Digital vs. Analog Photography

On our recent vacation to San Diego I brought both our digital camera (a 1.3 megapixel Olympus D-460) and my 35 mm film camera (a Minolta STsi Maxxum). While our digital camera is hardly top of the line, it does a decent job and is starting to make me wonder about even using a film camera. This is my attempt at convincing myself to go all digital.


We took pictures with both cameras, though didn’t prepare well for the trip and the digital camera quickly ran out of storage space (I had it on the highest quality pictures because I hate it when a digital picture is too small to use for something like a desktop image

6 thoughts on “Digital vs. Analog Photography”

  1. Obviously I’m going to be a digital guy. I have been for years. I’m actually just about to buy a Fujifilm F10 (due to its fast startup time, great battery life, and good low-light sensitivity for indoor shots) to replace our first digital camera (also a Fujifilm) so I’m excited about that.

    I think you’ll be really impressed with what you can do above the 3 Megapixel border. Crop out the dumb parts of the picture, and still have desktop-able shot. Plus, if you have a big enough memory card, you can hold literally hundreds of shots on it at full resolution. Film can’t even approach that.

  2. In preparation for my return to Kenya this fall, I gave my 2MP camera to my youngest brother and bought at 4MP Hewlett-Packard. I used it weekend before last to take photos at my mother’s surprise 65th birthday party and was delighted with the results.

  3. I will put my pro-film vote in the proverbial ring. Well I guess sort of half-assed pro-film.

    You have outlined the negatives of shooting with film, so I thought I’d highlight its main benefits. Unless you own a 12MP digital camera and have access to a printer that can output digital images at a similar resolution (I’m not even sure if such devices exist), you won’t be as impressed with digital prints as you would be with a good 35mm print.

    I also would argue that for B&W photography there are things that when done in the darkroom will look better than if done using a photo editing program on a computer. That said, I have and love using a digital camera just as much as my film camera. I use the digital for snapshots much in the same way you do, but if it’s something that I want prints of or if I’m doing “art” photography then I’ll use a combination of both: digital to get the framing right and an idea on how to properly expose the film, and then do the finals shots using the film camera.

    Some tips on exposing film correctly: get a grey card and take a few frames of each image, vary your exposure a little bit. Eventually you’ll learn your camera’s light meter’s biases and you won’t need the grey card as much, but if you want really well exposed negatives it makes that goal much easier to obtain. Also choosing the right ISO for your lighting is important. And. AND. Your camera body makes little difference, after all it is just a light tight box with a hole in it, but your lens makes all the difference in the world. So invest in that, not the body.

  4. schdav, I’d have to agree with your pros for film cameras, but those really only apply to the real professionals or hobbyists out there who know what they’re doing. I don’t develop my own film (and as cool as it sounds, I’m just not interested in learning).

    And when it comes to getting a good print, I’m just not that interested. I don’t show people my prints. I post them online or e-mail them. I always laugh at those fancy photo printers–why print it out and stick it in a photo album to look at once a year? When I want to look at a photo album, I’ll do it on my computer.

  5. Well, good prints will last about 100 years, whereas most digital media will maybe last 20. So that might be a motivation for some.

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