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Research suggestions for digital

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I have never used a digital SLR before. I own a Canon EOS and have

been taking and selling photos for about a year now.


I think I have a good grounding in film camera basics, I use

Photoshop 7 and I have my own point and shoot digital camera. It's a

pretty simply one mainly for email purposes.


My question is about the difference between film and digital

cameras. I have always assumed that the only real difference is what

the light is projected on to. Once I have basic photography

knowledge and basic knowledge about how digital works, switching to a

digital SLR would be a piece of cake.


Am I wrong about this? If I'm overlooking anything, please let me


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<I>I have always assumed that the only real difference is what the light is projected on to.</I><P>


It depends on how you define a "real" difference. There are important differences in the way digital sensors respond to light compared to film, just as there are important differences in the way black and white, color negative, and slide film respond to light. Also, do you consider grain versus digital noise to be a "real" difference? How about the cropping factor of digital imagers as a result of their smaller size? That's pretty real for me, but is it for you?<P>


Also, there are enormous differences in working style between digital and film photography. When I switched from Polaroids to digital for studio test shots it made a huge difference in my studio work flow (for one thing I didn't have to keep stopping to apply cold compresses and Ace bandages every time me or the model slipped on a discarded Polaroid backing - 8-)<BR>


So it depends on what your rather vague question really means.

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Peter hit on the two biggies: 1) "Crop factor". For example, with the Canon 10D, if you put a 100mm lens on it, it behaves like a 160mm lens. That's good for telephoto, but bad (usually) for wide-angle. A 20mm lens on the 10D comes out to a 32mm (by 35mm film slr standards). 2) Exposure latitude is not as great as with print film. Actually, it's more like slide film. Highlights can get blown out easily with digital cameras, and again, on the 10D, it's best to underexpose a little rather than overexpose. Other than that, they're pretty darn similar, so I wouldn't expect to be thrown off too much. Best wishes . . .
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Thanks for your answers. I was getting a little concerned about having to switch to digital at work but I feel a little better now. I guess I should have been more specific about what I already knew.


I do understand that digital has different response to light (point and shoots have this annoying problem too) but I also understand how to use the ISO setting to control noise. I was familiar with the 'cropping problem', although I've not heard it called that before. I was under the impression that you can get digital cameras that go all the way from half the surface area of 35mm to 85%, which wouldn't change the focal lengths all that much, unless as you said I'm shooting wide angle.


Something else about that though. If I have to use say a 20mm to get regular 35mm pictures, will I have to be careful about distortion? Or am I missing something here?

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