Advantages SLR's are cheaper! Development is cool!
Disadvantages Digital is convenient! Plus colour is easier!
If your considering buying a camera, and you have a similar mindset to me, you could never go digital. To put things in perspective, I have just finished a photography GCSE course and got a B. I have just started A-level, and have aspirations to go to university and do a BA in photography. I really don't care much about cameras, but I can recognise the fact that a camera does help a photographer improve.The debate shouldn't be Digital vs. SLR - it should be 35mm vs. Medium Format! Limiting yourself to an SLR is pretty constricting when you consider the options.
Digital is out of the question for anyone who wants to do anything creative with their photography - you lose access to the darkroom (unless you print transparencies on your printer), which is the best way to have fun with photography. Photoshop is a good way of getting creative with your pictures, but when you consider the wild ways you can fiddle with pictures in the darkroom, it pales in comparison.Example? Lith printing, infra-red film (although I have been made aware that black and white IR is slowly becoming available digitally), tissue printing (placing a sheet of tissue paper over the paper to get weird effects), etc.
The issue of cost is a great one to me, a full-time jobless student. I got my fully manual Pentax as a gift from my parents. If bought second-hand this would cost £200, and similar modern cameras could be had for a similar price (new Nikons are about £300). Meanwhile, with digital what do you get for your three tons? A crap compact. To get anything that approaches SLR quality, you are talking a number of grands worth of gear."You don't have to pay for film or processing with digital." No, you pay for batteries, memory cards, printer paper and (the real killer) printer ink. Meanwhile in comparison, I process colour slides at home and it costs me around 80p per roll, and a roll of Velvia costs me £3. £3.80 per film - How much ink does that buy me?
The next issue is quality - 35mm is 27 times better than the best digital camera you can buy. I can't even begin to think about how mch better 6x6 is than that. And then large format...All in all, film is a cheaper option and allows the photographer the chance to be more creative with their work. I'm not slagging off digital too much - it will improve, and for the "Snappy Kodacrap 6x4" end of the market, it's fine. But for anything above and beyond that, it's stupid to invest huge amounts of money on an expensive digital camera, when my antique Ikonta from the 30's will beat it hands-down in any quality test.
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