My difficulties going from film to digital

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Brad
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#1
O.k this is a rant about my difficulties in going from film to digital ! I recently brought a Sony A6000 to hopefully stop spending so much money on film/developing and to improve on the results from my old battered Digital Kodak point and shoot .Yesterday I went to the National trusts Baddersley Clinton. As I was there on a Ghost walk (Mrs Badger arranged it) I just took my old Kodak point and press as it fits in my pocket nicely.I took a number of shots in near darkness but was pleasantly surprised by the results , As the property is so interesting thought to myself I'll visit again tomorrow with my Sony A6000 expecting much better results as the light would be much better and of course the camera is superior, I was wrong ! I can honestly say I was really disappointed with the results I really don't seem to be able to get to grips with this camera.
I've come from Manual Film cameras where I seemed to have more good results than bad to the Sony where I seem to have more bad than good results. Now I realize that the Sony is a relatively good camera and it is most likely my use of it that is the problem but I'm getting to the point where I don't want to take it out and wishing I had never brought it. Has anyone else found the swap from film to Digital difficult.

From the 9mp 11 year old Kodak point and shoot. Very low light( the photo makes it seem far better than it was) at the end of a very rainy ,day with relativity high contrast between the white sky and the building, hand held . Very impressive considering the light .

102_4246.JPG

From the Sony with very good light Blue skies rather than white. In my mind no better quality than the Kodak it really seems to have problems with any level of contrast.

DSC02067.JPG
 
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Bazza
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#2
Looking at the price of the Sony A6000 around £350/400 mark it looks more like an entry camera model. Even so one should get reasonable photos from it. One thing you might try is working it up with an editing suite. Adobe have free trial editing suite on their site. You fell into the same trap as I did years ago with a Kodak 2pm camera. I started out with that to see what all this digital lark was all about, then moved on to a Nikon D70s.
This is the trap, the next camera up in the range looks so much better and you keep going up in the range.. I went from the digital Nikon D70s to the D200-D300 -D800 to the D810.

Thinking on it and saving a load of cash I should have gone for the most expensive i could afford and start with fully automatic and learn the camera features step by step.
 
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Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#3
The Kodak shot has completely blown any detail in the sky while the Sony has retained some as well as having some detail in the brighter lit parts of the castle. Beyond that, impossible to tell with screen size shots to go on.
 
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Damian
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#4
Ideally you need to run your test with both cameras on the same day, same angle. The kodak is flat due to the weather and the sony has contrast due to the sun. 90% of photograph is in the composition, seeing it through a photographers eye. Quality wise you won't see an amazing jump as megapixels are only relevant to the image size, but your sony will give you more controls to save the image. That is when this test will show both cameras abilities when they're in a difficult shooting scenario and which one performs best.
 
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Toni
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#5
The second picture looks much more interesting and far less dull & flat than the first - I'd say it's handled the extreme contrast levels very well with the image as presented here. FWIW I've been to BC a couple of times, and it's harder to photograph well than one might think.

So were these SOOC, did you convert in post first, what have you done (if anything) to them?
 
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Phil
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#6
You're looking at 2 completely different images and concerning yourself with the different cameras.
Time to start 'seeing' instead of just looking.

The 1st image, the building is in flat overcast light - the 2nd, it's mostly in shade on a brighter day. The light in those images is dramatically different - I think this may well mirror the first response I ever gave one of your posts. The images are both lacking in contrast for the most part but for completely different reasons.
 
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#9
Yesterday I went to the National trusts Baddersley Clinton. As I was there on a Ghost walk (Mrs Badger arranged it) I just took my old Kodak point and press as it fits in my pocket nicely.I took a number of shots in near darkness but was pleasantly surprised by the results , As the property is so interesting thought to myself I'll visit again tomorrow with my Sony A6000 expecting much better results as the light would be much better and of course the camera is superior, I was wrong ! I can honestly say I was really disappointed with the results I really don't seem to be able to get to grips with this camera.
Supernatural activity is well known for interfering with image capture. This is why there are so few clear photographs of ghosts. Before judging the relative performance of these cameras, take them both to an unhaunted location (it may be useful to perform an excorcism before starting to shoot). Compare them side by side in the same lighting conditions with similar settings (double check these in case a passing poltergeist has changed the ISO or focus mode). Shoot the same subject from the same angle with both cameras, and note any uncanny events that might be affecting your composition. Do not engage the AF on both cameras simultaneously so you don't cross the proton streams. That would be bad.
 

