While looking for something else entirely I stumbled across an explanation on the website of Peter Krogh of why digital photography prevails in the commercial world.
I think digital is great but there's not really any standard for charging expenses for flash cards (film) uploading and post (process and print) and FTP (delivery). It still takes time, and hard drives cost money, software needs updating and digital cameras become old technology every 18 months at the moment...
While in the past clients would expect to pay for film etc, and expect you to give it a little mark up, in the digital age you are just expected to own all this stuff - especially as a photojournalist.
Anyway, here's the quote:
The reason that digital photography has taken off recently is NOT because it is cheaper to produce. Rather, digital photography is being adopted by the marketplace because it provides significant value to the buyer. What kind of value? We Get more Done: Digital Capture has greatly increased our productivity during the shoot.
Immediate Feedback : Because the image can be viewed right away, everyone can walk away from the shoot knowing that it has been successful. In cases where the photographer is "shooting for expression", this is extremely valuable. In many cases, polaroids can simply not show what you get, because expressions change so fast.
Easy Editing : I can make the shoot available for viewing over the web pretty quickly. We can discuss which images work for the project, and I can put them into final production right away. And this is all done without the risk of sending original film.
Shortened Project Delivery Times : Digital Capture consolidates the production of images. The Digital Photographer is able to provide a product ready to be dropped into a document, and sent to a printer for final settings and output. This could easily remove 6 messenger fees and the associated time delay from a project. And in many cases, the entire delivery of images can be done electronically.
Reduced Liability : Clients frequently accept large potential liabilities when they take responsibility for original film. The liability for loss or damage of the image is no longer a consideration with digital capture and delivery.