01 June 2011

Relentless Trajectory: Digital Versus Film

How much longer can photographic film hold on?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — As photography continues its march toward digital dominance, a shrinking number of people are still devoted to shooting on film, the analog ancestor to today's technology.

In Rochester, Gary Thompson and his wife are the only two of 11 partners and resident artists at a private gallery who haven't switched to digital.

But that time may be near. He thinks he will eventually make the switch.

At the turn of the 21st century, American shutterbugs were buying close to a billion rolls of film annually. This year, the total could be a mere 20 million rolls.

Equally startling has been the plunge in film camera sales. Americans bought 19.7 million film cameras in 2000; that number might dip below 100,000 this year.

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