Digital or film?, by Brent Rasmussen
The question we often hear from clients today is, should I buy a digital or film camera? And if I buy a digital camera, what kind should I buy? Well? as with most questions regarding technology, it depends.
Let?s start out by saying, if you want to produce a good picture?digital or film?you need to have adequate lighting, exposure, and, of course, good composition. That goes for whatever type of technology you use to produce the picture.
Learning to shoot on a good film camera can provide an understanding and affinity with the world of photography that you may not gain by starting with a digital camera. In fact, learning on a film camera can help you learn to utilize the advanced technology available on digital cameras. Developing prints in a darkroom is also good experience for understanding how cameras work.
Traditionally, it has been thought that film has a greater ability to deliver detail in both dark and bright areas of the same image; however this is changing somewhat as digital technology continues to improve. If your goal is to create a photo album or make prints of a number of photos, it might be a better idea to stick with film unless you possess the skills, equipment, and desire to work with your digital photos on a computer and are willing to pay for the printing of digital images.
Of course, there will always be those photographers and individuals who will never give up their film cameras and have a passionate bond to the world of film. Our recommendation: if your photography sessions mostly consist of family gatherings, film may be a better option for you. Commercial prints allow you to share your photos as soon as they are developed without having to bother with deleting and editing images on a computer.
Nevertheless, digital photography has opened up a whole new world, especially to commercial photographers. In the past, professionals would set up their shots and then shoot Polaroid?s to check the exposure and evaluate the composition of the shot before committing to film. The new, high-end digital LCD screens provide large image previews that eliminate the need for this step.
Want to know how you got that perfect shot?the settings you used, exposure, etc.? Many digital cameras record this information so you can utilize it for future shoots. It?s like having a personal tutor, because you are learning how to produce photographs from the data stored in the camera?s computer. Digital technology is also providing more room for experimentation and greater potential for artists as the technology provides instant feedback in the moment of the shoot.
Digital photography is coming of age with the new capabilities now available, as well as greater affordably. If you?re in the market for a digital camera, consider your storage space. If you are traveling and don?t have the desire to keep running back to your hotel to download your photos onto a computer, then make sure you have plenty of capacity on your memory card and consider carrying a spare. Also, make sure the battery has a long charging capability. Generally speaking, the more mega pixels the camera has, the larger your prints can be. Some of the higher-end digital cameras have lenses that are interchangeable with those on film cameras. This can be a great savings for those who plan to either switch from film to digital or continue to use both.
Brent Rasmussen is the Senior Art Director and co-owner of CoxRasmussen & Cross Marketing and Advertising. Located in Eureka's Henderson Center, CRC is a full service advertising agency established in 1986 and a three-time national award winning firm experienced in the development of marketing plans and associated materials. CRC is an active member of the Redwood Technology Consortium.