I have recently changed career and now work in the photographic industry in London. I am also studying for a foundation degree in photography and the title of my extended study essay is "What is the future of film photography in the 21st century digital age?" Personally I am in the film camp, and I am about to indulge myself into the world of large format (I also use a Nikon FE, Hasselblad XPan and Mamiya 7). I am therefore canvassing opinion on the following questions:
1. Is image quality really better with digital photography?
2. Has film technology been curtailed too hastily, and are there technologies in emulsions and chemistry that we could be yet to benefit from?
3. What are the real benefits of film? Are we 'film enthusiasts" simply photographers who refuse to be swept along on the wave of digital technology, wallowing in nostalgia and traditionalism, or are there real qualities to film that digital photography simply cannot replace?
4. What is the driving force behind the digital market? Is it that camera manufacturers are simply exploiting the modern consumerist culture of today, or is there a real and tangible benefit in 24mp cameras and hugely expensive zooms etc...
5. Will film photography have a role over the next 30 years, and where will film photography fit into the digital revolution?
Any responses and thoughts to this will be greatly appreciated.