Transitioning from film to digital, any suggestions?

Thread: Transitioning from film to digital, any suggestions?

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  1. #1
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    Transitioning from film to digital, any suggestions?

    I finally took the plunge and bought a new camera. My first "real" job out of school was as a Technical Representative with Canon, and I still have a soft spot for them.

    I now own:

    Canon 50D w/28-135 f2.8 IS
    16-35 f2.8L II
    70-200 f4L IS
    EF-S 60mm f2.8 Macro
    Speedlight 580EX II

    This is my first digital SLR. All of my prior experience was with film cameras, so it looks like it will be a steep learning curve. Just getting used to the 1.6x magnification factor will take some getting used to.

    Are there any good books out there that will shorten my learning curve? I'm not talking about the fundamentals of photography, but something geared towards the experienced shooter transitioning from film to digital.

  2. #2

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    Re: Transitioning from film to digital, any suggestions?

    You may know this already, but there are several monthy publications that are dedicated to digital photography. I find them to be a bit expensive for a magazine and usually just brouse through them instead. The good thing about them is that they sometimes have book listings that you can have most any bookstore order for you.

    I currently have the Pentax iST D in 6 mega pixel and really like it but I think Im growing out of it and am looking to moving up to the Canon line. There just isn't enough aftermarket support for Pentax like there is with Canon and Nikon.

    Good luck on your search.

  3. #3
    Member T. Wong's Avatar
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    Re: Transitioning from film to digital, any suggestions?

    Well, since you have all the knowledge of traditional cameras, just read the owner manual and find out where the functions are....play with your new DSLSR...it has many features of course, but you know what they do...tis just a matter of how to access them with typical digital scroll up/down...press this or that to get what you want...
    Or, set it on program and shoot away and look at your instant results on the back viewfinder! Then, put the camera on Apert priority and let the camera choose the shutter speed...all the info should appear in the viewfinder...or you can usually choose to shut that off....
    You will learn fast...don't let all the buttons intimidate you! haha! good luck....

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  5. #4
    Member waruilewi's Avatar
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    Re: Transitioning from film to digital, any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by OutaFocus View Post
    This is my first digital SLR. All of my prior experience was with film cameras, so it looks like it will be a steep learning curve.
    Congrats on going digital. Since I have a Canon 50D I must congratulate you on your fine choice of camera!

    i think since I started off with a Canon AE-1 Program and a Contax 139 Quartz that the biggest advantage was never having to second guess if the shot I just took exposed for what I wanted, and instant checking of focusing and composition, though now taken for granted, seemed miraculous the first time I shot digital. Back in the day, having an autowinder was a big deal. Or a camera with a built-in flash. Now it's a megapixel race for the major players (Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc) and seeing who can have 1080p video capability to boot.

    I think there are many advantages you have over someone who never shot film. Handling / controlling blown highlights in digital is second nature to us who shot Kodachrome and Ektachrome, and knowing some basic techniques like the compositional rule of thirds is something not included with the Walmart digicam purchase.

    I had some luck learning from sites like luminous-landscape.com and robgalbraith.com among others. Sites like dpreview.com are great for camera reviews. Best of luck exploring digital!

  6. #5
    Member boswell's Avatar
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    Re: Transitioning from film to digital, any suggestions?

    I like many have gone through the same phase - film to digital etc. If you are an experienced photographer, then most of the "books" on the subject will be old hat anyway.
    As someone else said, just use the instruction booklet with the camera and away you go.

    Two important differences -

    1) With film you had to take probably quite a few shots to ensure you got one that was usable. Film was expensive and you never saw the results until sometimes days or weeks later. By then if bad, too bad.
    No such problem now with digital - you can review immediately and delete and/or retake there and then.
    However, the biggest change will be how you approach the shot.

    2) You no longer have to concentrate on HOW you compose the shot, because from now on you are not a photographer - you are an editor.
    Almost everything you do from now is to do with post editing - cropping -re-composing, altering of parameters to suit your purpose.

    So to that end good software is now really important. Photoshop, Paintshop Pro etc etc. this is where it starts....

    It's a different world digital and it IS exciting.

    Have fun.....

  7. #6
    Member waruilewi's Avatar
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    Re: Transitioning from film to digital, any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by boswell View Post
    ... you are an editor.
    Almost everything you do from now is to do with post editing - cropping -re-composing, altering of parameters to suit your purpose.

    So to that end good software is now really important. Photoshop, Paintshop Pro etc etc. this is where it starts......
    Totally agree with this very important aspect of digital photography. We used to have a ton of service bureaus with skilled craftsmen developing our negs and chromes and could choose to print to RC, fiber, cibachrome, duraflex, etc - but now it's about your "workflow' and the constant tinkering of your actions palette tweaking layers, levels, curves, filters - another new bag of tools for the 21st century.

    Another big change for digital cameras is mucking with built-in white balance. First time I played with that I was like 'isn't that a video guy's tool?' then learned how it played its part in the digital realm. Now with the 50D and other dSLR's you can dial the kelvin down to 2500K up to 10000K and anything in between.

    but experimenting doesn't cost a cent, so keep on shooting. Lots of images to capture this Thanksgiving day!

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