A great deal of media we consume these days have moved to the digital space. There’s a great deal of convenience in how quickly you can just snap a picture with digital cameras, maybe put a few fine touches, then upload it for all your friends and family to see immediately.
For all that convenience though, there are still some things that film simply does better at equivalent price points. There aren’t as many “classic” 35mm film cameras being made nowadays, but given how sturdy and durable their many models are, you can easily find one still in good working condition. While buying film cameras may be a bit of a risk, there are places like Photoline where you are assured of getting quality cameras that work fine and the right film to go with them.
Shooting film makes you consider your composition better because there are just so many shots in a roll of film unlike in digital photography where you can delete compositions you’re not happy with. Film is generally more forgiving of minor mistakes in focus and exposure too—imagine the focal length of most old point and shoots and the dynamic range inherent in even an affordable roll of film like Agfa Vista 200 which is still plentiful (for now) despite being discontinued in the 2000s.There are also many modern slides that have great performance without costing a lot, like the new instant classic Fuji Instax 11.
It’s not all romance and nostalgia, though that’s likely a big part of why film is still around. The numbers add up; the effective resolution of a typical 35mm film exposure is about 20.27MP, and while that’s not the highest you can get with digital, the quality of the stills are on another level entirely. Not to mention that film grain is more aesthetically pleasing compared to much of the digital noise you get when the lighting isn’t keyed in precisely, as is almost always the case outside of a studio setting.
Digital does some things better, but in the same way that some people prefer analog watches or fountain pens, film photography is here to stay.
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