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Ruffneck

Technology Is Going Backwards

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Yeah you read that right , digital is still piss poor compared to analogue.

Here is a website comparing shots taken with a top of the line digital camera vs one with real film , look at the difference in quality between these two images.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/filmdig.htm

McGeeIndex.jpg

FILM

4990scan.jpg

DIGITAL

digital.jpg

I won't even go into the realms of camera phones yet , they are just embarrassing.

Moving on to the audio world it's pretty much impossible to buy audio equipment thats not made in China nowdays , back in the 70s-90s it was mostly Japanese stuff , American stuff was easier to come across back then as well.It's moved from large stereo systems with a Japanese made CD player to a tinny ipod playing some 128kbps mp3 on $2 earphones.

Alot of people don't even download mp3s nowdays they just 'rip' the music straight off youtube (which has serious compression issues).

As for digital radios i had one but had real issues getting the signal to stick , was alot easier with analogue.Maybe i got a dud but i still had to chuck the digital away , twas useless.

I'm no audiophile nazi but i can't see how people can accept this crap.Old ways = the best ways , they don't make stuff like they used to.

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I've said this for a long time, about how you can blow up 35mm film massively and it is still pretty sharp. A common spy trick in the cold war was apparently to take a photo of a secret document, then process it and take a photo of the photo with the original photo in the back ground.

It would look like a completely innocent photo but you could blow up the background to still have the things legible in the back ground.

But film has a 20mega pix hard limit!

The point of digital is convenience more than anything else and widespreadness.

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Guest anorthosite

I've said this for a long time, about how you can blow up 35mm film massively and it is still pretty sharp.

Depends on the lens - and that's just as important as the film/sensor.

I still use both, a Sony DSLR and a Hasselblad medium format film camera.

EDIT: I see the article is four years old. Things have changed since then.

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I see your point re; sound systems but it's a case of how much quality you actually need. We don't have a big sound system but use iPods in a Jamo sound dock which produces what I thing is a quite impressive wuality of sound. A guy said to me once that in the main, people who are heavily into top end sound systems are usually more interested in listening to the system rather than listening to the music. I think there's a lot of truth in that. Nothing wrong with it, having quality equipment is a worthy goal but it comes down to what you want as an individual.

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As someone else pointed out for the photos to be comparable I'd expect the same lens on both cameras. Also, the digital one seems to be suffering from some compression artefacts which are artificiially downgrading it.

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The dangers of dating photography students, I remember a girlie I dated once who nicked some of my personal data by blowing up a photograph of me.

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I'd note netbooks were a master stroke of marketting genius though.

As large firms and manufacturers convinced us to buy more old and obsolete technology today!

My smegging dell from 2005 is faster than my sisters NC10.

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As someone else pointed out for the photos to be comparable I'd expect the same lens on both cameras. Also, the digital one seems to be suffering from some compression artefacts which are artificiially downgrading it.

... and it's dated 2003 in the corner.

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I see your point re; sound systems but it's a case of how much quality you actually need. We don't have a big sound system but use iPods in a Jamo sound dock which produces what I thing is a quite impressive wuality of sound. A guy said to me once that in the main, people who are heavily into top end sound systems are usually more interested in listening to the system rather than listening to the music. I think there's a lot of truth in that. Nothing wrong with it, having quality equipment is a worthy goal but it comes down to what you want as an individual.

Bought a sony dock for my iphone the other day. Great piece of kit, great sound from something so small. Dirt cheap. Only downside I would say is that it's a bit plasticy. Doesn't look like it's built to last. But in five years time there will probably be a better one available at the same price (minus inflation of course).

Take something like video. Back in the day there were no video recorders. Then you got those VHS betamax things. Tapes. Long time to rewind/forwind and the tap would get stuck. Now you've got hard drive recorders that have much better functionality and picture quality.

