Digital cameras are similar to traditional 35mm cameras in the respect that they both capture light to create a color replica of a moving image. Both cameras can adjust exposure, zoom, focus, white balance, and ISO. They have a similar interface, flash, external audio inputs, and operate nearly identical with tripods, cranes, lenses, filters, batteries and cases and some can be interchangeable.

The difference comes in the way they convert light into the moving image. Traditional film cameras use a photochemical process to imprint the picture on a celluloid while a digital camera uses a sensor to turn the light into color pixels. Digital cameras are much cheaper to purchase, use and distribute the final cut. They are lighter, can film longer, are more versatile, requires almost no storage space with the final product, there is no waiting to view dailies and can be monitored and adjusted at any point in the production process rather than waiting overnight to view. There is virtually no limit to what can be done in the post-production editing process. There are purists who still hold true to film and will continue to use it until the equipment is obsolete. As digital technology is continuing to advance, cameras are becoming competitive with the quality of film, and is even beginning to surpass film in many ways, as 4k is becoming largely accepted among the film community and slowly coming into 5k+ resolutions.


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