archiving, digital vs. film

Started Oct 3, 2003 | Discussions thread
daishi Regular Member • Posts: 271
Re: yes

BobTrips wrote:

daishi wrote:

film is currently the only viable long term storage format for
photographs. Most people seem to be thinking on a short term basis
when thinking about digital archiving. 70 years down the road who
knows if any current media or digital image format will be

If you're using a non-standard file format just store a copy of a
conversion program along with your images.

no one knows for certain if windows will be around in 70 years, or the x86 instruction set, or if there will be a way to emulate such 'antiquated' software

but negatives certainly will. Also the level of
technology required to make a print from a negative is relatively
low, an enlarger is a relatively simple device and paper emulsion
can be made by hand if need be using a relatively simple process.

How easy do you think it will be to find a film scanner or enlarger
70 years from now?

an enlarger is a relatively simple device that can be made with a low technological level

The amount of technology and infrastructure to be able to read a
simple CD is immense.

Not at all true. Bouncing a laser off a CD and reading the blips
is pretty simple in terms of today's technology. One can purchase
a CD burner for well under $50, it can't be too complex.

in modernized society yes. The amount of industrialization required to maintain an infrastructure that can produce lasers and read them is quite high. You'd be hard pressed to be able to read a digital archive in a 3rd world country with no power (for any length of time at least)

If the world ever reverts to a pre 20th
century technological level photographs stored in negative form
will still be readable

And if the world ever reverts to a pre 19th century technology
level negatives won't be much use. (Me thinks you really reach too
much on this one._

they will useful in archiving that which came before, which may largely be inaccessible because the infrastructure to read a digital archive would no longer be around

For true archival purposes, film is the only way to go at the
moment. Alternatively platinum or palladium prints can be used,
which should out last even film (I think I've heard 500 years of
life for either format)

Or use digital storage, resave your files well within the lifespan
of the media used (make multiple copies). We will see even more
stable and larger volume media become available in the near future.

There was an article on about a photography who used a
professional kodak DCS camera and he is no longer able to read many
of his images because kodak no longer provides support for the
image format

I've heard this one before. Strikes me of yet another urban myth.
You're saying that Kodak (and everyone else) destroyed all software
routines that can read this format? And that someone couldn't
write a quick conversion program if the images had any value?

digital obsolesce is not unheard of. You've never lost a document due to changing formats? or been unable to read the media? (5 1/4 or 8 inch disks come to mind)

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