The whole concept of the "empty mind" for me, is what is at the core of any art, suggesting that you need to use this or that tool to achieve that zen is a highly pedestrian view of things... I rarely see digital photos that move me. Not because they are digital but because they somehow lack comittment one way or another. If there was any foundation to what your friend was telling you, for the amount of digital cameras that are now out there in the world, we'd be INUNDATED with amazing photography and I simply dont see it.
Your freedom as an artist comes from within. The only thing whatever tool you hold in your hand to realize it should do, primarily, is not get in the way. If you have a tool you arent comfortable with that tiny bit of angst for it is always going to be somehow, part of the equation when you use it. For some people this is a film camera or a digital camera or this kind of guitar or that kind of brush. If you, as the artist, cant overcome and fluidly work with the tool, you arent much of an artist. Perhaps for your friend, that was a digital camera. Its not going to be the same for everyone. To suggest a digital camera will somehow set you free is among the more absurd things Ive heard in quite a while and really goes to the core of what for me, will always be wrong with nonlinear storage systems and their interaction with the creative process.