Do DSLR Cameras Use Film?

I’m going to give away my age here, but when I was a kid, all the cameras I had made use of film. I would take photos, then rush off to the local camera store to get them developed. Then, I had to wait a couple of days to get the developed photos back.

This process would not be desirable in this day of age. People want instant gratification, and imagine you took a selfie and you had to wait a few days to get the actual photo…

Enter DSLR cameras.

While DSLR cameras have been around for several years now, there is still a bit of mystery surrounding them. And many of us old-school photographers who have been using SLR cameras have a couple of questions about DSLR cameras. For example, do DSLR cameras use film?

Join me as I take a look.

Do DSLR Cameras Use Film? No, DSLR cameras do not use film because they make use of a digital image sensor that can capture photos digitally and save them to an SD card. This is the main difference between an SLR and a DSLR camera, and as its name suggests, a digital single-lens reflex camera is digital whereas an SLR camera is analog and makes use of film.

The Advantages Of Not Using Film

As you can imagine, using a DSLR camera can have many advantages over an analog camera like an SLR camera. Let’s have a look at a few benefits of using a digital camera.

1.) You Get Instant Results

This is my favorite thing about DSLR cameras.

I briefly touched on this point at the beginning of this article, and it makes a photographer’s life so much easier to capture photos digitally. You don’t have to wait for days to get the final photos back because they are captured instantly.

2.) You Can Take More Photos

With film, you are limited to the number of photos that you can take per film roll. With a DSLR camera, you can take a lot more photos, thousands in fact. The only limit here is the amount of free space available on the SD card that you are using.

3.) It Is Cheaper

While the initial cost of a DSLR camera can be more than an analog camera, you don’t have to carry the cost of getting photos developed. Photos are saved digitally, and therefore they are available immediately.

4.) You Keep Only The Best Photos

When you take a bad photo with an analog camera, you can’t erase it from the film roll. It’s a photo wasted.

But with digital cameras, you can choose to keep a photo or delete it when you feel that it is not worth keeping. And, you can do this in-camera after you’ve taken the photo.

5.) The Photos Are Digital

This is a big advantage in my opinion. Having a digital photo opens the door to so many possibilities.

For one, a digital photo can easily be shared. Some DSLR cameras can connect with your laptop or phone wirelessly, and this means that you can easily transfer that perfect photo to any of these devices and share it with your friends on social media.

Another great thing about digital photos is that they can easily be backed up and be used whenever needed. A film roll can easily get lost, and once it is lost, it is gone forever.

6.) You Can Capture Video

Most DSLR cameras allow you to capture video, and this is simply not possible with an analog camera that uses film. Because DSLR cameras store data from the image sensor digitally, the opportunity is there to capture video data as well.


Hopefully, now you have a better understanding as to whether or not DSLR cameras use film.

While I still look back at my old SLR cameras with fond memories, I’m very grateful that DSLR cameras exist and that they are able to digitally capture photos. Analog cameras still have a very important place in this world, but DSLR cameras are more convenient in many situations.

I guess the biggest drawcard of digital cameras is the fact that photos can be viewed and used immediately. People want instant gratification, and DSLR cameras can certainly provide that. Because they don’t use film, you don’t have to wait for days to see how your photos actually look like.

Imagine you wanted to take a selfie for your Facebook profile, and you had to wait for days to get your photo back…