Lesson 2 – Film vs Digital

Digital is NOT better.

You have been fooled by the digital propaganda that says “Film is bad; digital is better in EVERY way”. Let me tell you quite simply–that is a lie. For instance, you probably believe that “mega-pixels” is something very important. You probably think that a 7megapixel camera must be SO much better than an old film camera because…well, it’s 7 mega-pixels! The truth is, the mega-pixel count has nothing to do with the image quality. It only becomes an issue when you enlarge your prints over 10×8 inches or so, which most people never do anyways. The main reason why you are made to believe that digital is better is because stores and manufacturers can make a lot more money selling digital equipment than selling film. And so by making you think that digital is better, they ensure more sales of digital cameras and accessories.

On the other hand, film is not better than digital. Digital and Film are just different, and not necessarily better than one or the other. One is better in some areas, and another is better in other aspects. I remember struggling for weeks on whether I should shoot digitally or on film. I love film SO MUCH, yet there are so many advantages that digital offers that I could not resist. Before telling you which is better in which way, here are some OLD images that are shot on film, some of which are on my website www.danielusenko.com :






1. Quality (color and sharpness) of the image is much better than digital on prints up to 10×8 inches.

2. Skin acne and imperfections do not show as much as they do on digital.

3. It’s easier to print and keep in an album to show friends and family. Images do not get “lost” in your computer. People actually see your shots.

4. Photo cameras cost less.

5. No color correction is needed (no time spent on the computer trying to “fix” the image).


1. It’s harder to email your pictures to friends and family (unless you scan them, which reduces quality)

2. It’s harder and more expensive to make reprints of your shots.

3. You cannot see how your pictures turn out while you are taking them. It’s very easy to mess up ALL of your shots and not know about it until you print them.

4. It can be quite expensive to print and buy film all the time.

5. Large prints over 10×8 do not turn out very well.

6. To make professional wedding albums is very expensive with film.

7. It is difficult to edit pictures, such as color enhancements and skin retouching, because you have scan your images, which drastically reduces quality.


1. You can see how pictures are turning out while you are taking them.

2. You can take as many pictures as you’d like and not worry about the cost.

3. It’s easy to upload the pictures to your computer for editing, emailing, and everything else that involves a computer.

4. Works great for making professional flush albums.

5. You can make large prints with better quality than film.

6. You can save, copy and store pictures on the computer very conviniently.

7. You do not have to print pictures if you do not want to, saving on time and money.


1. It’s easy to loose your files if your computer breaks (see lesson 1-Backup Your Stuff)

2. Image quality is worse than film.

3. Acne and other imperfections show vividly on digital pictures.

4. Cameras are typically very expensive.

5. Usually pictures tend to stay in your computer, and are not viewed by your friends or you. Basically, they are “lost” there.

It is up to you to decide on whether you would like to use digital or film. You have to look at your needs and wants. Personally, for most people who are interested in photography and cannot afford expensive professional equipment, I would recommend film; that is how I’ve learned. If you are just a casual shooter that does not care about the quality of your prints, but cares more about the convenience of the digital era, then you should shoot digitally.

If you shoot on film, you are not guaranteed amazing looking pictures–there is much to know about film and printing. If you are using film that you buy at a wal-mart and print at Walgreen’s, you will get horrible looking pictures. You must use the right equipment if you want to achieve the results that film can produce! About how to make your images look amazing, especially when using film–let’s keep that for the next lesson.



3 Responses to “Lesson 2 – Film vs Digital”

  1. 1 AndrewG NY
    February 24, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Daniel, thanks for posting this. I look forward to the next part!

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Please also visit my website www.danielusenko.com

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