When film first started, it was just that. A camera would roll a length of film, and expose it to the light that came through the lens. Depending on the film stock used, some stunning detailed pictures could be achieved. The best quality was 72mm film, but most films were shot on 32mm film, as this was a great balance between cost and quality.
Still today, most high end films are shot on film stock, because the variation in colour depth is still better than the advanced digital cameras of today.
The problem with film stock is that film is very expensive. Now we shoot on to memory cards which are fairly cheap, but more importantly we can use them over and over again, which means in terms of usage, they are ridiculously cheap. With film you would have to pay for another load of film stock every time you made a film, because film can not be used again.
One of the other problems with film, was that you were constantly having to reload it, because if a camera was shooting at twenty five frames per second, it would take very little time to run out. Re loading film stock was quite time consuming as well, because you have to attach the film, and then roll it up inside the camera. Compare that to shooting on a memory card. You essentially do not need to change a memory card, because you just have to have one that is big enough for the days shoot, and even if you did have to change it, it takes a matter of seconds.
The main advantage of the digital camcorder, is the fact that you can instantly watch back footage that you have shot. This allow you to check that you have the shot, and move onto the next, with out shooting needless extra takes as insurance
Another of the other great things about the digital camcorder is all the extra controls that you get, which really helps you to adjust and perfect the picture. Film shot well, produces stunning result, but it takes a much higher amount of skill and patience to make a great picture with film.
If you are shooting a wedding video, then the digital camcorder has to be the right choice, because you could not hold up a wedding ceremony to change film stocks, and the extra digital controls are so important, since you can not shout cut, and order a second take.
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