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Old September 7th, 2005, 06:48 AM   #1
 
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The Real Issue Regarding "Film Look"

Here is a link, http://www.hpaonline.com/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=236, to a downloadable paper on the Hollywood Post Alliance web site that accurately discusses the real "difference" between the look of film and video. Hint: It has to do with the photographic characteristics between film emulsions and CCDs.

The paper discusses an experiment by Eastman Kodak "showing high definition video delivering a dynamic highlight range relative to an 18% gray of no more than 3 to 4 stops; compared to the 15.9 stops of some color negative stocks."

Hope you enjoy the paper.

Jay
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Old September 7th, 2005, 10:42 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
Here is a link, http://www.hpaonline.com/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=236, to a downloadable paper on the Hollywood Post Alliance web site that accurately discusses the real "difference" between the look of film and video. Hint: It has to do with the photographic characteristics between film emulsions and CCDs.

The paper discusses an experiment by Eastman Kodak "showing high definition video delivering a dynamic highlight range relative to an 18% gray of no more than 3 to 4 stops; compared to the 15.9 stops of some color negative stocks."

Hope you enjoy the paper.

Jay
Very good stuff.
Thanks
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Old September 7th, 2005, 11:22 AM   #3
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Thanks for the link, Jay.

Something that still confounds me is why, as the paper points out, a broadcast display is unable to reproduce the complete dynamic range of extended range video rendering it somewhat muted/low contrast in appearance, yet film transferred to tape shown on the same display will retain much of its dynamic range and still appear contrasty, not flat.
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Old September 7th, 2005, 01:35 PM   #4
 
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Charles, I've wondered the same thing myself on a number of occasions. Doesn't seem to make any sense, does it?

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Old September 7th, 2005, 02:06 PM   #5
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Maybe you answered your own question. Maybe it's not the tape or vcr heads (they're only used in recording) but the ccd's. I've often wondered that myself.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 06:28 AM   #6
 
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Gary, according to the paper, it's more an issue with the monitor's standards.

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Old September 30th, 2005, 10:23 PM   #7
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This is proably just propaganda from Kodak.

Even if it is true, with the advances in digital it will soon be obsolete.

TOTEM: Does anyone know the bitrate of digibeta, im shooting 50mbit xdcam at work, and im wondering whats better

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Old October 20th, 2005, 11:41 AM   #8
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This is proably just propaganda from Kodak.
TOTEM: Does anyone know the bitrate of digibeta, im shooting 50mbit xdcam at work, and im wondering whats better
90 Mbit/s.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 02:35 PM   #9
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Given that D-SLRs produce better looking images than their 35mm counterparts, I'd say that saying that the CCDs are the issue is a bit of bunk.

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Old October 26th, 2005, 10:56 AM   #10
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Given that D-SLRs produce better looking images than their 35mm counterparts, I'd say that saying that the CCDs are the issue is a bit of bunk.

Graeme

Whaaaaaaaaaahhhhh?
Now I agree that D-SLR's have their advantage in some characteristics, but. . . well that is just completley subjective isn't it? an 8MP camera may retain finner resolution, but 35mm film still has greater dynamic range. Graeme, I just don't understand how you can make such a 1 sided statement. I have yet to see any instances where my D-SLR will outperform (imagewise) my 35mm cameras, or my medium format cameras. It looks different, but Better? hmmmmmm, I don't think so.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 11:07 AM   #11
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Subjective, perhaps? But many have compared a decent D-SLR to scanned 35mm and the D-SLR image is better in every respect - lower noise, higher resolution etc. As for dynamic range, it's always something that's tricky to measure, but to me, for all practical purposes 35mm is noise limited in it's dynamic range, and has a non-linear transfer curve that gives it a highlight advantage, if you accept that what it's recording as highlight information is not accurate, but instead good looking. So yes, I'd certainly say D-SLR is better than 35mm, but that doesn't mean you would! I'll have to do a look around and see who's done any dyanamic range studies and see if they enlighten us further....

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Old October 26th, 2005, 12:55 PM   #12
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As soon as there's such a thing as a high-definition 1.38" CCD, it's all over.
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Old October 30th, 2005, 07:07 PM   #13
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That's true. To compare motion picture film to "video" isn't even a complete statement. Which "video" are we talking about? It may be true that current crop of 4:1:1 and 4:2:0 miniDV (or even HDV or HD), formats don't retain the dynamic range of 35 and 16mm motion picture film, but that doesn't mean all digital video formats are just as limited due to being digital video.

Video as we dvinfo'ers know it isn't inferior to film solely because it's video.

Once data storage (hard drives, P2 chips, and the like) and CCD/CMOS chips come down in price, "video" will be a different thing.




As for D-SLR's being inferior to 35mm or medium format, that's another half-statement. Some D-SLR's are inferior, sure. But at the higher end of the spectrum it's an undisputable fact that digital is superior to film. Viz: The 20-22 megapixel backs for >35mm formats, etc.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 04:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
Thanks for the link, Jay.

Something that still confounds me is why, as the paper points out, a broadcast display is unable to reproduce the complete dynamic range of extended range video rendering it somewhat muted/low contrast in appearance, yet film transferred to tape shown on the same display will retain much of its dynamic range and still appear contrasty, not flat.
I think it has to do with the way colors and brightness are handled in the medium.
Film always seem to follow an S-like curve whereas video is more of a straight
line. As soon as you start playing with that the look definitely changes and
seems to give a more rich contrast versus a low one with sort of a gray layer
on top of it.

I could be way off base here, however....
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Old November 11th, 2005, 11:23 AM   #15
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I like the workflow of digital-"anything" better than film, mostly because I'm a new-age guy who's grown up with everything being digital. I never took a photo class in high school or college (yet) where you actually have to use film and develop it manually and whatnot. My upcoming cinematography class requires a 35mm camera, whether I can use a digital one (ie. Canon EOS20D or Digital RebelXT), or not I have no idea at the moment.

With all of this said, however, I would still prefer film over digital. Why film? Well, I'm not one for specifics and technical terms, but with my trained eyes I can see the quality difference between film and HD video. Was Lord of the Rings filmed in HD? No. Was the Matrix trilogy filmed in HD? No again. Was Sin City filmed in HD? Yes, it sure was. But what is the difference between those films? The only difference is the directors. Sin City looked great, it was gritty, yet clear, dark, yet bright, and all the while being very detailed. The Matrix and LOTR films had their own looks as well, utterly amazing. But Sin City was different in that the director (Robert Rodriguez right?) has had a lot of experience with HD. Certainly his films turned out much better looking than the new Star Wars films did (minus Phantom Menace as that was apparently filmed with film) because he's used HD more often than George Lucas has. Spy Kids, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, third time's the charm, eh?

Still, why go with film? That's just it, Robert Rodriguez had to practice, practice, practice, and upgrade too, before he got HD down to formula. With film, you don't need to practice, practice, practice, the film will look good no matter what (well, you could over/underexpose it, drop it, burn it, or something, I'm not trying to sell you film for 48 easy payments of $99.99 here, I'm trying to make a point >=D ) and you ultimately get more flexibility in post and while filming. Film, as far as I can tell, is told what light it can see via the DP, while HD tells the DP what it can see via the hidden machine AI that will rule over all of us one day until the coming of The One, Bob. HD, for me, is fine, it will probably be what I use until I can make it big and can afford the process of film-based filmmaking. But when I look to the future, all I can see, or maybe all I want to see, is film as that will be the "only" tool for me to create my vision.

That's my view on it, both are good, one's not going to overtake the other, one may be used less or more often than the other but they'll still be around for a long time.
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