Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Film vs. Digital (film photographers, this is for you!)

Everyone who knows me knows I have an opinion on just about everything. Now, if I may share another one...
Let me retouch on my opinion of film vs. digital. I have a lot of people who ask what is the 35mm equivalent in digital photography? Have we passed a 35mm equivalent on a consumer level (in digital)? The answer is yes. And not just yes, maybe. Yes, definitely. Anyone who tells you that 35mm film is better is either not a professional or hasn't checked up on their sources in the last 5 years. According to Lightwavephoto (HERE) Clarkvision (HERE), and WikiAnswers (HERE) film is equivalent (for lines of resolution both vertical and diagonal) to a 10 mega pixel camera at best, even though many say only 8 mega pixels. Even the reputable Popular Photography Magazine said six years ago, when the first first full-frame consumer DSLR was released (by Canon, of course) it even had better resolution than film (click HERE for pdf. file). I quote, "The 11+ mega pixel Canon EOS-1Ds, EOS-1Ds Mark II, and EOS 5D clearly outperform 35m". And that was years ago. Now with Canon's full frame, 21.1 mega pixel 1Ds Mark III, medium format is no longer a force to be reckoned with either. This is however, not to say that film is a dead medium, it is simply being overpassed by digital, and soon may only be used for specific types of photography.
Bottom line? Digital has been better than film for years and is now only expanding the gap between out-of-date film cameras and the smarter, brighter generation of digital cameras to come.