Digital camera versus analog camera

Do digital cameras have better quality than film cameras? -Tarannum Kapasi

Though many veteran photographers still remember the tonality and contrast which film was giving, there should be no comparison whether digital form is better or film.

First of all, let us discuss about a photograph. What exactly is a photograph? What is the purpose of it? We can give all technically correct answers but the bottom line answer is that a photograph is just a tool to express your creativity and thought.

A photograph could be a work of art photography, (any good photograph which is well balanced in composition and has a pictorial appeal) a technical record, (a passport photograph or a photograph of wedding ceremony) or a snapshot (a shot on a picnic or at a party). Analogical comparison can be a work of literature, any government document or your personal notes in a diary!

All of them have its own importance and value. It is just a piece of paper on which we have written something. It is the content, which counts. Now if we come back to our original topic, my simple question is, is it going to make any difference whether any of the above text is written with an ink pen or typed with a computer key board?

Well, you have got your answer. Now let us go into technical details.

Today's film has evolved through lots of processes. It is a result of refined chemistry and state of the art manufacturing process. Chemistry on the celluloid is further controlled (or contaminated) by development of a film in dark room. Then you get a negative, which can be corrected for its contamination while removing a print. At this point, local correction up to some level is possible. This print (or a color reversal film) is scanned for color separation and converted in half-tone. Half-tone film is used to make printing plates or printing cylinder, which is a manual photo-mechanical process. For each step, a specialist is needed and depending on his caliber and skill, he could improve the end result.

Film has its own character. Contrast ratio has a limitations, which is the latitude of an emulsion. If you know those limitations, you can explore it for good result. Veteran photographers knew their subject and they were controlling their end result with help of 'zone system.' They had an advantage and control on each step to improve the final print.

Digital camera technology has bypassed all these steps and now you can directly make printing plates from a camera file. It is only the chemistry, which has been replaced by photo sensitive image sensor, otherwise every thing is same. Image sensors also have latitude and one should know about its limits. And if you do not know, then there are photo correction soft wares which will solve almost all problems.

Development in computer technology and software has brought digital camera photography at par with film. Film era is fading and will be over soon.

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