When you consider the advanced film SLR and DSLR "experience" is similar, the answer isn't hard to suss out. You shoot a high tech AF film SLR in the same kinds of situations you'd use a DSLR, but shoot when you feel specifically like shooting film.
A good DSLR is a very fine piece of kit and my D300 is generally my first choice for things like event coverage, but it's not a total replacement for film. There's times when the F100, with the film options, is what I want even for chasing action.
Leighgion, checked out your flickr page and was pleasantly suprised to see the 35mm f1.8G DX being used for film. There seems to be some vignetting in some of the photos and I was I wondering if this was caused by the lens or added, as the "Temple Reading" photo seems to have little or none.
I guess I *have* been overlooking the obvious answer: it's still film. Bells and whistles aside, if you want it to look like film, you shoot film. How the camera feels and operates doesn't make it "almost digital". It just makes it modern.
Does someone have the answer to the "bright viewfinder" question? Is there a technological reason that viewfinders are brighter in film SLRs than in dSLRs? Or is it just a quality issue? (high end film SLRs with bright viewfinders can be had for cheaper than the equivalent dSLR).
More modern cameras tend to have brighter screens than older cameras, and DSLRs often have very bright screens that are not so easy to focus with, if you need manual focus, or at least that's true for Canon--I'm not sure about other brands. With the two Canon DSLRs I've owned, I've had focusing issues with the stock screen that were solved by installing an S screen. Another issue is that autofocus lenses aren't generally geared so well for precise manual focus, so it can often be easier to focus manually with a manual focus lens.
Most 35mm SLRs have pentaprisms, while most Dslrs have lower-quality, dimmer pentamirrors to save on cost, weight and space.
That said, the viewfinder of a D700 is very good indeed. High-end pro camera, probably has a pentaprism too.
Maybe it would have been better if you asked: "Why are people using modern / late generation SLR's instead of going with a 10 dollar 25 year old one you can get on E-bay?", because I have the feeling, this is at least partly what you are asking.
Well, for me and my Minolta Dynax 7 (yes, the film one):
- No broken light meter or other end-of-lifetime electronics that might let you down.
- Ability to use modern NiMH rechargeable batteries
- Lighter rugged plastic / metal combo (I don't need a full metal tank that breaks my neck)
- Lot's of bells and whistles I like:
* Fantastic well lit status display on the back, great for night time photography showing a BULB exposure time counting up.
* Exposure data memory storing used shutterspeed, F stop, focal length etc. for up to 7 films, no worrying about writing it down...
* Ability to transfer film data to my computer (yes, I am still talking an analog camera, or should I call it "hybrid" ;))
- And more I like...
There's no digital to get in the way of photography. No settings to twiddle with. No screen to view. Plus it's full frame, no crop factor, and $30.
I feel that the design of the 35 SLR peaked just before the arrival of the digital camera onto the scene. The digital camera is constantly changing and improving and you cannot afford to stay up with market, but the humble 35m SLR will just carry on at its peak provided you know how to use it for years to come.
This is my sad story and I'm sticking to it.
I just bought an F6.
I don't own alot of cameras but I do shoot a fair bit, both digital and black and white film. I shoot mostly 8x10, some Pentax 645, and then 35mm with a rangefinder.
I always use digital to shoot pro sports. I get paid by Sony to use their cameras so that's what I use. This gives me access to the latest digital without owning one.
I still enjoy shooting film and likely shoot film 3 or 4 days a week. Although I have a full range of Sony lenses for the digi, they never made a film body. I did try a few minolta bodies but didn't enjoy using them.
In the past I had used the F4 and F5 (also the EOSIV for the brief time I had Canon). I decided the F5 was the nicest film SLR I had used and thought I would get another F5, but first took a look at a new F6. Well once I held the F6 I was hooked. This is the nicest SLR I've tried. Outstanding build quality, great viewfinder, easy to use features, easy to customize menu..... just the best SLR I've seen.
The only shortcoming with the system is the build quality of the lenses, but I've already started building a system using the Zeiss lenses in the Nikon mount. Now I have the best of both worlds, great glass and a great camera body. I hope to use it enough to wear it out.
So why get one of those top-or-the-line film bodies, because using them is a great experience.
ps. The one camera system that I always liked but never used was the Olympus OM4. It seemed like a great camera, but Olympus was always a minor player in the photo industry in Canada and didn't offer the kind of pro support the other brands had.
Well, this all depends on the camera. My 5D functions just as my film cameras do (my SLR's anyhow), I have the screen turned off, it is full frame, no crop factor. But it wasn't $30 :D
Originally Posted by tiberiustibz
And there are plenty of "settings to twiddle with" on many film cameras too ... go read the "Most Overrated Feature" thread :-P