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Old March 23rd, 2006, 05:44 PM   #1
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HD vs. 35mm film: Comforting to know

http://filmschoolonline.com/sample_l...HD_vs_35mm.htm

Makes me that much more giddy about my hopeful FX1 purchase...
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 05:55 PM   #2
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This discussion neglects to talk about exposure latitude, but that's a moot point unless you can afford to shoot and edit film. In any case, the FX1 is a fine camera for the price and you should have fun shooting with it.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 05:58 PM   #3
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Yup. Seen that chart before. And there is some truth to it.

What they are leaving out is the PERCEIVED LOSS OF RESOLUTION for HD projection. The assumption is that DIGITAL IS PURE...and is projected that way.

Why is that? I've seen HD projectors that are poorly aligned, improperly calibrated and have filthy lenses...(Go to a film festival that has a digital projector and watch the filmmakers complain about how poorly set up the projector was... for THEIR film.) Not to mention bad digital 'copies' with artifacts. When (not IF) theatres finally go digital, I predict a degredation in projection images, based on the assumption... "Hey, it's digital, just turn it on and let it run".

The higher the resolution you start with, the higher the resolution you wind up with on a properly set up and run projector... Film OR Video.

Not arguing that Digital HD is not the wave of the future, just saying this argument is a bit of a straw man.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 11:14 AM   #4
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One must also consider that every 35mm motion picture camera will produce essentially the same images assuming they are using the same lens; HD incorporates a broad family of cameras and imagers with HDV systems at the bottom end, thus one cannot expect to shoot the same image with a $4000 camcorder as one can get with a high end HD system.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 01:55 PM   #5
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Hollywood cares... MOST of the business is still very focused on film as the acquisition format. Even though more projects are being shot on digital, they are being shot on very very high end digital that in the end, costs nearly as much as film. Before you can even begin to phase out film in any big way, the delivery format will have to change. Once the main delivery format is digital, be it satellite broadcast to theaters, HDDs, whatever... you might see the larger transition to digital acquisition.

As I always say, people tend to falsely believe that the main limiting factor into breaking into Hollywood is the cost of film, when in fact, that is the furthest from the truth. The limiting factor is your own talent, quality script and above all else, known marketable actors.

Will digital help more people make movies? Absolutely but only a minute fraction will ever get distributed. It is the same thing that the music industry has gone thru. In the last 15 years the cost of recording/producing/manufacturing CDs has dropped from about $250,000 to literally a few thousand dollars. The result? A few great bands arose that we would have never heard of, but that is tempered with THOUSANDS of terrible bands with awful CD's.

I think the movie biz will follow the music biz in that, the studios will see the no-budget movies made by some as a "demo" and sign them on to do a studio picture, not decide to release and promote their indie movie.




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Old March 24th, 2006, 04:43 PM   #6
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Film isn't going anywhere for a long long time. If anything, improved digital technologies will deliver a better 'film' experience from film sourced material.
People still paint on canvas, use non digital still cameras, read books printed on paper...vhs players didn't destroy cinemas..Pagemaker didn't cast down the publishing power houses it became part of them, there is still a market for super8mm cameras...

Even with higher cost, as long as talented creative people want to use it, it will be around. It's simply to beautiful to ignore.

Just because I can't afford it doesn't make something go away.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 06:02 PM   #7
 
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Actually, with the new high speed scanners, film is potentially cheaper than dig in some aspects. Was surprised to learn that during an interview with a gentleman from a transfer house.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 08:14 PM   #8
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I've always stuck by the doctrine I was taught.

No matter what happens, digital will always be a pixel. Whereas film will work on a microscopic level, and the art is in how you paint that picture.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 09:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carney
People still paint on canvas, use non digital still cameras, read books printed on paper...vhs players didn't destroy cinemas..Pagemaker didn't cast down the publishing power houses it became part of them, there is still a market for super8mm cameras...
Film photography is rapidly vanishing from the face of the Earth, and for the most part only big-budget movies are shot on film these days. Once most movie theaters convert to digital projection this debate will pretty much be over, because any benefit of shooting film will be lost by the time it gets to viewers anyway. Plus with projects like the Andromeda kit for the DVX100A we see that digital solutions can be pushed to yield some of the characteristics of film, and this will only improve with dropping prices over time. Film is an expensive, impractical, non-durable and environmentally unfriendly way of recording either still or moving images, and deserves to fade into oblivion for all but the most determined artistes among us. Good for them for keeping their art alive, but say goodbye to film as a widely used tool.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 01:54 PM   #10
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I know thats the common wisdom Kevin, and I know 'film' photography is mostly going away, of course all the consumers who buy those throw away cameras still signify a big chunk of the market.
Film as a motion capture medium isn't going anywhere for at least a decade.

