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Digital Vs Analog

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Old 04-19-2005, 03:45 PM
christo christo is offline
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Location: Oregon
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Digital Vs Analog

I have been a traditional 35mm photographer for more than 30 years. I have a large sum of money invested in cameras, lenses and other equipment, so I have not jumped on the digital bandwagon. I did get into converting my analog prints into digital and am very comfortable with PhotoShop. Most of the professional photography I do is real estate, architecture, product shots and nature destined for print. My personal photography is candid portraits.

I did purchase a point and shoot digital camera for those occasions when I needed a quick and dirty, but the times I use that are the exception. Lately I have been feeling more and more pressure for moving into digital.

Can any one recommend a digital camera that will not break the bank, allow me to move more into the digital realm, and still give me the latitude that my 35 mm does? Any tutorials, recommended reading, advice from those who have made the transition from analog to digital? Are the basics the same or do you need to compensate to accommodate the digital format. Any and all advice will be appreciated.
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Old 04-19-2005, 04:08 PM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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You could take a look at the reviews at:
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Old 04-19-2005, 04:30 PM
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Chip Hildreth Chip Hildreth is offline
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Location: Hillsborough, NC
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Originally Posted by christo
Can any one recommend a digital camera that will not break the bank, allow me to move more into the digital realm, and still give me the latitude that my 35 mm does?
You will not get the same lattitude as negative or chrome film. Just like with film, the conditions matter so I'm not going to try and quote lattitudes in stops but think of it like you're shooting chrome and you'll be in the right range. If you shoot camera RAW files vs. JPEGs or TIFs you will have the ability to adjust the exposure and color balance in post production... you still have to get the exposure right but you can slide it around some.

Originally Posted by christo
Are the basics the same or do you need to compensate to accommodate the digital format. Any and all advice will be appreciated.
The basics are the same but you have to compensate in some areas... There's more to that than I can go into here and besides, the best way to learn where to compensate is to shoot... it's fun, digital film's cheap and you don't have to mix chemicals.

Just so you know where I'm coming from, I'm a film die-hard. I shoot 4x5, 6x7 and 35mm; I have a Jobo autoprocessor and an Imacon scanner... I love film. The fact is though, as you indicated, there is a lot of pressure to shoot digital in the commercial world so you have to do it. Embrace it, enjoy the convenience and the freedom; learn to view Photoshop (or whatever image processor you prefer) as part of your workflow. Keep post-production in mind when you shoot but don't allow it to become a crutch. Don't get into the habit of 'fixing it in post'; use post as an enhancement and a production tool. Remember that post production is money, you won't have film and processing costs but you will have digital imaging costs, and they are not very different... digital is not cheaper, it's faster and more versatile.

Choose a camera based on your current system, I bought a D1X because my film system is Nikon... and it did, uh, break the bank. The Canon 20d sounds like a great camera if you use Canon, I think it costs less than a D1X. I know some guys that swear by the Fuji S2. If you don't have a system to consider then your research work is really cut out for you... tough choice. All things being equal, I might switch to Canon, can't say for sure though. Nikons are reputed to be more flexible and and color accurate but they use a smaller sensor so you have depth of feild issues, Nikon glass is awesome. Canons use a full size sensor and are incredibly sharp, too sharp almost, kind of edgy for my taste. Fuji's are apparently the camera of choice for portraiture but I've never used one.

This is a situation where you have to spend the money but it can pay off fairly quick. I just did a shoot this week that should've been done with a 6x7 and film but the client needed the finished images in 48 hours... two days and $1800 later, they have images and I've paid for half of the camera. The camera actually paid for itself a long time ago but you get the idea, you can do fast turn-around work and charge accordingly. I couldn't have done that job in time with film.

Once you go with it, you're gonna like it. You'll see arguements over film vs. digital, Canon vs. Nikon all the time but the fact is, a tool is a tool; you pick it based on the job you have to do. Sometimes, you need that broad exposure lattitude that you get only from fine negative film. You're the photographer, your imagination is the magic, the camera captures what you choose.


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Old 04-19-2005, 04:35 PM
rondon rondon is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: north central florida
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I like Steve's

I think the Sample photos are usefull... I usually open several samples of the same photo from different cameras and zoom down heavy on them for comparison. Often surprised.

I like to use the shot of the Marina.This one was taken with a nikon8800
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:56 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Grand Junction CO USA
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I pretty much agree with Chip. I made the switch after almost 40 years in film and darkrooms.

Found that I had to change some of my thinking and of course learn a new workflo.

But I like the idea of doing work in PS. Its so much easier than darkrooms, but you do have to watch our for "its OK, I can save it in Photoshop".

As far as cameras go, I have had some with the smaller chips and now I have a Canon 1Ds with the full 35mm frame. I find that much easier to use after all those years shooting 35mm film, but that's just my habits coming to the fore. I kind of thought that it was breaking the bank, now I look back and am glad I broke it!

Good luck

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