Digital vs Film Photography: Pros & Cons

In the past, you simply did not have to make a choice between any other photography methods than film. Everyone had a film camera and everyone either learned to develop their own film or took it to their local processor.

Now, you do have a choice and many people who are used to film wonder, which is better. Today we have film cameras and digital cameras. Here are the pros and cons to using both digital and print photography.

Traditional Photography vs Digital Photography

In Traditional Photography, a photographic film is used to create the physical image. A process, done inside a dark room, transforms the photographic film (negative image) into a physical photograph (using chemicals), that is no longer sensitive to light.

In digital Photography, the photographs are in a format called bit maps, which can be altered using software like Photoshop.

The Pros of Digital

Digital cameras are great for most people. Perhaps the best thing about a digital camera is that you have instant access to the pictures you have taken.

When you use a digital camera, you can immediately see the picture that you just took and determine whether or not you need to re-shoot that particular subject.

When you take digital pictures, you can easily download the prints to your computer. You can store your pictures, enhance them and print them on your printer.

In addition, digital prints make for easy storage. You can shoot thousands of digital pictures and store them on a couple of disk. Compare that to the boxes of printed pictures that you probably have in your home.

The Cons of Digital

There are many cons of using digital as well. For example, digital pictures are easily lost.

If you are like most people, you probably download the pictures to your computer and never do anything else with them. If you do not back up your digital pictures to disk, all it takes is for your computer to crash one time and you have potentially lost hundreds of valuable pictures.

Many people feel that digital pictures do not have the same look and feel as film prints. For this reason, most professional photographers still prefer to use film, instead of digital.

Digital pictures can also become pricey if you print them out at home. A good quality printer paper, plus colored printer cartridges for your printer can add up quickly.

The Pros of Film

As mentioned earlier, many professional photographers still prefer to use film to digital (although the number is gradually decreasing).

If you take pictures for hobby, you can adjust your film camera to get the exact look that you want. This is not always the case with digital pictures.

Some people prefer to use a film camera, so it forces them to have their pictures developed right away. Rather than leaving your memories on a disk, you have to have your print pictures printed. You will always have them in your hand to look at.

The Cons of Film

It seems that film cameras are losing popularity. Film is not as convenient as digital.

You must wait to have pictures developed before you can look at them, it’s also expensive to have the pictures processed, which is extra expense.

Also, when you use film, you must have everything on your roll of film printed out. You do not have the ability to scroll through and delete bad pictures on the spot as you do with digital.

Checkout this video for more on this topic:





Final Thoughts

For experienced photographers, when considering film and digital cameras, one is really no better than the other. The choice has more to do with your personal preferences than anything else does. Although in recent years, there have been some amazing digital cameras, and going by the trend it seems a lot of professionals might end up filming with digital cameras. For beginners, digital is the best way to get started (its affordable as well). I have three digital cameras, a 35mm camera and a standard film camera. If I had to choose, I would choose the digital because of the option to view pictures right away. This way you know if you are capturing the image the way you intended to.

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