Photo by Matthew Pacheco.

To answer the question, many commentators took a very academic approach, which sought comparable measures of sharpness of detail, and color resolution.

For film, the number of lines per millimeter quantifies the image resolution. For digital sensors, it’s the number of pixels and their area. Film records the finest of details, which means it captures coarse and fine textures. Digital sensors are extra responsive to the medium level details, but less sensitive to fine details. Detail is exaggerated by boosting contrast, and this produces the illusion of a sharpened image, which makes up for the lack of fine detail.


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