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|Nov 12, 2005, 4:27 AM||#31|
Join Date: Nov 2004
Apology accepted. ;-)
Seriously, you do make some good points. If you read through your original post with a degree of objectivity you will find it full of many platitudes and contradictions, and I admit I was teasing you in my response, and I don't mind being called stupid - I take it as a technique in your argument rather than a personal insult.
Addressing some of the issues you raise however, because this thread can actually end up help people to make up their mind about these issues...
1. Your points about sensor evolution and technological progress in that area - I agree completely. Increasing resolution is a good marketing technique, but I would happily change it for increased dynamic range and the ability to read the information from the sensor without introducing additional noise.
2. Your point about the TRUE resolution of fine grained film. The honest answer is that I don't know, you may well be right. But you might not. You haven't presented any analysis or refutation of the counter claim:
You are not getting 10Mp of true picture information, a large proportion of that information is noise.
Now let's be clear, just because it's a commonly used argument doesn't mean it's wrong. Just because you strongly disagree doesn't mean it's wrong. Calling me stupid doesn't mean it's wrong. What matters are the facts.
The experience of one's eyes (though it must be the ultimate guide for the individual) isn't reliable for third parties. If I'm relying on subjective judgements I try to take a poll of commentators I find credible. And without wishing to seem insulting to you, there are a large number of commentators I find credible that disagree with you, so at the very least I must question your judgement.
Another reason to question your judgement is the highly charged emotional nature of your response. This is not an emotional question, it is a question of fact and the fact that you're getting so worked up about it must cause me again to worry about the factual accuracy of your statements, although there is no doubt about the sincerity of your beliefs.
There can be no doubt - from the crop you posted for example, that some proportion of the information contained in your scan is noise. The crucial question is how much? If it's 10% then you're correct and film has a clear advantage. If it's as much as 50% or even 75% then advantage is marginal or disappears completely.
I don't know. What would go some way to convincing me is a mathematical analysis of that image, and what I have seen of that on the web suggests that the noise content of the image is in fact very high. These commentators may be wrong, but you have presented no evidence to cause me to change my mind as yet.
3. Dust. I'm neither a liar nor a fool and I don't find dust to a problem most of the time. I do change lenses frequently, sometimes many times a day, and the two places I live, Johannesburg and London are both dusty places.
Unless you're shooting at smaller f-stops the dust is invisible. It can be a big problem for landscapes, but is often no problem at all for portraits or any situation where you have your lenses wide open.
Lboy's tour of Iraq didn't present her with many dust problems, and the environment could hardly get more extreme!
4. The film industry. You'd be surprised how much I know about it, as it happens I am intimately connected with it. The reason films are shot on Super-16 is because the costs of stock, processing and printing are so very high. In fact most films now do not make a print for rushes viewing anymore to save money. The negative is scanned during telecine and rushes are viewed digitally.
Assuming for the sake of argument that an 8Mb raw file can give the same image quality as a 35mm frame of film. If you don't like 8Mb, then substitute a value that you deem appropriate, 20Mb, 50Mb, 1000Mb, whatever.
A typical small budget film will shoot 2 hours of rushes a day, bigger budget films with lots of action can exceed that quite significantly. Consider the data throughput required for my hypothetical case: 8Mb per frame @ 24 fps = 192Mb/s, convert to MB = ~24Megabytes MB per second. Consider a scene that lasts 2 minutes, ( scene length is highly variable obviously) you have to move 2.8GB through that sensor and capture it to disk for every scene. This is beyond our current capabilities, particularly where any kind of non-rigged camera work is required.
I've not bothered to look up the technical details of the DigicII processor, but it would seem to be limited at approximately 64Mb/s =~8MB/s, I deduce this from the frame rate capacity of the 1D cameras. This is only perhaps 1/3 of what is required for the resolution available from an 8Mp sensor.
Data storage at the post-production end is no-longer a huge problem however, let us consider the storage required. It is of the order of 7-10GB per day, over a typical 8-week, 6-day shoot that's ~500GB, so though not trivial it's well within our capablities. Of course we need SCSI or Fibre-Channel RAID arrays to stream data to the editing equipment at the required sustainable throughput, but this is essentially a solved problem.
