 28, 2004, 8:36 PM   #5
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Talked to the camera store today - the clerk indicated he may have not set the camera properly. I plan to repeat the test.

Will let you know the results.

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Old Jun 29, 2004, 8:40 AM   #6
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I don't own a D70 but in general here are a few of things that might help.

Have the clerk at the store :
a) set the camera for default settings on all parameters first
b) set the autofocus to center spot non-dynamic
(so you know what you are aiming at and focusing on)
with spot hilight turned on.
Show you how to switch it to manual.
Try a few shots both ways.
c) set the white balance to auto
d) set the mode to programmed
e) mount the Nikon 18-70 kit lens (not some off brand junk like Quantaray)
f) set the ISO to 200
g) set the image size/format to FINE JPG at highest resolution.

If you use the internal flash don't shoot anything over 10-12 feet away or closer than 2 feet.

When they give you the CD have them put the
original images from the camera.

Anyone got any additional tips??


PS - this discussion should really be in the SLR - Nikon
forum BTW - you'd get a lot more responce there I think...
If you have additional questions, I'd go there first.
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Old Jun 29, 2004, 9:47 AM   #7
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A good dslr is as good as a 35mm slr (Somewhat depending on if You are doing Youre own prints or not, as Watchinsaid. ).

Using youre own formula - camerabody, lens, film, developer, paper makes a great difference. But I dont think its still enough, a dslr makes great pic´s.

I´ll trade in my mediumrange Mamaiya for a good 6-8-12mp dslr anytime.

You just have to understand the digital side, the home pc and the photoshop - dont expect to get great pic´s just ´cos its a digitalcamera,some craft is still needed.

The old Minolta should get You good prints, You used itfor 35y. The D70 is an advanced computer You should give some time to understand...


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Old Jun 29, 2004, 3:08 PM   #8
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Another thought was: How did they save the pictures on CD? Were they a direct copy from the CompactFlash card or a "Save" from some software? If the pics are JPG, you might have some loss of "sharpness" in your photos because each time a JPG is saved, you lose the quality of the pic.

P.S. I also replied with the same statement in the General Q&A section.
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Old Jun 29, 2004, 4:16 PM   #9
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The amount of lose in a single JPG save is almost imperceptable. That wouldn't cause the "softness".

While it's true you loose a little with each iteration,
one or two wouldn't be enough to notice IMHO.

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Old Jun 29, 2004, 5:13 PM   #10
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Hi everyone. Thought I'd jump in with my measly two cents worth.

You do lose quality through JPEG compression each time it's saved but how much loss there is can be controlled to some degree. If you save in JPEG at the highest setting (least compression),then loss will be minimal and probably not noticable as long as the imagewas taken with the camera'shighest resolution setting. If the resolution was low when the picture was taken (like Basic JPEG), then thepicture quality will beundesirable and nothing will improved it.

By shooting in TIFF, you do not have any compression loss but because of the different ways JPEG and TIFF save images, there will be a huge difference in file size. With TIFF, the file size will be much larger because all of the information is saved. With JPEG, some of the image's information is thrown away through compressionresulting ina smaller file size.

If you bring a high resolution JPEG image into Photoshop and save it as TIFF, you probably won't notice any loss of quality. But, if you bring a low resolution image in and save it as TIFF, the image quality will still be bad. There just isn't enough information to produce a good, clear picture.

I shoot in either Hi Quality TIFF or Fine Quality JPEG andonly notice a difference whenprinting the image to 13"x19". Even then it's not very much of a difference. When I bring the image into my image editing program, whether it was taken in TIFF or JPEG, I always save it as TIFF. That way, regardless of how many times I open or save the file, there will be no loss of information.

I could open a can of worms here but what the heck, I've been doing that all of my life. I don't think consumer digital cameras are yet capable of producing the kind of images that film can. And before you get nuts on me, understand I absolutely LOVE shooting digital and haven't touched my film equipment in a couple of years. The reason I say this is because digital information is saved as pixels. The smaller the pixels, the cleaner the image can look, but the pixels are still there and can be seen when an image is enlarged. I don't think you can compare film grain to pixels as they are two different things. Grain can be eliminated, whether through better optics, higher quality film, etc., but pixels will always be there regardless of how good your optics are or how many pixels you can cram into an image. I also believe that someday weWILL see a digital camera that will produce images that equal the best that film can produce, but right now I don't believe that's an option to us.

My 8MP camera produces some sharp, clean, outstanding photos and I couldn't be happier. But there are some 13-14MP cameras out there (out of the reach and pocketbooks of most of us) that can produce even better images. I know I won't spring for one of those because, to be honest, what I have can produce 13"x19" prints that DO look as though they were taken with a film camera. And since I won't be shooting anything that will go up on a billboard any time soon, that's good enough for me.

The public lynching can now begin! Thanks for letting an old guy ramble on.

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