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August 23, 2013

To 4K or Not to 4K

Joe Rubinstein and his team at Digital Bolex have been developing a new, fully digital version of the most sought after 16mm camera brand in the world, the Bolex. After some lively debates on their forums, Joe decided to address a topic that he found to be particularly engaging with both fans and naysayers alike: is 4K worth it? Joe delves into what 4K is all about after the jump.

This is a guest post by Joe Rubinstein, founder of Digital Bolex.

There’s a particular discussion that has come up again and again on our Digital Bolex forum that we’ve now noticed cropping up in reactions to the footage we posted last week. So I decided to open it up here for a more public debate. To 4K or not to 4K?

CAN OF WORMS

I know that this discussion is a heated one, and there is no correct opinion. The intention of this post is to tell you about the decisions we have made when designing our camera and about how we arrived at those decisions.

To me the core functions of digital cameras are:

  • Drive the sensor in a clean way with good A/D conversion.
  • Transport and store the image data collected by the sensor in the best way possible.
  • Provide the user a good experience and a high-value proposition.

To me this means we create the electronics that run our amazing Kodak designed sensor, and then get out of the way so that filmmakers can have an image as close to sensor data as possible. Kinda like a film camera does with film.

Many cameras makers believe their job is to make your life easier by giving you a few limited shooting styles and smaller file sizes through compression, again limiting your choices, this time in post. We believe our job is to make a camera that gives the maximum control and freedom to the artist, both on set and in post. This is our North Star, the guiding light behind all of our design choices. How do we get the most accurate representation of what the sensor captured to the filmmaker in the most pliable format?

RAW VS. COMPRESSION

Debayering is hard. When running a really nice debayer algorithm in 2K resolution, most desktops computers can only do a few frames a second at the fastest, 4K takes longer. To do this on the fly most cameras use inferior algorithms.

D16 footage is impressive. Our designers and engineers have worked really hard, researching components, tuning the sensor to perfection, designing amazing analog to digital conversion modules, optimizing data paths and write speeds, and generally doing everything we can to protect the image integrity as it travels through the camera from sensor to storage. Basically it takes a lot of work to protect a 12-bit raw file as it travels through the camera. It isn’t automatic. Cameras are either built for raw or they’re not.

In the near future, when people inevitably make their camera comparison tests comparing raw footage on the D16 to other cameras, they will be impressed, even when the other cameras are much more expensive. But if/when we add compression formats, that will change completely.

The processing power in our camera won’t be good enough to run the best debayer algorithms. And when people do their camera comparison tests and compare our compressed footage to other cameras’ compressed footage, the image will be pretty much the same, except without the rolling shutter. All of our other advantages, all of the research, all of the hard work, all of our design efforts will be washed away by the tide of compression.

This is why I am hesitant to do it.

COLOR DEPTH VS RESOLUTION

There has been a big push from a lot of companies recently for 4K. They say it is the future, and I’m sure it is. But there is another, more quiet tech revolution happening, and it is one I think may be more important in the long run. It’s the Color Revolution.

When you go to a movie these days, most of the time you are seeing a 2K resolution image from a DCP, which in size isn’t that different from the 1920 x 1080 resolution of a Blu-ray disc (yes there are 4K theaters, but I’m talking about your average screen in an average movie theater.)

However, there is no way a Blu-ray looks anywhere near as good as the 50 foot movie theater projection. Part of the reason is that theaters use amazing projectors that are DCI compliant, but another reason is that the images they are projecting have 12-bit color depth. This is a huge difference from the 8-bit color we see at home, and the 8-bit color most reasonably priced cameras shoot, including many of the new 4K cameras.

Let’s break it down. With 8-bit color you get 256 shades of red, green, and blue, which combined gets you 16,777,216 colors. Which sounds like a lot, but it’s not, when you compare it to higher bit rates. With 10-bit color you get 1,024 shades of RGB, giving you over a billion different colors. And 12-bit is 4,096 shades of RGB and over 68 billion colors! That’s some color rendition.

