Feb 18 2010

Digital Photography vs. Film Why Should You Switch?

Published by at 4:17 am under General

One discovery I have made is that DSLRs are perfect for portrait photographers and wedding photographers. So why are they the last to jump on the band wagon? Many commercial shooters have known about and mastered the use of digital in their business’s for far longer than the portrait photographer.

My thought is that possibly they are afraid? Afraid of the learning curve and afraid that the quality just isn’t there unless they spend an ungodly amount of hard earned cash on some scary looking gigantic array of confusing and awkward, let alone “how am I going to learn how to use this stuff” equipment.

The truth of the matter is all you really need is a 5MP digital camera. Don’t fear that DSLR’s create lower quality images, I’ve seen amazing work over and over with fantastic results. Yes, even if you have only a 5 or 6 MP camera.

There are many reasons, here are 5 good ones.

1- Service

These days a real camera repair shop is very hard to fine and service for film cameras is evaporating even more rapidly. Most camera stores will just send your camera to the manufacturer and then charge you more than the flat repair rate that you would get from Sony, Canon or Nikon etc. yourself. If you look online you can still find a real digital camera repair shop including ones that specialize in digital SLR camera repair and charge much less than the $250-300 flat rate repairs that the manufacturers offer.

Many digital repair parts are replaceable by the consumer such as battery doors, memory card doors and other body parts like zoom switches. There are plenty of people who want to repair their own camera and replace the LCD screen or lens, but many prefer to leave the repair to a professional service instead.

The real problem with finding good Canon digital camera repair for example is lack of knowledge. Most any store you go to and ask about repair will tell you to throw the camera in the garbage and buy a new one. The reason they tell you this is because they have no idea that affordable digital camera repair and do it yourself options actually exist! A couple simple searches on Google will go a long way to help you find a reputable repair shop for your Canon digital camera repair.

2- Quality

The quality of images captured with a high quality lens, properly exposed and well posed is more than enough, even if you shoot JPEGS. Yes, I said JPEGS not RAW. Over 90% of the more than 30-40,000 exposures I put through my camera every year is shot in JPEG mode. Why would anyone in their right mind shoot in such a “low quality” mode? The answer is simple: It works.

Portrait photographers do not need to create the very sharpest, highest resolution images available. If they have in the past, they’ve always degraded the image through retouching and other means. It’s kind of ironic don’t you think? Yes of course you can shoot in RAW if you prefer, but it’s not always required.

3- Control

People want their photos fast. We live in a drive-through world and minutes count. In our studio we create a slide presentation for our sessions and we show them to the clients within 20 minutes of every shoot. Customers love it. The client can see the result right away. If the customer is there waiting to view the shots from the shoot is already planning on spending money then sales will go up. Their is ample evidence that when you show the images sooner, and you create large projected images, which is a cinch with digital, sales go up. Digital gives the portrait photographer more control over the sales process, and ultimately it means more profits.

4- Retouching

Let’s face it, people want to look good. What used to take hours and whole lot of aggravation with spray booths, smelly and dangerous lacquers, is now possible with absolute ease. Farming out all retouching took weeks and sometimes months to get back and we incurred huge retouching bills.

Not to mention the loss of control I had over the retouching aspects. It was up to the subjective interpretation of the retouching artist to enhance the images the way I wanted them retouched. Now, with a few basic skills, and all those years of retouching experience all transferred over to the new darkroom, my computer, I can easily retouch to any degree I like. In mere minutes. With fantastic results. This ultimately translates to satisfying a basic need that needs to satisfied in our clients, their vanity. They want to look good, and they want it fast.

5- Innovation

I could go on for days when it comes to what new products, ideas, services, sales processes, packages, etc, etc. . . I have created due to using a digital camera instead of film.

I am once again excited about photography and the new possibilities. When you apply the power of digital, and get a handle on it in your workflow, you can create new and exciting products like never before.
I’ve seen it and experience it every week in our busy little small-city studio. Your net profits will give you proof that clients like your product?

After all, we are in business first, and creative artists second, right? We are in business to make money and survive. We need new and exciting angles, ways to stay afloat, so we can pay our bills, keep the bankers happy and provide for our families. We don't know how digital photography is going to change in the future, but my guess is that with it all the way.

Do you remember when color film was first released to consumers? I don’t, I was just a wee lad, but I heard stories about the many studio owners closing their doors and packing it in because they didn’t want to keep up with the demand and latest craze that color film and color paper had created.

Having grown up shooting film I didn’t think I would enjoy digital cameras. Now that I’ve spent some time shooting digital I won’t be going back to film, guaranteed.

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