Undoubtedly, today everyone, especially professional photographers, has become accustomed to digital cameras. The change from chemical photography to digital photography was a trauma for many photographers, and today there are still some who prefer to work with a reel or slide. The advantages that technology has brought to photography are innumerable, but, to what extent do all these advances help us? Is it possible that making things so easy makes us increasingly worse photographers? Does this benefit or harm those who start in the world of photography ?.
To start analyzing these questions and try to get some answers, we will begin by commenting on what technology has undeniably contributed.
1. Reel vs Sensor
The sensors have evolved, not only in terms of their size but in terms of quality and level of noise supported. The first notable change is related to the device in charge of storing the photographs. We have gone from using single-use reels to sensors. Before it was the reel manufacturers who invested their time and effort in developing new types of film that would satisfy all types of photographers. Nowadays, it is the manufacturers of the cameras themselves, who invest their money in developing new technologies that allow to obtain greater image quality, and that support increasing sensitivities (ISO).
But in addition, there are two aspects that are directly related to this topic. One is the fact that we no longer have to transport reels and reels, with what that meant, of space above all, but also of discomfort. In addition, we have managed to save money since memory cards are capable of storing thousands of photographs and are also reusable. And finally, it is no longer mandatory to reveal paper negatives to see the result, unless necessary or we like to see our printed photographs.
Before there was a wide variety of reels, and the worst part is that you had to carry them everywhere, especially on long trips. Also related to the sensors, we can talk about the ISO, that not only can we change it at each shot, but it is possible to shoot at increasingly higher ISOs without appreciating noise (grain).
A disadvantage is related to the issue of dirt, and it is now necessary to clean the dust motes sensor so that it does not affect the quality of our images. Today there are different methods of cleaning the sensor, but what a doubt, that until not long ago, cleaning the sensor was a headache and more than one has brought a good dislike.
2. Surprises are over: Preview on the spot
During a beautiful sunrise, one can calmly check if his photo is fine or not. If you have to overexpose, if any element appears in the frame that bothers, or something very important, check if we like the frame or not. Another radical change that digital photography has brought about is being able to see the result in the act. In general, this is a great advantage, and more than one would not fit very well if digital cameras stopped having the preview screen, but how much does this benefit us? There are thousands of situations in which, being able to see the result will save us from having to return on another occasion, but we must not forget that the great photographers in history were able to solve each situation and return home with the negatives. This was because they took their time to frame, measure, control the light. Today, on many occasions we no longer take our time to make a correct measurement, but rather we take a picture and if the result is not right, we correct the parameters and shoot again. This custom increasingly makes us trial and error photographers, instead of photographers who know how to analyze the light and therefore make a good measurement.
3. Freehand shooting is no longer a problem
For years there have been stabilized targets, which allow firing at slower speeds than normal. But the novelty comes when the stabilizer is integrated in the camera body, more specifically in the sensor. Brands such as Olympus and Sony, have taken in recent years camera models with this technology, a kind of 3 or 5 axis stabilizer, allowing shooting at speeds so slow that in a normal camera we would need to use a tripod. We are talking about shutter speeds close to the second. If we add this to the fact that the sensors withstand higher and higher sensitivities, we can say that the lack of light is no longer a problem. Depending on the type of photography we take, this can be a big step, and it can allow us to solve situations that were previously unfeasible. For lazy people, who do not like to use the tripod, it can also be a way to save time, with which we return to the same thing that I commented previously, and that is that now the photograph is no longer meditated, if it is not done fleeting way.
4. Measure the light? For what?
Another very suggestive progress is directly related to the measurement. Knowing the light, understanding it and knowing how to measure it is fundamental in photography. In my courses I always try to emphasize this issue, and make it clear that without light there is no photography. It is important to know how to analyze a scene, know where to measure and understand what parameters we configure and why. CSC cameras do not incorporate a mirror, so it is impossible to have an optical viewfinder that shows us exactly the same thing that is going to reach the sensor, hence they incorporate a digital viewfinder, that is, a kind of screen. It must be said that there is a big difference, no matter how much the digital viewfinder has, with respect to the optical viewfinder, although according to what those who use them say, it is a matter of getting used to it.
The advantage of having a digital viewfinder is that the amount of information that appears to us is very large, but the biggest difference with respect to an optical one is the possibility of seeing in the viewfinder itself if the photograph is well exposed before shooting. That is, if our photograph is underexposed, in the viewfinder we will see it underexposed, and vice versa. In this way, we will simply have to increase the exposure, either with the speed, the shutter or the ISO. In the beginning it is a great advantage, since a priori you see the result, however, isn’t it true that we will gradually tend to stop making light measurements? For someone who already has experience in photography, you can see it as something positive, since it will continue with its usual protocol, but you will also be sure that your photo will work out well. However, someone who starts and takes one of these cameras is likely to be able to take photos that are well exposed, but without knowing very well why. Also, what would happen if you take another camera that does not have this mode?