Film or Digital Camera?

Posted on October 3, 2008. Filed under: Net Spy | Tags: , , , |

Both digital and film photography can be used in various photo contests. The two has advantages and disadvantages and both can be loved and hated however, film and digital photography are two general methods of capturing great pictures. Today, photo contests are ruled by technology and most young photographers use digital photography to practice their skills. However, film and digital both have strong points that should be considered before choosing what type of technique you will use.

Let us discuss and point out the benefits and disadvantages for both Film and Digital


  • Lower initial cost
  • Better at capturing detail in whites and blacks
  • More forgiving of minor focusing issues
  • More forgiving of exposure problems
  • Film is still higher resolution
  • Cameras are generally heavier
  • Film can take up a lot of space
  • Film is a continuing cost
  • Film must be developed before viewing
  • Unless you have a darkroom, you are dependent on the lab to edit your images


  • Higher initial cost
  • Can easily lose detail in whites and blacks
  • 10 Megapixels is high enough resolution for very large prints
  • Cameras are generally lighter
  • Memory cards are small
  • One memory card can store more images than a dozen rolls of film
  • Images can be viewed immediately
  • You can edit your images
  • Only print the images you like
  • Many cameras have built-in filters

As you can see, both Digital and Film photography can be used in any manner depending on one’s preference. You can win picture contest by using either of them, personal preference is the thing that makes the difference. In terms of cost, photographers can start using film if they are up with a tight budget. Starting off with a film camera can save you up to 50% of the total price of digital considering only one year of usage. However, digital cameras compensate the high initial price difference in the long run and users will only pay for printing unlike the things you have to replace when using film. I suggest that you go for film cameras if you want to take better pictures only during occasions and important gatherings and buy digital cameras for long term usage.

Picture Quality

Both Film and Digital cameras are very useful especially when you get used to it. In picture contests, there are instances that it is advisable to use a film camera and same goes with digital. Again, that depends on the user preference. How you like the picture to be shot and what techniques you want to incorporate with the image. In today’s photography contests, most photographers make use of digital cameras because of its features and the ease of taking multiple shots without minding the how much film you wasted.

Digital cameras are way too flexible compared to film cameras especially when it comes to underwater photography contests. With film, you may not have the chance to take the perfect picture after exposing the last shot on a roll of film. With a digital camera, a large memory card, and the ability to delete bad shots, you’re always armed and dangerous. You can easily fit over 40 high resolution images on a 128MB card and even more if choose a lower resolution setting. That’s why digital cameras are more handy for underwater photo competitions.

Drawbacks of Digital Cameras

Film does have higher resolution, depending of course on the speed of the film and the resolution of the digicam in comparison. In artistic photo competitions, film cameras will have the advantage because large film cameras have a much higher “resolution” than digital cameras. Film is dying out but it is still massively produced by a few big companies, There are some smaller, more die-hard ones that do it too. Also, there’s nothing like getting the film developed and being surprised with what you get.

To see how John Warton, senior photo editor at Photo Laureates reviews photographs and meet, go to


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