.......snip........ For a pro who shoots high number of frames that may not be an issue. For advanced amatures it is an issue. Going digital certainly has been very significant more costly than if I would have stayed film.
For the working advertising and editorial photographer, there is no savings in film vs. digital.
I've told this story before but the only thing an assistant ever said to me that really made sense was early on with digital capture as he stood in front of his desk with two pucks around his neck, trying to calibrate two different monitors to match, he held up a roll of film and said "someday we're going to look at a single frame and say "I remember when it only cost 2 bucks to shoot this frame and process it.
When we started digital capture, learning how to profile, dam systems, work the various tethering and processing software, plus the added element of photoshop for look, retouching and effects was monumental, though every year the requirements go up, not down.
Beyond the cost of drives and all the mentioned above, (not including cameras) you have the time suck of being the asset manager, contact sheet / web gallery master, retoucher or retouch supervisor, colorist, and pre press house.
Maybe for the guys/girls that shoot retail and toss over the raws there is a savings, but for us, it grows every day and for every shoot day we have at least 3 work days of post. (at minimum). Add in motion capture and multiply that by 5.
This year alone we have about 40 terabytes shot and stored (double that with backups) and it's not just the photographers or production companies with more workload, this weekend I've had conversations and e-mails back and forth with three different clients.
Prior to the great recession, I rarely spoke to a client on a weekend and now they're pulling the same hours as us, so it's not just digital, it's the world.
Now recently we pulled our film cameras out of storage and it may be a novelty, it may be for some projects we will shoot film, which is still cost effective given the cameras last forever and labs like the Icon will batch scan for nominal fees for galleries and high rez drum scans are not that expensive given that film already has 1/2 the look baked in. With digital it's a roll your own world.
I know we won't shoot film on a multi city/country tour because I can't imagine trying to transport a large trunk of film through security anymore. It's just too much to worry about. I also don't worry about the cameras the way I use to. We carry so many, especially with the RED's and lens cases that they have to be checked. I'm not doing the trick of putting digital backs in briefcases, and splitting up equipment for every crew member before we board a plane.
Anyway, things are what they are and at least for me digital has hit a plateau where every new generation really doesn't change anything that much. I might buy a still camera this year (I doubt it), but even if I changed everything I own for the newest available, it wouldn't change the look of what I shot 10% . . . if that.
P.S. Tax savings are negligible. Unless you lease from an approved financial institution which has much higher rates, you have to amortize the purchase over a number of years.
For a lot of us, living on a coastal City, adding in state income tax, 10% sales tax, it takes a huge purchase to see it on your tax statement.