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I have used a couple of high-end digital cameras and several low end (very low end). Nice as the high end cameras are, they still don't work as well as a film SLR.

Digitals do have advantages over the film SLR, especially if they have a big viewing screen... with the digital you KNOW if you have the scene framed properly whereas with the film SLR I still sometimes miss seeing that little framing window in the viewfinder and assume that something is in the frame when it is really just outside of it. Of course, the ability to see the image immediately and delete it if it is no good is wonderful, as is the ability to store hundreds of photos on a memory card and review them on the spot and retake photos if necessary at the time. All those attributes are heads above the ability of a film SLR.

But, I find the Digital to be quite obtuse to change settings... press:

menu, right, right, right, oops, left, down, down, down, select, down, oops, up, up, left, OK, exit, exit, exit...
No that ain't quite right...

menu, right, right, down, down, down, down, select, oops, exit, up, select, down, oops, up, up, left, left, OK, exit, exit, exit...
Oh dear! that made it worse...

menu, right, right, down, down... Hey! Wait, everybody! Come back and pose for just a couple more minutes! I'll get it right this time!
Oh daing the batteries are dead!

The BEST photos I have ever taken were done as experiments with a film SLR that I took only because I am too Scotch to take the film in to be processed with a couple of unused frames on it, but wanted to see the photos "now!". Those experiments were time exposures in very dim lighting where I then 'paint" the scene with a flashlight to illuminate only the things I want to stand out. I have not figured out how to do that with a Digital... for all the controls the camera has, it just doesn't work as easy as: put the camera on a tripod, close the f-stop down to minimum, set the shutter to "Bulb" and shine the flashlight "for a while"... it has always been done on a whim and with absolutely no idea of how long to shine the flashlight or leave the shutter open, but the photos are, in my opinion, pretty good and better than where I use the light meter and set the camera for what it says.

I love to use my old reliable Pentax K-1000, but I have not used it since I bought an Optimus (Radio Shack!) 6 Megapixel digital camera. I can't say that it is a wonderful camera, but the 4-gig memory chip I put in it holds a couple thousand photos and it does decent movies too (better than my miniDV tape movie camera!). It does eat batteries like a kid trapped in a candy shoppe. For a day's outting with the camera I always have at least 10 (freshly charaged!) AA batteries with me, two in the camera and 8 in my pockets!

Sadly, I bet my heirs will get to throw away the Pentax (I probably ought'a take the battery out).


I have seen a cell phone with a flash for the built-in camera, but two flashes meant you could not make a phone call until you recharged the battery!
 

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Getting used to not holding the camera to my face to look through the non-existant viewfinder has been a difficulty. The thing that tells me to not do it is my not being able to focus my eyes on the screen with the screen against my glasses!


Of course, not holding the camera agaist my head means that I tend to shake the camera a bit more when I press the shutter button.

The other problem I forgot to mention with digital cameras is the length of time to store the photo means you cannot take photos in as quick of a succession as can be done with a film SLR. I used to be able to take photos so fast with my K-1000 that folk accused me of having an autowind on it... and I don't! The "store time" on a digital can sometimes get quite long... part of that is based on the resolution and other "Photo Quality" settings so there is some control over how long it takes, but I think it also can depend on the content of the image itself because it seems to vary between shots. Temperature also seems to have an effect on it (cold outside temps makes it take longer). The brand/type of memory chip in the camera can also effect the store time (newer ones are LOTS faster!)
 

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I'd recommend the faster SD card! It appears to me that the bigger capacity are faster. The 4-Gig one I have is MUCH faster than the 1st one I bought which was, I think, a 16-Meg or 32-meg. And the cost differential over the 5 or so years between the purchase of the 1st one vs the latest one almost a square-root! The 1st one was about $60 and the last one was only $20.
 
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