Film Camera Vs. Digital Camera

Ales Litomisky did an interesting test comparing Film 35 mm: Nikkormat FT3 , Film 6×6 cm: Hasselblad 503CW, Canon EOS 5D, full size sensor 24x36mm, 12.8 MegaPixels, and Nikon D200, APS-C sensor, 10.2 MegaPixels.


Interesting results from the test:

“The best quality both in print and on the screen viewed at 100% are clearly from the Canon 5D, followed by the Nikon D200, then the Hasselblad, and lastly – after a significant gap – by the 35 mm film camera.

I expected that the prints from the digital cameras would be better than those from the 35mm film; the superior quality of the Canon 5D prints as compared to the Hasselblad, however, was a surprise to me. The significant difference between the Hasselblad and the 35mm film surprised me as well.”

10 Responses to “Film Camera Vs. Digital Camera”

  1. ST says:

    all these are compare apple to oranges, and using 12.8milllion pixel to compare to 35mm

    Hasselblad is medium format which is soemthing like D5 level.

    35 mm film is like a stamp size and 6 X 6 is 6cm leh like palm size liao
    sure pic quality different after enlargemnt.

    Digital using pixel to determine the quality of pictures, but the film is using lens to capture the picture and the chemical reaction of film towards sunlight and also processing with chemicals
    otally different thing

    Canon although is sharp, but the colour and tone already being distorted.

    Nikon FT# clour is more vivid as VILVA is a slide fujifilm which famous for bright colours, and Nikon famous for the colour balnce.

    Hasselblad colour are more soft and natural which is the characteristic of German maker.

  2. it’s not about the film or camera… it’s all abput the lenses! both work good and are for completely different uses! film for passion… digital for work!

  3. Peter E says:

    This was a poorly written article. Ken Rockwell does a great job of explaining the roll of film and digital. At the end of the day, digital is more about convenience and flexibility. Check out

  4. Lou Welke says:

    This has been an old story on comparing film to digital and several years ago it was said that it would take at least 18 megapixels on a digital camera to equal what 35mm film could do.
    All of this has been changed because of other improvements in digital technology and especially in the digital cameras themselves.
    Now even 6 megapixel digital slr cameras can create very good pictures exceeding even 35mm film.

  5. mark says:

    You see this comparison is too weak… nothing really helpful. the lens u are using on these photos has to be revealed. also, Theres way too many factors for an image to be blurred, not using right focus etc. Also how was the films cropped? what scanner was he using, was it cropped through a high resolution scanner or was it cropped on photoshop with only regular setting?

    I still dont believed on digital beating hasselblad or other large format films. 5d is only a full frame of 35mm film even with the newest mark III… come on! And yes resolution counts… you cant really compare images in a cellphone size pictures… LETS BLOW UP PRINTS 50 x 50 hasselblad and 5d and see the difference!

    My computer crashes when I go scan film beyond 20″ x 20″ 600 dpi. How come raw 5d doesnt crash my computer? hmm…

    In general I think digital has its on use on commercial images cus, ****BUSINESSES LIKE THEM BECAUSE OF FASTER TURN AROUND TIME IN ACCEPTABLE QUALITY*****. But for my personal quality ones ill use film. It is sad people cant get quality photos with film because they cant use it well the judge it that its not good. I have so many digital shooter friends who dont know what a “stop” is.

  6. Jan says:

    What scanner did he use to scan the film?
    In most casses you need a pro drum scanner, npot a home amateur scanner. In my experience a 6×6 or 6×7 has a higher resolution than even a 16mp camera. However the scanning most be done at a professional scanner.

  7. Robert says:

    The Nikon scanner is a good amateur scanner, but not close to a drum scanner at all. At my work we have a Imacon scanner and the difference to a Nikon is substantial. I can’t remember how many tests i have seen about film vs digital, that are really amateur scanners vs digital camera LOL.

  8. Photo 2010 says:

    that was the weakest test i have seen all year. there are lots of factors that we need to look at. you cant compare the images based on sharpness, and believe me if you use the top digital slrs then you need to use the top film slrs then you will see the diffrence and how much better film cams are. you will also need a person that can use the camera. overall you have not given enough evidence that digital is better than film and you have not done a fair test. you need to give more details of the person that used the film camera like is he/she a pro, what lens was used ??? that kind of stuff. i will say it again that was a WEAK REVIEW IF I EVER SAW ONE!!!!!!!!

    i use digital slr`s and Film this is not correct information at ALL!!!!!!!!!

  9. Lauren says:

    what a pathetic article and comparison. your film images were really really poorly developed hence why they look like shit. maybe if you actually knew how to properly develop your work you would be able to understand how much better film photography can be. you are an idiot. i think you need to find an alternative career cause clearly photography and journalism are not your forte.

  10. Shukri says:

    This article is misleading and badly formulated. Any photographer who’s bothered to use both film and digital would cringe. The problem here is that there is a growing culture amongst digital newcomers to look at numbers, charts and pixel comparison instead of the photo as a whole, which is much more than technical details. You can’t see the forest for the trees.

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