archiving, digital vs. film

Started Oct 3, 2003 | Discussions thread
slipe Senior Member • Posts: 1,885
Me too

I worry a lot more about the negatives and slides I haven’t backed up to digital a lot more than I do about the long term viability of my CDRs. I have 6 year old CDRs recorded on ElCheapo Cyanine based CDs that still work fine – even sitting in the hot sun in my car and boat changers. I use archival CDs for my images and check the error rate even if they are completely readable. Burners are so cheap I have two exactly the same and always burn two at once. They get stored in different places. They claim 100 years for the archival CDRs and I agree that estimate might be optimistic. But based on my experience with short lasting dye types I don’t think 25 years is an excessive estimation if you store archival quality CDRs in the dark.

There is also the point that the digital recording is 100% accurate where transferring to film involves some quality loss. There is more quality loss when you transfer the film back to digital in the future. And IMO you would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to trust your images to one instance of vulnerable film where multiple digital backup is practical. So there is considerably more expense and time involved in going to and from film considering the redundancy required.

The cataloging is also more difficult as has been mentioned. I think a program like IMatch will keep thumbnails and keep track of images transferred to film, but most organizing programs won’t. But it is a lot harder to manually log each film strip so you can relate it to an organization program. And if you don’t trust digital you will lose the tracking ability anyway.

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