I can imagine that for profession photographers there may be some issues with digital cameras that mean they don't geive the same performance as old style. But for bog standard photographers like me the advantage of not having to pay for film, to be able to retake the photo several times until it works etc far outweighs the fact that if you zoom it 700x it looks a bit blurry.

At the end of the day the vast majority of the population appears to disagreee strongly with the OP. After all, if conventional cameras were "better" for their purposes, then why is the vast amjority of the population buying digital ?

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Ken Rockwell is just some random yank nobody that got some serious keywords locked down pre-blogging in the early days of Google and floats to the top of all manner of camera-related searches. His iconoclastic, layin' down the law tone is a source of much mickey-taking on camera sites.

He's actually wrong. Even the basic digital cameras smoke 35mm film in most respects - especially when you consider how you are actually going to scan your film if getting it onto a computer is at all important to you. Even a Nikon Coolscan is relatively low-end.

One argument for film is that you seldom need to do a thing to it to make it look good. I never touch Provia. Digital images are drab until at least tweaked.

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... and it's dated 2003 in the corner.

It's also worth noting that he used a 4x5" plate camera - not a "normal" 35 mm film camera. When your negative is the size of a CD, you can capture a lot more detail.

Certainly, you get bet quality pictures. But it's £500 for a basic 4x5" camera (with no exposure meter) and mechanical shutter timer. The film is £3 a shot (when bought in bulk), to which you need to add processing costs (either you do this yourself - very difficult - or you find a pro-lab to do it - very expensive - I was once quoted about £2 per exposure many years ago). I did once look into getting a cheap 4x5" camera - just for the coolness factor. But at £5 per exposure, and £1000 for 2nd hand camera, 2nd hand lens and light meter, it was utterly impractical for hobby use.

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I can imagine that for profession photographers there may be some issues with digital cameras that mean they don't geive the same performance as old style. But for bog standard photographers like me the advantage of not having to pay for film, to be able to retake the photo several times until it works etc far outweighs the fact that if you zoom it 700x it looks a bit blurry.

At the end of the day the vast majority of the population appears to disagreee strongly with the OP. After all, if conventional cameras were "better" for their purposes, then why is the vast amjority of the population buying digital ?

I think that one factor is that camera buffs have had their fun spoiled by the advent of digital cameras. Photography used to be be complicated and expensive, and you could spend years constantly upgrading your camera and buying more and better lenses and filters and tripods and so on. There were also lots of recurrent costs for film and developing which made it an expensive business. Enthusiasts would invest lots of time and money and build up a lot of expertise over the years. Now Joe Public can spend a couple of hundred pounds on a digital camera which makes it really easy for him to go out and take hundreds of reasonable pictures, with electronics in the camera doing lots of stuff that previously took lots of experience to get right. Suddenly all the investment and experience that the hard-core photography enthusiasts had spent years gaining have been swept away, and anyone can play. It's entirely natural for the experts to feel cheated and bewildered, and they deal with this by coming up with reasons why digital photography isn't the real thing, and how it can never match up to the subtlety and artistry required for film photography with a proper camera.

OK, that's maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but I think there's an element of truth in it. The same thing happened when CDs came along. You had people who'd spent years of their lives and thousands of pounds building up the perfect sound system, with turntables with seismic damping and titanium tone-arms and so on, and then all of a sudden the man in the street could just buy something that would give you much better sound quality for a fraction of the price. You still get people telling you that analogue sound from a vinyl record has some mystical quality of truth that's vanished in the sterile world of digital recording. (Although I agree that CDs are better than MP3s. Presumably MP3 will become obsolete as memory costs and network speeds decrease and you need less compression, so in a while purely digital music will be just as good as CDs).

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Ken Rockwell is just some random yank nobody that got some serious keywords locked down pre-blogging in the early days of Google and floats to the top of all manner of camera-related searches. His iconoclastic, layin' down the law tone is a source of much mickey-taking on camera sites.

