As anyone might expect, the birth of digital photography, moreover, all the hype about it brought forth controversy. Does its birth mean the end for film? Are digital cameras better as they are “technologically more advanced”? Is digital photography simply film photography gone hi-tech? As I found out, digital is not better than film – and film, is not better than digital. Instead, it’s like comparing apples with oranges – they’re two entirely different fruits with different properties, having their own advantages and disadvantages.
One perfect article to read is the one by Darwin Wiggett, an advertising stock photographer who had his share of working with both film and digital cameras.
As he have learned, and I’m sure a lot of people will agree, digital images are smoother and has a lot less noise, while film images are usually grainy. However, colors seem sharper with film, while digital photos tend to be flat and pale. You might say, “That’s what Photoshop is for! To enhance color and fix everything there is to be fixed!” Well, this brings Wiggett, as well as other professional photographers to another observation. Digital has made people a lot lazier.
When you use film, you always seem to aim for that perfect shot. With digital, you get instant feedback from the LCD screen. This may have an advantage as it also gives you instant opportunity to improve your next shot by adjusting your technique, Of course, you don’t have that luxury with film and that’s exactly what drives you to be focused – so you would get the best shot. With digital, people tend to be “trigger happy,” you’re always thinking, “That’s good enough… I can always fix it with image editor.”
However, what they fail to realize is that they spend way too much time, checking on their LCD, dealing with their batteries, which gets drained oh-so fast, downloading or transferring files and of course, manipulating the images.
In the end, it all boils down to personal preference. And just like in anything, people shouldn’t allow commercialism and marketing make them judgmental or discriminating – especially the newbies. As I always say, you need to pick the right tools for the kind of project you’re working on, depending on your vision of that project. If you have the time as well as the resources, it is recommended that you try both on various projects so that you can make a sound judgment of what works best for you. Therefore, people shouldn’t be thinking Digital vs. Film. Instead, it should be Digital and Film.