Film Vs. Digital for Amateur Photographers

Film Vs. Digital for Amateur Photographers

Film has come into fashion over the last few years, bringing the film vs. digital debate back into the spotlight. In reality, there is no good reason why this argument should still exist – both film and digital have their place, especially if you are an amateur photographer. 


Do professional photographers use film or digital? 


If you ask most professional photographers they will probably tell you that they shoot both, but stick to digital when they are ‘working’ because of its obvious advantages such as being able to click away at no extra cost, see the image without having to wait for it to be developed, and the speed of turning the images around ready for the client (in a format they are happy with). 


I’m a hobbyist photographer and I use a Nikon D300 most of the time, but I also really enjoy shooting with film and like the idea of getting my photos ‘straight from the camera’. There is a charm to not knowing what you’re going to end up with until the film is developed. In fact, I know a lot of photographers who would argue that, if you’re taking photographs just for fun, the discipline of having to think before you shoot helps to make you a better photographer. 
 
Just go with whatever gives you better results. 


There are so many variables it’s impossible to say whether one looks better than the other. Results can vary so much depending on the quality of your camera and lens, the film you are using, the stock you’re printing on, and the guys back at the photo lab.

 

Film can have a particular ‘look’ and is know for its wonderful texture, pastel colours, and soft grain. It’s also great for capturing details, highlights and shadows across a wide range of stops so it’s pretty safe to shoot with even though you can’t immediately see the results. And let’s not forget that half the beauty of film is that you can’t see immediate results. 

 

The dynamic range is probably the biggest drawback for digital, at least with the cheaper models. If you are serious about getting into photography and want to shoot digital then I would recommend investing in a decent camera, as more expensive models have better sensors and allow you to shoot in RAW format so you don’t lose information in the image. 

 

Maybe we’re missing the point!


The one thing that all photographers agree on is that cameras are very, very seductive. I mean, how many do you own? If you don’t own more than one then I can almost guarantee that your collection will grow at roughly the same rate as your interest in photography. 

 

There is an undeniable beauty to old film cameras. Some of the most famous photographs EVER were taken on film, and there are some great looking Leicas and historic Ebonys for sale. There is also the appeal of owning something historic – looking beyond practicality and quality and just enjoying the experience of owning and using an old film camera. 

 

I started My Photo Scanning because I believe that people should be able to shoot in film and enjoy old film cameras but still keep some of the practicality of digital. Our service allows photographers to shoot in film and then send their negatives for us to scan. We upload these digital images to an online account where you can delete up to 20% before paying for the ones 

you want to keep.