Why does this matter? Because just like resolution is advancing, so is bit depth. There are affordable 10-bit monitors and 10-bit video cards these days. They don’t get as much radio play as 4K does, but are as every bit (and possibly more) revolutionary. So in the future when everything is Ultra HD, it will also be high bit-rate.

Bit-rate vs resolution in imaging is analogous to bit-depth vs sample rate in audio. In my opinion, it is much easier to hear the difference between 16-bit and 24-bit recordings, than it is to hear the difference between 48K and 96K sample rates. It’s true that both 24-bit and 96K probably make recordings sound better, as the extra detail in 4k does, but the focus is usually pretty even on providing both simultaneously. People in audio don’t generally push 96K and 8-bit together the way that video/digital cinema companies push 4K and 8-bit together. When they do it seems a little wonky to me.

High bit-depth has been around for years just like 4K. And professionals and tech junkies have been preaching about it for years, just like 4K. And it is finally getting to a price point normal people can afford it, just like 4K. And just like 4K, the distribution side of the industry isn’t really ready for it yet, unless you are going theatrical in a major theater chain. There are very few computers and monitors that can handle 10-bit images right now.

I’m not suggesting anyone go out and purchase a new computer/video card/monitor in order to work in 10-bit right this minute. I’m proposing that when thinking about the future of imaging, we consider color depth at least as important as resolution.

Technology moves fast and we need to keep up, or at least we feel that way. But it actually isn’t moving that fast. The first CDs were released in 1982, 30 years ago. It has only been in the last five years that digital music distribution has become a major player in that marketplace. Blu-rays were first released in 2006. It’s entirely possible that it will take Blu-rays as long to dominate the marketplace as it did the CD and DVD, who both took 15 years to reach a 75% market share.

In today’s fast-paced high-tech YouTube world there are still almost no TV broadcasts in 1080p. Most of the big players in online media delivered to your TV, like iTunes and Netflix adopted 1080p just a little over a year ago, and most of the content on these platforms is still 720p. For television 720p is even considered a premium, for which subscribers pay extra.

The current HD standards were put into place in the mid 90′s, yet standard definition DVDs still outsell Blu-rays almost 4:1. Many analysts thought Blu-rays would be outselling DVD by 2012, but adoption has been slower than people thought. Many financial papers are still talking about the growing popularity of HD even today. HDTVs have only hit 75% of market saturation here in North America, and that was only last year!

How long will it take for all of our content delivery to be in HD of any kind? How long before it’s 1080p? How many years will it take for a majority of screens to be 4K? How many millions/billions of dollars will it take? How much will it cost for servers to host libraries of 4k content? How long will it take to create the infrastructure/bandwidth capable of streaming 4k online in average homes?

Joe RubinsteinIn essence, how long will it take to even show your 4k film to an audience in the format it was created in? Probably longer than we expect, considering all of the tiny moving parts that it takes to embrace new technology on a worldwide scale.

So is 4K the future? Yes it definitely is. Is it here today? Well sort of, but not really. Netflix/iTunes in 4K? Sure, in 2030. Is 4K necessary for me to make movies? Absolutely not. Is 4K right for me? That’s really the question at the heart of this debate, and only you can answer it.

I would say if you get hired to make Avatar, by all means, use the highest K you can find. But if you’re making a gritty indie film, or most TV shows, I think 2K is more than appropriate. In the film world there were dozens of formats in the early years, and eventually the market settled down to S8, 16/S16, 35/S35, and 65. I believe the same will happen with digital. Over the next 20 years the markets will settle into a few tiers. 4K will be one of them, but so will 2K.

I’m a low-budget filmmaker, and I’m proud of that. To me, a higher bit rate is more important than faster sample rates or more pixels. I think in the end what’s most important is that you can fall in love with the creative work you’re doing.

I had that years ago with 16mm film, and I’m finding that again with the D16. If you fall in love everytime you see a 4K image than that’s a good choice for you. I just don’t want you to feel like if you don’t have 4K you can’t have great images, and you can’t tell stories.

At the end of the day resolution is only one of many, many factors, and they all should be considered evenly, at least in my opinion.

This post originally appeared on the Digital Bolex blog.


