In Honor of
Max Yavno & Horst
If we are talking negative film, then the big difference between film and digital is with sharpness. Digital is much sharper than negative film if all things are equal. 35mm negative film is equal to about 3 or 4 mp with a point and shoot camera. (See link for photos at end of post.) Negative film is pretty low res imaging media compared to our state of the art and even not so state of the art digital imaging.
Digital can have a more plastic, artificial look. Film can have a more grainy, softer look. Film can have cleaner blacks in the shadows. Digital tries to make sense of shadows sometime with noise. Just depends on the light. This is my general conclusion.
Here is an example…
A film era dye transfer print by Jim Marshall
A digital photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
It was shot wide open, in poor light @ f1.4. It would have been sharper if closed down a stop or two.
More comparisons of film versus digital…