As to processing power, it's worth bearing in mind that it's certainly not trivial; if the image is captured RAW it needs to be processed. Think how your CPU copes with 50 image batches and now consider the requirements for 170,000 images a day. You WILL need a render farm, because these images typically will have a window of at most 24 hours if film workflow is followed, but ideally you would want to process them in perhaps 4-6 hours between end-of-day and the editors and director viewing rushes the same day! If real-time processing were possible that would be even better because rushes could be viewed on-set before any sets are struck. Even so, the processing power is available now, at a cost.
Turning to the distribution side, another massive cost of film is in the P&A (Print and Advertising) it should tell you something that Print is listed there as a significant token. Print costs are very high, and you'd be astonished how short the useful life of a print is in the cinema. It's more or less on the order of 1-2 weeks, which is the initial run of most films before they have to decide on reprinting to extend the run. Used prints are then shipped off to foreign parts for a further 2-week run or even longer. This is why for example when viewing a film that is not going to generate massive income in places like South Africa the quality of the film is often so poor. It's precisely because it has been used already in the US and shipped in preference to sending out a clean print.
My point remains however; there are enormous financial savings to be made for the movie industry by removing the costs associated with film. That potential financial gain will drive the technology to the point where it becomes viable to make movies without a quality deficit noticable by the majority of the public. When that point is reached, and it's not too far away - my guess is 5-10 years, the swing to all-digital production will begin in earnest.
The technology behind digital projection is still far short of what is required, but that too is a problem being worked on, and I believe will also be solved in the 5-10 year timescale. "Solved" means it will be good enough that the studios will make the move whether the quality is actually as good or not, "solved" means the quality will be deemed good enough.
Who edits on a Steenbeck any more?
Many low budget films art films are already being shot on high-def video and transferred to film later if they do well at the festivals, and get a broader cinema release. There is a big learning curve for the lighting dept and DOP, but there are already a few very good people out there.
As early as 4 years ago a British movie called "My Little Eye" was shot on video and transferred to film for its cinema release. The film was apparently impossible to market in the USA, but it was quite successful in the UK, staying the box-office top 10 for about 6 weeks. It was very profitable, largely due to the low production costs.
5. The crop factor and usefulness of lenses. I'm sorry but here you are simply being obtuse.
How useful is a lens with focal length 50mm on the following formats?
1. 8x10" - large format film.
3. 4x4.5 cm.
6. 4/3 system.
The answer is that it depends on what you're trying to photograph. Lenses of a given focal length give different results on different formats.
The point that your lenses don't work the same way because of the crop is facile and obvious. The assertion that they are therefore less useful is simply silly.
6. You don't have to make prints, you can scan the negatives instead.
Perhaps so, but as a practical matter how many people do you believe actually use film the way you do?
It is a tiny fraction. Most film users are subject to the vagaries of film labs, and it is a horrible position to be in.
As an entirely practical and empirical assertion I would claim that for the majority of photographers as photography is practiced by ordinary people in the real world, will get better results from a 20D than from a film camera.
I accept that it may not be the case for the minority, "craftsmen" as I originally phrased it, and I would happily place you in that category.
7. Image quality.
There is a claim that "perceived image quality" is a balance between noise and resolution. Even if film has higher resolution (yet to be proved in this thread), digital noise is significantly lower, and the assertion is therefore that digital therefore looks better than film.
This is an assertion that you have not addressed at all, and I believe that this assertion carries enough "common-sense" credibility that it needs to be refuted if you are to make your case.
Also the notion that the results from a cheap flat-bed scanner can compete with the images from the 20D is quite simply inaccurate in my opinion. I have tried it and it does not compare. I have been tempted to get a film scanner to digitise my chest full of negatives.
As a practical matter after many years of visiting the galleries and exhibitions of London I can say that it is usually impossible to tell whether the artist is using film or digital. I have been surprised in both directions. The exceptions of course are in photo-journalism where the grain in B&W shots is sometimes quite obviously high-speed film, the other notable exception is large format landscapes where the majority are large format film, though occasionally I have been surprised at the results possible by stitching digital images.
