How Digital Cameras Differ From Film Cameras?

Progression in technology has also reformed and enhanced photography and devices used for it. We have seen the development of cameras from film to digital. They have improved marginally and have helped make tons of progress in the field of photography.

The cameras that capture pictures, stored on films and negatives are called film cameras. They are the old school cameras our grandparents might have stored and kept safe with them.

The digital cameras are those that store pictures in digital memory. Most of the photos and images produced nowadays are in digital form. The use of film cameras has declined due to its obsoleteness and the availability of new alternate and better devices of photography.

Main Differences Between Digital and Film Cameras

Digital cameras and film cameras have a lot of differences between them in terms of composition and features. Some of them are below:

The Sensors

The most common difference between digital and film cameras are the sensors that are used to take photos. In film cameras, a light-sensitive film is used behind the lens. When you take a picture, the shutter opens for a fixed period, and the light hits the film. As a result, the photo gets printed on the film. The film can hold only 36 pictures. Taking more pictures would require a clean roll to be placed behind the lens.

In digital cameras, a fixed electronic sensor known as CCD is present behind the lens. The sensor is built from tiny light sensors, and each of them represents a pixel. The light hits the sensors when the shutter opens, and each pixel gets its “value.” These pixels combine to make a photo. When you take a new picture, the old one gets saved on digital media, and then CCD is cleared.

Some might be wondering what different sensors mean; the difference is in the depth offield. Digital sensors are smaller in size compared to 35mm film camera sensor, so the depth of field will be much higher. As a result, the blurred background doesn’t end up in the picture.

Cost of Developing Pictures

The photos shot from digital cameras cost a minimum to nothing. They are stored and kept in an erasable digital memory, which can be deleted or discarded at any time. The captured images can be easily moved and transferred to the PC or any other digital device.

On the other hand, film costs money. You have to pay for the roll of the film, for printing the photo and developing the negative. In short, due to the decline in film cameras, they are not being produced on a wide scale as they were, and because of that, they’ve become more expensive. Hence digital cameras are more cost-effective.

Storage Capacity

Due to the growing storage capacities of digital cameras nowadays,they can hold hundreds and sometimes even thousands of photos. You can carry one or more storage devices in your pocket if you take lots of pictures. As a result, the digital camera gives a large storage capacity to take as many photos as you desire and can transfer or save them on your PC.

In film cameras, the storage capacity is limited, as the roll can only hold 36 photos. When the film roll ends, you have to change it. In comparison, a digital camera can store way more pictures than a film camera.

Immediate Check and Feedback

One of the most important features of a digital camera is the instant feedback. All digital cameras have small LCD screens. Once you take a photo, you can go back and see it on that screen—the ability to see how the pictures look like results in better quality. If the image taken isn’t good enough, you can take another one.

Being able to see the photos helps you in checking the quality and also fixing it. It takes a lot of doubts away from photography. Whereas in film cameras, you cannot know how the photo will look like in the film until it is printed. Furthermore, it would be time-consuming.

Correcting and Editing Photos

Photos taken from digital cameras can be corrected using photo editing software/apps. There are color correction features in the camera, but many more options are available in various photo editing apps. In film cameras, what you take is what you get. It is hard to make any corrections once the film is developed and produced. If adjustments are needed, the negatives or the printed photo will be scanned again, corrected, and printed once more.

Changing Conditions

Various film rolls are available on the market for getting the best results in a specific environment. For example, there are numerous indoor and outdoor films or films with a different type of sensitivity. If the conditions change quickly, the user of the film camera will have no choice but to either change the roll, shoot with the other film, or use another camera with a different roll in it. If you shoot with the wrong kind, then you will get reddish colored or grainy photos.

A picture can be changed and altered instantly for each image you take in a digital camera. A click of a button can help put it in an indoor or outdoor mode, low light and night photography, etc. Moreover, some cameras will automatically sense the conditions you are in and set the sensor mode accordingly.

Better Quality

Film photography has its advantages, but the claim that it has superior quality is certainly not truthful. As digital cameras evolved, the quality of digital SLR cameras became excellent and better than film cameras in many ways.

When considering quality, you should also consider its composition and scenario and how it’s caught in the photo. Digital cameras havea high storage capacity with zero photo cost. And, they instantly adapt to the changing conditions of the environment, which enables the photographers to produce good photos and experiment with them to make themeven better.


You probably would have seen the photographs of your grandparents that were a bit yellow and just plain and old. They turned out like that because they were shot from old film cameras,which had lost their quality over time.

Digital photos, on the other hand, will never lose their quality. They will still lookthe sameeven 500 years from now because they are captured in digital form, making it permanent and long-lasting. The only way you can lose a good photo now is if you’ve forgotten to save it or back it up.

Digital Cameras All the Way!

Technology has progressed so much, especially when it comes to photography and devices used for taking pictures. The development of a digital camera has improved how we take pictures and provided a much-needed update to the film camera.

It has changed the way pictures are taken, stored, and kept. Moreover, we have also seen a major evolution in taking pictures and how they might be corrected, edited, and transferred from one place to another while lasting a long time.

Hence we conclude that the digital camera is one of the most important developments we have seen today. Photography wouldn’t have made strides without it.