He's actually wrong. Even the basic digital cameras smoke 35mm film in most respects - especially when you consider how you are actually going to scan your film if getting it onto a computer is at all important to you. Even a Nikon Coolscan is relatively low-end.

One argument for film is that you seldom need to do a thing to it to make it look good. I never touch Provia. Digital images are drab until at least tweaked.

Even with newer digital cameras there is still going to be pixellation at high zoom.

Here's a better site than the one posted previously : http://www.twinlenslife.com/2009/05/digital-vs-film-real-deal-nikon-d300-vs.html (A little over one year old)

Specifically look at the directly shot into the sun shots.

Anyway those shitty CFL lightbulbs , had one in my room the past 3 years and now it's so dim you can hardly see anything.These things dim over time so much that their useful lifespan isn't really any different than a regular edison bulb!

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That last link is a little unfair.

A rangefinder may be cheap now but in their day they were expensive pro cameras, the D300 is an 'entry level' DSLR...

The lens on the D300 is a cheap zoom vs a good quality fixed lens on the rangefinder, i you compare the quality of a cheap zoom to a good quality fixed lens on any format you will get the same results.

He also decides to scan the film at 17mp to compare detail shots against a 12.3mp digital file.

Biased review.

Would have been better to use an identical lens on an old pro camera and a new pro digital camera.

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bit unfair it depends on the megapixel. As soon as your above 10 megapixel your better than most 35mm cameras... Top digital cameras are 25->30 megapixels which is far better than a 35mm camera..

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bit unfair it depends on the megapixel. As soon as your above 10 megapixel your better than most 35mm cameras... Top digital cameras are 25->30 megapixels which is far better than a 35mm camera..

what is the cost of a 30 megapixel camera compared to a top film camera

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I think that one factor is that camera buffs have had their fun spoiled by the advent of digital cameras. Photography used to be be complicated and expensive, and you could spend years constantly upgrading your camera and buying more and better lenses and filters and tripods and so on. There were also lots of recurrent costs for film and developing which made it an expensive business. Enthusiasts would invest lots of time and money and build up a lot of expertise over the years. Now Joe Public can spend a couple of hundred pounds on a digital camera which makes it really easy for him to go out and take hundreds of reasonable pictures, with electronics in the camera doing lots of stuff that previously took lots of experience to get right. Suddenly all the investment and experience that the hard-core photography enthusiasts had spent years gaining have been swept away, and anyone can play. It's entirely natural for the experts to feel cheated and bewildered, and they deal with this by coming up with reasons why digital photography isn't the real thing, and how it can never match up to the subtlety and artistry required for film photography with a proper camera.

OK, that's maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but I think there's an element of truth in it. The same thing happened when CDs came along. You had people who'd spent years of their lives and thousands of pounds building up the perfect sound system, with turntables with seismic damping and titanium tone-arms and so on, and then all of a sudden the man in the street could just buy something that would give you much better sound quality for a fraction of the price. You still get people telling you that analogue sound from a vinyl record has some mystical quality of truth that's vanished in the sterile world of digital recording. (Although I agree that CDs are better than MP3s. Presumably MP3 will become obsolete as memory costs and network speeds decrease and you need less compression, so in a while purely digital music will be just as good as CDs).

Every age needs its Luddites.

After all, when the train was invented didn't people think they were going to die from lack of oxygen and that "it would never catch on" ?

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Guest Skinty

bit unfair it depends on the megapixel. As soon as your above 10 megapixel your better than most 35mm cameras... Top digital cameras are 25->30 megapixels which is far better than a 35mm camera..

I can scan a 35mm film slide and get 14 megapixels from it.

It's not just a matter of resolution though but also of colour saturation.

Slide film has far better colour saturation compared to digital. Digital is easier to expose for though, much like print film is compared to slide.

Comparing the two is like asking which is better, an oil painting or a water colour. Both have their place.

