Advantages

In 1981 Sony Corporation introduced a still camera that has only recently made its way into the photography field. (3,p.1) Everyone including studio photographers, art directors and photojournalist have jumped on the mostly efficient, but very expensive bandwagon. However, just as with any other invention, price drops will enable more people to own this technology. "In 1994, digital cameras cost between $15,500 and $35,000." (2,p.8). Even though these cameras are expensive, they do have a few advantages over the conventional cameras. One of the obvious advantages is that digital equipment saves time. A photographer does not have to wait for the film to be processed and or take the additional time it takes to scan negatives. With just a few punches of the buttons, images can be downloaded from a digital camera to a computer in seconds. This has greatly benefited photojournalists who can print same-day news and also are available to shoot more photos since they are not frequenting the darkroom as much. (2,p.19). Manipulating the digital image is more accurate than its traditional counterpart. Once images are downloaded onto a computer, they can be altered by removing any defects or unwanted logos or objects in the picture with a simple click of a mouse. (2, p.16). Digital technology allows a photographer to create a higher quality image. Most slide film has a dynamic range of 6 f-stops while digital cameras offer 10 f-stops. (2, p.18,). Highlight and shadow areas are displayed in greater detail. (2, p.18). "A fine-grained (ISO 100) 35mm slide film has an equivalent resolution of 25 million pixels, while a high-end, digital camera, can capture 40 million pixels of information." (2, p.18). Even though high-end digital cameras produce equivalent or more superior images than 35mm, low-end cameras still do not match the quality of 35mm. However, even these though the low-end images are not of superior quality, they can be used in documentation, Web sites, and e-mail. (2, p.18).



Disadvantages

Even though there are many benefits from digital photography, some disadvantages exist. Digital technology may save money because the person using it does not have to worry about the cost of film. However, they may spend close to $320 for PC Cards, which may be easily misplaced (1)

Lighting may be yet another drawback for digital photographers. "Because of the limitations of the cameras in low-light and mixed-light locations, USA Today photographers use their Eastman Kodak Professional EOS-DCS 3 cameras only at planned events on deadline." (1)

Cropping of digital images is difficult. Usually there is a lot of cropping of sports pictures. This is almost impossible with digital photos because they lack pixel density. (1)

Linear-array cameras, which are used for studio shooting, are slow. These cameras can take as long as a few seconds to a few minutes to process images. (1)



Ethics

Removing a Coke can from a picture or putting two skaters together when they never were in the same picture or showing a male movie star's pregnant belly. Nothing is wrong with any of these? Right? Not entirely. Once there was a time when gaudy images of people were pasted on magazines, but no one took them seriously, because they could easily discern that the image was false. In a sense, the image of Bruce Willis' pregnancy is acceptable, because it is rather obvious that this is impossible. (7) On the other hand, an image of O.J. Simpson with a darkened face on the cover of Time in 1994, was controversial because it mislead readers and also it made Simpson appear a villain. (7) When Olympians Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding appeared together on the cover of New York Newsday, the subtitle, "Tonya, Nancy To Meet At Practice," would indicate that they had not met. However, the main heading, "Fire on Ice" would seem to hint that the two had met and that would cause confusion, and thus mislead readers. (7)

A plausible approach to image manipulation would not allow anything beyond black-and-white processes or routine cropping. If the image is altered, this should be obvious with the use of a symbol or notation or both.










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