Distribution going digital will remove most of the costs of using film (making prints for distribution is THE major cost factor for film these days.) And new film stocks last quite a long time. Digital storage is only rated for 75 years, so we better find something better real soon now.

As far as these new high end digital movie cameras? I have a wait and see attitude about them. Maybe they'll make film cameras affordable for the rest of us, hehehe.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #11
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Most movie theaters cant begin to afford to switch over... it is further off than you think. Yes, Hollywood is still the main user of film but when film finally becomes the exception, not the norm, it will be million dollar video cameras, not 1/3" CCD cameras that replace the film cameras. There is a common massive misperception that resolution is THE factor...



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Old March 27th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carney
Film as a motion capture medium isn't going anywhere for at least a decade.
It was less than ten years ago that the first affordable digital still cameras appeared, and at the time most photographers dismissed them as a fad which would never affect them. Today Nikon has nearly stopped making still film cameras, Konica-Minolta has left the camera business, and most professsional photographers are adopting digital photography. Probably few videographers in business today have ever shot anything on film, and even George Lucas considers digital cinema good enough for his purposes.

Ten years is a very long time in technology terms these days, and if most movies are shot and delivered digitally ten years from now that shouldn't come as a big surprise to anyone.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 06:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
when film finally becomes the exception, not the norm, it will be million dollar video cameras, not 1/3" CCD cameras that replace the film cameras. There is a common massive misperception that resolution is THE factor...
Film is already the exception for anything other than big-budget Hollywood movies, which obviously require something better than an inexpensive camcorder for best results. But consider the Canon XLH1 or the Andromeda kit for the DVX100: both offer sub-$10K options for producing impressive video quality. Then you've got the Sony XDCAM HD and similarly priced JVC HDV camera, plus whatever else we'll be hearing about in the next year or two. Resolution isn't the only thing which matters for making high quality motion pictures, but it's a big step in the right direction for high definition to suddenly become affordable for all of us. I've seen images from an XLH1 displayed through a theater-quality projector, and that looked fine on a big wall-sized screen.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 06:25 PM   #14
 
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While the HDV camcorders look great when projected to 60' on a good projector, I think Ash' point is that it's not going to be 10,000.00 rigs that Hollywood or even MOW's are using. However, "million dollar" is also a stretch. Even a ViperStream isn't that much with a full fridge storage system, and even then, only rental houses buy these sorts of cams.

2/3" cams, 1/2" will be and are, finding their way onto sets of MOW's regularly. That said, a SciFi channel piece was just finished here with Lee Majors, (6 million$$ man) and all the crash cams were Z1's, as well as they were shooting Z1 as a "second cam" on the set with Panavision. Heaven only knows what they'll be doing with it, but I'm sure you'll see some intercutting.

1/3 cams in the hands of a shooter who really knows it will keep finding its way to the big screen, but the majority of it will be much larger cams with much better lenses, just like it always has been. The 1/3 cam will always be the "Wow! You shot this with THAT?! cam" and not the "Yeah, everybody is doing it" cam.
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Old March 29th, 2006, 01:38 PM   #15
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Correct Douglas... When Hollywood does fully migrate, it will be to FULL FRAME censors that will use existing glass, filters, etc. Again, people are fixated on resolution but a sensor/codec/etc. is only as good as the glass you put in front of it and quality HD glass will never come down in price, at least not to any reasonable level.

I use the music industry as a benchmark. Technology has made it possible for people to record albums on their home computers for almost no budget. Look at the top 200 albums from last year and the average budget was over $200K. There ARE exceptions but even in an all digital music world, people are using high end pro-tools HD systems, still using some analog tape, gear, etc. For about 10 years average Joe has been able to technically approach the audio recording abilities of the major label studios, it hasnt changed the industry or dynamic much at all. Again, there HAVE been some great bands who have broken out this way but they are the teeny minority.



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