There are a few major differences, and the difference is also based upon what type of camera you’re using. Obviously, there are digital cameras and cameras which use film. There are also “point and shoot” cameras and “SLR” cameras. A point-and-shoot has advantages in that it’s the easiest to use, requires no manual focus, and you really don’t have to make any adjustments to the camera based on light, aperture, exposure, etc. The disadvantage is that your pictures will lack “depth of field”, and you don’t have much control over how your final image will appear. An SLR (single lens reflex) will enable you to take pictures of a more professional quality, and depth of field can be adjusted manually by you. Depth of field is the way the subject of your photo is sharply focused, while objects in the foreground and background are less focused, thus providing the illusion of depth in your picture. SLRs require a little more knowledge of photography to get great pictures. You also have the advantage (with an SLR) of being able to change lenses- you can get a higher powered zoom lens, a wide angle lens, etc. You can’t do that with a point and shoot, digital or not. These days, both types of cameras are available as digital or film-based cameras. The main difference between digital and film is that film will capture every detail of your image (a bad picture is caused by the photographer) while digital can only capture detail for as high as the pixel count will allow. The higher the pixel count, the better resolution, and thus, the better your picture quality. Some argue that most modern digital cameras (8-10 megapixels) are impossible to differentiate from a film-based photo. That’s entirely subjective. Digital photos are easier to manipulate- you have better access to touching them up and you can crop or edit them without destroying the original image. Most professionals are switching to digital SLR cameras. However, the cost for digital SLR cameras begin around the $700 dollar range, and get more expensive. SLR -film cameras are now available for about $200. Digital point and shoot average $200.
Film point and shoot are going the way of the dinosaur.
Comment by the_dude — June 30, 2009 @ 4:33 pm
The dynamic range in a digital camera is much, much greater. You can also “digitize” the image from film and get much better pixel and image quality by using a very good (high pixel) film scanner. You also get greater image detail quality with film. That’ s the nuts and bolts of it, without chauvinistic preferences to digital technology. Yes, you DO get to see the results much sooner with digital technology, and yes, you can “manipulate and tweak” with computer programs (but if you scan the film image, you can do the same) but there’s the issue of having to upgrade the overly expensive flimsier digital camera (costs about five times what a comparable film camera costs), making constantly sure there’s no dust that seems to be attracted to the sensor… have a back up system, make sure that you adjust the computer monitor to the image on the camera’s memory card and the printer color output periodically… or you’d be mighty disappointed in your results). You also need more memory (RAM, at least 1 Gig Hz), you need the fastest possible operating speed (2.3 or 2.5 Mega Hz) on your computer, fast speed memory cards, extra batteries always being charged for the camera (yes, digital tech eats up battery power like crazy). Oh, I’m sure that some one else can (if they want to) tell you the down side of digital technology… moreso than I can. With film technology, you stand a great chance of getting the image correct the first time around with the greater dynamic range. Digital print images fade with time due to environmental issues such as heat, or humidity, or aerosol sprays in the environment, archival inks and papers are not inexpensive, images on CD may corrupt or lost after two years of storage, (film have been known to last since the early 20s… my family has images of my great grandmother when she was a young lady during the 1880s!). You can lose a whole file if one single bit of information shifts! I have images I took of my family when I was a teenage back in the 50s… still clear and still printable. I have prints taken in the 30s of my mother as a young girl and my dad, too. (I became involved in photography in 1964).
Everyone in your graphic design class will probably be using digital technology. If that is the way you wish to go, I would recommend the Nikon D70S with the kit lens; speak with the instructor first insofar as what lenses he/she recommends. I also suggest that you look at a good (high rating) used digital Nikon D70S (or maybe the D100 if you can get a good price on it since everyone is now chasing after the newer D200 and the new D80, both by Nikon). Check out https://www.keh.com and see what you can find (don’t forget that the lens is often bought separate). That’s a sturdy, non-nonsense camera that feels very comfortable in everyone’s hands because of the ergonomics, and all the buttons, knobs and switches are easy to find and reach. Also buy the instructions manual. Good luck and best wishes.
Comment by kehkohjo — June 30, 2009 @ 4:33 pm
I would say the paper they are printed on and the clarity from the ones I have seen. Other than that and the time it takes to develop as to loading and printing that there isn’t much difference.
Comment by Just Bein’ Me — June 30, 2009 @ 4:33 pm
Traditional photography involves light reacting with silver halides on film to produce an image. Digital photography involves converting the various wavelengths of light into a code of 0′s and 1′s, which is then converted by a computer into an image. Traditional photography requires a chemical process to process the film and produce the image, while digital photography requires a computer and the right software to produce the image. Traditional photography produces clearer images that can be blown up with less image degradation, but digital photography is closing that gap. Traditional photographs discolor, fade, and degrade over time, but digital photographs can be preserved with their original image quality forever.
Comment by sarge927 — June 30, 2009 @ 4:33 pm