Short Splash Comment: Autonomy of (digital) cameras have never been so good!

No contest about memory cards that have already a fabulous
picture (file) capacity compare to traditional films.

Very often people tend to refer on recent past history in photography. For example in pretending that older (film) cameras were having more or autonomy than their modern digital personifications. While it is true to say that the in-board  exposure cell battery of these cameras was able to last a very long time (more than one year in many cases), are we comparing the right think?

Because autonomy in my book is referring to the ability of taking pictures on a continuous flux without any interruption (like a camera reset of any kind). In the case of the digital cameras this occurence will apply mainly when you are substitute an exhausted battery for a freshly charged new one. Rarely it apply in this modern age for a replacement of a fully loaded memory card by an empty one since their capacity have increased dramatically in the past decade.

Manufacturer proclaims more than 300 exposures with this unit but when adding
 the optional vertical power grip you will simply double that number…

Digital cameras (including mirrorless) will give you a typical autonomy of 250 exposures or more per battery pack charge. At that point you can substitute the battery pack by a newer in less than one minute. And the battery pack is reusable once it get a full charge … which is not the case of a used film! Speaking economic a 36 exposures film including basic processing will cost you something like $10-12 assuming that you will thereafter scan the film to further process your image for print or to share the result (because traditional and chemical printing is costly and far less flexible). Per comparaison the cost of a new battery pack is about 7 or 8 times the selling price of a film and again it is reusable several, several times!

Loading a 135 film? Just follow these simple steps!

Just make sure the film tip is fully engage but not too much!

Wind the camera until Number 1 position…

(All pictures from Nikon FM Manual)

And dont forget to ajust your ASA (ISO)!

Nikon F3 HP / MD4: 
A faithful combination of the golden era of the SLRs
(Picture from web source)

Now a last question for all the happy triggers of this world: What is the autonomy of a 36 exposures film in term of working time? Lets say you are using a Nikon F3 HP equipped with its MD4 motor drive (with the very useful electric rewing option) and your shooting rate is 5 frames per second. Your film cartridge will last around 7 seconds of recording time not much more. So very short burst are recommended if you dont want to change fil too often. And not instant review of your pictures is possible with film cameras. With a digital camera it will depend essentially of the memory card capacity or the camera memory buffer capacity or the battery autonomy. But you can be sure it will surpass largely the traditional film camera abilities.

In short digital cameras are better photographic devices with added autonomy and more accurate and oriented results. So next time take a little longer to apprehend and do your picture and … bring an extra battery pack, That way you will face all the odds!

1989: Nikon F3 HP good times with 36 
exposures per film cartridge autonomy…
Refill those pockets!
2017: Olympus OM-D E-M5 II with 600 
exposures (accentuations) autonomy!
Scotty, Beam me up!

And as a bonus feature: How to load a film into the Nikon F3 HP (Extracted from Nikon F3 Manual). That was part of the entry exam to be qualified as a true photojournalist!



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