8. Ease of use.
Once again you overstate things somewhat. In my experience a digital camera is not significantly harder to use than a film camera.
9. Latitude for mistakes.
You make a very good point about the exposure latitude available on negative film. There is a far greater margin for error. If you are scanning and processing as you suggest. My counter-claim, as should be clear by now, is a practical one, most people don't do that.
And I think you recognise the corollary advantage that digital has, that you can check your results immediately, and take corrective action within seconds. You must grant this point else why would fashion photographers have used polaroids in film days? Why do those who still shoot of medium format film also use a digital camera?
You make a good point about how film allows you to recover from mistakes better, indeed a 3-year old's smile may have been lost forever if you got the exposure wrong on digital and film would have allowed you to recover the shot.
Once again however digital has a mitigating advantage. I can shoot 5 fps all day for no cost, and once I get my exposure right I find that my little one does after all smile with great frequency. On balance I find that digital wins for me here. After all - you might miss that shot altogether when changing a roll of film, and even a poorly executed digital shot is better than no shot at all.
So where are we? Well not in massive disagreement in principle on your conclusions, why not use film and digital? Sure, if that suits you fine, it's no skin off my nose. :-)
How do I stand on my original claim that the 20D is better than 35mm film. I believe I have made a case for that, and within the context of my presentation I believe it to be a defensible position.
|Nov 12, 2005, 8:25 AM||#32|
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 39.18776, -77.311353333333
No argument from me... Just want to add a few comments:
o Dust is a non-issue: I rather clean my sensor once in a while rather than cleaning up my film/slides everytime I scan - granted this come from the extra digitization step, but a lab still have to do the same on every frame otherwise you'll see them in the enlargements
o IMO one should keep the film industries out of this discussion because, again they are still limited by their projection systems, unlike film/slides - What is the highest resolution cinema projector on the market? 2M or may be 4Mpixels... max?
o I think everyone would agree that going digital save time + money though :-)
Even movie industry do: http://entertainment.howstuffworks.c...al-cinema3.htm
o Why argue guys - Use both (digital and film), except for large format, a high-resolution slide/film scanner now is quite cheap as compared to a full frame :?
|Nov 12, 2005, 5:34 PM||#33|
Join Date: Oct 2005
isn't that a lot less grainy appearing than you'd expect from a 400
speed film scanned at 10 megapixels?
As for proof of resolution, my following example should suffice easily.
The following picture was shot on FujiFilm Superia X-TRA 400 rated at
200 speed. The lens used was the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM. The stop was
2.8. The image on the left is a crop from a 10 megapixel scan. The
image on the right is the same crop, but from a 40 megapixel scan.
The image on the left has been resized to match the apparent size
of the second image. No sharpening or noise reduction has been
Quite obviously, the 10 megapixel scan isn't really resolving the individual
threads. However, the 40 megapixel scan is. This shows that the actual
resolution is at the VERY LEAST 10 true megapixels. When I say "true", I
don't mean that the image is completely clean and free of all defects. My
definition of "true resolution" deals with the actual resolution itself. "True
resolution" refers to the ability to capture each color component for every
single "pixel" from the exact same point.
If you'll read my "little" article on Bayer pattern deficiencies, you'll realize
that Bayer pattern based sensors are quite far from having "true
resolution". You may think there's no big deal because you "haven't
noticed a problem before". But, everyone has noticed those halos around
some edges on images from a digital camera. Some people write it off
as sharpening artifacts while others blame it on compression artifacts.
