I think Thom was right, again...

Started Mar 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Teila Day
Teila Day Veteran Member • Posts: 4,746
make good use of that high frame rate! ;)

Dave Luttmann wrote:

coudet 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?

Well...if a bunch of photographic fluff in a portfolio is so important, then digital is great.  I prefer to think before hitting the shutter like a jack hammer.

That's GREAT! ... if for some reason that makes you feel awesome about yourself, but in my opinion  that whole "machine gunning" stereotype applied to digital cameras is just lame.

Here's why:

1.  Paying customers don't give a rats behind how you got the shot.  They couldn't care less whether you're a seasoned sport photographer of 32 years knowing nearly the exact moment to depress the shutter and photograph their little Tommy running with the football or if you're a weekend photographer who finds it easier to just press-and-hold the shutter button for a full second when the action presents, and selects the money shot from 10 sequential shots during post.  Generally, no one cares.  They're paying for the shot and how you get it is of no concern.

But if you choose to take your time and "think" before pressing the shutter, then a sensor in the back of the camera as opposed to a strip of film doesn't stop you one bit from doing that in any way.  Digital simply allows one to easily get the many shots that were missed in the days of film, just like digital video will allow people 30 years from now to get what we now miss with digital cameras.

2. At an event, perhaps you can keep track of 10 people at a table and know the exact time their eyes will blink or remain open at the same time... with perfect faces... looking natural... without the gum in their mouth showing; without flared nostrils or hands in front of their faces, and without their earrings frozen in the photograph at weird angles due to people turning their heads quickly-  and that's just for starters.  The bottom line is that a burst of 1-2 seconds works wonders!  That's 16 - 20 frames on a fast pro dslr....  now multiply that by at least 25 tables or large groups standing around drinking before a gala dinner and the rolls of film you burn through can quickly mount.

The reality is no matter how much time you take to "think"; you still will never have the natural capability to track when each individual in a large group is about to blink and trip the shutter to get everyone with their eyes open with natural, nice, expressions.

A D1x or D4 sounding like sewing machine during peak moments of action, isn't a hit on the photographer, but rather an advantage of shooting pro digital.

3.  Say I have a family of 6 and their two dogs running towards me in the surf on the beach.  Am I supposed to magically know when water is going to be slung in front of any one of their faces?  The truth is that with digital at 8-10 fps I not only get what WOULD have been the perfect shot except for a spray of water covering client faces, but I also get several shots immediately after that spray has subsided thanks to a high frame rate-  that's often the difference between getting shots that a client wants to buy or wasting time getting nothing except tired clients and two panting dogs.

I could use up 3-5 rolls of film just for several of those type of shots (action portraiture).  How much would those shots, all those rolls of film and development cost, cost in film over 10 years compared to my Sandisk CP cards that are replaced for free (lifetime warranty)?  Margins are smaller today as well-  film in most facets of photography today, is just unnecessary added cost.

You know the old phrase "manual focus lenses allow a photographer to take his time"...  but the truth is the best AF lens don't force a photographer to deviate from taking his time, while manual focus lenses have over the years have cost photographers many, many lost shots... and revenue.

I'll use a 1-2 second burst + high frame rate in a heartbeat, because that's what the tool is there for, and when buying a pro dslr at a premium over other bodies, that's a capability that I paid for.

I shoot far more digital shots than I did film as well- because now I can w/out having to worry about film costs.   Would you want to go blow 20 rolls of medium format 120 film just experimenting?  Most people didn't because they couldn't afford it or couldn't rationalize that money spent every week on "experimenting" or learning.

Hogan wasn't just wrong, he was using some sort of "hollywood" math

(I think Thom's a great guy so I say that while notionally poking him in the ribs)

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Teila K. Day

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