R.N. Clark has a very geeky version of the old film versus digital controvery on his web page. His is different in that he actually (horrors!) has hard quantitative data:
I've done digital imaging and image processing in the scientific world since about 1977, so I am very familiar with the technology and its use. I set high standards for myself in all my work and play. Currently I use both film and digital.
From his site:
Here are some of the issues in the Digital vs Film debate:
- The question really is film versus electronic sensors.
- Both are analog capture.
- Electronic sensors: an analog charge gets digitized in the camera.
- Film can be scanned at high resolution.
- Image detail requires many megapixels.
- Until recently, "digital" cameras could not meet film resolution.
- Digital cameras only meet/exceed film cameras in some restricted areas.
- E.g. Wildlife action photography.
- Images have tonality and dynamic range.
- Both film and electronic sensors are good in this regard.
- Electronic sensors have a larger dynamic range than film (at least the better sensors do).
- Electronic sensors have lower image noise.
- Noise in an image has a big impact on the perception of image quality.
- The size of the pixels in the electronic sensor are directly related to the signal-to-noise in the image produced by the camera. Larger pixels are better.
My own feeling: Photography is an art. Use whatever tool suits you the best. You don't hear artists endlessly argue about water vs. oil, silk screen vs. litho, concrete vs. bronze. I use digital for my ethnographic fieldwork and film for my documentary photography. Why? Because it pleases me...