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[at-l] Camera choices

On 10/30/02 3:54 PM, "L. Parker" <lparker@cacaphony.net> wrote:

> Most of what Ken says is true, but I have issues with a few statements:

You have ISSUES?? Maybe we can get on a daytime talk show and duke it out

>> Digital cameras eat batteries like you would not believe
> My SLR eats batteries FASTER than my digital. Mechanical movements are even
> more intense of an energy hog than the LCD screen, which I can turn OFF...

We're talking about point-and-shoots here, not SLRs. (And what kind of SLR
do you have that eats batteries like that? My manual old F-1 has had the
same battery for about 5 years. But of course my digital SLRs need lots of
big rechargeable batteries.) I think all things being equal, a p+s digicam
will go through batteries faster than a p+s film, even if you turn off the
little screen.

>> Much more expensive initial purchase
> Not true, the range of prices between low end digital to high end digital
> and low end SLRs is practically identical, i.e. $69 to $6900 for both.

Sure, but again -- compare apples. The $69 digital is more like a disposable
camera than like a $69 film camera. Generally speaking, digital
point-and-shoots with similar features cost half again as much as a film
p+s. When you start talking about 4 megapixel digitals, those start at $500
and up, which is *way* more expensive than any decent film point-and-shoot.
(I am purposely ignoring the really expensive boutique film cameras.) My
digital Canon EOS 1-D was $6500, but the very comparable Canon EOS 1-V film
camera is less than $2000.

>> Requires extra memory cards (expensive)
> Yes they are initially expensive. But considered as a total cost of
> ownership (developing cost versus printer ink, paper and memory) it still
> works out in favor of the digital.

True, but it still impacts the initial purchase.

>> Film really does have higher resolution (though you can't always use it)
> Very true. But does it really matter? I am not a photographer for Time or
> Life. If I were, I would use one of the SLR bodied digitals and then there
> wouldn't be any difference.

Sure -- that's why I said you can't always use it. But if I had a burning
need to make an 11x14 print, or get a double-page magazine spread from my
hiking camera, I'd be much better off with film than a 2-megapixel digital.

Two years ago, I would have made a clear and definite recommendation -- buy
a film camera. Now, it's not so easy -- digital cameras are smaller,
lighter, cheaper, and the memory cards are waaaay cheaper than they were
even last year. Taking a digital camera on a thru-hike is a much more
manageable idea, and it does have some real advantages. I don't think
there's any one right answer now; it really depends on your personal
preferences. Two years from now, when digital processing is commonly
available at your local mall-mart, the decision may be weighted towards
digital, but who knows.