Therefore, they believe it can be avoided if manufacturers stop sharpening
or compressing images so much. Guess what...it can't be avoided. It is an
artifact introduced by the de-mosaicing algorithms. Read the following
discussion to find out why: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...=23&page=2
film. It gives far greater ease in editing, special effects, color timing,
etc. And as long as you're digitizing it, why not use a digital copy for
the rushes or dailies; it's faster (rushes are supposed to be fast, hence
their name) and it obviously costs far less. Just because the digital
process make things easier and faster, that doesn't mean it's better
for everything; namely capture. I myself believe that digital cinema
would be far better...for editing, distribution, and projection; but NOT
produce a 9.43 megapixel image. That equates to a 27 megaBYTE file for
an 8bits per channel image (they actually typically use 10bit files, but I'll
use 8bit to keep things familiar). Now, at the usual frame rate of 24fps,
that means one hour of scanned film would consume 2.3 terabytes.
In digital terms, this means a Super35-3 perf motion picture camera filming
at 24fps has a throughput 648 megabytes per second. If running at 150fps
(as the Arriflex 435 Extreme can do), then the throughput would be 4
gigabytes per second.
So, when you say "7-10GB per day", it sounds like you are talking about
material shot on HDV. That format is widely accepted by professionals
to be inferior to Super16. One of the big reasons is it's high compression
it with an 80mm (effective) lens? The depth of field will already be very
shallow and camera shake may also be of concern. Cropping the image
isn't going to help things. Think about it, you can't deny that having a high
speed "normal" lens is more useful than having high-speed short telephoto
lens (for most situations, anyway).
lens of theirs will be turned into a high-speed short telephoto lens.
It's currently more difficult to buy wide angle and high-speed normal
lenses for the APS format. A 28-135 zoom will have an effective
45-216mm effective focal length when used with an APS sized sensor.
45mm really is quite tight for what was once a general-use zoom lens;
I know many people wouldn't be too happy about that drawback. They'd
be essentially forced into buying another lens.
NOW. Although ALL of it may not be usable to some folks, it is
nevertheless there. Looking at the trends in film development, film
usually improves in one or more aspects, but never degrades in
another. So the resolution is there, the dynamic range is there, and
guess what...the grain is getting there; albeit slowly. At least film is
actually improving in some aspects of quality without degrading in
other aspects at the same time. The same can't easily be said for
electronic sensor technology.
a flatbed scanner can easily make acceptable pictures. They'd
be good enough for sharing and printing. The important thing to
remember when using a flatbed scanner is that negatives have
far more data left on them for the future.
So many people shoot film using a fixed-exposure film camera.
They really have no idea as to the workout they are putting the
film through. Some pictures may be wildly overexposed, but
they'll never know it because the lab corrected it (at least
decently). Some people truly take for granted all of the work
film has done for them "behind the scenes".
need to take a lot of pictures to get a good one. A truly good
photographer understands the importance of planning ahead,
composition, etc. and TIMING. Some sports photographers will
say that a continuous drive mode isn't necessary to get a good
shot. What really matters is having a very short shutter delay
AND good timing.
Would anybody like to see proof of the latitude test?
|Nov 14, 2005, 3:52 AM||#34|
Join Date: Nov 2004
You demonstrate effectively that : A low-resolution scan enlarged shows less detail than a high resolution scan.
What a revelation. How blessed we are.
Obtuse is actually too kind a word for your obstinacy here.
Again with the "qualification" issue, and yet we have seen no links to your work, if you're going to cast aspersions on all and sundry then it would at least be nice to know that you have the degree of ability required to make it stick. By all means show us examples of the results that can be achieved by a "truly good photographer". Are you a famous photographer or simply a legend in your own mind? I think we need to know this if you're going to keep banging on about what "real photographers" are capable of.
Going back to your original point - how do you plan for that smile on the 3-year-old?
Anyway - it's clear that you're not interested in a rational debate over this. Your mind is made up.
I'd be perfectly happy to concede that film quality was better than that available on the 20D, but you have had ample opportunity to make your point and have failed miserably.
So if the point IS to be made it will have to fall to someone with the capacity to demonstrate it effectively. The answer even has a peripheral relevance as to how I spend some of the money I next allocate to this hobby. Shall I buy a Leica or Contax rangefinder and a film scanner? Or shall I get that new Canon 5D? I have always had a sweet-spot for Contax and soon it might be too late to get hold of them.
People can make their own minds about whether you have contributed anything sensible to the debate.
