Macs and digital cameras

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Rower_CPU, Jun 13, 2002.

  1. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #1
    My first digital camera will be delivered today.:D

    I was curious as to how many of you out there have had experience with them, and what kind of suggestions/advice you'd have for a newbie to the field.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #2
    I love them. I've been taking pictures for almost 20 years now and when I finally got a digital camera that could take high res pics I've found myself using that instead the old 35mm because its so easy. I end up scanning in all the slides and film anyway, so for candid shots its the best way to go. I'll still have a 35mm around, because the quality is still better.

    Congrats on the new camera - what type did you get, btw?
     
  3. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #3
    I got the Sony DSC-F707:
    5.24 megapixel (5.0 effective)
    Carl Zeiss lens, 5x optical, 2x digital

    What I really need to learn is all the aperture/shutter/exposure techniques, since my 35mm experience is limited to a point-and-shoot that I've had since '92.:eek:
     
  4. ponyboy macrumors regular

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    #4
    I dont know.... I am currently working on being the first PPA member to get a masters without ever shooting film profesionally. I have gotten portrait results up to 30x40 inches that rival the output you would get from 35 mm film at that size, and come close to 645, and 8x10-20x24 results that are indestiguishable from film. Currently using the D1X, and they will only get better
     
  5. Grokgod macrumors 6502a

    Grokgod

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    #5
    I have an older olympus with 2.2 megapixels.

    I love it, it cant be beat for great shutter speed and lens.

    but I plan on getting a new camera very soon, been waiting for 6 megapixels or 5.

    ~dukestreet,
    WIth all your experience, perhaps you can answer a question that I have had trouble getting information on.
    What amount of pixels is needed to get close to a decent film print>?

    I realize that it depends on the size of your print out.
    EG: A 2.2 can maybe do a sharp 4*6 print.
    What does it take for a good 10 * 11?
    Or better yet, what is the largest print size or best quality that a 5 mega pixel can create or print out. Or what about a 6 megapixel?

    Is there a rule of thumb?

    Been thinking about getting a new olympus, was going for the new Nikon but read that it was slow and had some other problem. Then there is the minolta, looks interesting.

    Any suggestions?

    ~pony
    What is a DX1, what are the specs, in order to understand how your getting these results.
     
  6. ponyboy macrumors regular

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    #6
    D1X is Nikons Pro Digital SLR and is at almost 6 mega pixels it produces a 17 megabite file. Which is just a bit more info than you would get scaning a neg at 8x10 250 DPI. From there I have a few tricks in photoshop that I dont to fool the eye into thinking it is looking at a print from film, There are some distinguishable differences between digital and film and I just try to minimise those, simple stuf you can really do whatever you want. After all the digital work is done I use a program called Genuine Fractals by altimira group to upsize the file in 50% increments, it is a much more powerful tool for upsizing files than photoshop is and very effective. Final output is done on a lightjet printer that is exposing regular RC photopapers and the prints are wonderful. The hardest part is getting the color right, especially in Portraiture.
     
  7. Grokgod macrumors 6502a

    Grokgod

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    #7
    tricks , simple things in shop.?

    Care to elaborate? \

    So basically a 6 megapixel give you a 8 * 10 at 250 dpi. righty right.
     
  8. ponyboy macrumors regular

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    #8
    The problems with digital cameras in my opinion are 1. Sharpness 2. Color 3. Grain
    1. A simple unsharp mask in PS can bring a digital file up to par in this area I usually go 100% at .3 - .5 pixels no threshhold, of course you also need to be on point when you shoot as well unshrp mask can never make a pic that was shot out of focus appear in.

    2. Color is testy in digital cameras working with hue and saturation, curves and color balance you can get it to look how you want it to on screen but getting your lab to print that is a whole other animal.

