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Old Jul 4, 2003, 9:37 PM   #1
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Default Philosophical question about Digital and Analog cameras

well. I am not exactly sure if it's a philosophycal question or not :lol:

I call it philosophical because it's been pounding my head over and over ever since I adjusted the money to buy a camera.

This is what happens.
First I was thinking about buying a 3.1 MP camera. Then I figured I would be better off going with a 4 MP camera and finally I figured that I could go with a 5 MP camera, since some 5 MP cameras are cheaper than some other 4 MP cameras.

The quality of the pictures is one of the aspects that worry me the most. While the quality of a 3.1 MP picture looks fine at first sight, if I examine the pictures closer I start seeing annoyances. Annoyances that I know eventually will make me feel sorry I bought a 3.1 MP camera.

The most I would pay for a 3.1 MP camera is $300. I believe the Canon A70 is around that price. But then, I figured that for that amount of money I could buy one of those big Nikon SLR 35mm cameras. This is where the digital vs analog dilemma starts.

In terms of optics, would I be better off going with one of those 'analog' Nikon cameras? And if so, how dramatic would be the difference?

Sure, there are many conveniences in a digital camera, like the cheap cost of printing pictures and choosing which ones to print, but is it worth it to pay so much money for something that is not going to produce results as good as those of a regular camera?
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Old Jul 4, 2003, 10:28 PM   #2
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Nothing on the market right now can produce the same results as a 35mm...Ektachrome is said to be 25megapixels.

Digital cameras are a compromise...I had a fully manual SLR that I loved, but to get the same ability I'd have to spend a few thousand. Instead I compromised and spent $670 on an Olympus Ultra-zoom that was 2.1mp (enough for 8x10, what was available at the time).

It's only been a year, and I'm already looking for my next camera, hopefully a 5mp Ultra-zoom...I admit the dSLRs are too big for me now and like the size of the Oly, even with its limitations.
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Old Jul 5, 2003, 12:02 AM   #3
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I had a similar problem. I had a 35mm and I liked the quality it produced. I am an Software Engineer by training and a perfectionist. I knew that I would be bothered by the quality I would get with lesser cameras and glass. I considered the Nikon 5700 because of the long zoom and quality lens. I ended up going for a real Digital SLR (Canon 10D.) But in my case, I had the money saved so that it wasn't a problem to spend the 4K that I did on lenses, body and a few extras.

Now I know that the only thing I can fault is myself, 'cause the camera has more in it than I know how to get out of it. But I'm slowly getting better, and gaining on its potential.

To answer your question directly:
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeloveDr
In terms of optics, would I be better off going with one of those 'analog' Nikon cameras? And if so, how dramatic would be the difference?
That is easy. Assuming you spend quality money and get good lenses, the analog slr will have better optics. When a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor ED-IF Lens costs $1,750USD, I don't expect a $300 camera to be as good optically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeloveDr
Sure, there are many conveniences in a digital camera, like the cheap cost of printing pictures and choosing which ones to print, but is it worth it to pay so much money for something that is not going to produce results as good as those of a regular camera?
For me, the answer was no. I did not want to have the lesser quality. But I have the money, as I live very frugally and save a quality chunk of every paycheck. You haven't talked about what you plan on doing with the camera, what you will do with the pictures, or how much experience you have. These are serious question. Without the answers to them, its very difficult to answer your question.

Eric
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Old Jul 5, 2003, 2:23 AM   #4
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I had a similar problem when deciding on cameras. First I thought 2 mp would be fine because i have never printed anything over 4x6 let alone 5x7, then i thought what if i ever want the option to print 8x10s, finally i got into, what if i want to crop the 8x10s, until the cameras i wanted were way above my budget. Rather than compromising, i decided to use my dad's old manual slr, an oly om10, until i can afford a dslr. To this day, despite the inconvenience of manual focus and having to use film, i have not regretted it. Thus i'd suggest going for the slr now and getting some lenses for that brand so you can easily make the switch to a dslr once the technology improves and the prices drop (of course buying many lenses would be a bad idea for me since oly's new dslr uses a totally new format).
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Old Jul 5, 2003, 5:01 AM   #5
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Digital photography opens up so many new opportunities that it is difficults to compare one discipline with another. For example, if you don't mind lugging around a lot of heavy kit, and spending time to compose and tweak each shot, then roll film is probably for you.

On the other hand, if you are not a disciplined careful photographer and look for those opportunistic shots that feature in the top pro camera mags - then digital can get you close. Absolute quality sometimes must be sacrificed for opportunity - and digital is great for that.

As for investing in slr and lenses to use with dslr, there's a risk that technology and commercial interest make the kit you buy now out of date. What happens if a new aspect ratio format comes out for wider pics?

I agree there are some really good bargains in slr's and lenses about (although aren't most of the traditional bodies now plastic?). If you want to go for quality and get digital experience without busting the budget, you could think about slr and negative scanning as an option. But then when you realise the enormous digital darkroom opportunities you'll probably want a digicam for the immediacy it gives. VOX
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Old Jul 5, 2003, 5:34 AM   #6
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Default 'Instant' advantage of digital

Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
For example, if you don't mind lugging around a lot of heavy kit, and spending time to compose and tweak each shot, then roll film is probably for you.
Even when you lug your big heavy kit around, digital offers the huge advantage over roll film of inspecting the results immediately on the monitor, and trying again until you get it right.

I have a professional photographer ex-colleague who used to do all his commercial work with his Hasselblad, and he often used Polaroid as well as film to check things at the time. Now he does the larger part of his work with his Minolta Dimage 7, unless the customer is demanding trannies or negs.

I have a filmscanner and spent 3 years using that on my Olympus OM-10 and XA negs before going digital 2.5 years ago. The filmscanner results are pretty good in the end, and higher resolution, of course, but it's an awful lot more work on the computer to get the finished product.
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Old Jul 5, 2003, 5:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
I don't expect a $300 camera to be as good optically.
That $300 digital could be compared with a $60 film camera...you can't compare dollar for dollar; the extra money is for the electronics, not the lens quality.
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Old Jul 5, 2003, 7:00 AM   #8
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Default What a Great Problem

I have aquired over some years five digital cameras and two Leica point and shoot 35mm film cameras ( I like Slides ) plus a good scanner. Sometimes I either sell or give away a camera....and then typically buy another. Why? Well in the photography game there isn't a one size fits all camera. People say "how can you afford all that?" But it all takes place over time, within a budget, and in the end has been less expensive that many other hobbies.
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Old Jul 5, 2003, 7:02 AM   #9
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Default ...Ektachrome is said to be 25megapixels.

Be fair Mike. The average none pro photographer does not use Ektachrome . They use film which does not match the quality of Ekatachrome.
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Old Jul 5, 2003, 11:01 AM   #10
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[quote="Mike_PEAT"]That $300 digital could be compared with a $60 film camera...you can't compare dollar for dollar; the extra money is for the electronics, not the lens quality.[quote]I agree that it isn't fair, but it's reality. He asked about optical quality. If you want to spend the money, you can clobber the quality of the best fixed lens digitals with a replaceable lens on an SLR. The film camera will cost more (a $300 body + $800 for a good similar range Nikkor zoom) but the optical quality will be superior.

We both know that even the top end consumer camera (CP 5700 or Minolta d7i level) have to compromise somewhere to make their price points (all cameras do film or digital.) Some will be in optics, some will the buffer memory and other electronics. The entire package (options, CCD, and more) all have an effect on the optical quality of the pictures. A AF implementation which can't do what he wants will give low quality pictures just as quickly as low quality glass.

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