I've a Canon 60D and I'm mainly interested in shooting landscapes. I feel very interested in buying a used canon EOS film camera (since my EF lenses are compatible).
I would like to take pictures from my DSLR and then use the same meter reading on the SLR to take a picture. I'm planning on scanning the negatives myself to the maximum resolution and the assumption is that the picture from the film camera would be lot more colorful and sharper.

Would their be a noticeable difference by using a film camera? considering that my 60D comes with 18 Mega Pixels.

Sharpness and resolution matter to me only because I usually end up cropping my pictures.

Also I'm planning on using using films with ISO of 50 or 100.
The used camera I'm interested in cost around $200.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ If all you're doing is going to be taking the settings from the digital to make sure you get the same looking picture on film, get yourself something nice and simple like a Canon 300V (Rebel Ti). It has all the manual settings and costs around $40. A nice simple no frills 35mm to take your EF lenses \$\endgroup\$
    – Dreamager
    Sep 29, 2011 at 18:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you "usually" end up cropping pictures? Do all your photos need cropping for some strange reason? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 30, 2011 at 4:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I end up cropping my pictures so that I can get the composition right. \$\endgroup\$
    – Viv
    Sep 30, 2011 at 12:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Try harder to compose before you shoot. This should reduce the amount of cropping. Or else just take more pictures with different compositions. With digital there is essentially no cost to more images where as with film cost is proportional to number of images. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eric S
    Jan 20, 2021 at 21:00

3 Answers 3


It certainly is not worth investing in a 35mm film camera for the perceived higher resolution, additional color, or sharpness.

To get results you will likely have to either invest in, or at least have access to a drum scanner that gives you the highest resolution possible right now. Otherwise you will likely be scanning on a flatbed that almost certainly does not produce resolution even near the Canon 60D.

Are you trying to print 24x30inch prints at 360dpi? Sure, grab a 35mm camera, a $20,000 drum scanner, and you may be able to achieve high resolution that would benefit images of this size. You also might not achieve that.

It sounds like the main issue is that you usually end up cropping your images. If this is the case, it sounds like you either need to frame up the subject better before you take the image, or invest in further reaching lenses.


Having recently started to shoot some film myself, I'd say that

  • yes, there will be a noticeable difference - you will have a full-frame camera, all your lenses will capture wider angle on the film (no crop factor). Captured area is 2.56 times bigger than with your crop sensor at same focal length, so your digital meter reading might be invalid for the larger frame. With negative film, it won't matter much, but if you spend so much on an EOS body, why not trust its light meter?

  • digital has passed film in terms of sharpness

  • with selected films, your images will be more colorful out of camera, but you can adjust color saturation on your digital images in post processing with more control over the result

  • to get an 18MP image, you must scan your film at 3700ppi resolution; but since your 60D has a Bayer sensor, there's lots of interpolation going on to calculate pixels, so 2800ppi (giving 10MP) should suffice for a comparable image. Compare with numbers of your scanner to see if you'd gain or lose in resolution. Also, to get optimal color transmission and reduced film grain, be prepared to try out wet mounting.

With negative films, there will be some tweaking and guesswork to get colors right. A slide film might be easier to scan; Fujifilm Velvia is a classic film used for landscapes.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I would guess some if not all of his lenses are EF-S lenses if he has a 60D. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Sep 29, 2011 at 19:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dpollitt according to statement in question, they are EF. \$\endgroup\$
    – Imre
    Sep 29, 2011 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah yes, I missed that in the original post. You are correct in assuming that then! \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Sep 29, 2011 at 20:20

Yes, going to film photography is really interesting for many reasons:

  • color rendering. I have had many digital cameras since decades now, and none of them have achieved the vivid color rendering of the photo below (so easy with film). Even with editing - just increasing saturation or applying filters etc. isn't enough, color rendering editing is a difficult art if you are a perfectionist.

    enter image description here

    You probably recognize a photograph by the famous artist Martin Parr, who used cheap consumer-level films at this period (Agfa Ultra to be precise, no longer produced).

    He shoots in digital nowadays, but I still think his photos from decades ago had a better color rendering. Or maybe am I just nostalgic of the 70s photo look? (funny, because I wasn't born at this period)

    Of course, you can always edit color rendering in post-production, but here I'm speaking about getting the desired rendering without editing.

    It's so nice to get the roll of film developed, then just look at the photos, and have a great color rendering without doing any editing, out of the box, similar to the photo above.

  • a different process/worfklow: using film has taught me to take fewer pictures (because film and development is expensive) and to think more before shooting. It is an interesting journey!


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