Pic­ture per­fect

The Courier-Mail - Weekend Shopper - - Front Page - - KYLIE McIN­TOSH

It’s al­most 20 years since dig­i­tal cam­eras were in­tro­duced to the mar­ket place. How­ever, shop­pers are still able to buy film cam­eras and all the para­pher­na­lia they re­quire from the pages of Week­end Shop­per.

Courier-Mail pho­tog­ra­pher, Pete John­son spoke to Shop­per about the fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ences and ad­van­tages be­tween film and dig­i­tal cam­eras.

Mr John­son has more than 15 years ex­pe­ri­ence in the pho­to­graphic field work­ing with both types of cam­eras. He ad­vised that be­fore buy­ing any cam­era at all it’s im­por­tant for shop­pers to work out what the end use of their im­ages is.

“You need to de­cide on the end use of your pho­tos be­fore pur­chas­ing ei­ther a film or dig­i­tal cam­era,” he said.

"For ex­am­ple, are you just tak­ing home snaps or small prints for your photo al­bum; or are you look­ing at tak­ing im­ages for an ex­hi­bi­tion en­vi­ron­ment?

"Dif­fer­ent uses of the im­ages will dic­tate the type of cam­era used."

Film cam­eras still have their place in the mar­ket and of­fer value for money.

"The ad­van­tage of a film cam­era over dig­i­tal is the value of the dol­lar per megapixel," he said.

"By that I mean you can buy an old style medium or large for­mat sec­ond hand cam­era like a Mamiya for around $1000 and they can pro­vide you with very large pic­tures.

"How­ever, to pro­duce equiv­a­lent-size im­ages on a dig­i­tal cam­era could cost around $10,000."

Mr John­son said there was sev­eral ad­van­tages of dig­i­tal cam­eras over film.

"Firstly the speed in­volved in pro­cess­ing the im­ages, the fact that peo­ple can process them at home and the edit­ing qual­i­ties on of­fer thanks to the delete but­ton," he said.

"Also, the run­ning cost is less, as you don’t need to buy film.

"In terms of SLR 35mm film cam­eras, at the bot­tom of the mar­ket, there are some in­cred­i­ble bar­gains to be had and these cam­eras still pro­duce qual­ity im­ages.

“ There are also plenty of places that will process the film and pro­vide a CD of the im­ages.

"Any­one buy­ing a sec­ond­hand cam­era should take ei­ther a CF card or a roll of film and take a few im­ages and have them pro­cessed. This will show you if there are flaws in the im­age and help you de­cide whether to buy the cam­era or not."

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