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12 Advantages of Digital Cameras

Paul's passion for technology and digital media goes back over 30 years. Born in the UK, he now lives in the U.S., in Florida.

In the past, photography generally had a fairly elitist reputation. It required a lot of skill and experiences, as well as facilities such as darkrooms. Digital cameras have opened up photography to many more people.

In the past, photography generally had a fairly elitist reputation. It required a lot of skill and experiences, as well as facilities such as darkrooms. Digital cameras have opened up photography to many more people.

Most people now have access to a digital camera nowadays, either as part of their smartphone, or as a stand-alone device. The new technology has brought us cameras that are generally easier to use, more affordable, instantaneous, and versatile than traditional film photography.

This article lists the 12 main pros of digital cameras when compared with film cameras.

12 Digital Photography Benefits

  1. Instantaneous Satisfaction
  2. Film is Expensive to Buy and Process
  3. Massive Storage Space for Photos
  4. Multiple Functions
  5. Video Camera
  6. Easy to Share
  7. Lighter or Built-in
  8. Easy Editing
  9. More Display Options
  10. Home Printing
  11. Point and Shoot Technology
  12. Quicker Operation

I look at each benefit in more detail below.

1. Instantaneous Satisfaction

The sheer immediacy of digital photography is impossible to beat with film. In most cases, you simply point your camera, click, and you have your image. No waiting until all the films used up, no time-consuming processing. Having your image in a digital format also brings many advantages too (see below).

2. Film is Expensive to Buy and Process

Film photography can be an expensive business, as you are constantly having to buy new film rolls and pay for processing. Digital photography doesn't incur any of these costs (except perhaps the price of ink and photo paper in the event you want to print out some images at home), so it is much cheaper over time.

3. Massive Storage Space for Photos

Rather than being limited by film rolls, digital devices offer massive storage options. Memory cards can hold thousands of images and can be swapped out quickly, should you require even more space. In addition, images can be regularly transferred to a computer hard drive to free up space. You can basically take as many photos as you want and not miss any images because your film roll was used up, or you were taking time changing rolls.

Traditional film rolls were limited to 36 shots. Advances in digital storage means that thousands of photos can be stored on a small memory stick or card.

Traditional film rolls were limited to 36 shots. Advances in digital storage means that thousands of photos can be stored on a small memory stick or card.

4. Multiple Functions

Multiple functions, such as motion detection, face detection, and night vision, aid the photo taker to capture better images. Challenging conditions no longer mean bad photos, as the camera has both manual and automatically ways to compensate. Night photos, for instance, can be taken with close to the same quality as day time ones. (The only downside, perhaps, is that some people feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of functions available on some camera models).

5. Video Camera

Unlike traditional film cameras, which can only capture still images, digital cameras can also take moving pictures. Operating as a video camera increases the versatility of these devices considerably, not only for capturing media, but also for live streaming video across the internet.

6. Easy to Share

Media captured in a digital format is much easier to share with others. Images can be sent by text or email. Media can be uploaded to the internet and shared via social media. Multiple copies of images can be easily created and shared with others via storage devices such as memory sticks, cards, or portable hard drives.

The ability to make digital cameras that are small and light means that they are now incorporated into phones, something that was not possible for film cameras.

The ability to make digital cameras that are small and light means that they are now incorporated into phones, something that was not possible for film cameras.

7. Lighter and More Compact

Digital cameras are generally lighter and more compact than film cameras. Advances in technology also mean that they now come built-in to smartphones, enabling almost universal access to digital cameras.

8. Easy Editing

Traditional photographs could only be altered once and that is at the film processing stage, and even then the scope is limited. Digital photographs are easy to edit at any stage and there are multiple editing possibilities, many of them radical. Basic editing, such as enhancing contrast, lighting, and red eye removal, can often be done by the camera or smartphone, many more effects can be achieved through the use of a photo-editing software package.

9. More Display Options

In contrast to photos on film, which cannot be viewed at all until after they've been developed, there are multiple ways of viewing photos in a digital format. You can put them on a large screen television, for instance, for a more dramatic impact that a group of people can all experience simultaneously. Digital photo frames are another unique way to display digital photographs.

Film photographers had to use either a commercial business, or a darkroom to develop photos. Digital technology enables users to simply print out photos at home.

Film photographers had to use either a commercial business, or a darkroom to develop photos. Digital technology enables users to simply print out photos at home.

10. Home Printing

Film photographs have to be developed, a sensitive chemical process normally undertaken by commercial businesses, or through the use of a special "darkroom". The entire roll of film was almost always developed, regardless of picture quality. Digital photographs can be printed at home, requiring only an appropriate printer, plus the type of paper desired (most people use special photograph paper, which is widely available in stores). Home users can pick which individual images to print, experiment with different print sizes and shapes, as well as perform basic editing in most circumstances.

11. Point and Shoot Technology

Digital cameras are generally super easy to use, as most settings can be calculated automatically by the camera. That means that amateur photo takers can simply point and click without the need to spend time focusing, or adjusting settings.

12. Quicker Operation

One feature of digital cameras that is sometimes forgotten is that they can take multiple photos quickly. With film cameras, the user would have to wind on the film between each shot, losing time and potentially missing the opportunity to capture some great images. Adjusting the settings on film cameras could also slow the photographer down.

Steven Sasson, the inventor of the first portable digital camera. He made the camera in 1975 by cobbling together parts from other photographic devices.

Steven Sasson, the inventor of the first portable digital camera. He made the camera in 1975 by cobbling together parts from other photographic devices.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Paul Goodman