StephenM

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#10
Do you carry our any processing on the digital files? I don't know if your camera has a mono setting, so a black and white doesn't answer the question. Do you do your own scanning of negatives, because if so you probably make some adjustments; and if you don't someone else may be tweaking them for you.

What I'm getting at is that I don't know if it would be a level playing field even if the two cameras were used side by side. I do strongly suspect that the A6000 should knock pots off most, if not all, 35mm cameras in terms of technical results - certainly if it would give you raw files to deal with.
 
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#11
One of the issues going from film to digital is the overall look/rendering of images, often there are subtle differences and quite often I still prefer film. That being said, of those two images I prefer the one from he Sony, the film shot is flat and lacking detail.

To get the best from digital I would always recommend shooting raw and processing yourself with software such as Lightroom, you can make the image look pretty much anyway you want, and you can even make it look like film if you so wish.
 
OP
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#12
What is meant by SOOC Toni ? Sorry for the confusion but the two photos were not meant to be compared ( both digital ) they were just posted as examples of what had happened on the two different days. The first shot being quite good considering the near darkness and quite a shock that the digi point and press did so well. I just seem to struggle with the Sony in anything but ideal conditions ie high contrast images, on the day I scrapped all of the exterior images of the building and ended up disappointed, it does produce great low light images and in low contrast situations produces some excellent sharp images. As I said before I realize this is down to my lack of digital experience, Film always gave me more leeway . To expose with film I judge the light by eye choose my settings for what I'm trying to achieve and then over expose by 1 stop.
I don't do much processing as I hate sitting in front of a computer and have very limited time in fact 99% of my photography has to be done whilst doing other activities They were both shot black and white in camera in the case of the first one the light was so poor the camera or my eyes were hardly picking out any colours. I had to make the files smaller to post on here and altered contrast a little and tried to calm the highlights, both were from a .jpg the Kodak will only save as .jpeg. The Sony ones which I scrapped I tried HDR at 1 stop, tried under exposing 0.3 ,0.5 and 1 stop.
 
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#14
What is meant by SOOC Toni ? Sorry for the confusion but the two photos were not meant to be compared ( both digital ) they were just posted as examples of what had happened on the two different days. The first shot being quite good considering the near darkness and quite a shock that the digi point and press did so well. I just seem to struggle with the Sony in anything but ideal conditions ie high contrast images, on the day I scrapped all of the exterior images of the building and ended up disappointed, it does produce great low light images and in low contrast situations produces some excellent sharp images. As I said before I realize this is down to my lack of digital experience, Film always gave me more leeway . To expose with film I judge the light by eye choose my settings for what I'm trying to achieve and then over expose by 1 stop.
I don't do much processing as I hate sitting in front of a computer and have very limited time in fact 99% of my photography has to be done whilst doing other activities They were both shot black and white in camera in the case of the first one the light was so poor the camera or my eyes were hardly picking out any colours. I had to make the files smaller to post on here and altered contrast a little and tried to calm the highlights, both were from a .jpg the Kodak will only save as .jpeg. The Sony ones which I scrapped I tried HDR at 1 stop, tried under exposing 0.3 ,0.5 and 1 stop.
Setting your exposure should be no different whether digital or film, the three elements are the same ie iso/film speed, aperture and shutter. If you know the exposure you would apply for your film camera then apply the same to your digital camera.
 
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#15
Setting your exposure should be no different whether digital or film, the three elements are the same ie iso/film speed, aperture and shutter. If you know the exposure you would apply for your film camera then apply the same to your digital camera.
That won’t work, the OP is setting his exposure for film with a wet finger approach, which will work ok with the latitude that negative film has.
exposing for in camera jpegs with his dslr has to be ‘right’ as there’s very little spare DR and they breakdown quite quickly, whereas his P&S will set some auto corrections, and the subsequent loss of IQ will be attributed to the naff lens/small sensor.
 
