Traditional vs. Digital Photography © 2007

Traditional Photography
Digital Photography
(iso, asa, din)
fixed film speed
fixed color balance
(asa, din, etc.)
(charge coupled device)
adjustable sensitivity
adjustable color balance

f-stop (iris)
(f 8, f 16)
adjustable light intensity f-stop (iris)
(f 8.3, f 9.2)
adjustable light intensity
shutter speed
(1/60, 1/125, 1/500)
adjustable light duration shutter speed
(1/60, 1/125, 1/500)
adjustable light duration
film speed =
f-stop x shutter
sensitivity =
f-stop x shutter
Exposure can be achieved differently in the "Digital" world than in the "traditional" world. Film speed and color balance are FIXED items in film photography, but both can be easily adjusted at anytime in the digital camera. Thus in traditional cameras, once the film is selected, proper exposure is a function of only two variables, shutter speed and f-stop (light intensity).

It is possible to pre-set both the shutter and f-stop in a digital camera and adjust the "film-speed" (ccd sensitivity) on the fly if desired. It is possible to get the exposure by changing only the shutter speed and ccd sensitivity, hence no need for f-stop control. Some early digital cameras used the native f-stop of the lens as a fixed value. (Who said you need depth of field control?)

It is also possible to compensate for changing lighting conditions as they occur by simply resetting the white balance in the camera as necessary. This can be done until the memory card in the digital camera is full.