Film and digital each has its merits and one or the other is generally better for a given purpose. However, some advocate film OR digital absolutely. Don't trust them! Ken Rockwell helps you navigate the tradeoffs between film and digital imaging at his Film vs. Digital page:
Convenience has always won out over ultimate quality throughout the history of photography....As the years roll on the ultimate quality obtained in each smaller medium drops, while the average results obtained by everyone climbs....In 1940 normal people got fuzzy snaps from their Brownies and flashbulbs while artists got incredible results on 8 x 10" film. Today artists still mess with 4 x 5" cameras and normal people are getting the best photos they ever have on 3 MP digital cameras printed at the local photo lab.
Here is the biggest difference between film and digital. Just as one film looks different from another, digital looks very different from any film. Either you like it or you don't. Film is the result of over 100 years of refinement. Digital is just starting out. Pixel count is just a secondary issue.
Digital is always stuck in whatever quality you shot it. Digital or video has nothing to rescan. What you got it is all you're every going to get. This is why Hollywood shoots movies, and even the better TV series, on film. 10 or 50 years from now they can still get better and better images by rescanning them. Go watch the latest DVD of The Wizard of Oz shot on film in 1939. They simply went to the vault and rescanned the film with modern technology.
Film has a huge advantage in recording highlights. We take for granted the fact that specular highlights and bright sunsets look the way they do in painting and on film....Digital still has a huge problem with highlight reproduction, presuming you, like me, shoot into the sun or other sources of light. Film for hundreds of years has naturally had "shoulders" in its characteristic curve. This means that even with severe overexposure in places that the highlights are rendered naturally on film, even contrasty slide film like the Velvia I love. On the other hand, at the dawn of the 21st century digital capture is more linear than logarithmic as film is. This means that digital cameras often have better shadow detail than my Velvia, but can have horrid, unnatural highlights if overexposed even a third of a stop.
Depth of Field: Digital SLRs have about the same depth of field as 35mm film cameras. Compact digital cameras have almost infinite depth of field, meaning you can't deliberately blur backgrounds. Why is this? Simple: the tiny image sensors of compact digital cameras (meaning everyone selling for less than $2,000) use much shorter focal length lenses to get the same angle of view. These shorter lenses have much greater depth of field.
[FILM] CAMERAS AND LENSES: These are effectively free. I try to buy my film cameras and lenses used. I often sell them for more than I paid for them years later. Therefore film hardware is essentially free. A good lens today is still a good lens in 20 years. The most exotic film cameras cost the same or less than middle-of-the-road digital cameras which will need to be thrown away in two years, and the film cameras will still be making great images in ten years.
You always can see film by looking at it, even 100 years from today. You can file and catalog everything quickly just by looking at it or contact sheets. 200 years from now anyone can look at a black-and-white print. People may or may not have the ability to play back JPG files, and probably no ability to play back any of today's proprietary RAW digital formats in 20 years.
Digital cameras are very, very expensive for what they do. They become obsolete in a year, unlike film cameras which, in the case of 4x5, even 50 year old cameras and lenses are in use daily. DO NOT buy a digital camera as an "investment."...Digital cameras...are far more expensive than any film camera if you only shoot a few hundred shots every month. Go spend $1,500 on a film camera and you have a fine machine you'll be using to create great images 20 years from now. Spend that same $1,500 on a digital camera and you will have given it to The Salvation Army or Goodwill in three years.