Digital vs Film Camera

My college dorm mate posted in our mailing list this link to a blog entry written by her friend: Why I Don’t Like Using A Digital Camera In My Personal Life. It’s a personal preference thing but I do have comments on some points:

With a digital camera, it takes at least 30 seconds to get back into the holiday because of the irresistable need to review the image, check the histogram, zoom in to see if it is really focussed well or not (and too often it isn’t) and then more often than not, I’ll take another picture of the same thing because I might not be totally satisfied with the one I just reviewed – or I’m just not sure if I am – it’s hard to really judge an image on a tiny LCD in the bright outdoors. During that 30 seconds or so, I am no longer ‘in the moment’ of the holiday or the outing. My attention has been taken completely off the environment while I was reviewing the image on the digital camera. I resent that.

There’s a term for this: chimping. You go take a picture, then review, then take picture, then review, ad nausaum. You don’t have to do this. You have to not do this. Take that shot and go on. It just takes some discipline and confidence in your photography skills. That being said, I chimp more often than I want :D

And I really resent that the LCD monitor on the digital camera is so darn hard to view in the bright outdoors.

It’s true that LCD monitors, especially older ones, are sometimes hard to view so it’s still good to get a digital camera with a dedicated viewfinder aside from an LCD monitor. Then you can also have the option of turning off the LCD monitor, just use the viewfinder, and reduce the temptation to go chimping. Sadly, this is not an option if you want an ultra-compact camera as most dispense with the viewfinder in the interest of compactness.

I especially resent the time I have to spend in the hotel room every night transferring the images from the memory card to the laptop computer, reviewing the images yet again during the transfer process, and setting up the battery charger for the evening.

This is probably because the article was written in 2004 and a lot has changed since. If you take that many photos that you need to do this, there’s a solution. Get bigger storage capacity. That way you don’t need to transfer to your laptop nor do you even need to bring a laptop. Note that it’s better to have 4 1Gb cards than 1 4Gb card for safety purposes. Besides, if you take that many photos, you’d be worrying about rolls and rolls of film.

As for the battery, these can actually last hundreds of shots, unless you use the flash a lot in which case you’d still need to worry about batteries whether it’s a digital camera or a film camera. In this case, there are digital cameras that use rechargeable AA batteries. The same batteries for both the camera and your dedicated flash unit, if you have it. And if you abhor recharging, you can just grab some disposable AA batteries off the shelf of almost any store. But that’s not too environment friendly.