After spending a couple of years taking similar pictures with both film and digital my opinion is that both have a use. You can use one or the other or both as I intend to do. Why, because it is fun to do so. Is one better than the other? No, not really, they are different and give different results. Similar results, but not the same. And the use of a film or digital camera, each has positive and negative.
Here are a few comments on plusses and minuses of both.
The above picture was taken with my cell phone. The original is about a 4 meg f2.4 shot taken about 11am in the local mountains.
- Most simple film cameras take a picture as soon as you press the button. Most simple digital cameras do not. So if you are trying to get a great shot of your kids or grandkids, most of the time a simple film camera even a disposable one will work better. I have been able to get great pictures with my cell phones and compact digitals over the years, but getting kids pictures to turn out great is hard because they are always moving.
- A big benefit of digital cameras is that you can see the picture you are going to get before you take it. Using live view you can adjust the scene till you get the shot you want. This is very easy with a modern cell phone. And also fairly easy on a DSLR. A big problem though is seeing the screen clearly in full sunlight. It works wonders at dusk.
- Many inexpensive film cameras that sell used cheaply are beautifully made with metal cases and lenses. My Olympus OM2n from 1980 can be bought today on ebay for next to nothing and is a thing of beauty. The quality that it was built with is first class. I would guess you could buy a very good OM2n today with an 50mm f1.8 lens for $100 or less. The least expensive digital camera that looks and feels almost as good is the Olympus OMD or the Fuji DSLR. The OMD will set you back $800 and the Fuji $1,400.
- Digital cameras provide instant results.
This picture is also from my cell phone and I just love the colors. This is almost untouched in post processing. I just moved my cell phone around till I got the lighting and shot I wanted.
I did the same here but with my Nikon DSLR on live view. I just moved the camera around till I got the lighting I liked. For these two shots digital works better.
When you shoot film many times there are happy surprises when you get the roll developed. The original of this picture on a good screen is a great picture. Very wide dynamic range, crisp details, beautiful colors. This was shot with inexpensive Fuji snapshot film and my 1953 Voightlander Prominent with a 100mm f4.5 lens. But I want to emphasize that you need a good screen to see the beauty of this shot. On my Apple retina screen you see all the detail and colors. On my larger Samsung monitor the strands of blond hair are not bright and clear and the colors are dull. Plus Hailey’s skin tones a far better on the Apple screen.