Debate: Analog or Digital Camera?
Original article by Anta Paparapti & Mary Zografou
Translated by Stella Vasileiadou
# Pros: Analog Camera
Film Photography: Nostalgia or Revival?
The word “photograph’’ comes from the Greek words for light (“phos”) and the verb write (“grapho”). It is an art form closely related to the art of painting. The film since the very beginning has been designated as the ‘‘soul’’ of photography which adds a nostalgic dimension to it. What’s more surprising is that film photography not only still exists but is constantly evolving, even after digital photography was invented, although it could be considered to be an old-fashioned method of photography.
In order to verify the above, we had a chat with Dionysia from the website called lomography.gr and she remarked the following: “There is a revival of film photography and many people follow it, some professionals as well as amateurs. Digital photography tries to simulate analog photography, in terms of quality and aesthetics. Apart from the fact that through analog cameras, you learn the fundamentals of photography, it trains you to concentrate and to not let go a single moment out of your sight. Digital photography cannot teach you the same things – with it you just keep clicking impulsively out of habit”.
The difference between the two types of photography can be seen in the process of taking and editing until the printing of the photo. In analog photography, starting from capturing the photo, the need for concentration and focus is increased, as the amount of film is limited and there is a clear difference in the monetary cost of each shot. Seizing the right moment takes on a whole new meaning, and the photographer can really come in contact with their photos and is able to be fully in control.
This is followed by the appearance of the film, during which the image is stabilized so that it can be exposed to light without being damaged. Afterwards, it is printed on the paper, which has the appropriate photosensitized coatings. This is done by displaying the image of the negative on the paper. Part of the process is the interventions that happen in order to give out a particular character. And what is breathtaking is that the result is right because there is light.
In digital photography, instead of the common chemical film, photosensitive sensors are used.
We also asked Dionysia what’s the difference in terms of quality and what she told us is: “Digital photography actually tries to imitate and simulate analog photography, because analog photography is superior regarding the resolution. Film can capture all kinds of light on it, as a negative, while digital cameras turn light in pixel. Because of this, the final resolution in the analog model ends up being large, up to 200 MegaPixel.”
These features seem to be similar to many popular artists , such as the award-winning Daisuke Yokota who continues to ‘’recreate’’ the art of photography and experiment with film, as well as large companies such as KODAK, which re-launched the ektachrome slide film, following the increased demand of the public, pleasing the analog enthusiasts.
Everything evolves. We should always move towards the new and the unknown, but we should not consider the former as familiar and outdated. Thus, photography is constantly being reinvented, along with the desire to learn new things and remain in touch with what we already know.
#Pros: Digital Camera
The more modern, the more practical
On the contrary, the digital way of capturing an image, which first appeared around the 20th century, is more in line with the current era and that of course still successfully holds the reins of the artistic world of photography.
Of course, both styles serve their purpose – each one in its own way – however, the question is:
Why do people prefer to go the digital way?
First of all, analog photography is more expensive compared to the digital one.
What does that mean?
This is about the cost of buying the film plus the cost of having it developed. If you are a photography fan, you can easily see the impact of the cost if you consider that that each film is enough for 36 clicks. Therefore: 36 clicks with film VS unlimited clicks digitally.
Apart from that, film photography may be tiring for some people, especially if one considers that they can’t see the result immediately after taking a photo, since the process of developing the film in a darkroom has to follow, as mentioned above. On the other hand, digital photography is a lifesaver because of how quick and immediate it is.
Another reason why one should opt for the digital way is the editing of a photo. Meaning that there are many more ways to edit a photo digitally – an analog photo needs a lot of chemicals in order to do that.
Copies are also important. The digital nature of the image makes it easier to produce identical copies compared to film photography, which tends to lower their quality. In addition, the copying process becomes easier through the use of a computer or through a simple printer.
In addition, filters which can be called real-time filters, also play an important role in the final outcome of an image, since one wants a minimum amount of time to choose the ones they want. For example, with digital photography one can choose from many colors without being limited to the choice of either color or black and white film.
Finally, digital storage media (f.e SD cards etc.) are not affected by any changes in temperature and humidity or by the ravages of time, as opposed to the film.