Analog film / Digital sensor


Jul 14, 2010
Which images you prefer most, taken digital or analog?
Is analog still superior to digital?
In my opinion there are positives and negatives for both. I love digital, because I can experiment much more than I did with film without paying a lot of money for buying film. Shooting digital is so much easier for so many things, we have adjustable ISO, which gives one much more freedom, automatic white balance, immediate feedback on the camera display and much more. It is great just to put the memory card into the slot instead of bringing the film to a lab and waiting until one can see the results. Digital is much more convenient.

But there are very positive sides of film, too. I still love the look of black and white photographs made with film much more than many digital black and white photographs. Although heavy overprocessing is one of the main reasons, the aesthetics of film differs to the aesthetics one gets from a sensor. There is a reason, why programs exist which simulate film.

But my main reason to shoot film again (although not exclusively) is something else, that is slowing down, keeping it simple. When I shot film, I was more disciplined and I had to be more disciplined, since as a student I was much more on budget than I am today. When I traveled to Tuscany with my parents, I shot less in one week than I would shoot with a digital camera today in one single day (or even during one afternoon). Better discipline leads to better photographs.


The Image Stimulator
Jul 11, 2010
The Netherlands
Thanks Pictor for your reply. I think / believe that the dynamic range of analog film still is much better than that of digital sensor.
Pictures taken analog look "warm", pictures taken digitally look "cold" in most cases.


Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
In general digital bits burn out and have shelf-life. The digital world is not nearly as eco-friendly as some may say it is!

Hard drives only last about 3 years. Greenboard solder connections have a defined life, as do capacitors and silicon chips. And, when they go, most people (even handy people) can't just replace them, like you could with a winding mechanism, for instance, in an SLR.

If you were enterprising enough, you could often adapt an antique analogue system for some kind of current use. My brother and I even played with old movies by putting our own light source and magnifying glass, to see the images on a wall where we didn't have a projector (no audio, though, and not exactly 24fps). With digital, if your system doesn't support some kind of format, then you are out of luck. This, by the way, is one reason I hate focus-by-wire. Those lenses will be worthless when the bodies stop supporting their format. At least with (e.g.) EOS lenses you can still focus, and with even older lenses (FD, OM, Takumar), you have on-lens Ap control. Manual, yes, but fully functional.

In the analogue world, "close enough" could sometimes get you buy. In the digital world, precision is key. Take for instance television. In the analogue world, a coat hanger jammed in your broken antenna could get you a snowy picture, but it would at least be something. In the digital world, you might not get enough data to assemble any picture, or you'll get a lot of cut outs and jerky shots.

There's a lot of things going for the digital world, but reuse and stretching the life of a product are not the strong suit. Use it and toss it. That's why moving on to the "next new thing" is actually kind of important. It seems to me camera values start high initially, plateau out for a while, and then drop to zero because the unit ceases functioning. It's also why I don't think cameras like my EP1 are going to be "collector pieces" -- the circuit board will eventually die, and it will be useless. Unlike perhaps an old Canon rangefinder.


Top Veteran
Jul 7, 2010
My oldest Digital SLR is 18 years old. The 80MByte internal SCSI Hard Drive still operates. At work, I use a Pentum Pro tower "just because I like it". 12 years old, original Hard Drives. The 2GByte drive will long outlast a modern 1TByte drive.

They sure don't make them like they used to.

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