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HD and UHD ( 2K+ ) Digital Cinema
Various topics: HD, UHD (2K / 4K) Digital Cinema acquisition to distribution.


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Old April 11th, 2009, 03:10 PM   #1
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Digital Cinema Vs Super 16/35mm film

What influences your decision to choose either formats? benefits and negatives of formats.

Whats the best camera you've used? be it digital or film

what do you see for the future of both formats?

discuss.
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Old April 12th, 2009, 01:29 AM   #2
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the endless debate.

I personally love my RED One camera so I am obviously biased. It doesn't look exactly like film. It has its own look but it comes close in many ways and exceeds in some. I love the immediacy, run and gun play back, the price obviously and many other things. What I don't like is the naysayers who pounce if anything slightly goes wrong or the haters who want to demean my attempts (or the attempts of my colleagues) to make art but do it with a digital tool. Let's face it though, with an HD professional video camera and a DOF adapter you can already make some pretty stunning images at SD levels if you are careful. The RED just improves on that ability. Also people compare the RED image to that of well lit, professionally shot, expensively photochemically or digitally graded film and say that it looks great. well yeah, I would hope to shout that it does. But like I said that type of post production handling doesn't come cheap. 35mm film that is shot in an average manner that doesn't get good treatment in post might not look that good at all but no one ever talks about that. They look at that type of scenario all the time with respect to footage they see from the UHD crowd but not what they see from film.

To return to my original comment though I have two Z1U's and I think the 60i quasi HD picture from those is NO match for the RED at HD resolutions. check out my simple side by side here if you want a demo. Red One Camera Test
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Old April 13th, 2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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wow yeh RED looks the winner there. I am currently in university and we use Sony V1's mostly for what we do i think their great lil numbers.
That test you've done really shows the difference tho but as the study I am undertaking is to focus on the benefits and negatives of both 35mm film and digital I was wondering has anyone ever done a test like Justin's with 35mm Film up against the likes of a RED or Genesis or Scarlet even?
this would prove of the utmost help for me to carry out my study :)

Last edited by Sean McCormack; April 13th, 2009 at 07:33 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 04:01 PM   #4
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Shooting on film has some artistic advantages in terms of how film responds to light compared to a digital sensor, but we can speculate that digital movie cameras will eventually be so good and so flexible that most motion pictures will be recorded digitally from the start. We saw the transition from film to digital happen for photography in about a decade, in spite of early protests from many photographers that they would never abandon film. Movies are taking a little longer because of the technical challenges of rivaling film at a recording rate of 24 fps, but we're getting close now.

Another way to look at this is to ask yourself whether you'd be more likely to invest in a company which makes film-based movie cameras, or digital ones?
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Old April 15th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #5
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There are many factors that can influence that decision, first of all the budget you have, and how much are you willing to spend on lab and prints, film is beatiful but it always is expensive if you want it to take the full advantage of it. The right format depends on your project, the kind of flexibility your looking for the production, the mood of a particular scene, or a specific shot your looking, you can end up using different digital cameras, different film stocks in the same production, and it all depends of what you want to achieve.

For example, last week we shot a commercial for the next Wolverine videogame, the DP needed very specific shots, in wich the stunt were going to be the camera operator, for that we used a SI2K mounted in a helmet, for the hand held shots he prefered to use a 416 arri, and for a couple of shots he used an Eyemo 16mm.

I tell you this because I particularly believes that is not such thing as the best camera in the market, it al depends on what you want to do. Ive used a lot of digital and film cameras, from 8mm automatic cameras, 16mm Bolex and ARRIs, 435, DV, DV Cam, Betacam, RED, SI2K, Phantom, etc....and to be honest all are the same to me, tools my final goal is within the frame and in all situations Ive been able to reach my goals, using each format benefits and limitations as aesthetic tools.

I agree with Kevin, film will move gradually to pure digital image aquisition, because of its practicality, the advantage of digital is that you can put the money in front of the camera, since production value is not on the format you use, but in the elements inside the frame. But I dont think that film will disappear since it still is the weapon of choice for a lot of cinematographers.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 05:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean McCormack View Post
wow yeh RED looks the winner there. I am currently in university and we use Sony V1's mostly for what we do i think their great lil numbers.
That test you've done really shows the difference tho but as the study I am undertaking is to focus on the benefits and negatives of both 35mm film and digital I was wondering has anyone ever done a test like Justin's with 35mm Film up against the likes of a RED or Genesis or Scarlet even?
this would prove of the utmost help for me to carry out my study :)
The BSC has run a side by side test with a number of cameras and the results should be out in the near future. If you want the digital formats to look good you have to light them with same care as film, perhaps more so because film's strength big is the dynamic range and how well it handles highlights. Although, perhaps the latter advantage does tend to get reduced with some of the digital post production processes that people use on film.

Shooting available light, film often looks stunning and atmospheric. Indeed, you can shoot film without any lights, I know one cameraman who went on to shoot TV dramas and feature film who used to shoot the local current affairs program using mostly available light on 7242 and 40. That's a 125 ASA reversal film stock ( you can force process up to 2 stops) although there was also a 400 ASA stock available as well.

Basically, if you want to make your production to look like film, the best way is actually shoot on film. Each medium has it's own characteristics and it's each person's taste which is best. It can be like comparing oil paints to acrylics, they're different media and each has it's place. There are a lot of variables and a key one is the glass you put on the camera , rather than the actual camera.
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