I think Thom was right, again...

Started Mar 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Teila Day
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,273
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digital is cheaper if you shoot often
In reply to michaeladawson, Mar 27, 2013

michaeladawson wrote:

coudet wrote:

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

Some time ago Thom Hogan posted that digital might not actually be cheaper than film, because you end up buying new bodies so often. I'm starting to agree with him, even though I shoot far more digital shots than film.

No one forces you to upgrade.

Do the math - how many shots you take with digital and how much would it cost to shoot that much on film?

There's both truth and fallacy in your opinion that digital is cheaper.  Your main premise that it is cheaper is based on a cost per shot.  While this is true, it does not necessarily make it cheaper overall.

Imagine going to a high class $50 all-you-can eat champagne brunch and pigging out.  If you go and itemize the cost of everything you ate and compared that to what it would have normally cost ala carte you could make the statement that the brunch was cheaper than going out and ordering the same food at a restaurant.  But that is not really a sensible way to look at it.

I look at it for what it is.  Loading up my old Pentax K100 and shooting 5-10 rolls of film of beach property has the following realities:

1.  I had to drive somewhere to purchase the film

2.  I had to buy the film

3.  I had to drive somewhere to get the film developed

4.  I had to pay for the developed film, and enlargements cost an arm and a leg retail.

5.  Time was a factor, sometimes having to wait a day to get film back.

Do that only 100 times and you've sunk a lot of money into film, especially if you're doing it just for a hobby.

But in fact that is what we do when shooting digital.  We take tons of pictures that we never would have taken in the old days.  We buy the fastest computers.  We buy hard drives and then we buy backup hard drives.

I haven't bought a compact flash card in years (though Sandisk has replaced several via lifetime warranty).  The computer and hard drives I have today I would've had anyway whether I was into photography or not.

Digital may in fact be cheaper on a per shot basis.  But the truth is that I am spending way, way more on digital now than I ever spent on film.

I'd say that's either because you don't shoot much or you're doing something very wrong

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Mike Dawson

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