Digital cameras have come down in price and have improved in quality, which has opened up an ongoing debate as to whether film or digital cameras are better. Some photographers swear by the quality that film offers, whereas others enjoy the flexibility and features that go hand in hand with digital cameras. Although both mediums have advantages and disadvantages, neither option is ultimately better than the other. The right camera choice depends on the photographer's style, shooting preferences, and experience.
Film cameras use light to imprint images onto photographic film, which must then be processed using chemicals in a darkroom environment. Film comes in a variety of sizes. Most cameras use 35mm film, but some use medium format or other types.
Film cameras tend to have fewer settings, which often makes them easy to operate. The manual focus features are usually fairly straightforward, as what the photographer sees in the viewfinder is usually what comes out in the photo. Film cameras transfer photos directly to film and do not have reviewing or editing options, which makes the learning curve fairly low.
Of the two types of cameras, film cameras tend to be the most affordable. This is because they usually contain fewer features and do not have as many electric components. However, photographers should consider the cost of film and development when choosing a film camera.
Film typically offers higher resolution than digital images; however, digital image resolution is constantly improving, so the difference is usually minimal to the naked eye. There is little apparent difference in small-size prints, but film can result in larger prints that look sharper. This makes film an excellent choice for photographers who make poster-sized prints of their photos.
Film cameras often take better pictures in natural lighting conditions. Film can better pick up natural highlights and is usually less prone to overexposure in sunlight. It can also play up light, shadows, and colour with much more detail. This can add a lot of texture to photos.
Film is also fairly permanent. Photographic film can last for long periods of time if it is properly stored. Photographers do not lose their work when hard drives or SD cards crash and do not run into compatibility issues with file formats.
Digital cameras capture images using electronic sensors and store them as digital information. These cameras have improved in quality over the years, making them attractive for professionals. There are several types of digital cameras on the market, from compact point-and-shoot models to mobile cameras, but digital SLR cameras produce higher resolutions than other types.
Many digital cameras contain internal storage; however, most photographers prefer to store photos on removable storage mediums such as SD cards. This lets photographers easily store and transfer photos to computer hard drives.
Digital SLR cameras tend to be heavier due to the additional electronic components, so photographers shooting with DSLRs may want to choose camera bags with extra support in the shoulder strap area. There are a few light, compact cameras available for photographers who take photos while travelling or hiking.
Digital cameras usually come with a wide variety of features and settings. These tend to vary between brands and models, but common features include LCD displays, playback functions, and USB or wireless connection.
Digital cameras have several advantages in terms of convenience. A single SD card can hold dozens if not hundreds of photos, which means that photographers rarely feel limited on space. In addition, they can review their photos as they work and discard the takes that they do not want to keep. This makes it much easier to experiment and work on photography techniques.
Although digital cameras are usually more expensive upfront, they are cheaper to use over time. Photographers do not have to continuously buy film, which saves money. They can also selectively print photos so they do not have to spend time, resources, and money on printing shots that they do not want to keep.
Photographers can also edit their own digital photos at home using film editing software. This is handy for retouching, adjusting the lighting, tweaking the contrast, or adding special effects.
How to buy cameras on eBay
Whether you decide to shoot on a film or digital camera, sellers on eBay offer a large selection of both. Search by camera type, brand, model, or features; for example, search for "Canon Rebel" or "35mm rangefinder camera". If you prefer to browse a wide selection, query a general keyword such as "DSLR" or "film camera". Some sellers offer bundled items that package cameras with important accessories, such as lenses, filters, storage bags, or memory cards. You can find bundled offers by including key accessories in your search terms.