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Photography Question 
Angela K. Wittmer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2003

Are film based cameras going out of style???

I am at the point in my photography "career" that I am going to be purchasing a new camera. I have a Canon EOS 700 & Pentax K1000 right now, and I am looking at a newer Canon Elan or Nikon N80 film based camera. My question is should I forget about a new film camera and buy a nice digital camera? I am starting to get into taking senior portraits, family portraits, & doing some pictures for contests, etc. I want a camera that is semi pro, one that will do a great job for me. I would like some opinions........... is film going out of style?

Thanks for all the help!


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3/16/2004 6:43:55 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  I don't believe that film is "going out of style"...(at least not in our lifetimes). As long as there is a tangible market for it, film will be staying around.
According to many postings here at BP and other forums, many photographers,..(and their clients) still prefer film-based imagery to digital.

If you are thinking of an upgrade, you should consider a digital body which accepts the same lenses you already have.
You can then keep the film cameras and have the best of both worlds.

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3/16/2004 8:42:44 AM

Angela K. Wittmer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2003
  Thank you Bob.... I am partial to film vs digital... guess I will experiment with both to see which I like best!!


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3/16/2004 8:57:51 AM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  I always avoid debates about film vs digital or what equipment is better than the other. I only worry about the image, the final product, and how to deliver the final product to my client. So far, all my clients prefer prints (doesn't matter I took it with film or digital). Since I am still using a film base SLR and I have a trusted lab to produce excellent prints, I will stick with film. If some day in the future I cannot find film any more or the lab stops processing film, I will switch to digital entirely. I am not totally against new technology. I have my own film scanner and photo printer. There are times that I will borrow a digital camera to do some still life shot. I think you have to ask yourself what is the most efficient and economical way to deliver the product to your client. This is just my 2 cents.

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3/16/2004 9:22:02 AM

Angela K. Wittmer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2003
  Thank you Andy.... I am partial to film too... I have just had so many people tell me to go digital as film based will become obsolete! Thank you for the help!


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3/16/2004 12:09:50 PM

Melissa J. Miller
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/2/2003
  I sure hope film cameras aren't obsolete,cause I love mine. I think I get much more diversity and variety of shots with my canon. I just went on a shoot yesterday and used seven(!) rolls of film.I have noticed that Kodak,in order to sell more film,has stopped making 36 exp.and I end up buying two 24 exposures.they seem to have an advantage in that area. are there other film companies still making 36 exp?

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3/23/2004 12:51:05 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003

That's interesting about Kodak, and the 24 vs. 36 rolls..(I'm surprised some marketing genius hadn't though of this one before!)

That might just be your retailers trying to maximize their profit margin.
I checked B&H Photo on line, and they still have the entire Kodak line available in 36 exp. (

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3/23/2004 3:47:59 AM

Steve Warren
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/1/2004
I plan on getting a Maxxum 7D soon, as I love Minoltas, but I still prefer film.

It seems to me that with digital, the standards for image quality seem to have fallen.

I was reading a review of the new Sony digital point and shoot in my new issue of Pop Photo.

According to the review, noise is "high" at ISO 400, but that doesnt seem to make the "not" heading of the What's Hot/What's Not column.

Even though it's not aimed at a serious photographer, many highly-regarded EVF's with similiar noise levels are. It's kinda sad that high noise at ISO 400 has become acceptable.

Has everyone gone so crazy over new technology that they are willing to sacrifice what should matter most, the image?

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10/11/2005 6:18:12 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  They did in March of 2004, but not now.

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10/11/2005 6:50:43 PM

John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  If you like film, then you can still get film SLRs. In fact, there are some fantastic bargains to be had on film SLRs since they are dropping on popularity.

However, if you really want to grow as a photographer I don't think you can beat a digital SLR. You get the advantages of instant image feedback, unlimited shooting at no cost, and the ease of doing all of your "darkroom" work on a computer instead of in the darkroom.

As someone who literally grew up developing film by hand in a dark closet, I think it's safe to say that film is on the way out. You have only to look at Kodak and Polaroid to see the handwriting on the wall. In a decade or two film will be rare and expensive, and so will film processing.

Why not buy digital? Get a Canon 8 MP dSLR so you can keep using your lenses and you'll never look back.

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10/12/2005 3:06:40 AM

Tony Peckman   Wow, nothing but kudos for the film takers. I switched to digital (CAnon Rebel) about 2 years ago and love it. I love touching up in PS, BUT I do miss the beauty of film. I still have my Canon 7e and you film-ites have convinced me I should send some film into Mpix and see what they can do. I want to pay them to touch up, if needed, and get me off the computer. That would please my wife like no other.

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10/12/2005 4:20:42 AM

Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
You won't regret it!!

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10/12/2005 7:57:54 AM

Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Sad enough as it is to say it all depends on the market you're shooting. There's been countless times I've wanted to shoot events for the squadron but didn't/couldn't because I shoot film. The turnaround time is very slow. People go with their digitals and have pics in 20 minutes. But let's say for a photo shoot that's planned out (landscapes, portraits) I love the resolution of film.

Here's where I see myself in 2-3 years. Right now I shoot Elan 7E and love every second of it. I just love shooting film, especially B&W which I develop and print myself. Ok in a perfect world here's where I see myself.

Shooting digital with a 20D, 5D or whatever else comes out. This will be for color candids. Mainly weddings and things of the sort. So that's the digital I'll have.
I'll also have a Mamiya RZ67 that I'll shoot both color and monochrome with. Probably Velvia and Neopan. So for serious art and portraits (formals in weddings) I"ll be using a 6x7cm negative. For quick turnarounds and fast action (candids at weddings, get the picture) I'll have my digi with me.

As for your question, is film going out of style. Like every says, as long as there is a market, no. I'm new but I could accept 35mm slowly dying out in 10 years or so but the current 16.7 megapixel still can't touch the sharpness and beauty of a 6x7cm negative LET ALONE a 4x5 INCH negative.

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10/12/2005 9:57:09 AM

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