Digital Photography Question?

AS a long-time 35 mm film guy, I was skeptical about DP-till I saw a new CANON camera-boy was I impressed. With their excellent color copier, I think I am about to say goodbye to film! Which leads to my question-DP is so good now, so why does Sports Illustrated spend MILLIONS to photograph those gorgeous bikini babes in exotic locations? Couldn’t they just shoot the picture in an indoor studio, and paste in the background digitally? Wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper than flying a whole gaggle of models and photographers to Cancun? Or, is the film photo still superior? Those fashion shoots must cost a fortune-I once knew a professional photographer who used to do those shoots-contrary to what you might think, those supermodels are usually really bitchy-they have to do the shoots early in the morning, and the models are all bent out of shape!

Contrary? How so? :smiley:

I wouldn’t say goodbye to film quite yet (though it will eventually go the way of the 8-track). I’ve read that to equal 35mm film digital cameras will have to reach 15 megapixels.

Well, I just made the choice between a Nikon D1x and an Nikon F5. The F5 won. Simply, I can scan in any negatives that need to be in digital format. SLR’s are more durable - I can take the F5 to war and back, and it won’t complain. While the digitals are great, don’t need to be reloaded at 8 frames a second, and can hold several thousand shots on the microdrive, they also can’t withstand the same beating and weather conditions. Depending on your application, that really matters.

Printing the photo is another matter entirely. Thus far, I’m not convinved that digital images print as well. Although the resolution is there - unless your going to print a poster-sized picture - the quality isn’t. B&W printing is dependant upon the paper, the filter, etc etc; Adobe photoshop can filter a shot, but it can’t, or hasn’t yet, been able to emulate characteristics of the photographic paper. Finally, the film that you choose makes a big difference. Although you can select the color balance on the high-end SLRs, I’d love to see one emulate something like Ektachrome VS or Ilford PanF 50.

I’m also not convinced that the tonal range is as good on the digital cameras. Although I think the transition is inevitable, I think I’ll wait for the second, improved generation of digital SLRs before I make the switch.


Why would digital cameras change the situation? Either you use film and scan it in, or you just use a file straight from the camera and work with that.

Not as easy as you’d think. It takes great skill (and that means big $) to make such a photocomposite convincing. And you’d still need to hire the same models, the photographer and all the support staff (photo assistants, hair, makeup, wardrobe, etc) for the initial photography, no matter where it was shot.

I’d imagine that travel to exotic beach locations would be part of the models’ pay. Where would you rather have your picture taken: on the beach in Fiji or in a warehouse in Manhattan?

As scr4 said, digital or film would make no difference in that decision, anyway.