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digial camera versus film to digital via scanner

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Ivor_Monkey, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. Ivor_Monkey

    Ivor_Monkey
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    Has anyone got any experience scnning film negatives to digital (cd?) and comparing the results against a mid range digital camera? I'm wondering what film slr camera (price/make) when combined with a negatvie scanner would produce comparable image quality to say the canon 340 dslr?

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. seany

    seany
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    By the time you've bought a decent neg scanner ect you could have bought the 340.
     
  3. Johndm

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    I bought a slide/film scanner to transfer some old slides....mmmmmm

    Quality is just acceptable, but for decent results, a good scanner is VERY expensive. I spent some time researching this.
    You could buy a 300D for less dosh than a semi pro scanner.. :smashin:
     
  4. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    And then there's the sheer convenience of shooting digital to consider.....
     
  5. Ivor_Monkey

    Ivor_Monkey
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    I'm mainly interested in comparing image quality. Putting my question slightly differently, with a budget of say £800 would the quality of the final image be better (same or worse) when produced using film+ negative scanner compared with canon 340?
     
  6. Crocodile

    Crocodile
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    What 35mm film stock would you be shooting & what is your intended use of the final digital image?
     
  7. Ivor_Monkey

    Ivor_Monkey
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    What 35mm film stock?
     
  8. Ivor_Monkey

    Ivor_Monkey
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    whoops...sorry.

    What 35mm film stock? Do you mean ASA? If so, just 200 ish.

    Intended use: digital slide show +printed image for the ocassional excellent one for hanging on wall! Would these be signifcant factors?
     
  9. Crocodile

    Crocodile
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    I meant colour neg, b/w neg or slide. I assume you mean colour neg.

    I have no direct comparisons to offer here as I couldn't find any when I was looking into the same question a couple of years ago. My reading suggested then that if absolute image resolution is the criteria, then film/scanner would win out over a low end DSLR - just. However, this would probably require the use of fine grain (ISO 64) slide film & printing in excess of A3 before even the slightest difference became noticeable. Higher ISO colour neg would have less resolution & also require electronic conversion to a positive image by the scanner/software. Both of theses would narrow the difference & may even swing it back in favour of the DSLR. The only things that have changed since then is that both scanners & DSLRs have increased resolution & both have got cheaper.


    In practical terms, for what you want to do, there is no difference so it really comes down to weighing up the pros & cons of both approaches. Lenses for either SLR are going to cost the same so the question is: can you buy a good qualilty film SLR body & scanner for the same price as an EOS 350D body? The answer is yes, something like an EOS 30v + a Minolta Dimage Scan Dual IV should add up to about the same & give you a much better built camera with higher sustained frame rate, eye control focus, etc.

    So, as has been said previously, it then comes down to practicalilty. With film, you've got to ensure a ready supply of the stuff, pay to get it developed & then scan the good frames into a PC. With digital, you fire the shutter & immediately check the result is good. An individual image can be downloaded to a PC in seconds rather than the several minutes of scanning & converting a frame of 35mm film.

    If you already own a good 35mm SLR & have an extensive collection of images you'd like to scan, then a scanner may be the way forward for now. If you're starting from scratch then DSLR is the only logical choice.

    Maybe start with a used 300D to see exactly what a DSLR can do for you before committing to a new camera.

    Edit
    Looks like there's a lot more info out there now (although equally contradictory). Try a Google for "DSLR vs scanner" which will provide a lot of interesting reading, including this.
     
  10. owain_thomas

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    Just to add my experience, I've got a decent flatbed scanner (the canon 8000F) which can scan negatives as well as prints. It is not up there in terms of quality with dedicated film scanners but is not a cheapy (about £150 IIRC). The scans I've had from prints have been satisfactory but so far I've had very few negatives that have come out right, add to that the fact that they take an absolute age to scan and I'd say it can't be even close to the results you'd get with a D70/300D/350D. I think that the workflow would be so incredibly tedious that you'd likely give up very quickly with the film/scanner option.
     
  11. severnsource

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    Crocodiles is right, if you haven't already got an investment in film, don't even think about using it.

    I have scanned 35mm shots with a mid range film scanner and I would say the results overall were pretty similar to a good digital camera. However the process is very time consuming and you need dust removal software or you will spend ages cleaning up the scans. In theory, if you use a fine grained film (i.e. slow, iso 50 or less), a camera with an excellent lens and a very good scanner you may be able to get better results, but it will be a vary expensive and time consuming process.

    My feeling is that digital vs 35mm has just got to the crossover point in that good digital SLRs have got to an affordable price and are competitive in performance with film, and will continue to improve.

    Here's another interesting site.

    http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/scandetail.html
     
  12. Ivor_Monkey

    Ivor_Monkey
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    crocodile, owain and severnsouce, thanks very much for your helpful comments. Very informative.

    I just wanted to check that question before looking seriously at the canon 350d and the about t be released new nikons.

    Thnaks again.
     
  13. owain_thomas

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    Can't speak highly enough of my Nikon D70, superb camera, takes great shots and very easy to use. I'd definitely recommend getting along to jessops or somewhere similar to have look in the flesh. I held a mates 300D a while ago and though they take great pictures (hard to tell any real difference between them and my D70), they just don't feel as solid or professional. The 350D is even smaller and more lightweight so, depending on what you're after, this will be worth bearing in mind. As I say the only way to tell what suits you is to actually hold/use them.

    I wouldn't get too caught up on megapixels, I saw a very useful representation of the difference between a 6mp and an 8mp image (have a look at the attachment for an example -the outer white box is an 8mp image, the inner green one is 6mp). So its not the huge change that it seems by just looking at the number.

    EDIT - added border as white background was invisible on white page, doh!
     

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