Debate: Film vs. Digital?


Ken Rockwell (a nature photographer) has an excellent essay on why the so-called "debate" of film vs. digital is just a scam by camera magazines to sell more issues. I agree wholeheartedly. I shoot both film and digital, SLR and rangefinder, and find the two technologies to work together more than they work against each other.


Film and digital do different things better and complement each other. Neither is going away, although film will decline in areas where digital excels, like news. Film has already disappeared from professional newspaper use a year or so ago, although small town papers may still use it, and likewise, no digital capture system has come anywhere near replacing 8x10" large format film for huge exhibition prints that need to be hellaciously detailed.

When radio became popular in the 1920s people knew that newspapers would evaporate, when FM radio became common in the 1960s everyone knew AM was doomed, and when TV became practical in the 1950s everyone knew movie theatres were history, too. Wisdom shows us that every time a new medium, like digital cameras, is invented that the older media survive continuing to do whatever they do best and get better at it, although the older media may no longer be dominant. Even awful media like LP records still have their followers.

Digital and film are completely different media, just as oils differ from watercolor, macrame, Prismacolor or bead art. Non-artists misguidedly waste their time comparing meaningless specs like resolution and bit depth when they really should just stand back and look at the images..... read rest of article...

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This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on January 19, 2005 10:31 PM.

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