    3. Grain, the problem here is that there isnt any, digital cameras usually shoot pretty muddy, and our eyes are used to seeing the grain inherent in film I think this is the one thing that when we look at a digital phot we say that looks digital but we dont know why. To add grian I add noise/ gaussian/ monochromatic/ to taste

    The best way to figure this stuff out is to take some shots with film and then the same ones with a digi, scan in the film and then put them side by side and and work on the digi until you cant tell the dif. Trial and error has been my life for the last 4 years
     
  9. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #9
    And ponyboy, how much is that camera worth?

    That's the kicker, you know?
     
  10. ponyboy macrumors regular

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    #10
    You got me on that... the D1X body alone is retailing around 4500 more or less depending on where you buy it... but there are some digital SLRs coming up in the 6 MP range retailing for about 2000 ie. Nikon D100 (6.1 MP), Canon D60, Fujifilm S2 Pro. There are also some under 2000 with 5 MP but they are not SLRs w/ interchangable lenses (Nikon coolpix 5000/5400, Olympus E20, Canon Powershot G2) Check out http://www.dpreview.com/ for the latest on camera reviews
     
  11. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #11
    With all the digital cameras out there, and the gobs of money you need to spend to get a professional quality unit, you really should look at scanners. I have the Epson Perfection Photo 2450 which has a resolution (optical) of up to 2400x4800dpi. I believe that is the equal to an 11Mp camera (if it has the same ccd size as the 35mm negative) if not more. It can scan up to 8.5"x11.7" for regular images (reflective) or up to a 4"x9" transparency (comes with adapter plates for 35mm and other formats of negatives).

    The kicker is the price... $399 (at compusa of all places). How many mega pixels can you get for under $400??? 2?? 3.x??

    While digital cameras might be fine for some people, I can't see ditching my great SLR camera for one. Add to that the fact that you get more functionality with a flatbed scanner and SLR then you would with just a digital camera.
     
  12. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #12
  13. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #13
    Ouch... $1000 for a camera??? Does it make coffee, your bed, and make dates for you too??? Man, the $400 I paid for the scanner is looking smarter and smarter all the time. :D

    Never mind that I paid only a couple of hundred for my SLR, with a 35-80 zoom, and it uses the 75-300 zoom that I already had. I can get larger or smaller lenses as I want later, to expand it's capabilities.
     
  14. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #14
    Keep in mind that's the list price. You can find it for around 700 online.

    Sony started a pricewar with this camera, and other companies have had to respond...

    Telephoto and wide-angle lenses are available for digital cameras too you know.:)
     
  15. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #15
    Really??? How the F do you attach them?? It doesn't look like you can replace the lense tube with a different one, so it has to be attachments that go onto the end (i.e. very non-Scottish).

    Considering how I can get lenses over 700mm for my camera, if I want to lug one of those around, I don't see it coming close to competing with my film camera.

    There is also something to be said for doing black and white film... which is very svelt. I have a roll of 25 speed film that I am waiting to use... That should allow for ultra large prints, with fine grain retention. The grain from black and white film is one of the attractions to the people that use it. I also like the fact that I can process my own negatives, and then scan them in all at home and then make prints that I can give out. It may not cost less then getting someone else to produce the prints, but at least I know I will have quality prints. I have yet to find a photo lab that can do justice to my black and white negatives (they always make weak prints with my strong negatives :rolleyes: )
     
  16. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #16
    Yes, they are attachments that go on the end.

    Digital hasn't passed film quality yet...but it's definitely getting there. Just look at Foveon.
     
  17. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #17
    The day that a digital camera passes the quality of my scanner/SLR combo, and is the same price I paid for my SLR body (with a good zoom lense too), is the day I seriously consider switching.

    Unfortunately (for the digital camera makers), I will always want/need black and white film capability. When I actually get a house, I will be setting up a black and white photo lab inside it, just so that I can make my own prints that way.

    With the way things are now, that will be in about 5-7 years or so. Since I will want at least the truck paid for, and the Harley mostly paid for before I go into a house. By then, who knows where technology will be.
     
  18. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #18
    The biggest consideration for all of this really isn't if the camera can take as good a picture. You can get decent pics, hires, if you pay the money. The issue is trying to replace that 24x36 blowup of one of your shots that you have hanging on the wall.