Joe Rubinstein thumbnailJoe has 7 years experience as a Director of Photography for independent films, and 6 years experience in start ups. He worked with engineers to develop the custom hardware and software solutions that turned Polite in Public Inc, his previous company, into one of the most successful photography based event marketing companies in the country. He has extensive experience with 16mm film.

Your Comment

178 Comments

Really great article, I've been confused since the beginning why so many people on the forums where so excited about 4k. Its overkill for the vast majority of us. Personally all other things being equal I'd still go for the 2k camera.

August 23, 2013

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Ricky

Great post. I own a 4K camera and love it, but ironically not for the resolution, but for the color depth compared to say, a DSLR.

Why don't I appreciated the resolution as much? Well for starters I've NEVER SEEN A 4K motion image haha. As odd as that sounds it's true, and likely true for many of us. Still, as has been preached many times; 4K is nearly as important for down sampling as it is for outright 4K viewing (or so I've heard, gotta stop thru a BestBuy and see 4K). So I appreciate that about it of course.

But if I had to choose between 2K/12-bit and 4K/8-bit RAW cameras, I'd take the one with the greater color-depth.

August 23, 2013

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Agent55

12 bit color seems like a no brainer to me. Can anyone remember the early compact digital camera days where companies boasted about there mega pixels but everything else was terrible? Same thing is happening in video with 4K at the moment.

August 23, 2013

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John

Agree. I find images shot on 4k to be extremely distracting to the story or lack of. I watch lots of RAW 2.5 and 4K videos on Vimeo, they are boring as hell. It's mostly landscape "porn" videos, really bad dialog with bad continuity, because the 4K picks up on all the mistakes. Film is meant to be an illusion folks!!! Screw this zit macro image reality phase. It will pass!

August 23, 2013

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ishoot720p

IMO, the article sort of mixes together two different discussion - one of economics - such whether or not 4K will be accessible to an average viewer via any physical format or streaming - with the science of image acquisition.
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With regard to 4K, the physical format is, by and large, unneeded because the various streaming/server options from Red, Sony, Netflix (expected in 2014) are either out already or will be soon. The follow up question is to ascertain the potential financial interest on the part of the filmmakers of all shapes and sizes to engage into what will be limited but yet a fairly high end market. To that, it's quite possible that the visual quality of the new 4K sets and the initial scarcity of the 4K footage will create a market for the "eye candy" showcase clips. In which case, a videographer may as well rent that 4K cam.
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As to color science, 14-bit Raw 2K is already achievable on a (reputedly stable) 5D MK III ML hack. No doubt, given that 1080p is presently available on the P&S $330 cameras and smart phones, the Raw option will be soon made available on the higher grade DSLR type pieces. The only unknown variable is the price point at which such features become available. It may be as low as $1K (as in BMD's Pocket Cam) shortly.

August 23, 2013

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DLD

Just wanted to say, keep up the good work! Can't wait to try out your cam.

On the 4K issue, we have two prodco clients (commercial and industrial clients, not drama) who require 4K acquisition. As more sophisticated digital 2/2.5k cameras appear that may change, but that's what they've had the best results with since '10. Only the Alexa budged them, and then not for long.

In braodcast, Europe is already gearing up for a format change, which i believe will be greater than 4k.

Again, cheers.

August 23, 2013

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marklondon

What will 2/2.5K do when 6K crashes the scene?? For that matter, what will 4K do?

August 27, 2013

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Gene

well i like the 14bit raw video from 5dmk3 !!!

August 23, 2013

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paul

1080p, 2k, 4k , there are indeed alot of flavors, but at the end of the day most movies screens are 2k and honestly when you think about it, 1080p has done quite well, 2k to 2.5k downsampled is good enough.

The fact that AVATAR a 1080p digital movie was projected on IMAX speaks volumes about the resolution wars, 1080 hd never looked any better on the big screen

August 23, 2013

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jay clout

What could James Cameron do with 6K?

August 27, 2013

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Gene

I believe 4K existed when Cameron shot Avatar, but it seems he didn't think it was necessary. Hmmmmm.

August 27, 2013

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You did forget one reason to film in 4k.

