After reading the post over at the Landscapist on the differences between analogue (film) and digital workflows I got to thinking about the true nature of a camera, especially digital. I read the original post he refers to (by Colin Jago) and somewhat agreed, but reading Mark Hobson's comments I'm not so sure any more.
It seems to me that the point Colin makes regarding the need for software, monitor etc to really view a digital image suggests "truth" in film. that might be the case for slide/positive film but a negative needs a print (and by implication, chemical interpretation) to get to the image. Even then, the slide needs development.
For me, the digital camera is nothing more than a means to capture data: both the spatial data (framing the image) and the colour data (in the RGB storage). the aim is to capture as much as possible without losing anything. My ideal is a low-contrast capture fully exposed to the right: all the data contained in the high value bits. That gives me the greatest opportunity to develop the image as I saw it. The shots illustrating the post demonstrate an example: at the top the edited version; below, straight from the camera.
For film, I'm slightly more limited. There is a certain degree of colour interpretation built-in through the emulsion and the development. don't (and am not going to) do my own development so I'm at the mercy of the lab. Fortunately, scanning allows me to make adjustments and if I've used an appropriate film type there should be minimal effort needed to get from the developed film to the final image.
I just don't buy into the idea that the camera is the be-all and end-all of the picture making process. It doesn't capture truth in any sense that I could define it. If you shoot black and white, that's definitely not the case and everyone perceives colours slightly differently.
I like the "light tight box" definition of a camera: a means of transmitting light information to a capture medium. It is then up to the photographer to reveal the image, much as a painter does by applying oil to canvas. At the non-artistic end of photography (e.g. journalism) there is the added constraint of minimum adulteration but the photographer still interprets the scene both in composition and in colour rendering.