    Iris Glicée prints can do large size, 40x60 or so prints that look absolutely amazing, on watercolor paper, so there is no pixelization, great color or b/w, lasts without fading till over 70 years, but it cost $400 per sheet. The market will really expolde when it becomes poosible to make poster size prints cheaply and well. Hell, even good prints at 8.5 x 11 or 11x17 would be nice.

    And I know that there are a couple good inkject printers out there (6 color ones) but they still look like digital images printed from a computer. I have a couple of my shots (the fiji pic is one) done with the iris and it is amazing. You really can't tell unless you get really close and examine it carefully.

    D
     
  19. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #19
    Duke, my Epson C80[N] prints out svelt images, when you use the photo paper. The ink is light fast for 70 years, and doesn't cost nearly what you pay for those huge prints. The printer was under $200, I don't know off the top of my head what the paper runs at the moment, but I am pretty sure you can get a 20/25 pack for under $20 (don't hold me to those numbers). I have printed out scanned images (done at home) and you cannot tell the difference from originals. You would need a photo loop to tell, and not many people would go that far.
     
  20. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #20
    Let's discuss cost and time a little bit.

    How much do you spend on film? Processing?

    What happens if you mess up a shot on film vs digital?

    These are some of the other key factors for me. I want to take my pictures and be able to use them immediately.
     
  21. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #21
    Film is still cheaper then the media you store digital images with. To get really high quality images with a digital camera, you need to get a lot of media. Otherwise your shooting session is cut short.

    When I process my own film, it comes out to a few cents extra per roll... I also have complete control over the image.

    Many people that do their own processing don't do it for the cost savings, but more for the pleasure in creating. There is something very satisfying about shooting an image (or several), processing the film, and then making the print. Digital cameras take most of the joy out of taking pictures, at least to me they do.

    It seems that people are into instant gratification a bit too much these days. With producing my own film, I can see the negatives, and image on them, long before I make a print. I also don't need a computer to do so. With the small screen sizes of digital camera's, you cannot see deep into the image, but only the image overall.

    For instant satisfication, the camera type, there are many good 1 hour labs all over the country (they do pissah jobs on color since the good ones have modern machines). I worked at a camera shop for a little while, and the system they had was very nice. I know of other shops that have even newer systems that produce a full roll of film in under 30 minutes.

    One other great advantage of a film camera, is that you can go hundreds of miles from anywhere, be there for days upon days and still shoot hundreds of images (if you bring enough film at least). That comes out way cheaper then doing so with a digital camera. Especially if you don't bring a computer with you.

    As for wasted images with film... I know many decent to professional level photographers that don't blink twice about shooting up a roll or three of film to get one killer image. There are other people (in the same group) that will wait for hours to take just one shot, and then they are done. Most of them, also purchase bulk film, which cuts down the cost per shot to where you would not believe.

    I guess it all comes down to what you like. For me, digital camera's are not there, at least not yet. Film still has a strong draw for me, since I can manipulate it to the Nth degree and not worry about having a power outage/spike and loosing everything.

    I will soon be getting the chemistry for black and while film developing again, so that come winter, I will be ready. I might even check into getting some bulk film again... since that stuff is the balls. :D
     
  22. ponyboy macrumors regular

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    #22
    Initially film is cheaper true. A 512 MB card is costing around 250$ these days, well as a profesional it is fairly easy to burn more than that in film every month so say I buy six cards more than enough, after 6 months there is no film cost 0 not only is there no cost but that translates into profit for me so after another 6 months it is like the cards were free, and after that well you get the picture...And that doesnt even take into consideration the processing costs, sure some people love to develop thier own film and be in the darkroom but this is only a matter of preference I will take my powerbook and Digi any day over a smelly a@@ darkroom full of chemicals I have been there plenty no thanks. Not to mention that once you have the neg if you want any digital manipu;ation capabilities you have to scan it. You guys make scanning film sound like a pleasure, well it is a pain, it is too time consuming I have owned and worked on plenty of film scanners from 100 scanners to 10,000 dollar scanners and none of them were fun. They are only one step in taking film to a digital file and in my opinion one that can be avoided completely.

