Film vs Digital Photography: Difference and Comparison

The sole purpose of photography once was capturing moments and saving memories. But with time and advancement, it has now become an art and even a profession.

Film photography and digital photography might sound similar, but in reality, they are a lot different from each other in a number of aspects.

Key Takeaways

  1. Film photography uses chemical processes to capture and develop images, while digital photography relies on electronic sensors and digital storage.
  2. Digital photography offers instant feedback and easy editing, but film photography provides a distinct aesthetic and tactile experience.
  3. Film cameras require purchasing and developing film, whereas digital cameras have lower ongoing costs due to reusable storage.

Film vs Digital Photography

Film photography is the traditional method of capturing images using a light-sensitive film that is inserted into a camera and has a unique aesthetic that is still sought after by many photographers. Digital photography uses an electronic sensor to capture images instead of film.

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Film photography is the most used and oldest form of photography. It has a limited capacity of camera roll and even costs a little to capture pictures. The film photo cameras do not have a good range of shooting angles which create a bit of restriction.

Digital photography is one of the many advancements of technology. Almost anyone can have easy access to digital photos. The capacity of digitally storing photos is also large, and the quality of pictures remains the same for even a very long time.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFilm PhotographyDigital Photography
CapacityThe capacity of film camera roll is very limited.The capacity of a digital camera is a lot.
Shooting angleDoes not offer a good range of shooting angles.Does offer a wide range of shooting angles.
CostIt costs money to develop or even click film photographs.It costs almost no money at all.
QualityThe quality is a little better.The quality is a little low as compared to film photography.
LongevityThe quality degrades with time.The quality remains as it is.

What is Film Photography?

Film photography is one of the oldest and, once upon a time, most used kinds of photography. The sensor used to take photos and fence photography cameras are sensitive to light and are situated behind the lens.

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The shutter opens up for a certain period of time when we try to take a photo, and at that time, the light hits the film. This process results in the printing of a photograph on the film roll.

When we want to take a new photo, this film, when the photograph is already printed, needs to be removed, and a fresh and clean and completely different film needs to be placed behind the lens.

While working with a film camera requires a roll which we need to pay for the roll so basically the photos filmed by a film camera cost money.

Since these rolls are of limited size (number of films), we get limited storage or capturing capacity for our photography.

It is also seen that the camera cannot work at a very wide range of camera angles since it is important for the lens to capture an area where light can fall on it.

One more thing that is upsetting about film photography is that after a certain period of time, the quality of printed images starts getting deteriorate.

film photography

What is Digital Photography?

The era of digital photography is seen as the most advanced kind of technology mankind has ever seen. These are absolutely limited to known problematic occurrences in the case of digital photography.

There is no requirement of film rolls for amazing light quality, and even photo correction in digital photography is absolutely amazing.

The cost of a photograph is zero since there is no need for film rolls and we can take as many pictures as we want in a go. 

There is no restriction in the capacity of storing the digital photograph since these are saved up in a reasonable and transfer cable memory card which can be easily stored for as long as we want as a soft copy.

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One more astonishing thing about digital photography is that the quality of filmed photograph videos does not deteriorate even a bit for any length of time.

Even if we click a picture today and look at it after 500 years, the quality of the image will remain as it is.

This is the main reason why a lot of people are attracted to digital photography more than film photography and why film photography is slowly losing its charm every passing day.

digital photography

Main Differences Between Film and Digital Photography

  1. The film photography roll capacity is limited, whereas that of digital photography is a lot.
  2. Film photography does not offer a very wide range of shooting angles while on the other hand, digital photography cameras do offer a lot of camera angles to play with.
  3. It costs money to capture and make film photographs. On the other hand, it does not cost money to click digital photographs.
  4. The quality of film photography can be said to be better than digital ones, but with the advancement of technology, digital photographs have also stepped up their quality.
  5. The quality of film photography prints degrades with time, while on the other hand, the quality of digital photography remains the same forever.
Difference Between Film and Digital Photography

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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