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Chapter Six. Digital Photography Foundat... > How Digital Photography Differs from...

How Digital Photography Differs from Film Photography

The fundamental principles involved in photography are essentially the same whether you use a camera loaded with film or one that captures the image digitally. Light is reflected from the scene and focused through a lens onto a light-sensitive area that records the image. Beyond that, though, some important and sometimes subtle differences can affect how you use the camera. Knowing how these differences can affect the final photograph is key to translating a prior understanding of film photography into a comfortable working knowledge of digital photography.

Lens Focal Length

The focal length of a lens refers to the distance (usually measured in millimeters) from the rear nodal point of the lens to the image plane where the light from the lens is focused into the image and exposed, either onto film or onto a digital imaging sensor. For those who have been living and breathing film photography for many years, there is a comfortable familiarity with the focal lengths that are associated with your film format of choice. With most digital cameras, however, those familiar focal lengths have different meanings.


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