Difference Between Film and Video

Film vs Video

We see so many films on television and in movie theaters. We also watch videos on the internet in the form of YouTube videos and also shoot many videos through our camcorders and smartphones. However, if one were to ask the differences between film and video, most of us would be unable to answer the question. This is because we hardly see or feel the difference when watching a film or video. However, the two formats are different and making a film is very expensive in comparison to shooting a video. There are many more differences between film and video that will be highlighted in this article.

More on Film and Video

Movies have been made ever since they made their debut in late 19 th century (1888 to be precise) on films. Video arrived on the scene much later (in the 1920’s)and this is why people try to compare video with film. Capturing of images in the case of a film is through a chemical surface that is sensitive to light and the amount of light entering the camera varies depending upon the lens of the camera. The speed at which the film rolls on a movie camera is 24 frames per second. This implies that every second 24 images can be captured by a camera recording on film. When we see the movie, we see successive frames at a high speed to create the illusion of a movie.

In the case of video recording with the help of digital cameras, there is no film to capture an image. Rather, there are CCD’s or charged coupled devices that record images. These CCD’s record the light entering the lens and convert the data into an image that gets stored on a hard drive. Modern cameras, while making videos, capture 24 frames per second just like a movie camera and make it appear like a movie when played back. In contrast to the grainy structure of the photographic film, video is very clean. There are many other differences between film and video and brightness range required to produce an image which is called exposure latitude is much higher in case of film than with video.

In the case of film, amount of light entering the lens and falling upon the chemical surface decides the depth of colours and brightness. This is the reason movies look so bright, soft, and smooth whether they are projected in a small size or large size. In sharp contrast, there is a fixed resolution of video cameras which is calculated in terms of pixels and trying to increase or decrease the size of the image affects the quality of the image.


Film vs Video

• Films produce more colors that are vivid and true to life than videos despite technical advancement than the early days of VHS videos to NTSC and PAL

• Films remain high quality and smooth despite projecting in a large size, but videos become dull when they are decreased or increased in size as they have a native resolution described n pixels

• Films are much costlier than videos

• Videos are digital as well as made on tape whereas films are subjected to editing by cutting and joining through tape. These days films can also be digitized to be transferred on to computers.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Animation and Video
  2. Difference Between Film and Movie