    I forget who it was that scoffed over the 1000 dollars price tag of the digi. The prices are not that out of whack, an example:

    The nikon f100 a pro/consumer camera retails for 1200$ body only I know someone out there got their SLR for 400 bucks but lets compare apples to apples. The digi offered by nikon that is equal in function and quality would be thier new 6.1 MP nikon D100 retailing for 2000. 800 dollars difference less the cost of a scanner 300 min for something decent, now we're at 500$ Well I wil recoop that in no time in film and processing costs. That is not to mention time saved not scanning which is more valuable to me in one month than 500 bucks

    It all depends on how much you shoot, if you shoot 1 roll of film a month of course it will take you longer to recover your costs but the point is you will recover them eventually and then move into the profit margin.

    One other point. Print costs at the lab I use there is absolutely no difference in print costs of digital vs film and quality is equal because they are printing my prints with the exact same process they are using to print negs. In fact the cost is less because I get a custom print at machine print prices, me being the one who does the custom work on my computer. The printers being used are led or laser printers exposing RC paper which is then being processed normally.

    I do not believe cost is an issue in fact have been proven to me time and again to be in favor of digital I also do not believe that quality is an issue at the professional level any longer, so it boils down to preference, and it is obvious where I stand

    Rower you will not be sorry about your purchase and from the sounds of it you prefer to work out of the darkroom as well, if you have any questions feel free to PM or email me digital Photography is my livelyhood
     
  23. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #23
    Thanks, ponyboy.

    I know we ahve a wealth of experience out there to draw from, that's why I asked people for their advice/suggestions.

    My main hurdle will be getting accustomed to all the new settings (aperture, shutter speed, etc.) that I never had on my point and shoot.

    I have a pretty good eye for the shots, I just need to comfy with the camera first.

    :::::Update:::::
    I got it! I'll post some pics so you guys can see the image quality in a bit.:D
     
  24. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #24
    Well, I can tell you that using the Epson scanner is a snap... you slip the film into the holder, put it on the glass, make sure you have the cover off the lid so that you get the second lamp, and scan away. You get to set the resolution along with several other settings to tweak the scan as you make it. Then it's up to you to do as you want with the image.

    The point I was making with my earlier post is with a film camera, you can go away for the weekend, bring your camera and NOT your laptop and take as many pictures as you want. If you run out of film, you can go just about anywhere and get some more. My camera bag is about 1/3-1/4 of the size that my laptop bag is. I can load it up with film, as well as both lenses and camera body and go take pictures until I am blue in the face.

    IF I can ever find a photo lab that can handle my black and white negatives to my satisfaction, I will use them. Until that day, I will take care of my own.

    As it stands, my SLR/scanner combo more then handles my needs. I don't shoot hundreds of images a month, so the cost of digital media would take a long time to recoup. It's far easier to buy a few rolls of film a month (under $10-$12 for a 4 pack of good film). I will be checking on bulk black and white film before the end of the summer, and very well could get some of that again. I did that during college and it was nice to be able to shoot any day of the week and not worry if the camera/film store is open or not.

    Get whichever you want, but for me, film is still the way to go.
     
  25. ponyboy macrumors regular

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    #25
    I hear you alpha and I guess my use is a little above average so it is easier for me to justify the cost.

    And you are right about going away for the weekend I am on an extended weekend in Italy and my powerbook is my salvation. My next purchase is a digital wallet, a 10 or 20 gig hard drive that you download your media to directly, just pop it in and stored, about the size of the ipod(if the pod could do this I would buy 2!) and will fit nicely in the camera bag.

    As far as BW I trust no lab that is why I love digital Iget it exactly how I want it in tone contrast grain etc..on my comp. and then it is a no brainer for my lab. If you are interested I use Snelson Photo lab in springville UT www.snelsonphotolab.com but for some reason the site is down right now

    By the way I just "Pony"ed up for the mug so see you in the private forums...
     

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