The Great Debate: Digital Vs. Film Photography

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Ever since the introduction of the digital camera, a war has raged within the photography community. There are those that claim 35 mm film is the one "true professional" media and digital its casual counterpart. Conversely, as costs decrease and quality increases, there is an ever-expanding group of working photographers that shoot and produce only in digital.

So what's a consumer to think? Is 35 still the way to go, or is it time to trade in that old junker for a newer, flashier model? It's time to look at each format and decide once and for all which is better.

Digital: Amateur?
It is true that there are many digital cameras on the market, and like their 35mm counterparts there is an endless supply of variables that can impact the images each one is capable of producing. Image quality (in terms of color contrast and depth of field) have always been a major concern for those taking digital images and is still one of the common excuses heard from the opposition.

Add to this the fact that finding a digital camera that could match the sheer raw data contained in a photograph on film was both arduous and incredibly expensive, and the 35mm enthusiast has a fairly solid argument.

But fortunately for the consumer, the price of an excellent digital camera has dropped steeply in the last few years, while the "quality for the dollar" has increased dramatically. Canon's popular "Digital Rebel" line of SLRS (single lens reflexes) have given people an affordable entry level camera with near professional results for under $1,000.

And since Canon isn't the only camera company in the world, it's a safe bet consumers can look forward to even better cameras at even lower prices as manufacturers double their efforts to be first in line at the retail counter.

35mm: Is it Antiquated?
These days why use film at all? It's certainly no secret that film has an unforgiving and often expensive learning curve, and recent trends show that more people prefer digital for just those reasons. After all, when taking pictures at an event like a Super Bowl, would it better to have the potential for thousands of pictures, or just the film you have with you? Sports photographers answered that question by taking over 10,000 digital images in a single Super Bowl game.

However, just as some music enthusiasts claim that everything sounds better on a record, there are plenty of photographers who agree that there is no matching the warmth and familiarity of a fresh roll of film. In fact, developing film manually and printing photos in a darkroom is for some one of the most rewarding photographic experiences a photographer can have.

Sure, photos can be powerfully edited using tools like Adobe Photoshop to remove almost any imperfection, but clicking a mouse is very different than the tactile sensations of a darkroom. And of course, having someone else print up a roll of film can take as little as an hour.

And the Winner is...
Neither! Based on the accessibility of technology and the vast educational resources devoted to the topic, there's really no defining point that wins this battle one way or the other. As with many debates, the winner is going to be decided based upon the needs and desires of the individual photographer.

Families wanting to shoot and share their holiday memories on the fly may choose digital due to its instant gratification and convenience, while others may stick to good old film so they can print up doubles and put them into family photo albums. Thanks to powerful yet affordable innovations in digital and the classic, "do it yourself familiarity of film" the choice is now directly in the hands of the consumer- right where it belongs.

Autumn Lockwood loves taking pictures and is a writer for YourPictureFrames.com. Your Picture Frames offers a diverse selection of picture frames in a variety of finishes, colors, styles and sizes. If you're looking for a large selection of sizes like 8x10's and 11x14's give us a call or visit us at => YourPictureFrames.com

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