Digital Photography

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Should I go digital?????

1 - Are you a happy film shooter?

If you are a happy film shooter and don't see any reason to go digital - don't.

2 - Do you like computers?

Digital cameras are computers. You can use a digital camera a lot like a film camera - shoot then take the memory card to a developer.

A film camera shoots whatever is in front of it when you press the button. A digital camera thinks. It checks the light (exposure), it checks how far to what it thinks you want for a subject and figures where to focus ( focal length) then it decides on a shutter speed ( how much light it should let in). Sometimes it thinks about all this and decides you need the flash, pops it up and takes the picture. This is some of the stuff it thinks about and calculations it makes - shutterlag. Digital cameras especially point & shoots ( p&s ) have shutterlag. Some people can't stand shutterlag - they are happier with film cameras or DSLR's ( Digital Single Lens Reflex - think 35mm cameras with lenses that you change ). P&S's usually have fixed lenses.

One of the main attractions to digital is the ability to see the picture right away - delete the duds - and print right away. The price you pay for this is time - time to learn how this camera thinks - time sorting the pictures and deleting the duds - and printing them - keeping the printer running, or doing it yourself at a kisok.

Then if you take it up another step you download the pictures to the computer - and now you can spend lots of time - organizing and cropping and playing with the color and adding words and arranging them on layouts with all kinds of pretties. If you are a perfectionist you may never get each picture to PERFECT. Then you fall in the group of digital photographers that never print a picture. 1000's of unprinted pictures. - If you are afraid you fall in this group you may want to stay with film.

With digital you have a tendency to shoot more pictures - why not? - you aren't wasting film or developing. Most digital photographers have no intention of printing all their photos - just the good ones. Then we arrive at the how do I organize and store these pictures. There are other ways to do this but burning them to CD is one of the main ways to save them. Do you have a CD burner? Or a DVD burner? External hard drive? If the pictures are important to you saving them on two CD's and one or two harddrivers is considered minimal. This all takes time. But you get a new level of control over your pictures.

If you want to be a digiscrapper shooting digital gets the pictures to the computer a lot faster than film.

Going digital has a whole new lingo you have to take time to learn - pixels - memory cards
- MB's - LCD - jpg - raw - 10x - etc. The manual is gobbledigook until you learn some lingo.

If you REALLY want something that digital offers that film doesn't - and you have the time - you should love going digital.


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