What Is The Difference Between Digital X-Ray And Normal X-Ray?

digital x-ray

Being one of the oldest and widely-used diagnostic techniques, x-ray imaging has proved to be valuable in identifying and screening a wide range of health issues. As the healthcare industry experienced massive advancements and traditional methods were enhanced through automated processes, radiography too was digitalized.

The emergence of innovative solutions streamlined the radiography landscape and enabled the healthcare sector to maximize the efficiency of the services they offer. In this blog, we’ll talk about conventional and digital x-rays, their differences, benefits, and limitations. 

Image Acquisition

Conventional X-rays

In conventional radiography, an image is acquired by exposing a film to x-rays which are then developed using some chemicals to get the final clear image. A manual cassette and automatic processor is utilized in this process which takes about 2-3 minutes depending on the quality of the processor. The final image is permanent and non-adjustable.

Digital X-rays 

In digital x-rays, an electronic detector is used instead of cassettes. These detectors are directly connected with computer systems which is why images are displayed directly taking mere seconds for the whole process.

While this greatly improves the overall efficiency of medical processes, the time savings are possibly less important in most veterinary practices. Conventional radiology systems have identical data input, image editing, and archiving. While most digital radiology systems are designed for stationary use, mobile units that consist of a detector device connected to a laptop computer are also available.


Conventional X-rays

Cassettes, films, chemicals, and automatic processors have low initial costs, but ongoing costs, especially for films and chemicals, including safe disposal of used goods, are higher than digital systems. Indirect costs may arise as a result of the time spent maintaining equipment and acquiring photographs, such as repeated exposures from undiagnostic radiographs and retrieving images from the archive.

Digital X-rays 

Depending on the particular practice’s needs and the device selected, the cost of a CR or DR system may be significantly higher. Although the initial costs of CR x ray services are lower than those of a DR system, the phosphor plates have a limited lifespan and must be replaced more often as compared to DR detector systems. 

However, if all digital systems are operated without film, long-term savings may be important. While laser film can be used to print digital images, it is relatively costly, slow to print, and requires storage.

Viewing Radiographs

Conventional X-rays

Traditional films need the help of a magnifying glass and/or a bright light to be seen.

Measurements and angles may be written on the radiograph, but they are, more often than not, permanent. Traditional films have the advantage of being relatively easy to manage and turn around on the viewing box for contrast.

In addition, if a large enough screening box is open, a large number of films can be watched at the same time. Another benefit of traditional radiography is that the patient’s anatomy is depicted on a reasonably true scale, while mild magnification is common depending on the thickness of the region of interest and the object film width.

Digital X-rays 

Radiographs may be seen on a computer screen or can be printed on film. Zooming, adjusting contrast and latitude, flipping and rotation, and greyscale inversion are just some of the ways digital images can be manipulated on the display. Measurements and angles can be recorded and saved on the image, which can also be viewed without them.

Photos, on the other hand, cannot be switched between as easily as actual films, and the picture size is constrained by display size – a major drawback when viewing several radiographs. Unless the size of a digital image is defined, the final size of the digital image is not known.

Image Quality

Conventional X-rays

When it comes to the quality of images, conventional and digital x-rays have a stark difference.

When high-quality, well-maintained traditional systems and digital radiography are compared, the diagnostic quality of the resulting images is nearly identical. In reality, traditional systems with good spatial resolution have a slight advantage. In fact, poor radiographic quality of traditional radiographs is frequently caused by operator error (such as over or underexposure) and poor equipment maintenance (especially underdevelopment).

Another drawback to the traditional film is that contrast and latitude are inversely proportional, meaning that a high-contrast picture is immediately correlated with a low greyscale. The type of film, processing, and exposure factors all affect image contrast and latitude, with high KV settings resulting in a relatively low-contrast image and low KV settings resulting in a higher contrast image.

Digital X-rays 

The best thing about digital x-rays is that it is not completely dependent on the exposure. The dynamic range of DR allows a wide range of exposure settings which dramatically reduces the issue of poor exposure. DR results in high contrast x-ray imaging as it has an independent relationship with main imagery settings.

Digital radiography uses a fast affordable imaging process to provide immediate results, allowing for faster and more effective patient diagnosis and care. The picture on the receptor is easily captured by the optical x-ray in the Edison system. Unlike conventional films, which must go through a lengthy chemical process to produce the final effects, it is immediately uploaded to the viewing station. Unlike conventional films, which must go through a lengthy chemical process before they can be made. The digital image could then be distributed through the affected workstations, resulting in a significant increase in workflow performance.

Radiation Safety

Conventional X-rays

The film is used in traditional radiography to obtain accurate photographs of the internal organs of the body. However, since technicians can under or overexpose the film, this method is susceptible to human error. Without a good radiographic technique, the number of repeated x-rays can be increased because of mismanaged exposure selection. 

Digital X-rays 

Digital x-ray systems are said to emit up to 80% less radiation than conventional x-ray systems, according to medical reports. While most healthcare professionals consider conventional x-rays to be safe, digital x-rays significantly reduce the risk. The odds of a patient having a health problem as a result of wireless x-ray radiation are extremely slim.

Fast Image Sharing

A significant benefit of digital x-ray equipment over conventional equipment is the ability to easily exchange images around workstations, allowing you to diagnose and treat your patients more quickly. Instead of traveling to and meeting your doctor in person to show them the x-ray files, you can post them online and get opinions from various medical professionals at the same time. As a medical professional, you don’t need to meet with each patient personally to review their x-ray reports; instead, you can do so when working on another project online.

As a result, digital x-ray technology in New Jersey machines makes the operation faster, more interactive, and more effective than ever before!

To put it succinctly, digital x-rays are unquestionably a disruptive force in the medical sector, providing a plethora of significant benefits. Though the benefits mentioned above are numerous, there are several more, making digital x-ray services the talk of the town; if you haven’t yet updated your hospital or clinic with Edison technology digital x-ray, do so because it’s better to be late than never innovating!


The digital revolution has taken almost all industry sectors by storm. Its integration in the medical sectors has ensured that healthcare systems are interoperable, modern, and enhanced by a larger degree. 

Whether it’d be digital x-rays, automated surgeries, or artificial joints, the medical industry has a lot more potential to be efficient, robust, and accessible.  Digital x-rays being efficient, have laid down the path for a whole lot of traditional methods to be automated. The evolution of technology every day allows game-changing advancements to the medical sector.



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