By Stokley Wilson
Those words can create inspiration or fear. Or even both!
This latest "catch phrase" seems to be all that photographers want to talk about. But is it a replacement for film? Absolutely not. The truth is, digital imaging is an alternative to traditional imaging, not a total replacement for film.
There are many methods to digital imaging.
The first is a digital camera. These styles of cameras are "filmless", meaning they use no film, storing images on a memory device for review later. You simply take the picture, and download it into your computer for printing or sharing. This sounds much easier than it actually is.
Another alternative is a scanner. These range from "flatbed scanners, drum scanners, and film scanners. The flatbed scanner is the inexpensive style we all have seen on the Xerox copiers. The drum scanner is a commercial quality scanner for flat art and film. The film scanner is for film only. With these products, you shoot your regular camera with film, have the film processed, then scan the film at your computer. You can then share or print your images.
The last alternative is digital developing. This maybe this best for amateur photographers. Part of the problem with digital imaging is the speed of evolution of equipment. The cameras and scanners you buy today are old technology and outdated within 1-2 years. With this technology, you shoot your regular camera with film, and ask for digital developing when you submit the roll for developing. The choices for digital developing are floppy disc, Photo CD or Picture CD, and Internet accessing. The floppy disc offers the lowest quality, but is fine for just viewing photos on your moniter. Print quality with floppies is poor. The CD’s are of much higher quality.
Internet developing is a service where your images are posted on a secure website. When you pick-up your film from the processor, you are given a website address and access code for viewing, downloading, or forwarding. Most services also offer reprints and enlargements as well. This is really the best for just sharing your images. You don’t have to do anything, other than share the access information with your friends, to share your pictures.
So don’t loose faith in film, it will be around for a long time to come.