I had an interesting conversation with a fellow educator who also teaches inner city school kids photography. She was gripping about the quality of the small digi-snappers that were allotted this year (one was a vivitar point n shoot). I had remarked that film cameras were very affordable on the entry level and even offered the use of some cameras and the darkroom, because the photos though ok were of very poor resolution and color rendition. The response was a very big No way! I was a bit surprised, she herself admitted she was a long time film photographer with b&w, and that it was very lovely but it was convience of editing and the instant viewing of images that were important to her.
I find that's with many of my friends too, many all want to learn but few commit, with cameras that just sit and gather dust. But they will snap away with their phone and throw a few filters on the images. It's just the convience of it all they say.
This past weekend's WSJ review section had a massive spread of cameras and lenses that took up more than half the front page of that section. The majority of them film cameras from leicas to mediumformat bronicas. The article was about iPhone camera apps. Yea I know, I felt a bit sick too after reading a bit of it. Again it was about convience.
Truthfully I don't think using a film camera is that much more work. The quality of the work in return is more than worth the time spent developing and printing it. And for beginners it establishes a firm base of knowlege and understanding. I'm doing my part by stressing this fact, as well as teaching and helping in any way, to get students shooting film and working in the darkroom. This past winter term, I've taught a group of about 50 students on b&w films and paper as well as an intern from the ground up. They love the darkroom and I'm glad they are learning so quickly.