By Christina VanGinkel
As digital becomes more often than not, the camera of choice for people buying their first or replacement camera, I have still overheard more than once, the question of why digital is so much better than traditional film cameras. The answers to this can be varied, but several are true for almost everyone who does go the digital route instead of the classic film course.
Ease of Getting your Pictures into the Computer
While those who snap away with film can scan each of their pictures individually into their computers, this can be time consuming. Just a few years ago, this would not have been an issue, as the average person did not have a computer. Now, the exact opposite is true, and the average person does. One of the favorite things that people do with their home computers is to manipulate their personal photos, and print the finished product at home on their photo printers. In order to do this with minimal work involved, a digital camera can be plugged directly into the computer via a cable, or the memory card can be taken out and slid into a card reader on or attached to the computer. All of this takes literally a minute or two, in comparison to that amount of time, at least, for each picture to be scanned and imported that route. That after having the film developed of course.
Most digital cameras have a screen for instant viewing of the photos you just took. You can often tell if you got a good shot, or if you should try a particular shot again. Think of how often you have shot a roll of film, only to develop them, and be heartbroken because you did not get a photo that you were sure you had. While you can still miss a once in a lifetime shot with a digital, if there is a chance to retake something, with the digital you will have proof positive knowledge of whether you need to retake it or not.
With the price of single digital prints lower than ever, and the initial cost of the cameras themselves dropping, the cost savings between digital and film can quickly add up. With traditional film, the average consumer has to pay for the film, then bring the film in and pay again for it to be developed. With digital, after your initial purchase of camera and a memory card, you will never have to pay the comparison to film itself again, and you can print pictures at home, saving you the time spent running to the store. Even if you do have them printed elsewhere, you can choose which prints you want, and are not bound to having every photo on the film roll printed. In fairness, some places will not charge you for pictures you do not want when having a roll of film processed, but most consumers just pay for the whole roll.
Storage of digital prints is obviously less space consuming than a typical box of pictures. Consider that you can store upwards of 400 picture files on a single DVD. Think how much storage space you would need to store 400 photographs in a typical 4x6 format! If stored on DVD or CD properly, your prints have an almost unlimited lifespan, save for some catastrophic event, especially if you take the time to back up your digital files properly. Always make a duplicate and tuck away in a safe spot, such as a safety deposit box.
I love my digital camera for one additional reason that is often overlooked, the ease with which I can print a duplicate. How often have you shared your photos with a family member or friend and they responded that they would love to have a copy of a particular photo. With a digital print, you can print them a copy instantly if you have a photo printer, save the print to CD or DVD, or even email them a copy for them to print.
The debate between digital and film may go on for some time, but if you are considering going digital, these are all reasons to take into consideration.