|Home Page Commentary 17 June 1999|
Confused by the phrase chickens out? See an explanation
As you may know from reading previous Comments of the Fortnight, I enjoy digital photography a great deal. I thought I had pretty much retired my film cameras for good, but circumstances have dictated otherwise.
One of my acquaintances, Mr. Lynn Dyche, has asked me to take pictures of the members of the California USA Wrestling team that is taking a trip to Japan in the near future. We had both agreed that I would do the whole photo shoot with my digital camera, but I now confess that I'm going to chicken out. I'll take my digital camera along, but I'll do most of the work with the film camera, and here's why:
A Pentax ZX-M loaded with ISO 400 film gives me more flexibility under a variety of lighting conditions than the Olympus D-500L with its ISO 180 rating.
Each of the team members will get a copy of the team picture. The charge for making copies from a film negative is significantly less than the charge for making copies from a digital photo. Multiplied by thirty, this comes out to a large difference.
Most important, film has dramatically better resolution than any digital camera costing less than US$5000. A film photo of a group of twenty-seven people has enough detail to show all the faces; a digital photo, even with 1280 x 960 resolution, probably doesn't. The output from the film camera will just look more professional.
That having been said, why bring the digital camera at all? My plan is to take digital pictures as well, and put them on a CD that I can give to any of the team members who has a computer.
Behind it all, though, is pure paranoia and cowardice. I'm taking the film camera because I just don't have the faith that digital can do the job, and I'm taking the digital camera because I'm afraid that something could happen to the film at the developer's. I can rationalize it with all the lovely rhetoric you've read above about economics and the best tool for the job at hand. I can tell myself that I'm just hedging my bets and exercising reasonable judgement. But deep down I still have that nagging feeling --- I've chickened out.
Send the coward some feedback, and let him know what you think.
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