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10 businesses facing extinction in 10 years


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I don't think photographic film makers will ever go completely out of business.


There is NO digital technology that can even come close to the resolution, color, contrast range and general quality of image that film can produce.


If you're talking on a per-square-inch basis, film still has a 10 to 1 advantage over even the BEST of digital displays. If you move into the "Large Format" films like IMAX or even standard 70mm that goes up to a 100 to 1 advantage.


Furthermore, digital images are reproduced in a Cartesian system of rows and columns of pixels. Film has a random grain structure. The psycho-visual response of the human brain to film is completely different than that of video.

Video doesn't produce the same response inside your brain as film.


That's not to say that video/digital display won't overtake film in the marketplace. Especially the consumer marketplace. It's cheaper and easier to use. It produces virtually instantaneous results. Storage and transmission of digital images is a lot more convenient and faster too.

(Just TRY to send a real photograph over the internet! )


However, there are photographs that are over 100 years old which are still as clear and sharp as the day they were taken. We have loads of research which shows that films, properly cared for, will last hundreds of years.


I can take a 100 year old print of a classic movie and play it on almost ANY modern movie projector, given a few minor modifications. It will play PERFECTLY!


Just TRY to get your RLE encoded photographs you downloaded from Compuserve and stored on 5-1/4 inch floppy disk to display on your IBM ThinkPad!


Right now, the theoretical maximum lifetime of a standard consumer-level CD-R or DVD+R is 50 years. It may be longer but we just don't know enough. CDs haven't been around long enough for any serious longevity studies to be done on them.


For true professional photography where image quality is key and for situations where longevity is important, photography on film is STILL the better choice.


For those reasons, it will never go completely out of business.

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While talking CD's/DVD's the same can be said of the ancient vinyl LP.


For all the effort to make digital sound superior it still can't beat a well set up LP in playback performance.


Fortunately LP's are still being manufactured after over 100 years.


There is also a return to Black and White film in large format.




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The only problem with vinyl is that it gets brittle with age. If it is stored correctly, it won't degrade very much for a long time but it will eventually become unplayable. It might take 100 years but it will.


Nitrate film (the original substance the old classics were made on) will also degrade with age if not stored properly. Not only that, it is highly flammable and even explosive if not handled correctly.

After all, it IS nitrocellulose, the stuff dynamite is made from!


Modern polyester film is neither flammable, nor does it degrade. Under correct storage conditions its lifespan is WELL over 100 years!


However, with ANY digital storage medium - film, sound, video or otherwise - you MUST alter the original form of the data to fit into the realm of digital sampling.


Imagine trying to resample a sine curve (or even a psuedo-sine curve) into a historgram made up of rectangles of varying heights. You're going to run into the old problem of "Squaring the Circle."


In short it is NOT possible to sample real-world, analog data into the digital realm and get 100% perfect reproduction of the original. With advancing technology, we may be able to get 99.999% but never perfect!


Technically film is a sampling of real world data too but, because of the random grain structure of the image the problem of loss of clarity is not an issue. It is much more tolerant of sampling error. If you use large format (70mm) film, sampling error can be considered almost non-existant if you don't blow the image up too large.


Oh! By the way! Did you know that true "Technicolor" is shot on black and white film? Three strips of B/W film are exposed simultaneously through the same lens, using a series of magenta, cyan and yellow filters. Those three strips of film are reassembled in the lab to produce the rich, clear "Filmed in Technicolor" image we all grew up on.


Sadly, that process is virtually non existent, anymore. Not even Technicolor (the corporation) produces film via the three-strip process anymore!

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This is an interesting article, mainly to see how accurate it will be. A lot of businesses look like they will become obsolete, and some do, but sometimes something unforeseen comes along and revives a few of them.

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