There's two types of color film: Color reversal film and color negative film. Both have their unique qualities, pros, and cons. Here's a quick overview:
Color Reversal Film: Color reversal negatives, sometimes called slide film looks exactly like what you shot in your viewfinder. They're colorful, crisp, and ready to be enlarged. There's nothing more exciting than looking at your negatives on a lightbox and seeing that rich thumbnail-of-an-image. Color reversal film is processed with a technique called E6. Make sure your lab gets this right. The pros of color reversal film is the magnificent, rich, and spot-on quality of color this film produces. Film has a wonderful ability to capture color as our eyes see it; color reversal film is the best and closest rendering of what our eyes see. Digital images do not stand a chance next to this type of film. The cons of color reversal film is its unforgiving nature. If your exposure is off by even 1/3 of a stop, it's hard to correct it in the darkroom, or after it's scanned. Precision is key with this type of film.
Color Negative Film: Opposite of color reversal film, this color film is the forgiver. Like a black and white negative, these negatives have a lot of room for error. The latitude of exposure is enormous. What does that mean? Let's say you set your camera to automatic exposure and the camera overexposes the image. What now? A color negative film can be off by as much as 3 stops and you can still salvage a photo worthy of a professional print. For some photographers, this margin of error forgiveness is crucial to their work. The downside of color negative film is that it doesn't match the quality and richness of color produced by reversal film. That's high bar to reach, however. This type of film still matches, if not surpasses, the quality of digital. Its incredible latitude is what lets it push around digital. Have you ever heard: "Shoot in RAW, you can correct it in Photoshop"? Yeah right, shoot a color negative film and we'll talk about that statement. Don't even get me started on this films incredible ability to capture highlights.