The title is the question: aside from professional photographers, artists and serious photography hobbyists, are there still many people who use film cameras for everyday photography instead of digital cameras?
The other major users used to be scientists and engineers, for things like astronomy, spectroscopy, recording oscilloscope data, and the like. Nowadays most of that can be done faster, more reliably, and with greater versatility using detectors and digital cameras.
There ARE some things that you can’t do digitally, still – holography, Lippmann photographs, and I think ultra-high-speed filming and photography. But they’re very specialized applications.
My wife pepper Mill (and MilliCal) are members of the local Photographic Society, which still has lots of traditional photographers. But most members have gone digital. Again, there are certain techniques you can only do the traditional way, and it makes a big difference to some people. But most people have rapidly gotten used to the ease and versatility of digital photography.
Eastman Kodak still maintains a plant producing gelatine for film base near me, here in Peabody, Massachusetts. I keep wondering how much call there is for it anymore, and how long that plant will last.
I interned a few years ago in a book and paper conservation lab, where they take digital photos and film slides of work in progress. It’s because of the greater resolution of the slides, since the point is to let future conservators know what you did to a piece so they can take it apart and do it better or whatever.
I use it, too, but that’s because my boyfriend owns a film camera store. I have a little Holga that takes really cool looking pictures.
High-speed (for ultra slow motion) is done much easier with digital than with film. I recall that high-speed slo-mo (with film) could only produce about ten seconds of final footage.
How fast can digital slow motion go? You can get multiple tens of thousands of frames per second using high-speed traditional film. The reason you can only get ten seconds or so on traditional film is because it’s hard to physically move more than that through a gate, even with prisms to help spread it out – but the entire frame exposes essentially simultaneously – you don’t have to sequentially store and erase the data pixel by pixel.
I’m not up on what digital high speed is capable of these days – but I was taking 30k fps thirty years ago on film.
Try 200 million frames per second. Although you are limited to 32 frames.
I’m not a “serious hobbyist” but I still prefer to use film. I have a Canon Rebel G SLR that can be used in automatic and manual modes. I took two years of photography class in high school during which I learned about exposures and developing the pictures in the darkroom, but I spent most of that class dicking around and not doing any real work, plus it was five years ago, so I certainly do not consider myself a “serious” photographer.
The main reason I still use this camera is because I like the whole process of loading the roll of film, taking the film to the photo shop, getting it developed, and everything. It makes me feel good to go through that process. I don’t find it as satisfying to just be able to immediately upload the pictures to my computer with a digital camera. I still use digital cameras sometimes but I prefer to use the old camera when I’m out with the intention of taking pictures of things for the sake of taking pictures (as opposed to, needing to upload an image of something for eBay or something like that.)
And a big part of it is probably just liking that camera since it was the one I was trained to use.
The police or loss prevention agents. Film photos are prefered instead of digital photos if they may be used as evidence in court. At work we’ve been instructed by loss preventionto take a disposible film camera of the shelf if need be (customer/employee accident, damage to building, etc) instead of taking digital pictures (though our security video cameras are digital though).
I still use a film camera. A Canon. I usually carry both a digital and film camera when I am traveling or at an important event. I find the film camera more flexible in terms of composing a shot than the instant gratification ability of the digital camera I have. Plus, a bunch of people must still use film because there are usually several hundred disposable film cameras for sale at every Wal-Mart and Walgreens I go to.
Anyhow, I’m a professional, and I’ve shot film twice since 2005. I like the look of certain films (especially Fuji Velvia and Ilford XP2), but the advantages of digital far outweigh the look of film for me…especially when you get to color high ISO photography, where digital just expands exponentially what is possible under low-light. You can shoot color at 6400 ISO and still get results that look about on-par (noisewise) as 800 speed (possibly even slower) film.
I don’t know, but Mythbusters uses it a bit and Time Warp is dedicated to it.
I once saw a video of a high-speed film camera shooting a strawberry dropping into chocolate; the reels didn’t stop when the film ran out, the film just exploded through the gate as the take-up reel wound down.
Impressive. I had no idea they’d gone anywhere near that fast.
Aerial Photography has gone digital.
I wonder how many senior citizens still use film, compared to digital photography. My dad still uses film; he refuses to touch a computer, and I don’t think I could get him anywhere near a digital camera.
My mother. She is 79 and learning her a new thing is quite a chore. When she was in her 50s I taught her to use computers for word processing. It was maddening how slowly an educated and intelligent woman learned new things. I would not want to attempt the conversion to digital cameras two decades later. I would wind up an auto-orphan.
Yeah, my mother-in-law is the same. She still calls us regularly for tech support on how to check her email. She has had an email account, using the same ISP and the same software, for 5 years now. There is no way in hell that she is teaching herself how to use a digital camera and upload pictures from it. Besides, I think she really likes dropping off her film canisters at the Costco drop box.
Funny side note: She took a great picture of my husband and daughter, when she visited us the last time, and subsequently mailed a copy of the photo to us. I stuck it to the side of the fridge. One day I noticed Whatsit the Youngest playing with/chewing on it, and hurriedly ran over to grab it away. MrWhatsit was watching this unfold with a bemused look on his face, like, “What’s the big deal?” I said, “No! It’s your mom’s picture! Film! I can’t just re-print this one out!”
Weird to think about, that I used to treat all photos that way.
You realize many if not most pros and serious hobbyists have gone digital as well, right?
I still use my Olympus OM-1, though I’m rarely taking pictures. I love the camera, and I feel confident with them; I’m sure I’d love a nice digital SLR too, but I don’t have the budget for that.
I don’t know a single pro who still uses film as their main camera. I’ve got a box some where with a few Canan eos slr’s, but only because nobody will buy them.
Me neither, at standard playback speed it would take nearly 80 days to watch a clip of something that lasted 1 second in real time! (if they could ever get that 32 frame limit up around 200 million that is…)