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#16
What is meant by SOOC Toni ? Sorry for the confusion but the two photos were not meant to be compared ( both digital ) they were just posted as examples of what had happened on the two different days. The first shot being quite good considering the near darkness and quite a shock that the digi point and press did so well. I just seem to struggle with the Sony in anything but ideal conditions ie high contrast images, on the day I scrapped all of the exterior images of the building and ended up disappointed, it does produce great low light images and in low contrast situations produces some excellent sharp images. As I said before I realize this is down to my lack of digital experience, Film always gave me more leeway . To expose with film I judge the light by eye choose my settings for what I'm trying to achieve and then over expose by 1 stop.
I don't do much processing as I hate sitting in front of a computer and have very limited time in fact 99% of my photography has to be done whilst doing other activities They were both shot black and white in camera in the case of the first one the light was so poor the camera or my eyes were hardly picking out any colours. I had to make the files smaller to post on here and altered contrast a little and tried to calm the highlights, both were from a .jpg the Kodak will only save as .jpeg. The Sony ones which I scrapped I tried HDR at 1 stop, tried under exposing 0.3 ,0.5 and 1 stop.
It sounds to me like you are approaching shooting with digital in the wrong way. You shot film by knowing what the film is capable of and shooting in those settings...you have a bit more leeway in digital because you can see the results instantly. Especially in the case of the Sony which is a mirrorless camera, (I assume) you get to see the exposure prior to even taking the shot, which means you can adjust accordingly without guesswork. In addition, if you take a shot and realise you got the exposure wrong, adjust and re-take.

Secondly, when it comes to digital it is highly recommended that you edit your files. If you pick an in camera setting like you did, you are left with results that some random programmer decided was good for god knows what subject matter, and you are stuck with it. In the case of black and white settings, they are usually high contrast, which will just exaggerate the problems in your shot above when you are shooting into the shade on a sunny day. Shoot in raw, and edit the files in post. That is how these cameras are used best.

The Sony will undoubtedly have more dynamic range and should be perfectly sharp if you are using it correctly, so as you said it's just a case of getting used to the new workflow.
 
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#17
Just out of interest I had a quick look at a comparison site (DXO, link at the botton) and they say the A6000 DR is 13.1 and a Canon 5DIII is 11.7. That did surprise me a bit. Anyway, I don't know what the OP is doing wrong, although "wrong" may be the wrong word to use so sorry about that Brad, but maybe with some more thought and practice and a bit of a tweak to technique some improvement can be made as the A6000 seems to be quite a capable little camera despite being small and APS-C.

OP. I think you need to bite the bullet and start shooting raw and processing for best effect if you're not doing so already.

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Com...-A6000-versus-Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III___942_795
 
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OP
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BADGER.BRAD
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#18
The main problem I'm finding is with shots with mid to high contrast ( Mainly the sky) ,When I took the Sony out on that day there was some contrasty shots which I tried to tame by shooting a number of frames from the right exposure down to -2 stops and with my basic software tried to raise the shadows to keep the highlights from blowing but they just looked muddy and I struggled to get any detail in the shadows (I must admit this was from the jpeg files). I'm not sure how they judge dynamic range in the digital world but I cannot imagine the Sony having 13 stops, negative film seems to have about 8 stops 6+ and 2 minus and seems to handle contrast much better than the Sony although there are of course limits. The rear screen on the Sony is quite small so shots that look great can turn out awful when viewed in a larger size.
Ideally I would love to be able to get good shots straight from the camera In all conditions which under the right conditions I can.I must also admit admit that outside at this time of year with bright light and deep shadows on acount of the low sun is probably not the best time. I've downloaded both Darktable and Rawtherapy so when I get sometime I'll have a play with a few images. Thanks for your advise.
 
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droj
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#19
tried to tame by shooting a number of frames from the right exposure down to -2 stops and with my basic software tried to raise the shadows to keep the highlights from blowing but they just looked muddy and I struggled to get any detail in the shadows (I must admit this was from the jpeg files)
What you did there is a valid strategy but it requires a raw file to realise it and is rather a waste of time on a jpg which simply doesn't have the resources to come through with the goods.
 
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#20
When you shoot Jpegs on a good digital camera it is the film equivalent of carefully choosing your film stock, carefully choosing the desired shutter speed and aperture then sending the film of to Boots for a £5.00 dev & print.
 
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