Film vs Digital: Can You Guess Which was Shot on Which?

Let’s see if your eyes have been trained to spot which shot was made on film as opposed to that of a mirrorless camera.

Yes, we hear you. We have yet another film vs. digital post, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with it. When commercial lifestyle photographer Steve Johnston shared this video with us, we found that he’s actually encouraging viewers to play a little game with him: which was was shot in film and which was shot with a mirrorless camera? Let’s find out.

In the video’s intro, Johnston mentioned that he used a Canon Rebel XS (or EOS 500) 35mm SLR camera for the film shots, and a Sony A7 III for the mirrorless photos. He also made a disclaimer saying that it’s not a very technical review, but more just a visual comparison from both systems. So, without further ado, let’s see what went down from his shoot below:

So, how did you fare with your guesses? Which results did you like more? According to Johnston, while he did shoot more with the mirrorless camera (of course, that’s bound to happen with a digital camera), he liked the results of the film more. The digital photos do look more polished and tack sharp, but as he pointed out, the colors look more muted. Sure, he can just try to get more film-like results with post, but with the real deal, there’s obviously a more nostalgic look straight away. If the grainy, retro aesthetic is the look that you’re going for, nothing beats film.

As comparison was the point of this exercise, our photographer here felt compelled to pick his choice. As you’ve probably guessed with how his commentary went, it’s not surprising that he found that this round belonged to film.

So, was it also your choice? Feel free to tell us your pick and why it stood out to you more.

And just for you folks who came here wondering where this comparison is in a blog post, we did our own comparison a while ago with Fujifilm digital and film. Here’s a quick preview; and you can see more here.

Fujifilm Acros 100

Visit Steve Johnston’s YouTube channel to keep updated with his next videos.