Is digital really less grainy than film ?

Started Mar 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
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mermaidkiller Contributing Member • Posts: 541
Is digital really less grainy than film ?

I post it here as there is no 'general image quality'-like subforum.

When I see (astrophotography, but also regular) images on the web there are also some (older) shots taken with films. What I notice is that the film images are more grainy. When I compare my own shots made in 2003 with the Canon T90 and ISO 400 fujichrome, digitized to 10MP I see that these are grainier too even compared with ISO 1600 40d and 7d shots. ISO 1600 was what you could dream of ... I once had a fujicolor 1600 in the 1990s but was very grainy. In 1983 there was a Kodacolor 1000 which was even worse which I tried with the Ricoh KR-5 I had then. Grain was easily detectable on normal 10x15cm (4"x6") prints. Present day iso 12500 are better. Now I shoot indoors easily ISO 3200 which have a decent quality. One note: my pictures are downsampled to 4.5MP (quality 'S' 2592x1728 on the 7d) which is enough for me.

What are your opinions ?

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