The Difference Between Digital & Non Digital Cameras

By Filonia LeChat

Choice of camera depends on a variety of factors.
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Record a moment in time: Say “I was here!” or “Wish you were here!” with a snapshot. Cameras freeze ever-changing surroundings, making them as long-lasting as the film or electronic card holding them. While standard cameras have been around for decades, the first use of an electronic camera is accredited to a National Geographic photographer in 1979, according to the University of Texas. From that point on, the pros and cons of going digital have raged on.


For a picture-taking perfectionist, digital cameras provide instant gratification. Photographers can see whether they captured the moment, caught a blurry spot or even got their thumb in the photo by accident right away, whereas with a non-digital camera, it’s wait and see. Digital cameras also let users shoot a number of shots, look at them quickly and eliminate the ones they don’t want. On the other hand, they may take more time. With a standard point-and-click camera, you take your shot and hope for the best, then find out how good your aim was when you get the pictures developed. Digital cameras may prove more of a time-suck, since it’s immediately apparent whether a “do over” is required.


Non-digital cameras don’t really have memory. The film canister or instant paper used with them provides a clue to the number of pictures able to be taken on the outside of the package, such as 36. On the other hand, even the smallest digital camera card offers more memory than regular film. And, since digital cameras allow review and deletion of pictures, they’re almost unlimited in terms of the number of pictures they can take. In both cases, it’s not actually the camera itself that provides the memory. Film or an electronic card is placed into the camera and that is what determines the number of pictures to be taken.


In the least expensive standard cameras, you get what you pay for – a device to take pictures. While more expensive and detailed cameras, especially ones used by professional photographers, have a slew of accessories such as screw-on lenses, tripods and bases, these are all add-ons. Within a digital camera, though, it’s possible to get far more than just picture taking. Some digital cameras record video, capturing it as a file just like pictures. Digital cameras may include settings for night time, extreme sunlight and the ability to instantly recolor the photo to black and white, sepia or another design.


While both standard and digital cameras have gotten smaller even as their technology gets better, non-digital cameras lag behind in terms of portability. Not in actually carrying them around, but in their ability to sync with other electronics. With a non-digital camera, you finish the roll of film and wait for it to get developed (or for those lucky enough to have a darkroom, commence developing). But with a digital camera, the power is all in your hands. Pop out the memory card, place it inside a jumper USB holder and the pictures are instantly on the computer. Another option is to connect the camera to the computer and download the pictures that way, which is still faster than the promise of one-hour photo developing. In some cases, digital cameras let you email photos directly from the device.