Traditional vs digital photography advantages and disadvantages

This is still one of the most heated debates in the world. Since its birth, the world of photography has shown many colors to many generations and promises to continue the trend with the upcoming generation. 

It is very much evident that the introduction of digital photography has changed the perspective of people towards photography. But still, digital photography can never completely replace traditional photography. 

See, even I am contradicting my own statements. It is very hard to choose between these two as both of them are equally capable of their own functionalities. So now you might realize why this is an all-time hot debatable topic. 

So today in this blog we will look into all the necessary points on traditional vs digital photography according to their functions, advantages, and disadvantages.  

But first, let me give you an overview of what traditional photography and digital photography look like.

Analog Photography or Filmed Photography

The first form of photography ever introduced that uses a chemical process based recording material known as films.  

An analog camera uses the gelatine-silver process and clicks an image while light falling upon photographic emulsions that contain silver halides. The images captured in an analog camera is recorded as a latent image. 

These latent images are also called raw photographs. These images are stored in a film role in a negative format. As per to get the actual image you need to develop the images under certain conditions. 

The films can be divided into many types based on their format like, 

  • 110 film 
  • 135 film 
  • Medium Format (120 films, 220 film and 620 films)
  • Large Format

And Films can be of many types also. Some of them are,

  • Black and White 
  • Color
  • Negative Film 
  • Reversal Film 
  • Infrared Film 
  • DX encoded film. 

Digital Photography

The revolution of photography came into play after the technology was shifted from analog to digital. This revolution introduced the concept of digital photography. 

Digital Photography is done by using cameras that use arrays of electronic photodetectors as per click images. For capturing images a digital camera uses a lens as opposed to exposure to photographic film. 

Now unlike filmed cameras, images captured in a digital camera are stored in .JPEG or .JPG format in computers and other digital devices. 

Gradually over the years as the technology got more advanced the digital camera also got several updates and displayed new opportunities for photographers. 

Some of the major features of a digital camera are:

  • Sensors
  • Multifunctionality and Connectivity
  • Performance Metrics
  • Pixel Counts
  • Dynamic Range
  • Wide storage options 

Traditional photography vs Digital Photography: Advantages 

Now that you have an idea of what traditional photography and digital photography are, so we can now compare both of them based on their advantageous functions. 

        Traditional Photography             Digital Photography
1. The initial cost of a filmed camera is much less than that of a digital camera.1. The general resolution of a point to shoot digital camera is 12 to 20 megapixels. That is enough to print a large version of the images 
2. Film cameras can capture detailed images in black and white because of their higher dynamic range. 2. As a storage device, a digital camera uses a memory card of different capacities. These memory chips don’t require much space  
3. Filmed photography neglects all the minor focusing issues and exposer problems 3. In a digital camera, you can instantly view the image you have captured.
4. In often cases a film camera has a higher resolution than digital cameras.
4. Digital Camera allows you to edit the image inside the camera or outside the camera, in a computer or in any editing device.
5. A photographer using a limited number of exposures available on a roll of film will think more before clicking an actual picture. 
Whereas digital photographs generally take the picture first and then think about it 
5. Most of the digital cameras are light in weight than film cameras. 

Traditional photography vs Digital Photography: Disadvantages

Though both traditional and digital photography is enough capacity and has provided many advantageous factors. 

But if you want to take look from a professional’s point of view then we can list down some points of disadvantages of both traditional photography and digital photography. 

        Traditional Photography           Digital Photography
1. You always carry your camera. It is designed to hold in hand. But film cameras are very heavy weighted and a bit large in size. 
I think this is the biggest disadvantage of a traditional photography.
1. After capturing a picture on a digital camera you get a raw format of the photo. 
Now as per to get the best version of the picture you need to know computer editing skills. 
And if you don’t know any then you can consider this point as a big disadvantage.
2. The films in which you store your captured photographs requires a lot of room for storage purpose. 
Sometimes piles of films can take space of a whole room. 
2. A digital camera costs a lot more than that of an analog camera. 
So if you are planning to buy one then don’t forget to take the credit card!
3. Once you have one film you cannot overwrite it. So you can not reuse the film you are using once. 
So purchasing new films and developing them is a continuing cost. 
3. This is a point of comparison that film cameras can click far more better photos than that of a digital camera in black and white environment.
Digital cameras can easily lose the details in those environments.
4.In film cameras you cannot see the photo at the time you are clicking it. 
You can only view the image only after development. So you may end up with an unfocused or distorted picture.
4. Digital cameras can be very difficult with focus. 
Especially in case of low light photography, film cameras can easily beat the digital cameras. 
5. Developing an image from the film is a long process and needs some environmental specifications. 
If you have a dark room and you know how to develop images from their negative then you are fine. 
But if you don’t have a dark room then you have depend on a photo lab. 
5. Both film and digital cameras are powered by a battery cell. 
But digital cameras drain outs more amount of battery than compared to a film camera. 
That is photographers always an extra pair of batteries with them when they are shooting outdoors. 


We can say that though both traditional photography and digital photography are very much different from each other but still they both have equal fan following from all the world. 

In recent times, the introduction of mobile cameras has grabbed the market of cameras but still professional and passionate photographers always prefer to use traditional or film cameras or digital cameras. 

Despite discussing a topic on traditional photography vs digital photography, we still love both.