Differences between film cameras and digital cameras

Differences between film cameras and digital cameras

There are many differences between digital and film photography.

Many people do not care about the differences because all they are interested in are the ease of taking photos using a digital camera, the affordable prices of digital cameras and the easy production of photographs captured from digital cameras.

These differences are worth noting, to understand how photography used to be and how it could be in the future. These differences are:

The sensor

The obvious difference in digital and film cameras is the sensor to capture the image. A film camera makes use of light sensitive film that are placed behind the sensor of the camera. When taking a photo the shutter opens for a certain period of time, the light hits the film and a photo is printed on the film.

In order to take a new photo, a film must be rolled to allow a fresh frame to be behind the aperture. Fixed small electronic sensors are used instead of film rolls, in digital cameras. Each sensor represents a pixel, when the light arrives at the sensor, each pixel gets its value and when put together a photo is produced. When taking a new photo, the previous one is automatically saved and the sensor data in the buffer is reset.

Cost of the photograph

Aside from the cost of the camera itself and optional flash memory cards, digital photographs cost nothing because they are stored in erasable memory and can be deleted at no cost. Films cost money, and developing photos too cost money, therefore the cost of producing film photographs can be higher than that of digital photos.

Storage capacity

Firm rolls are limited by the size of the roll in the camera body, unlike digital cameras that along with flash memory cards can have memory capacities of 10s of gigabytes. Changing flash memory cards are easy and as they are more compact than film rolls it is easier to carry a number of them.


Unlike with film cameras, digital cameras have a screen where you can view the quality of the picture. If the quality of the picture is not good, just delete and take another one immediately.

Correcting photos

Photo captured from a digital camera can be collected from the camera or with editing software from a computer. It is also easy to change the background of a digital cameras photo unlike with film cameras.


Photos shoot from a digital camera are easily and safely stored in computer hard disks and other cloud facilities online, unlike film photographs which are usually stored in albums.