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Old Nov 10, 2005, 5:09 AM   #11
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But if one is going to the expense of dSLR would it not be more appropriate to compare with colour reversal? In my experience that is the choice of most film SLR users. You say that 35mm negative cannot compre to 6mp digital, but equally I would argue that 35mm negative does not compare with reversal.
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Old Nov 10, 2005, 8:17 AM   #12
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Color Reversal film actually has less dynamic range compared to Color Negative Film, and is more often the film used to compare output from Digital.

Digital is more like Slide film, in that you need to expose for the highlights.

The main area that negative film can look better than digital is dynamic range. That's why I mentioned "when the light is right" when making my comments about Digital. ;-)

Film versus Digital is an old argument, and there are those on both sides of it. I'm more "in the middle". But, I believe that for most purposes, Digital has caught up a long time ago, if you're willing to do a little post processing to bring out the best in the images, for the print sizes most often used. Because of Dynamic Range limitations and sensor/image processing design, Digital does tend to be more "finnicky" on light and exposure, so you need to get used to it with harsher lighting (just as you worry about the highlights shooting slide film).

Look at the sample photos in reviews, print them at the sizes you'll use. Compare them to the results you're getting with film, and let your own eyes be the judge.

Here is an old article comparing a 3MP Canon EOS-D30 to Fuji Provia 100F:


Here is another article comparing a 6MP Canon EOS-D60 to Medium Format (645):


The argument film proponents use is that they are comparing digital to digital (because of the scans and media used). That's true. You're going to be limited by the test methodology as to the results you can measure. But, you're also limited by the results you're getting in the lab processing your film.

I shot a lot of images at a friend's wedding last year using both film and digital. The lighting was harsh and I was worried about dynamic range. The digital images were actually more usable. But, some of that was the lab (the scans were not that good, and labs are using digital techniques now to scan and print images from your film). Some of it was the film (the film I used was too grainy), and some of it was me (I deliberately underexposed the digital to try and protect the highlights, and shot the negative film "dead on" with the camera's metering). There are a lot of variables when making comparisons.

Look at the sample photos in reviews, print them at the sizes you'll use. Compare them to the results you're getting with film, and let your own eyes be the judge. If you're good with an editor, download and tweak the images some first (most samples in the reviews here are directly from the cameras).

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