Why can’t a digital camera see like a film camera used to?

I love my digital cameras but I really wish they came with film settings when it came to adjusting for light and colour. Anyone who trained in photography in the film era can clearly see the difference when they look at a digital camera’s shots.

My point and shoot came with a setting labeled Vivid which approximated Kodak film’s colouration but most digital camera’s pre-set selections are over-exposed and bleached looking compared to film. I find this incredibly annoying. One of things they used to teach when you were using film was to adjust the exposure one stop under what the meter might be reading to reduce the “hotness” of the shot. If you do this on some digital cameras all you get is a darker shot with a tiny bit better colour saturation.

My new camera has a bunch of colour settings that are just weird. Why would you want a magenta or green filtered shot unless you are taking stills for one of the CSIs that were a little too in love with colour filters. Particularly CSI Miami that used an orange filter way to often to hide the fact they were shooting in Los Angeles.

So my suggestion to camera makers is to create settings that are named for the films they approximate. What’s wrong with a Kodachrome 25 & 64, Fuji or Agfa setting? If they were I would know the colour of the Kodak films would be heavier on red and yellow and that Fuji would read yellow and blue. I forget how Agfa read, more red I think.

Slide film is supposed to be around the equivalent to 20 pixels in digital and now that I have a 20 pixel camera I want the colour to match. I would think it wouldn’t be that hard to program, really? And cheating in Photoshop is not the answer. You should be able to create it with a camera and not the computer.