1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Film vs. Digital

Discussion in 'Other video questions' started by Oopsla, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. Oopsla

    Oopsla Guest

    I have a friend who is stubbornly against going digital. Before he blows 8,000 on a old motion camera can I get some advice. Anylinks or comments that he can use to weigh which is better. I know that digital photography as surpassed conventional photography but I don't have the same knowledge of motion/film. I believe in digital if anybody as comments pro or con I'd like to hear them.
     
  2. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    I know a hell of a lot about both. Im a photographer myself.

    Right, when it comes down to it, you have 3 main choices: (we'll leave out medium/large format)

    1). 35mm Film (Negative/Transparencies)
    2). APS Film
    3). Digital Chip (CMOS/CCD)

    1). 35mm Film, in equivalent digital expressions, is somewhere around 16Mega Pixels in quality terms in relation to its digital counter part. It has a high sensitivity to minor changes in light (shutter speed and/or aperture) and produces great quality (depending of course on the grain (ISO 50,100,etc)

    2). We'll rule this one out because it is crap. Quality is nearly a 1/3 less than 35mm due to its size.

    3). Digital CMOS/CCD chips. There was a study done by Canon comparing an EOS30 with Fujfilm Velvia 50 (my exact set-up) and a Canon EOS10D. the EOS10D has something like a 11MP CCD chip in it. Both camera's used the a Canon EF 24-70mm L F2.8 and a Canon EF 70-200mm L IS f2.8. Again my set-up :-D What they discovered was that for high speed images, over ISO800 equivlent in film, the Digital quality was coming out on top. The digital camera's sensor was also producing better skin tones, though this was to be expected since they were using slide film, but the 35mm could be blowin up to a larger size without degradation in the image quality.

    For more clarification, ill refer you to this image:
    [​IMG]

    As we can see from this, black and white and the Fuji Velvia, are rated around the 16MP mark. Different films are rated at different areas. However, the diagram shows differing ISO Speeds as well, so look at it and extrapolate your data carefully :-D

    [bold]Conclusion:[/bold]
    Although digital is far more practical and easier to manipulate, film still has a cost and quality advantage over digital. In the next few years i would expect digital to replace it though, as sad as that would be for me. The other issue with Digital cameras, is that the CCD/CMOS chips add about 30% magnification to the lens, meaning it is more difficult to do landscapes at wide angle.

    [bold]After thought[/bold]
    Sigma has launched a digital SLR with a FOVEON X3 Technology chip in it. Since camera chips pick up pixels (in groups of 3 - [bold]R[/bold]ed, [bold]G[/bold]reen and [bold]B[/bold]lue) the surface is measured by these 'cells'. Since there has to be 3 'cells' at each pixel (RGB), there is less room on a standard CCD/CMOS to increase the image quality. Howeever, with FOVEON X3 Technology, instead of having 3 colours RGB beside it each other, it uses layers. here is a diagram to explain:

    [​IMG]

    The next bit is copied from the Fovien website:

    To capture the color that other image sensors miss, Foveon X3 image sensors use three layers of pixel sensors embedded in silicon. The layers are positioned to take advantage of the fact that silicon absorbs different wavelengths of light to different depths, so one layer records red, another layer records green and the other layer records blue. This means that for every pixel location on Foveon X3 image sensors, there's actually a stack of three pixel sensors, forming the first and only full-color image sensors.

    [​IMG]

    Until now, all other image sensors have featured just one layer of pixel sensors, with just one pixel sensor per pixel location. To capture color, pixel sensors are organized in a grid, or mosaic, resembling a three-color checkerboard. Each pixel is covered with a filter and records just one color—red, green or blue.

    That approach has inherent drawbacks, no matter how many pixels a mosaic-based image sensor might contain. Since mosaic-based image sensors capture only one-third of the color, complex processing is required to interpolate the color they miss. Interpolation leads to color artifacts and a loss of image detail. Blur filters are used to reduce color artifacts, but at the expense of sharpness and resolution.

    With its revolutionary process for capturing light, Foveon X3 technology never needs to compromise on quality, so you get sharper pictures, truer colors and fewer artifacts. And cameras equipped with Foveon X3 technology do not have to rely on processing power to fill in missing colors, reducing hardware requirements, simplifying designs and minimizing lag time between one shot and the next.

