My first digital camera was the Canon D30 from 2001, a DSLR with a 3 Mega Pixel APS-C sensor, I just found this comparison with 100ISO film, and it wins! No wonder I didn’t shoot a roll of film after buying it! My latest camera is the 21MP full frame 5D mk2, I regularly print A2 images which look sharp even when viewing from inches away. It’s hard to imagine how far we have come in 9 years of digital camera technology, looking at my film prints from several years BD (Before digital) they look soft and grainy. (if you like that effect, it is easy to replicate using Photoshop and/or plugins like Nik Silver Effects Pro).
Imagine if cars had advanced so much in that time!
It is interesting that when scanning a 35mm slide, it is possible to obtain a simply huge file, – bigger even that a 21mp digital file, but the file size is so big because of the intricate detail of the film grain. This larger file contains no actual extra useful resolution, which is why the D30 managed to deliver such an an unexpected result in 2001.