35mm or Digital, Which is Better?
By Jared Miles
This is a sore subject for an assortment of people. So which platform is supreme you might ask. Well, mostly this debate is built on the idea that one or the other creates a higher picture quality, or end result. But what we must consider is what exactly we expect out of the device. Maybe controls, functionality, or possibly whether it interacts well with your resources. Different types of cameras are going to be better suited for different kinds of people.
The digital camera is usually quite simple to plug into a computer with the purpose of simply downloading or sharing with friends via email. Now if you intend to print straight from your computer the quality of the photograph is going to be substantially diminished compared to a conventional photolab result. Thus the 35mm is a better choice here if you're looking for a high quality print. But if you're sharing your pictures and want a quick and easy process for doing so, digital is superior in most cases.
35mm film is processed using chemicals, then the prints are made, in most cases with someone overseeing the color balance and different such aspects. Usually this whole process is overseen by a professional with a keen eye and understanding of what the customer wants. Some examples being sepia tone or black and white. The process would also rely on whether the pictures are outdoor nature shots or maybe indoor low light photos. All in all you would be relying on the care that is put in by whomever is processing your film, which can fluctuate greatly dependent on where you take them to be developed. Taking your negatives to the right people at a trusted photolab can elicit superb results which will not let you down. That is as long as they are aware of what you expect for results. Your perspective could be immensely contrary to what others would perceive.
Digital on the other hand is reliant on whether you take the time to tweak your own pictures. The Photoshop program for instance is a great resource to use in changing certain aspects of your image. You could play with color schemes or lighten/darken your image as well as crop it in different ways. But if you didn't have the resources or time, you would have to accept the image as is. Which is not necessarily a bad thing because you have the ability to take a picture over and over again until you get what you want. You could simply delete whichever images that didn't come out right, and keep on taking shots until you captured what you wanted. That is unless the subject matter is time sensitive, like high speed sports shots or perhaps the ever elusive first kiss. Whereas being in the right place at the right time is probably more important than what kind of camera you're using.
So if you are trying to figure out what platform of camera to buy, there are a few things to consider first. Why are you purchasing a camera? Consider what it is you would be using it for the most. Think about what resources you have readily available. Do you intend to share your pics? How do you want to share your pics? How do you intend to use the camera? Are you electronics savvy?
That said, there is only one solid recommendation that i can make. If you are an amateur who is interested in learning the fundamentals of photography, and if you seek to understand the building blocks that transform a vision into a piece of art, then a manual 35mm camera is what you are seeking. Otherwise, what you are looking for is entirely dependent on your needs and ambitions. Good luck, and I hope that maybe one day you will be responsible for an image that will enlighten the masses like so many have done before.
Jared Miles is a photo enthusiast. You can learn more by visiting my blog, PHOTOGRAPHY NOW.
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