Digital vs. Film? No Contest


I still get asked if I’ve “switched to digital”. I made that switch over 20 years ago. In 2024 the digital camera is even more ubiquitous than the film camera was in the 20th century. I don’t say that just because everybody has a camera built into a phone.

The ease of shooting with a light digital camera, loading those images into your computer and developing and/or distributing them has made the big difference.

It’s easy to specify the improvements in the photographic experience:

1. You see your photos immediately.

2. You can show them to other people immediately.

3. If so inclined, you can develop them yourself at your desk with no need for chemicals or a separate room. This is why Adobe named its developing software Lightroom. Get it?

4. You can do way more with an image to change its appearance and you can easily go back and start over.

5. You shoot a roll of film once. If you save the negatives you need storage space for them. You can use a digital card pretty much indefinitely and the storage space is on a hard drive. So, over time, digital is cheaper.

Today’s technology means I can shoot an event for a client and send some pictures to my client in 10-15 minutes, depending on the number of shots and extent of developing.

If you follow events on the internet, you'll see the same turnaround time for images from around the world.

I understand that some people are still shooting film or returning to film for the fun of working with it. For the average person more interested in documenting a moment, or those, like me, who want to quickly provide the best images to a client, there’s no contest.