    Dollar for dollar, pixel for pixel, nothing compares to Foveon X3 technology.

    [bold]In saying all that - i personally wouldnt buy anything unless it was made by canon (in the SLR range). If you are buying a normal digital camera, Fuji are the best besides Canon.[/bold]
     
  3. Oopsla

    Oopsla Guest

    Oriphus,
    Great enlightenment of the newset technology. I should of explained a little further in that the final presentation would be a CD-ROM.
    I work(ed) as a photographer and scanner operater of both high end drum scanners and desktop models. My basis for the superiority of digital over conventional comes from articles written in PEI (Photo Electronic Imaging).
    While the conventional image is possibly superior, the transfer process (scanning) degrades the image.
    I was concerned with my friend buying a "conventional movie camera" over a digital model. The whole market seems to be going digital which meant to me image quality wasn't an issue anymore. But I pose the question to Afterdawn because the market has been known to be wrong (beta vs vhs). You guys seem to know the dirt.

    I appreciate the explanation of the new technology because I need to get a new digital camera myself. So I'll definately check out this FOVEON.

    Oopsla
     
  4. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Not a problem. As i said at the end, although the Foveon chip looks and sounds good, I would not buy a Sigma over a Canon. Canon continually develop chips for their cameras. I will only purchase a digital SLR whenever it is a Canon and has 16 Mega Pixels or more. I understand the difficulty with this sort of size of chip (a lot bigger than a conventional one) but i do who it will be a reality soon. Until then, i wouldnt trade in my 35mm film. I prefer the natural way of applying filters rather than the Photoshop method (though i use both). Also, about the scanning, Minolta have a scanner at around £2000 that will produce a perfect image. Couple this with editing abilities in Photoshop 7 and you are flying.

    I did actually misread your question when i posted (it was about 2.00am though) and now realise the question relates to moving images, rather than stills. I do know this though, film (as in motion camera film - though not necessarily old equipment since they are still made) will produce better images than say a semi-pro Canon XL1 (or whatever its called) at £2500. However, when you are getting into big bucks, digital format Video as used by broadcasters, would produce a better quality picture than a couple of thousand £ motion film camera. My dad runs a TV station. They changed all their film cameras to digital format a few years back. The camera bases themselves cost £15,000 a piece (they bought 12) for the studio cameras + the costs of the lenses which they paid between £60,000 and £100,000 for around 20 different lenses. They also spent around £15,000 each on 12 portable cameras for news and OB units. The comparisons over the former cameras is quite astonishing when blown up on a 100" UXGA screen.

    However, we have to remember that the potential ouput for whatever camera your friend buys will nearly certainly be downgraded to fit on CD-ROM. Maybe your friend should do this:

    [​IMG]

    Buy the above camera for £2600 in the UK (ill put the information on it below). This camera has every feature you could want on it from the most advanced motion sensors for the image stabilisers to high quality optics and a large 3CCD. I believe it may even be interchangeable with Canon EF lenses and if it is, then what a utility it would be. It also has 16bit 2 channel audio - amazing :-D

    Next buy Adobe Premier 7 and/or Sony Video Vegas 4.0 for editing the video. Between £500 and £1000

    Then buy a Pioneer DVR105/6 DVD Writer and burn the video to DVD instead of CD and attain a higher quality image. £100

    Finally buy Adobe Encore for editing hte DVD, creating fancy menus, etc.... £600

    Here is the info on the camera:

    [bold]- XL Mounted SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer[/bold]
    Until now, optical image stabilizers have used solely a gyro sensor to detect camcorder vibration. The data collected by the sensor controls a vari-angle prism that continuously corrects the path of the incoming light. SuperRange goes one step further by examining the image after it is received by the CCD, and detecting any low-frequency vibrations missed by the gyro. This data is fed back to accelerate and refine the movement of the vari-angle prism. This greatly improves performance for low-frequency vibration, resulting in the most advanced optical image stabilization available today. This feature is found only on Canon's optical Image Stabilized 16x zoom lens.

    [bold]- Large variety of interchangeable lenses[/bold]Unlike other DV systems available, the XL1S supports interchangeable lenses, both for video and still imaging, as well as extender zooms. With the XL mounting system, the XL1S offers maximum flexibility and an unbeatable range with potential focal ranges between 24 and 17,280 mm (35 mm photography equivalent). Dont ask me how it can get to 17,280mm. I have no idea???

