The Co-Existence of Film and Digital

Industry Perspective

The Co-Existence of Film and Digital

By Ron Leach

A new survey of 9,000 professional photographers throughout the United States indicates that 75% of those questioned plan to continue using film for certain applications, even as they embrace digital photography. According to the survey conducted by Eastman Kodak Company, 68% of the respondents claim that they often prefer the results they achieve from film as compared to their digital images.

A Kodak spokesman explains that the results of this survey mirror those of a similar study conducted recently in Europe, where more than two-thirds of the participating professional photographers said they plan to continue using film.

Photographers participating in the U.S. survey gave several reasons for their continued reliance upon film. The top two benefits cited were 1) the ability to capture more information on medium- and large-format films, and 2) an interest in creating a "traditional look" through the use of black-and-white films. Ninety percent of the photographers questioned said that they produce black-and-white images, and more than half of those respondents said that they prefer using film to create the desired effect.

Other preferences for film mentioned were it's ability to capture shadow and highlight detail, it's wide exposure latitude, and the ease of archival storage with negatives and transparencies.

The results of this study bolster Kodak's commitment to an ongoing program of film innovation. In 2007 alone, the company has introduced five new versions of its Professional Portra films which have received a strong response from photographers and have won several industry awards.