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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old January 25th, 2012, 01:58 PM   #1
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f3 to cinema conversion

This might be an stupid question, but why does the f3 has a maxium 1080p res. if it has a super 35 mm? can't the 35mm handle 2k? and also, what would happen if i transfered my finished movie to 35 mm for cinema projection? would it look like crap? what if i sent it for digital projection on a 2k theatre?
I do expect to make a feature soon (with a small budget nevertheless) and I want an Epic just because the 4k-5k resolution, cause I think it would look better on a theatre, but maybe I'm wrong?
I borrowed an F3 for a few days and i loved how it handles light and the overall workflow.

So, if I'm doing cinema the Epic it is??
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Old January 25th, 2012, 02:08 PM   #2
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Vedder View Post
I do expect to make a feature soon (with a small budget nevertheless) and I want an Epic just because the 4k-5k resolution, cause I think it would look better on a theatre, but maybe I'm wrong?
There is a fellow named George Lucas who shot a couple of films a couple of years ago which were shown theatrically you may have heard of that were shot at 1080P.

Star Wars Episode 2 and 3.

I think you'll be okay.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 02:26 PM   #3
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

1080p is the vertical figure for both 2k and HDTV, the difference being 2k give a 1.85 aspect ratio. The resolution difference between the two isn't noticeable and many successful high end films have been shot using HD horizontal resolution.

The Epic should be selected because it gives the images you want not just on the 4K resolution. DPs select the Alexa and it's not 4K, but because it gives the look that want to tell the story.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

The F3 shoots 1.92K versus 2k for theatrical.

You won't see the difference.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 05:15 AM   #5
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

Many movie theaters which have been converted to digital - also high-end ones - (only) have 2k DLP projectors . I totally deplore this conversion and it makes acquisition format partly irrelevant. Capabilities other than resolution become important.

I recently saw «A Dangerous Method», shot in s35, in an upscale but 2k digital theater - the pixels on the screen were like sugar cubes. The tickets cost 15 Euros apiece. Popcorn was another 10. Arrrgh. I wonder how long the public will go for such a poor experience, at such a price. My own projection gear does way better.

So rest assured - 2k will be plenty for your film. And good luck.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 08:31 AM   #6
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

Thanks everyone for the reply. I appreciate it!

So Claude, you say it looked so bad in that 2k projector. Did anyone complained?? I mean, besides you? Sometimes I get the feeling that you could give people a handycam movie and they wouldn't know the difference... that makes me sad haha.

And the star wars saga done in 1080... I didn't know that. I knew it was digital, but no idea it was 1080.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 08:35 AM   #7
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

Most of the big award winning digital films (so far) have almost all been shot in 1080p. Avatar, Slum Dog Millionaire, Benjamin Button, etc. Most people aren't even aware they were shot in 1080p.

Further, the majority of theaters that have digital projection had 2k projectors because most finish is to 2k no matter what they were shot in. The finish is still mostly 2k being shown on the 4k projectors.

Award winners shot in 4k-5k, not so much. Maybe the Hobit has a shot, we'll see.

The most important thing to remember is; Resolution does not tell a story.

Plus your leading ladies tend to get a little pissy when you can see every blemish and wrinkle. (I actually had one complain about it recently. LOL)
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Old January 27th, 2012, 09:46 AM   #8
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

Agreed that a good screenplay is the most important element in a film.

And we agree on the other point, namely that 2k as an acquisition format is fine. Personally, I like the lower-resolution 720/24p a lot. Brian is right, the acquisition format should reflect the feel you want.

Theatrical exhibition is another story. Two of the films which Duke is referring to are action-packed, and the second went for that authentic handycam look, where resolution gets drowned out by movement. whereas the one I mentioned is dialogue-heavy grand cinema with slow pans and leisurly mcu's in dialogues, and the lack of resolution is very noticeable.

So, when all sorts of movies end up in the same 2k projector, some fare better than others.

Can we change it ? Unlikely. Can we directors of smaller-budget films profit from it ? Very likely, yes indeed, because our acquisition format is now again an exhibition format, and the distributor's financial risk on edgier films is very much smaller.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 10:37 AM   #9
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

No arguing about the story. The star wars movies are the embodiment of that sentence. Worst waste of money and talent ever.

