10 reasons why digital is better than film

Photography Basics

With digital photography becoming more accessible to the masses, and the level of technology that is available becoming cheaper all the time, for someone wanting to learn photography, digital is the best option over film because:

1. No more processing costs. With digital you can take as many pictures as you want. You don’t have to buy rolls of film, and you don’t have to send it away to be developed.

2. Instant results. As soon as you have taken the picture you can see the results. So now there is no waiting around to see if you got that important shot while the film is being developed.

3. Getting instant results gives you the chance to try again straight away if the picture didn’t turn out as you wanted. A major plus point for the beginner.

4. Although the initial purchase price may be quite high, once you have the kit there is very little extra expense, unless you start to get into it seriously.

5. Digital images give you a lot of flexibility to enhance or improve the image by using software on your computer. A lot of these enhancements can be done at the click of a button in most software applications so it is very easy to do.

6. Information on the camera settings for each shot gets embedded in the digital image file so you can see how different settings can effect the image. In the film days you would keep a log of your camera settings for each shot while you are learning. Now you get that log whenever you take a digital picture.

7.  Film has a shelf life, memory cards don’t. As film get’s older it degrades and may give you unexpected results. A memory card, if looked after, will last a lot longer than a roll of film will.

8.  Digital images can be easily displayed to the world via web sites. It’s possible to take a picture and upload it to a web site within seconds if you have the right equipment. Press and sports photographers see this as a huge benefit.

9.  Digital files can be easily stored. You no longer need to have boxes of photos or slides tucked away in a cupboard. Now you can save hundreds of photos into one CD, or even more onto a DVD.

10. Film comes as one particular type, such as ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800 or ISO 1600. This limits you to the conditions in which you can take pictures. With digital you can change the settings from one picture to the next giving you greater flexibility.

2 thoughts on “10 reasons why digital is better than film

  1. Digital cameras may be easier to use, but that does not make one a better photographer. Quite the opposite in fact. When I was still using my all-singing-all-dancing dslr kit, I’d come back from a week long holiday with about 8gb of RAW files to process. That takes time and effort to clear out.
    With film (Olympus OM1n, Rollei 35SE, Mamiya RB67 ProSD), I take fewer images, but the quality and satisfaction I get from mastery of the craft has added a dimension that digital just did not bring to me.
    Also, current pro-sumer level dslr cameras just do not offer the dynamic range that good old 35mm or roll film can offer. Add in the process of printing my own black and white prints, and I’m a very happy camper indeed.

    So, by all means jump onto the digital bandwagon. But you still need to get the fundamentals right.


  2. I agree totally that you still need to get the fundamentals right Ken and yes, the quality of film and slides is still hard to match, although technology is moving fast, so it won’t be long before it does.

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