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  1. #1

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    Another way film outdoes digital

    I had an experience this past weekend that only served to illustrate why film is better than digital. It has nothing to do with look, mood, etc., that are qualities often used to describe film's superiority over digital.

    Instead, it comes down to something much more practical: batteries.

    Now, while I'm a dyed-in-the-wool film shooter, using my Hasselblad of late, I do have a Nikon Coolpix I bought a couple of years ago for two chief purposes: to photograph items for eBay, and for what I like to call "happysnaps."

    The occasion on Saturday, June 4, was an open house at Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ. The zoo is part of Essex County's South Mountain recreation area, and it featured tables staffed by various Essex County agencies, who gave out all manner of goodies. At one table, my girlfriend and I each got small personal, battery-powered fans that came with AA batteries (my camera takes the AA size).

    At one point, wanting to photograph one of the big cats, my camera's batteries, low in the first place, died entirely. In a burst of inspiration, I dug out the batteries from one of the fans and put them in. Nothing. Given they were some brand about which I'd never heard, I tossed them, and the dead batteries originally from the camera, into the trash.

    I couldn't help but note the irony: Had I brought my Hassy along, despite my bag's bulk and weight, I still would have been able to take the pictures I wanted! This despite my light meter's battery being dead. (Hey, at least I could've estimated the exposure.)

    Generally speaking, I'm not a big fan of digital, chiefly because of the need for power at every step of the process, from taking the image to viewing it (most consumer-level digital pictures aren't printed). However, I'm no Luddite, either; I realize digital has its place, strengths - and weaknesses.

    It's also important to note that spare batteries are currently not in the budget, so I had no spares on hand, other than the personal-fan ones, which proved to be adequately juiced for the fan, but not for the power requirements of a compact digital camera.

    "Digital is superior to film," say the digital proponents. Pshaw. :-)

    Dieter Zakas
    Photoless, NJ

  2. #2
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    When I go skiing my film cameras work. Everyone else cannot take the digi-snaps because it is too cold for the batteries.

    Digitial has its place: see the last line of my signature.

    Steve ==> He who does not have stinky finger!
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  3. #3
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    A digital fan would say digital is superior because you cannot remain without film. If you want to shoot analogue, you have to carry film and maybe batteries. If you want to shoot digital, you have to carry batteries and memory cards. You seem to be a little biased toward film

    (I imagine you disposed of your batteries properly rather than throwing them into the trash)
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by KarnyDoc View Post
    It's also important to note that spare batteries are currently not in the budget
    Must be a pretty tight budget if it can't accommodate a few AA batteries. They're a lot cheaper than film.

  5. #5

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    there are plenty of film cameras that take aa or cr123 or "other" batteries ..
    not really sure what the point of this thread is ...

  6. #6
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    I have heard, completely unsubstantiated by me, that there is growth in the market where electricity is not available. Even if you have batteries for the camera the printer won't work without electricity.
    Last edited by michaelbsc; 06-07-2011 at 05:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  7. #7
    MaximusM3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    there are plenty of film cameras that take aa or cr123 or "other" batteries ..
    not really sure what the point of this thread is ...
    That's right, Master J..my Nikon F6 is just as dead as a brand spanking new D3X, without CR123s...but thank goodness the old M3 keeps on going..and going..and going

  8. #8

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    My biggest trouble with film cameras is that they are always running out of film. All my cameras seem to eat film like it's going out of style.

  9. #9
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    One advantage of film over digital is when you blow out highlights with a digital camera there's no chance in retrieving detail. If you shoot neg film, there is a chance to get some highlight detail back. I know this site is about analog still photography, but I film maker told me that digital video cameras have less of a dynamic range than film movie cameras. Some film makers would rather shoot film, but budgetary constraints force them to shoot digital video.

  10. #10

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    One answer for the digital shooter is to have a camera that uses AA batteries. I have a Pentax 3.0meg P&S that uses them and is small, not as small as the credit card stuff but fits in the pocket nicely. Optical finder and 3x optical zoom. Easy to use and I keep using rechargable batteries in it. I usually run with a spare set of batteries in my pocket and a carrier film camera that has a mechanical shutter or 1 that also uses AA batteries.

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