Still it's a personal taste. Or maybe it has to do with the fact that a lot of the movies/shows I really like go the extra mile in the photo department... and so maybe i think it's an important part of a good movie, that the images get as perfect as they can
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Old January 28th, 2012, 11:29 AM   #10
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

"Going that extra mile" is likely not a function of resolution, it's just quality cinematography. It would be interesting if you compiled a list of the recent movies you admired visually and researched if any of them were shot 1080 (or on RED, for that matter). Might surprise you.

I'm spending days in a high-end post suite right now color correcting F3 footage and the colorist agrees that the camera looks amazingly good (it's his first time seeing F3 s-log). From what I'm looking at on a top-end 50" display, I'd feel very comfortable having that footage projected in a theater.

There are far more important factors than resolution when it comes to quality of images, and I think it's very wrong to get hung up on that. If the money you used on your film to rent an Epic vs a less expensive camera could be put up there on screen in other ways, it's a good chance those factors would make more of a cumulative difference to the look of the film (I'm talking production design, wardrobe, lighting package, camera support package, more experienced crew etc).
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Old January 29th, 2012, 01:31 AM   #11
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

I absolutely agree Charles! And recent things I liked... photography-wise speaking... The tree of life was amazing and I heard they did that with only natural light... then again Lubezki is from another planet... I loved the Quantum of Solace photo, Sherlock Holmes was pretty damn good too. There be dragons is a very weak movie but the dp did wonders there... I really have no idea what they used with any of those. Except for the quantum of solace (red, and why i got interested in red in the first place).

Of course you'll get squat if you don't use proper light, angles, framings, filters, etc. and you guys did answer my question, so thanks for that.

Still, all things being equal, would you go for an epic or an f3? imagine that you have... i don't know, 80k to spend. And I know it's a matter of personal taste and the project, but i'd like to hear you personal opinion on the matter
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Old January 29th, 2012, 02:39 AM   #12
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

80K? Right now, the answer would be Alexa. I'm interested in seeing what the F65 will do, but I think it's a good year away from being a mature product.

If you are talking a complete shooting package for 80K, then it would be trickier.
As noted above I'm a fan of the F3, but I'm also curious about the C300 (although my version of a shooting package is perhaps more elaborate than most--$80K wouldn't cover the lens package, by a long shot). I have to admit that I'm perpetually fascinated by the idea of a camera that is more sensitive than the human eye. My adventures with the 1DMKIV over the past few years were, uh, illuminating.

If you can guess that I'm not a RED fan--you'd be right. I've been burned one way or another over the past few years. I'm willing to test the EPIC though. I have a feature coming up in the spring and it's on my list.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 07:40 AM   #13
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

Of course you must also consider the recording medium and post production workflow. There have been many on a budget that have purchased Epic's but then found the workflow to be too time consuming (and thus expensive) for their requirements. The F3's workflow can be very simple.

I'm shooting up in the arctic at the moment. The F3 is a very good fit for what I am doing. Like Charles I'm also curious about the C300. But I really don't think that an Epic would work as well for what I am doing. Not saying there is anything wrong with Epic, but I just would not be able to carry enough batteries for the extended shooting periods in remote locations that I am currently having to deal with.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 11:28 AM   #14
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

+1 Alister

Recording medium cost and recording time.
Battery cost and recording time.
Low light abilities or lack thereof.
Investment amount vs versatility to earn back the investment. (What kinds of projects is it good for?)
File storage space and playback speed. (Raid0 or RedRocket Card needed?)
Post production workflow and speed.

[pardon the bad grammar]
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Old January 29th, 2012, 12:59 PM   #15
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Re: f3 to cinema conversion

yeah well being that i'm in an f3 forum i don't expect to have people going crazy about the epic (Still a lot more open to discuss that the people in the red forums... those guys are... really passionate about red). I've read a lot about it and... it's hard to find an honest opinion, mainly because it's either a red fan or a movie that choose to use red so they're gonna say it's the best thing ever. I did found a review from some guy (maybe here?) comparing the f3 vs the epic vs... a dslr?? can't remember the third one. He said the f3 was better at low light (and it is amazing there) and the epic delivered the prettiest images. Of course there's a big price gap there too.

I guess I'd like to rephrase my question: if you had 80k to buy equipment to shoot a small budget feature (and then use it for tv spots and rentals) would you go for a super equipped f3, an epic with the basics (the package plus the prime set), an almost bare alexa, or the canon super equipped like the f3? or even go crazy and try to score a deal with sony and the f65?

If Alister would like to reply, pretend that you're not going to the artic every other weekend!! I believe for you the f3 is a super obvious choice.
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