To wit, some of my important definitional criteria...
The data container for a digital image is the logical computer file in which that data is represented. This file consists of one or more file fragments usually scattered across the rotating platters of a magnetic hard disk. Their order and locations are tracked and managed by the disk I/O subsystem of the computer.
Each of these fragments consists of a synchronous physical pattern of greater or lesser magnetized spots on the magnetic platters. Reassembling the whole file during I/O results in a virtualized copy of that pattern represented within the computer's main memory.
The digital image itself does not consist of anything physical. It is not made up of 1s and 0s as is often stated. It is not made up of magnetic spots. It is not made up of anything. It is only a pattern - a logical sequence - that defines the image. Modify even a single virtualized data point value and you have a new image.
The digital image is a pure abstraction. Absent any rendering, it cannot be experienced first-hand. Absent the correct rendering - say, converting the abstract pattern into audio output - and it could be incorrectly experienced, sounding like nothing more than random white noise.
The data container for a film photograph is the negative. Or in some special cases, the photograph itself. It is a physical entity. It bears silent witness to the actual event from which it was created. It was physically present directly in front of the subject at the very instant the image it recorded came into being.*
The data in a negative is forever held fixed by the physical distribution of the reduced silver grain clumps or dye clouds. It is the product of a series of complex photochemical reactions, beginning with manufacture and ending with final chemical development. It benefits from, but does not absolutely require any, special storage. It's form (format) will never be changed or upgraded away. Dusty shoe boxes in old attics work just fine.
The photographic negative itself is a true four-dimensional object. It occupies a point in space and time, and so prevents other objects from existing at that same point. It is what it is. It requires no complex, third-party technological subsystems to reassemble, decode, and render it. Only your eyes and a source of light are required. And in order for you to so experience its content first-hand, you must be physically in its presence. And it in yours.
And yet, in spite of such profound differences...
Both of these mechanisms are capable of producing images of reality that can be experienced and enjoyed. Both require levels of human skill to accomplish. Both are worthy of praise and condemnation. Each complements the other. Neither "demeans" the other.
But they are most definitely not, by my criteria, "one and the same."
Of course, YMMV...
* This is why holding old glass plate negatives up to the light in your own hands - and I have held many - is such a profoundly moving experience. At least to me. Sadly, my holding a USB drive up to the light provokes no such similar emotion.