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35mm Film Cameras – the Top 5 Reasons to Choose Film Over Digital!

September 21st, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Despite the instant gratification that digital imaging technology offers, many people are still clinging to the merits of the 35 mm film cameras and what these can deliver. Professional photographers generally advance two reasons why they choose film over digital photography. These two are the feel and look of the images rendered by film, characteristics most evident in movies. The differences are most noticeable in motion pictures that are traditionally film-based compared to video footages broadcasted over television. Film-based movies have more life, with the images and characters they deliver as living, breathing beings. Movie buffs would describe these as film having the soul which is absent in a digital image rendering. More depth could also be found in film because this medium captures more action, more light and much more richness than the digital-based output.

Seasoned photographers likewise describe this film advantage as the style or feel that can’t be found in digital images. Highlights are better held in pictures taken for instance by 35mm digital cameras. These highlights could be used to emphasize a main subject or express some subtle emphasis on a secondary subject, something which could not be done with digital photography. Color play also comes in when using slide film wherein the red colors come out particularly better than in digital. Every other color likewise tends to be more vibrant and deeper when captured on slide film than when taken with a digital camera.

Image quality is a third element wherein film is superior over digital technology. The real image captured by film cameras cannot be done by digital cameras essentially due to the differences in the two media’s technology. Technology based on silver halide is employed in film-based photography. The film base is a piece of plastic coated with an emulsion of silver solution that when penetrated by light turns dark and creates a negative which is then chemically developed. The captured image in the negative is next processed and printed in an enlarger. Digital cameras, on the other hand, work through an imaging chip capturing the light coming in and converting it to electronic energy which is processed and saved in a memory card to be read by a computer from which a print could be made. Images captured digitally are hence cut and dry, which quality-wise would not be suitable for large reproductions. This is because pixels recorded in binary code compose the images recorded digitally, and the number of pixels will limit the size that could be printed from the recorded digital images. With film, however, the image is recorded onto an analog celluloid strip with a sustainable capacity for much larger reproductions.

People dig digital cameras because these devices are easy and convenient to use. However, the digital cameras cannot match the freedom of versatility and creativity of the 35 mm film cameras. For these two reasons, film-based cameras are ideal tools to train on getting the perfect aperture and speed settings to specific shooting situations. Light metering skills could be honed through film-based cameras, unlike in digital photography wherein one can simply delete badly taken shots.

Cindy Rhyes

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