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Sunday, August 28, 2005

It seems that nowadays, almost everyone owns a digital camera. When I tell people I prefer the good ol’ manual mechanical SLR, the response tends to be "Why don’t you buy a digital SLR?"

What the heck is wrong with using a manual film camera?! Sure, a digital camera has its advantages. You can delete bad pictures, you see what you just shot immediately and the camera is usually small and portable. But it just so happens that these advantages are rather unimportant to me. I don’t need to delete bad pictures since most of my shots are usually fine. I can always take multiple shots if I want to make sure. A good photograph is always worth wasting a few shots for.

So what qualities does my manual SLR possess that I do not find in most digital cameras?

An old fashioned Nikon SLR uses a viewfinder to allow the photographer to frame his shot. Some digital cameras come with a viewfinder but those are usually just a hole in the camera for you to look through, not a true reflection of the image the CCD will capture. SLR viewfinders allow the photographer to see the image through the lens, which is exactly what will be captured on the film. Of course, digital cameras have the LCD screen that shows what the CCD is capturing. However, the LCD is small and it is difficult to see small details and whether the image is sharp. I don’t care how high resolution or how big you say your camera’s LCD screen is, if it’s not a 32-inch TV, then it’s no match for my SLR’s viewfinder. When you look through the viewfinder, the image practically covers more than half your field of vision. There’s no way an LCD screen can match that (unless you put your LCD screen 2 cm from your eye, in which case your eye would not be able to focus on the screen).

Multiple Exposure
Traditional film SLR allows multiple exposures, i.e. exposing the same portion of the film several times. I have never seen anyone who is able to do that on a CCD camera.

Lenses and Filters
Unless your CCD camera is one of those expensive SLRs, you probably cannot change the lens or add filters.

My camera does not require any battery whatsoever to function. If you think modern cameras have long battery life, think again. In sub-zero temperatures like winter in Canada, your battery dies in no time. Ever tried long exposures, for example taking photos of star trails, where you have to keep the shutter open overnight? See if your battery can last that long.

I am 24 years old. The camera I am using now was bought by my father before I was born. Think you will still be using your current CCD camera 24 years from now?

Depreciation and Obsolescence
This should be pretty obvious. A CCD camera, being an item with electronic parts, depreciates quickly and become obsolete just as fast. On the other hand, a quality mechanical SLR maintains its value after many years, some brands become even more valuable.

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
3:27 AM


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