Digital Cameras, do you make prints?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Beeman, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I stopped in my local camera store to pickup some photo stuff and started talking about buying a digital camera. One of the questions he asked was why do you want a digital camera? Obviously I replied, to take pictures with. He told me that the prints made from your digital camera will be good quality now but will deteriorate in 5-10 years. One thing he also said was to remember that there are no negatives and no permanent record unless you burn the pictures to CD.
    I'm still going to purchase a digital camera for certain uses, but it makes you think about how you use it and how to keep a permanent record of the picture.
    Now this is a large chain photo store that has plenty of digital cameras for sale and also does all the printing so he wasn't referring just to home made prints. He said even the prints they make at the store were the same.
     
  2. Mastiff

    Mastiff Well-Known Member

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    Epson claims to have some 80 years inks.
    A good digital camera is the way to go.
    Film is on it's way out and has been for years.
     

  3. Stush

    Stush Well-Known Member

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    This may be true for prints made on your garden variety home printers, but if you have prints made at a professional lab it most certainly isn't the case. In some instances, the prints are made on the same paper and are processed in the same manner as traditional photographic negatives. Instead of light being passed through the negative onto continuous tone photo paper, your digital image is projected onto the paper and then processed. In other cases, the printers use dyes that MAY be more stable than traditional photographic prints.

    Color photographic prints and negatives do not have what most would consider archival storage capabilities - at least not without a significant effort and expense. Do you have any color photos around from say 25 - 30 years ago? If so, the odds are that the colors have started to shift to have a red tint to them. Even prints from pro labs have the same problems unless measures are taken to slow the degradation of the photographic emulsion. Photographic print color, in any form, is ephemeral.

    As for not having a negative, what is the difference between storing a box full of negatives and storing a CD of DVD? To me, it is far easier to store a dozen or so DVD/CDs that it is hundreds of rolls worth of negatives. Plus, with digital, you only keep the images that you want. The blurred shots, ones with heads or feet cut off, underexposed ones, etc. can be deleted and only the keepers go on the CD. With negatives you keep everything - the good, the bad and the ugly. I know that many will argue about file formats becoming obsolete, but to me that argument is a moot. Just store in any raw pixel file format and you will be able to convert them for the rest of your lifetime. With reasonable care, raw files on CDs or DVDs are far easier to store for the average user than negatives.

    The simple truth is that high end consumer digitals have made 35mm and smaller photographics formats obsolete already - and the big photo companies know it. High end professional digitals are starting to make inroads into the hallowed ground of medium format. I say that very reluctantly - trust me. I have been shooting with my Bronica S2A for years and hate to see it go away, but the simple fact is that reasonably priced digicams in the 8 - 10 MP range will probably supplant it in the next 5 - 8 years. My only film cameras in the long run will probably be my view cameras. Even if digital surpasses them in quality, I will still hang onto them for sentimental reasons. I will just be that old kook under the black cloth taking pictures with a light meter. :)
     
  4. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Well-Known Member

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    There was an article in the local paper about digital vs. film before Christmas. I have only ever owned a cheap digital and didn't have a decent printer til this summer, but all my digital pictures are on my hard drive waiting to be lost. We use it to print certain pictures like the kids' deer or something. The article said that CDs and DVDs were only guaranteed for 10 years and that after that there could be missing data and no way to get it back. They suggested having both a digital and film etc. I love my Nikon film camera and cannot afford a great digital. I just got a Kodak Easyshare so it is cheap enough for the kids to carry around and I will not lose alot if it is broken like my last didgital. Losing film completely would be a tragedy.
     
  5. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    My son floored me by getting me a new expensive digital camera for Christmas. I use photographs as part of my business and have been considered a dinosaur for still using my old 35mm. My wife has been using digital for years; for Christmas I gave her an HP Photosmart printer. She loves it. I have heard rumors about the 5-10 year life of digital pics, but I've also heard that theory debated. Guess I need to look into it. I plan to burn a CD of every job and put it in the hard file for my work. Probably a good idea for personal stuff as well. CD's have gotten so cheap, there's no reason not to.
     
  6. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I've talked to others about this and besides the ink the paper plays a major role in longevity. Another thing I've heard from professional photographers is they don't burn 1 CD of their pics, they burn several due to loss of photos on some CD's.
    As I said I will be buying a digital camera for certain uses,and I'm not saying that film is better. I wonder how many people have taken photos of people and events and have not burned them to CD. How many of these irreplaceable photos will be gone due to not knowing all the facts about digital.

    I'm sitting here looking at photos on my wall of my parents, They were taken in the 30's. I couldn't imagine if some of these photos and their negatives had diappeared 50 years ago. I've got photo's taken with the cheapest Kodak Brownie from when I was little. My parents didn't have to put a lot of thought or money into preserving those pictures.