Unfortunately, you have taught me nothing other than the fact that you are incapable of proving your point. I have no axe to grind, I love to find out that I'm wrong about something - it's a lesson learned and knowledge gained.
If there is anyone who can show that I was wrong in my claim I would love to hear from them, but I have reached a point where it is clear that your self-proclaimed brilliance is a product of your imagination and is not evident in the quality of your prose or your ability to conduct a debate where the aim is to establish the truth of an issue.
Have your final rant, as I'm sure you will, but mind your Tourette's. I am tired of flogging this horse.
|Nov 14, 2005, 5:47 PM||#35|
Join Date: Oct 2005
understand, that 35mm film has more RESOLUTION than only
10 TRUE megapixels. Just look at that 10 megapixel scan, how
do you explain it's lack of detail compared to the 40 megapixel
scan? Even though it is scanned at a TRUE resolution of 10
megapixels, it still doesn't pull all the detail off the film. Is it
really that hard for you to understand what this means?
for reasons such as the possibility of lower quality, different
layout, etc. Besides, if you didn't need one of those for your
full-frame camera, you will need to buy one for your
substandard-frame camera. Have you ever seen the MTF charts
for the Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM at f/8? It is a much lower
quality lens than the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM; and this is taking into
consideration the crop factor being used on the 28mm lens.
So go ahead and buy that 28mm lens, but only for low-light
work. It won't be as good for all-around lighting as the EF
50mm f/1.4 USM lens would be on a full-frame camera. So, once
again, you wouldn't be getting as much value out of your
higher "on digital", so what? My point was to say that film
already easily has superior resolution and dynamic range;
both of which are very important factors in image quality.
Film is only lagging behind in graininess. Even at that, the
grain is nowehere near as bad as you'd like to believe. And,
as I said, grain is steadily being improved; while at the same
time the resolution and dynamic range remain the same;
perhaps even improving as well. Unlike digital cameras, the
film itself can't have destructive noise reduction algorithms
applied to it. When film grain is reduced, you know it's truly
being reduced. Digital cameras, far more often than not,
suffer increases in noise or decreases in dynamic range
everytime their actual spatial resolution is increased.
film users ARE DOING THAT. They take their film in and have it
printed. The lab automatically takes advantage of dynamic range
in order to correct exposure errors. Without realizing it, film users
enjoy the benefits of a large dynamic range no matter how their
prints are made.
that you can just shoot more pictures to make up for it. My retort is
that if you know what you are doing, you don't need to shoot more
pictures. You said you could shoot 5fps all day without paying anything.
Why do that if you OBVIOUSLY have all day to get everything set up
ahead of time? When it comes to spontaneous moments, your digital
SLR cannot compare to film. If you do get the exposure correct, you can
still easily suffer from highlight burnout thanks to the limited dynamic
A wedding ceremony is great example of this problem, you MUST get
the exposure just right with a digital SLR. If you screw up the exposure,
you can't exactly yell at the bride and groom to tell them to kiss again
or walk down the aisle again, etc! During a wedding ceremony, many
of those special moments don't last long enough for you to have a
camera and shoot; and then HOPE the exposure came out correctly.
With film, you can grab the camera and shoot without ever giving a
single worry as to the exposure, and you will KNOW that the exposure
here. First, you spent $1400 on a 20D body. Then you spent some money
on buying an EF-S lens. And now you suggest buying a new $3000 camera.
Guess what...your EF-S lens won't work with that camera. And you haven't
even had your 20D for 2 years!!! Are you pehaps feeling that your 20D isn't
all you'd hoped it would be?
denial that your DSLR has some serious limitations? After all, I've
easily proven in a way that anyone can understand, film has far
more resolution than your DSLR. I've shown that film has far less
grain than you were hoping for. I've given hard facts as to why the
dynamic range is far superior and reasons why that is so
advantageous. Have you actually admitted that I'm right in all of
What's your problem anyway? First you said you'd like to see some
MATHEMATICAL representation of the noise in my sample pictures.
