When digital cameras first hit the scene, they were very low resolution and were primarily used just for sharing pictures on the web, not a replacement to the better quality film-based cameras. In the last decade or so, digital point-and-shoot cameras quickly started to take over from the older film cameras, but SLR cameras continued to stay in the realm of film. As technology has advanced, even the SLR made its transition to digital, but why? What makes digital so much better and convenient compared to film?
For starters, with a digital library you can store it on several computers, several memory cards, the cloud (a remote place on the Internet) and a digital picture frame. In the days of old, if your photo album was destroyed in, let’s say a flood, your precious memories were gone forever. In today’s world you can keep these memories backed up in several places and have them printed out for a traditional album as well. Another big advantage is the ability to edit pictures. You can upload them to social networks and share them with family and friends thousands of miles, or you can simply load them into the computer and fix imperfections or red-eye to make otherwise good pictures turn EXCELLENT.
While there was a time when film cameras did better with fast motion or specialty pictures, such as underwater, many low and high end cameras are all capable of these things with relative ease, and this is especially true for DSLRs. Modern digital cameras also allow for special events while taking the picture, giving better flexibility than ever before.
Another pretty big convenience is that you can take pictures, store them, and print them. You can do this printing from your home printer or you can take them into a store and have them ‘developed’ within minutes through one of their computer systems. With a film-camera you needed to use up all the film pictures before you had them developed or you would be wasting film. Once you were done, the only way to ‘print’ them from home is if you happened to own a Dark Room, which only professional photographers did- and not even all of them could afford to have one set up. It is true that standard film photography has a certain classy look and edge about it, but is it really worth it for the convenience you get from digital?
Some photographers say YES, film is the best way to go. These photographers cling to outdated film- based SLRs and still manage very beautiful shots. There is nothing wrong with film, it’s just that there is a true flexibility in digital. You can store them as long as you want, you can take three pictures and immediately print them without having to ‘use up all the film first’ and you can add special effects or use computer software to quickly turn the photo into a Christmas card or other special item. The age of film is over, and even though a few photographers still cling to it, for most consumers making the move to digital just makes the most sense.