I recently sold off my Nikon FM system for lack of use. I started
using digital about three years ago when I acquired by accident
(another story) a 2MP digital camera. I was teaching then and did
have a few slides made from digital images. The results were
acceptable for the purpose at hand - ie, throwing an image up in
class for lecture.
I do a lot of advertising (less than 1/4 pg size) and use the
digital images exclusively. Once the image hits the printing process
you can’t tell the difference between digital and film. If I were to
go to larger page applications I might hit the cross over point for
the print quality differences between the two mediums.
With the 4MP I can get astoundingly good prints off of my $150 Epson
printer at 8 X 10 enlargement. The pros say that size is already
losing quality, but unless you’re doing fine prints for a MOMA
exhibition I don’t think you have to worry about it.
Besides the the fact that the magizine and newspapers I advertise in
want digital images (won’t take slides no more), the act of
photography has become so much more pleasant with digital that I’m
not ashamed any longer to be using it. With even the most basic of
photo editing programs the control available to the average user
leaves film work in the dust. Using a tungsten bulb in my standard
table top jewelry studio I can photograph the work, see it
immediately, color correct, crop, remove unwanted reflections or
highlights, re-photograph on the spot if necessary, do it within an
hour, and all without any expense beyond the initital price of the
camera, software, and computer. No film, no processing, no calling
clients to ask to borrow the work back because my slides bombed,
For the purist and the pro, film holds the field, but for the ease
of use/quality of results ratio, digital can’t be beat.
Digital cameras in any given MP range are not equal. Many of the
general consumer cameras only put out “jpeg” images, which are not as
rich as so called called raw file types like “tif”.
Check to see what file types the camera supports. Close-up ranges
very with cameras as well. Check carefully before you buy. Lens
qualities, while not as crucial to digital cameras under 10MP as to
film cameras, is still an issue. Avoid cameras using plastic lens
systems. As a general rule, digital cameras made by traditional
camera companies are a better bet than those put out by computer
And if anyone is interested, I still have a Nikon Macro 105 (with
box) that I would like to sell. Contact me off list.
L.F.Brown Goldwork, Inc.
17 Second St. East, #101
Kalispell, MT 59901