My experience is totally opposite--RAW is a big time saver over scanning film. After color calibrating ACR to my cameras, getting color right is usually a simple matter of selecting a white balance, and making creative color tweaks is easy when starting from a neutral/accurate color palette. In many cases, I can apply settings from one hand-tweaked image to several RAWs, and let the computer fuss over the details while I do other stuff.
I did mention that digital is a big time saver over scanning film and totally agree. Whether digital is a time saver for the photographer depends on the photographic discipline and client's requirements
. Prior to digital scanners 35mm film was less time consuming to use as a sports photographer. I only had to dupe, mount and add a couple of lines of caption to make a living. After the busiest of golf tournaments, such as the Open Championship and Ryder Cup, I could get the film processed, duped, mounted and captioned by late afternoon, and by the skin of my teeth post the dupes the same day to various foreign magazines - all monthly magazines.Time can cost money but it is also precious.
Whilst the lab was processing my films I was free to relax or get on with other work - often washing my clothes ready to jet off to another event. Recuperating after walking an Open championship course for six days (includes practice days) laden like a pack mule (600mm, 300mm + two zooms) and concentrating on squeezing the best possible images out of lousy backgrounds is taxing and requires some rest, regardless of mental and physical fitness. I took a pedometer with me to St Andrews during the 2000 Open Championship and recorded 11.7 miles in one day alone. Fortunately I can wind myself up and keep walking for many more miles but still require a breather.
I don't consider being sat in front of a computer, dealing with several hundred images, relaxing or resting, it's a processing chore to render stock images into shape, no matter how pleasing the material is. I prefer to light the subject and create the look in camera without the requirement for a computer - there is no acceptable digital solution capable of this to date AFAIK . With Velvia an image style was predictable and took less time than digital to develop as the look was created by the quality of light chosen (natural, artificial or a combination of both) in relation to the film's properties, the processing chore was thankfully not mine. As an example I attach a standard 'bread an butter' image captured on Velvia that has the same blacks present on the original slide - the background was a distracting set of bushes banished by a combination of reflectors and Velvia's high contrast characteristics. I accept that I can achieve this simple effect, and almost 'any' effect that I desire with digital but it's not as instant as exposing film as I must sit in front of a computer to accomplish it. This style of photography was totally predictable with film through experience.
When you photograph a sporting event that has a playing arena spread over a great distance the lighting angles, direction, and colour temperature will be all over the shop. This is regardless of careful planning to gain knowledge of the venue, backgrounds presented, best lighting gained from the angle of the sun (good and bad) for subject and background and predicting where interesting moments might occur. These factors, regardless of software skills, applying pre sets and batch processing, demand a brutal amount of time
being sat at a computer.
I have been calibrating my cameras since Tom For's kindly released his free ACR calibration tool, some 5 years or more, and have spent countless hours in the last 12 years digging ever deeper into colour management and digital workflows. I still use light meters, (calibrated to my sensor) to nail the exposure accurately to speed up batch processing but this still only provides me with a RAW file exposed to 255 or intentionally over exposed by +1/3 - 2/3rds as a starting point only. I am still left with a flat lack lustre RAW image (a good thing to be flat but diametrically opposite to my tastes) that requires massaging to my preferred look, sure I can use RAW pre-sets but I am also spoilt by the ability in Photoshop to further tweak the image.
The digital process required to furnish a high quality image reminds me of applying metadata as an analogy - I can add a basic template to the whole shoot (akin to camera profile and colour temp across all images), apply competitor's names in batches and keyword pre-sets (RAW exposure settings applied to similar camera exposures) but I will still have to apply specific keywords to certain images and not others (Brush tool in Lightroom and/or layers in photoshop) - tedious time consuming but necessary tasks.
At a golf tournament snappers used to finish around 8p.m. and then meet up at a local restaurant for sustenance and to relax. These days agency photographers are often still sat in the media centre sorting and captioning images. For a colleague of mine who lives out of a suitcase he has a constant battle keeping hard drives free of space and captioning images until late at night in his hotel room to be clear for the next shoot - before digital he merely sent the film back to his well staffed agency and his task was completed! He also detests the additional routine processing chores that digital photography demands.
Computers are a bind if you shoot several hundred images over several days and your DNA dictates a goal to provide quality images.
I would imagine that most photojournalists prefer digital. They don't need to carry chemicals and a scanner around in an additional suitcase, or rely on the wife's hairdryer to dry their film.