Then you state that all that matters is APPARENT quality. Which one
do you want? Which one do you think people here are more interested
in seeing? Obviously, people here are going to care more about ACTUAL
VISUAL RESULTS rather than mathematical numbers.
|Nov 15, 2005, 3:22 AM||#36|
Join Date: May 2005
How can you advocate the use of film and also use the statement "severe limitations in your digital SLR" I find that anincredible contradiction that can also be reversed and applied to your own cameras. Don't you think ?
Anyway I also think you owe an apology to the original poster here.
Because you took a strange dislike to a one off remark regarding digital being as good as film you have railroaded this thread with completely unrelated information.
This is the Canon EOS Digital SLR forum. On a site funnily enough thatscalled Steve's Digicams. Thats Digi, its short for digital. The people on this page if not this whole site, are here because they have either moved from film photography to digital, or they have entered into photography purely on a digital basis because of the benefits that it provides.
A few including myself have agreed with you that film is betterin producing a high quality photograph than a digital sensor at the time being. Your right, your right, your right, your right, your right..... about this point, there you go.
Why are you continuing to bang the same boring drum like some demented Duracell rabbit ? Give us all a rest and find a forum where people who are interested in making photography on film can get the benefit of your knowledge. We are simply interested in the benefits that digital photography offer us, and wish to discuss those issues.
By being told repeatedly how inferior our cameras arewill by no means make us decideto go back to or swap over to film. Why ? because film isawkward, inconvenient and is dieing a slow death.
Again, you are only holding a small, albeit sharp stick in the wind, and have not managed to grasp the (if you pardon the pun) whole picture.
|Nov 15, 2005, 11:57 AM||#37|
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
very nicely put LB..
its obvious that you are spending way too long writing these long posts.. but the question that begs to be answered- what is the point?? what are you gaining??
edit- actually don't answer that, let the thread die... please.......
|Nov 15, 2005, 8:35 PM||#38|
Join Date: Oct 2005
I'd like to just answer a few questions that were asked...
limitations in relation to film. However, I never said that film
doesn't have it's own limitations as well. Yes, that statement
could be reversed; but not to anywhere the same extent.
I can "advocate the use of film" and at the same time advocate
the use of digital cameras. There are some things film is better
suited for and the same is true for digital cameras.
says something like "The APS sensors on the 20D and forth
coming Sony 10.2Mp sensor ( which will find its way into Nikon,
KM & Pentax) are already BETTER than 35mm film under most
conditions. And the 12Mp sensor on the Nikon D2X is simply
awesome". To me, anyway, that statement is obviously not
true. All too often, these misconceptions are allowed to spread.
I wanted to set the record straight, at least just this once.
There are innocent people here who use film and digital cameras.
the spread of misconceptions against film.
In closing this message, I'd like you to consider this...
use has declined, but do you think it will ever truly die? Do you
think every trend has no end and must continue at the same rate?
I've read plenty of propaganda that claims that Kodak's still picture
film market is declining due to sales of digital cameras. What they
don't want you to know is that Kodak is losing a large portion of
their still picture film business to FujiFilm. Why, because FujiFilm
produces superior film at a lower cost. They also don't have the
annoying tendency to discontinue film left and right; which Kodak
has been doing ever since before digital cameras were available
to the public. That doesn't exactly build customer loyalty.
I've also read propaganda which tries to mislead people by using
the sales of digital cameras as "proof" that film is "dying". Just
because sales of digital cameras have increased beyond that of
film cameras does not mean that digital cameras are "taking over"
that much. People buy a film camera and remain happy with it
for many years to come. They don't become so easily frustrated
by it's lack of quality, speed, or control or whatever the problem
may be. There also isn't the strong need to "keep up with the
Jones'" in the film market. And then there are also people who
buy digital cameras for what they are good for, and still continue
to use film for what it's good for.
So, what's my point? It is that perhaps film isn't "dying" as fast
as you may have been lead to believe. I remember so-called
industry experts claiming that motion picture film would "die"
because it is "awkward, inconvenient". That was all the way back
when video cameras were introduced. Obviously, MP film hasn't
died. That doesn't PROVE that still picture film won't "die",
but it is something to consider.
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