I'll agree though that 35mm film is now pretty much obsolete compared to digital. But as Anorthosite says, digital SLR and medium or large format film is a good combination. Digital can in no way compete with Medium format even if some cameras in the 25 megapixel range are marketed as that. Again it's not just a matter of resolution but of sensor area, which is even more important than how sharp the lens is. Quite frankly, a larger sensor area will just capture more information. Medium format will really bring out the micro-contrast with the colours and if you expose it just right, will provide a picture that makes you feel like you could reach out and touch the subject.

But then medium format is no good for journalistic context shots that you can quickly reel off.

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Guest anorthosite

I think that one factor is that camera buffs have had their fun spoiled by the advent of digital cameras. Photography used to be be complicated and expensive, and you could spend years constantly upgrading your camera and buying more and better lenses and filters and tripods and so on. There were also lots of recurrent costs for film and developing which made it an expensive business. Enthusiasts would invest lots of time and money and build up a lot of expertise over the years. Now Joe Public can spend a couple of hundred pounds on a digital camera which makes it really easy for him to go out and take hundreds of reasonable pictures, with electronics in the camera doing lots of stuff that previously took lots of experience to get right. Suddenly all the investment and experience that the hard-core photography enthusiasts had spent years gaining have been swept away, and anyone can play. It's entirely natural for the experts to feel cheated and bewildered, and they deal with this by coming up with reasons why digital photography isn't the real thing, and how it can never match up to the subtlety and artistry required for film photography with a proper camera.

Not quite. Lens technology hasn't changed much, and the lens is as important as the film/sensor. And I find that digital has led to people becoming lazy with their photography - they don't take the time to compose properly, or to control the light. A brilliant camera in the hands of a crap photographer will just take a very sharp and properly exposed crap photo. Probably with their shadow in it.

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Megapixels (or extreme scanning resolutions) mean b'all if they can't reveal actual additional detail. I'm sure a 6 year old 8MP digital camera with a top notch prime lens, upscaled to 21MP would outshine a 21mp camera with some £100 tamron zoom.

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Guest Skinty

It's also worth noting that he used a 4x5" plate camera - not a "normal" 35 mm film camera. When your negative is the size of a CD, you can capture a lot more detail.

Certainly, you get bet quality pictures. But it's £500 for a basic 4x5" camera (with no exposure meter) and mechanical shutter timer. The film is £3 a shot (when bought in bulk), to which you need to add processing costs (either you do this yourself - very difficult - or you find a pro-lab to do it - very expensive - I was once quoted about £2 per exposure many years ago). I did once look into getting a cheap 4x5" camera - just for the coolness factor. But at £5 per exposure, and £1000 for 2nd hand camera, 2nd hand lens and light meter, it was utterly impractical for hobby use.

He compared a 4x5" plate camera with a digital? What an idiot.

i know what, let's compare an Ariane V with a Cessna and see which one reaches a greater altitude.

I've looked into getting a large format. Not that I am keen on large format but I have always wanted to do panoramic medium formats but the cost of the film and processing was prohibitive.

Anyway, exposure meters are for wusses :)

Sunny f16 rule works for me.

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Not quite. Lens technology hasn't changed much, and the lens is as important as the film/sensor. And I find that digital has led to people becoming lazy with their photography - they don't take the time to compose properly, or to control the light. A brilliant camera in the hands of a crap photographer will just take a very sharp and properly exposed crap photo. Probably with their shadow in it.

Is that a universal truth?

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Guest sillybear2

It's a matter of convenience isn't it, 99% of people never used 35mm to its full potential because they were using £5 cameras with poor lenses, same with people rather having the equivalent of 100 albums on their iPod despite the fact it might be marginally below the original CD quality. Beardy types also cling onto their vinyl because they disapprove of the digital sampling on CD's, but neither can be clipped to your tie.

For most people the ability to listen to whatever they like and take a photo whenever they like represents a technological improvement.

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  • 149 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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