    [bold]- 1/3-inch, 320 000-pixel 3CCD (pixel shift)[/bold]
    The XL1S maximizes the capability of the DV format by using a 3CCD (charge-coupled device) system with a separate CCD for each primary color (red, green, blue). A beam-splitting prism separates light passing through the lens into individual colour components and each is sent to its own CCD. Compared to a single CCD, the 3CCD system achieves outstanding detail with highly accurate colour reproduction suitable for the demands of high-end video production - wide dynamic range, low colour noise, high-contrast detail, natural colour resolution and low-aliasing. The 3CCD system also makes advanced Pixel Shift (for increased image quality) and Low Light Recording (for increased flexibility) possible.

    [bold]- Leading-edge audio technology[/bold]
    Canon knows that audio is crucial to professional productions, and the XL1S provides high standards in audio capture on a digital video system with a 16-bit, 2-channel recording option. The XL1S also has two additional 12-bit recording channels allowing simultaneous recording on four channels. Audio levels can be controlled manually to further extend sound quality as it is recorded. The XL1S offers a plethora of means by which to get audio and video in and out of the camcorder. The XL1S is designed to handle two types of analogue video input and output: using audio/video cables (composite) or S-video. There are four audio inputs and outputs. All connections are on the camera body.

    [bold]- Excellent manual functions and controls[/bold]
    Includes: Colour phase, Picture sharpness, Colour gain, Set up level to adjust shadow detail, Gain control, White balance, SMPTE Color Bars - NTSC, EBU Color Bar - PAL, Power Save, Top Grip w/Recording Control, Variable Zoom Speed, CHAR REC, Index Write, Zebra Level, EVF Display ON/OFF

    [bold]- Custom Keys and Presets[/bold]
    Two Custom Keys (two settings for camera mode and two for VCR mode) The XL1S allows you to create and save your own custom settings so your common shooting modes can be readily duplicated. Select options from either the Camera Menu or the VCR Menu and create up to two customized settings for each. In addition to creating custom settings for camera and VCR mode via the custom keys, you can also establish three preset registrations for the following camera features: camera sharpness, color gain, setup level, and colour phase.

    [bold]5 hours 50 minutes continuous shooting
    [/bold]
    When using CH-910 and 2 x BP-495 Battery pack
     
  5. Praetor

    Praetor Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Messages:
    6,927
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Daaaaaaaaaaaaaang! :)
     
  6. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    lol - i was on a roll :-D
     
  7. Oopsla

    Oopsla Guest

    I was looking at the XL1 myself. As for Canon, guess you'd say were supporters 2 a-1's 2 ae-1's a g3 and a g5.
    I will pass all this along, thanks Oriphus. He is well funded for his projects. I just wanted to make sure he kept in tune with the rest of the world.

    Per CD-ROM, I really was just refering to digital. I'm sure he'd have me put it on dvd's along with cd-rom. His project is thru a major medical university to be sent to third world countries about misc. diseases. His want for actual celluliod was because some medical film convention who's name escapes me were accepting conventional film with no mention of digital.

    The "films" would be 15-20 min. long. I told them CDs would be great especially in third world. Thinking of it. He could send both dvd and cd.

    Thanks again
    Oopsla
     
  8. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Not a problem, glad to help in any way. CD-ROM would probably suffice for third world countries. It can always be put on to VHS anyway with a high quality if the intended recipients do have a digital medium for playback. Yes, we can certainly say we are Canon users alright :-D.

    I have a Canon EOS30, A70 and im getting a digital SLR when one comes out that meets my needs. I had a Canon EF400mm f2.8 L IS lens, but sold it recently. I mainly use my Canon EF24-70mm and 70-200mm L lenses and a 2x converter when needed.

    I hope it all goes well for your friend. If he needs a better camera than the one i recommended, get back to me and i can give you a list of Digital Studio camera's and/or digital News type cameras.
     
  9. ken0042

    ken0042 Regular member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2003
    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Now, was that all from memory, or was it copy and paste?

    (either way I'm still impressed.)
     
  10. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    all from ememory bar the specifications for the Fovean chip and the Canon camera.
     
  11. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Anyone else any opinions on film versus Digital now that we are a few months on....
     

Share This Page