Digital cameras, memory cards

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Bredebahn

Bredebahn

Cinema, Garden Railway, Private Flying (licenced p
Re:Digital cameras, memory cards

Regarding archiving, I have a feeling that digital will result in a lot more of history being recorded for posterity. Firstly, having effectively taken the cost out of photography (apart from the initial investment), far more people are taking far more pictures. The quality may not be great in a large percentage of them, but they are being taken nevertheless. Secondly, storage of images is far less of a problem, both in volume and discipline. And thirdly, to be confirmed, is that images don't deteriorate as easily in digital as they did in film.

I carefully recorded everything on film until the advent of digital - vast collections of 35mm slides carefully filed in (large) round projection boxes. These were initially stored indoors, latterly in the loft (which can get hot in summer I now realise) . When I started to digitise these recently I found that a very large proportion had deteriorated, despite being only around 20-25 years old. Colour fading and emulsion breaking down is common. My digital pictures, on the other hand, are filed on a couple of spare hard drives and some DVDs and even the oldest - now approaching 12 years old - are still in apparently perfect order and, more to the point, I know exactly where they are. So if you ask me for a picture that I've taken since 1999, chances are I'll find it in a minute or two. Before 1999, I might have it somewhere.......

A lot of digital will be lost and a lot will be wiped. But there is so much of it that future students of social and other history will have more to work with than those of the predigital generation, I suspect.
 
Martino

Martino

Kit bashing, The UK narrow gauge, The GWR, Aviatio
Re:Digital cameras, memory cards

Things move on don't they?

I remember when keen amateur photographers decried auto exposure cameras, then 'programme mode' and also auto focus. They all have their place.

If you intend to be a 'serious' photographer, it pays to learn the technical history of photography, so you have an appreciation of how it all works, and it's fun to try using a completely manual camera and processing your own film. Much like using a calculator - if you don't know the original maths. how will you know if you've made a mistake with pushing the buttons?

There's nothing wrong with a GPS, but learning how to read a map often helps ;-)

Trouble is where do you stop? Using a manual SLR or rangefinder is one thing, lugging around an 1800's plate camera is another. Processing an 80's technology black and white film is a breeze, but doing the same with glass plates and 'interesting' chemicals is guaranteed to bring the Health and Safety nuts round!

All photo media degrades - prints fade, curl, and are subject to loss, fire, flood etc. Transparencies fade, grow mould and get damaged. Digital files get lost, deleted and it remains to be seen if they degrade, although when you see what can be done to digitally enhance old 'conventional' film, I think we may have a winner.

I loved taking photos, professionally, in the 80's, lugging film and cameras to all sorts of out of the way places. I's much easier now and I'm amazed at the DSLRS and what can be achieved with compacts and even cellphone cameras.

As long as we're taking photos and enjoying it it doesn't matter what kit you're using :)
 
KeithT

KeithT

Hillwalking, chickens and - err - garden railways.
24 Oct 2009
12,994
7
Nr Manchester
Re:Digital cameras, memory cards

Regarding archiving, I have a feeling that digital will result in a lot more of history being recorded for posterity. Firstly, having effectively taken the cost out of photography (apart from the initial investment), far more people are taking far more pictures. The quality may not be great in a large percentage of them, but they are being taken nevertheless. Secondly, storage of images is far less of a problem, both in volume and discipline. And thirdly, to be confirmed, is that images don't deteriorate as easily in digital as they did in film.

I carefully recorded everything on film until the advent of digital - vast collections of 35mm slides carefully filed in (large) round projection boxes. These were initially stored indoors, latterly in the loft (which can get hot in summer I now realise) . When I started to digitise these recently I found that a very large proportion had deteriorated, despite being only around 20-25 years old. Colour fading and emulsion breaking down is common. My digital pictures, on the other hand, are filed on a couple of spare hard drives and some DVDs and even the oldest - now approaching 12 years old - are still in apparently perfect order and, more to the point, I know exactly where they are. So if you ask me for a picture that I've taken since 1999, chances are I'll find it in a minute or two. Before 1999, I might have it somewhere.......

A lot of digital will be lost and a lot will be wiped. But there is so much of it that future students of social and other history will have more to work with than those of the predigital generation, I suspect.
There are problems though with digital storage.
It is not permanent.
Every few years it is of benefit to copy them onto another storage device.
There are sigificant problems with Census records from even 2 decades ago. Much of the data has degraded and cannot be retrieved.
CDs and even more so DVDs are not longlasting.
Failure of HDDs is another bugbear.
I have been recording digital info for many years and have experienced several failures in retrieval.
Solid state media is less temperamental but only yesterday I experienced my first failure of an SD card. Admittedly it was a cheap one and nothing of importance was lost except the urgent photos which I had just taken and will have to retake.....
Whereas, I have slides and negatives over 70yrs old still in excellent condition, sometimes better than the digitised copies!