Last call for Film...R.I.P?

Saw this in a grocery store the other day.

What exactly is “HD” film?

Note the dust.

They also conveniently hid any mention of it being a “film” camera. I can’t imagine how many people buy it and then can’t figure out how to find the USB connector :slight_smile:

I haven’t used film in 15+ years I think…


What exactly is “HD” film?

HD = High Definition; ASA 400…

They also conveniently hid any mention of it being a “film” camera.

That would be the “27” (exposures) down in the corner I reckon… .

I haven’t used film in 15+ years I think…

I’m not sure I even know where my trusty old Pentax K1000 is. … . :confused:

Still a handy camera for vacation situations… especially their “Sport” version; waterproof to 10’

Not only that, but last call for point & shoot digital cameras too is coming up. More and more people are using their phone for quick point and shoot pics and video. If you want great photo’s you have to go DSLR, but for normal digital camera’s what’s the point if you have a good camera phone?

I’m not sure if this was covered when it came up but a few months ago the last Kodachrome film processing was ended. There was a great story on CBS Sunday morning.

It’s too bad, because film has a depth to it and camera phones don’t. Cell phone camera photos is to film photos as MP3 is to vinyl records. The newer is in general “good enough” and much easier, but in many ways you sacrifice quality.

Remember that the medium has changed, not just the format. 9/10 photos now probably end up on facebook, not in a frame on someones dresser. Even then, upscaling and a little photoshop can actually yield surprisingly good prints out of cell phone images with some of these new camera sensors.

People now take pictures of their lunch, their cat, something funny they saw while driving - all areas that you would virtually never have captured if you were using a film camera because the cost of taking those photos was so prohibitive.

So while digital doesn’t offer the theoretical range of colors or clarity of film, it enables wholly different behaviors which allowed it to completely kill the film market.

The same thing applied to the MP3. The format isn’t as technically robust but it doesn’t matter. The avenue of listening changed to a pair of earbud headphones that you can squeeze in your back pocket and allowed you to carry thousands of songs, whereas the record was an experience of sitting in a room and listening to the music.

There is no way that film will end. It will simply go the same route that vinyl did (more niche market). There are entirely too many enthusiast and artists out there to completely get rid of it. That said, I can see the end of point and shoot. But I really dont think we will see 35 mm going anywhere. The companies are just going to have to transition their marketing/production from a broad consumer base to a smaller enthusiast market.

In truth, these days, nothing really dies. Sure you can still make a gramaphone record if you really wanted to, and there are a handful of vac tub amp enthusiasts.

By die, I mean more metaphorically, in a sense that it’s out of the mainstream consumer’s mindset. Would a 5 year old kid know how to load a film camera or what to do with it?

I do think that technologies like this mostly die because of the use as mentioned, not so much the technology itself. Different behaviors and enabling functions by new technologies can take an application to new markets and use cases. MP3s, e-books, etc. are a perfect example.

Film seems a bit strange however given that todays high end DSLRs meet or exceed the control and rez that most people hung on to film and medium format film cameras for years. Everyone I know who shoots on film seems to do so almost just for the reason of being different and hipster ironic. Pics look the same to me. Maybe something about the mystery of film that you don’t know what you got until you develop it…

I wonder as a design exercise it would be possible to think of a new use case for film cameras that makes sense…?


Everyone I know who shoots on film seems to do so almost just for the reason of being different and hipster ironic. Pics look the same to me. Maybe something about the mystery of film that you don’t know what you got until you develop it…

Richard: that’s sad.

The last time I used my 35mm was to take photos at Mosport 2008. It was fun. I ran across the shots that I scanned the other day and thought, “wow, these are better than I remember”.

I find there is a difference, but I think you would have to learn photography on a 35mm before taking digital photos to understand. There are things like depth of field and lighting that are easier to understand on film. Moreover, they are easier to adjust, at least compared to a point-and-shoot. I think that’s why there are so many crappy photos. People don’t even know they can adjust some of these things.

Everyone says film has more control, but does it really? I just saw recently some ad for a DSLR that has some dial that lets you control how much the background is in/out of focus. In a film camera, you’d have to mess with f-stop and aperature. I think new DSLRs are easier, not to mention you can see the result on screen. How is it easy to understand DOP and light meter values when you can’t see the result?

I did learn photography in film and did some of my own developing in school. I can’t really see the case for it, aside from maybe fringe artiness…


I think DSLR is very close to good film photography, but when I look at the old photo’s my dad took of us growing up and compare it to point and shoot digitals it’s very apparent that film is better. Camera’s on phones are only going to get better and better which is why I think the only reason to have a separate camera is if it’s a DSLR.

As far as “nothing is ever dead” the kodachrome film is truly dead because Kodak stopped making the chemicals it takes to develop it.

What I think is funny is all the “vintage” photo apps that are so popular. It’s sort of ironic everyone wants their digital photo’s to look old.

Funny you should mention Instagram. They’ve been around 7 months and have 10 photos uploaded every second. Easily the highest of any of the vintage looking apps. Then there’s people doing things like this:

which I definitely want to try the next time I’m at Goodwill.

I love film. I especially love hand processed, hand printed photos. But, I understand how digital has shaped photography. Film is dirty. Digital is clean. Using film you’re physically creating something, with digital it’s all 1’s and 0’s. Film will never become mainstream again. But, it won’t ever die completely, it will just become more expensive and more niche based. People still paint with oil paints, even though acrylic is cheaper and cleaner. Why? Because it works differently. It’s more work to create a perfect image with film. It’s easy (relatively speaking) to color correct digital photos compared to hand printing color photographs.

I think CyberD’s comment is pretty straight on.

I also think, as with many things, it is the craftsman that makes the difference not just the tool. So a crapy photographer will take poor pictures with 35mm film or with a DSLR, and a skilled photographer who knows his or her equipment will take an amazing photo…

I submit this, it is a video piece, but all shot on a DSLR… the music doesn’t hurt the sense of drama any: crank the speakers and watch it full screen!


Richard: I haven’t used a DSLR yet. I’m sure that the makes have improved all of the controls to be as easy as an old 35mm. I’m just nostalgic.

Although…my 35mm was free and the lens I’ve bought have never cost more than $20. I don’t think I can say that for DSLRs yet.

Nice… the almost inaudible thunder at the end was fitting. Thanks Michael.

But you do have to pay for the film and processing fee’s for every roll. :slight_smile:

Great find Yo, HD video on DSLR can be amazing. Although I think it will be a while before we replace film stock for movies. It just looks so much better then video.

mrt: Good point. Also, I had to take 3-4 shots of everything. Usually one is too bright, one is out of focus and the last one just right. At least with digital, I can instantly delete the duds.