Film vs Digital Shootout: Can You See the Difference?

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Difference Between Film and Digital – Can You See the Difference?

So the debate between Film vs Digital is a long and kind crazy one. I personally have shot every film format imaginable, except for IMAX, and I loved the image. The magic of celluloid is something that you can’t explain without experiencing it. I’ve also shot my new feature This is Meg on a digital format and LOVED the power and speed it gave me.

When digital image capture came around in the 90’s it began a cosmic shift on how we capture images. The cost, speed, and quality of digital image capture was and is remarkable. I found that everyone was always trying to emulate film and are in many ways still doing that today.

Now you can argue back and forth for film or digital. Below you will see a few interviews from some of cinema’s greatest filmmakers debating just that. But does it matter anymore? Can digital cameras capture that cinematic look we are all looking for? Can the audience even tell the difference anymore?

Below I’ve compiled a bunch of videos comparing the two formats. Let’s see if you can tell the difference between film and digital.



Film vs. Digital – Comparison Demo by Steve Yedlin, ASC

Cinematographer Steve Yedlin juxtaposes footage from 35mm Film and the ARRI ALEXA .


Film VS Digital


We may never know the answer to that question but here are some side by side comparisons of a Canon 5d (Full Sensor) digital camera and a Canon 7E (35mm) film camera.

Please weigh in on the discussion and let us know what you think about the last frame, is it film or digital???

Cameras Used:
Canon 5d Mark II (digital) ISO 400
Canon 7e (35mm film) Fuji 400 Stock


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Film VS Digital | Video Essay

The grand debate of the two film formats – Film Celluloid & Digital Photography.
Upgrade or die? – Do filmmakers have to abandon film celluloid in order for Hollywood to move forward as an industry?


Film vs Digital: The Big Debate

The spotlight we have all been waiting for. Cooke Optics TV shares interviews with world renowned cinematographers to get their insights on how the filmmaking process has changed from the early days of film to the introduction and improvement of digital processes.


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Keanu Reeves on How Film vs. Digital Affects Actor’s Performance

Do film and digital production affect how an actor performs? David Lynch thinks so.


Side By Side Official Trailer

Side by Side: Digital technology has created a groundbreaking evolution in cinema, challenging film as the standard format for motion pictures. In the new documentary Side By Side, Keanu Reeves takes us on a tour of the past and future of the moviemaking process.


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