Analogue or Digital?

Originally published 8/9/22 – Digital, obviously. I have a friend who has around 100 vintage cameras, he mostly shoots film and says that the images are better. I have a Nikon SLR from the mid 90s (that only came off auto settings in 2022!). We agreed to shoot each other, in a studio, using his camera of choice, my SLR & my digital mirrorless camera. I sent off my film (I use Analogue Wonderland who develop the film and scan the negatives, allowing me to bring the work into my digital workflow… …other developing studios are available) and compared the results. I can see the argument for film: the images are higher contrast and are more grainy – which gives the images are character that is missing from digital. Of course, there are digital techniques that can add character and replicate film, but the raw digital images seem sterile and lifeless. So there’s that. However, in the photography world (including for professionals), film is rarely used – in the online world where images can be sent instantly and there is no wait for analogue film processing, digital wins hands down. Digital wins for me, but I do occasionally shoot film – the cost and the time to get it developed – remind me to think hard before pressing the shutter, which I should be doing anyway. Maybe film is like vinyl – it will always have a place, a quality and character that digital cannot match.

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