To have more edit space. If your film is shaky, then it's alot easier to stabilize, and still have enough for 1080p.
It will also allow you to zoom in on a part of your picture, without losing any quality in 1080p.

So while i am sure i won't be able to show 4k movies anytime this year, i know the tv's are coming soon, and as an amateur filmmaker, 4k will allow me more playroom, more room for errors, and give me more chances to make my footage look good.

August 23, 2013

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Tim Dalvang

A friend of mine who does interviews, is switching to 4K. With one camera he can shoot his wide shot, medium shot and close-up. This may be handy for interviews, but I don't see much reason to use this technique with narrative films. YMMV.

August 23, 2013

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c.d.embrey

UHG! the 4K crop a medium to CU is bad. while I have no issue with minor framing adjustments, shooting everything wide and cropping it for closer shots is just lazy / cheap. there are the unknowing who run around all day shooting RED's with a 24mm lens on all day to do exactly this. the thing is, once you start doing these more radical crops you can see changes in sharpness. back in the days of shooting 35mm I did this. with ISO 200 film you could go from full frame to *maybe* 200% before the image started to get soft in the transfer using optical zoom... and that was going to SD. the rules of physics haven't changed for digital....

August 23, 2013

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About cropping 4K. When you take a close-up shot, for exemple, you change lens because you want a shorter depth of focus, another style of bokeh, a different focal length and so on. To film everything in one shot is not a very good idea if you wanna tell stories. And even in an interview it's not the best idea. You might lose some sharpness when you crop in, but what's worse is that you lose the ability to express something. I understand it's convenient, but to frame your shots right and to understand what lenses to use is a very important part of the job.

August 23, 2013

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Martin

I guess it all depends on the budget available. Doing a single take edit is much easier in post than a multi-camera / multi-take shoot & edit. If it works for their type of work, who are we to judge?

August 24, 2013

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See my piece above. Everyone does it. As I say, we have clients who require 4K acquisition, and this is one of the main reasons. The people below here who are upset by it, well, that's your prerogative.
Often when you're shooting a CEO/World leader, especially outside the US, your setup time is zero. And I mean, zero.
In some cases even getting two cameras into the country can be difficult. Being able to reframe an interview with a subject whose English may not be great, where you have to show them at their best, will SAVE YOUR ASS in an edit.

/apologies for being off-topic.

August 23, 2013

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marklondon

Well, it depends what you do. For the work you mention 4K sounds like a great solution. I agree on that. But for some productions it's much better to have other choices. D16 is no a bad solution for the right kind of films. Some aspiring filmmakers think they can use 4K as short cut, but I think that's wrong. You got to learn to work with what you have in most cases.

August 23, 2013

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Martin

Oh I think the D16 is terrific! I wish it had existed 20 years ago!

August 23, 2013

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marklondon

that's crazy!!! when you cut between different shot sizes without changing camera angle the editing looks awkward... it sort of feels like a jump cut

August 23, 2013

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Ha! You put other shots in between. Trust me, you'd be amazed how many times you've seen it (and its brother, the slow zoom in post).

August 23, 2013

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marklondon

That sounds like a horrible reason that 4k is a good thing? You're essentially saying that if I could own a 4k camera then it wouldn't matter if my handheld craft was poor and it wouldn't matter if I had no cinematic craft behind my composition? I know big films shoot 5k for 4k and I know the advantage the extra resolution of 4k will have with stabilisation but as a DP this statement of yours is telling me that over time 4k 5k and 6k is going to lead to poorer and poorer levels of camera operation and cinematic planning or to put it another way "fix it in post"

Low cost cameras with massive levels of DR are going to do the same to lighting skill, work with a cheap AF100 and pull off great images and you learn something, do it with a raw camera and maybe not so much ;)

August 23, 2013

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Anthony

Did you think the cinematography in Girl With A Dragon Tattoo was poor?

August 23, 2013

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Gabe

Ugh, I HATE Jeff Cronenweth's cinematography! It's just a super-naturalistic style I can't get into. He pulls it off well and I can tell he MEANS to light it the way he does but man... I can't say every shot is bad but overall just flat and uninspired.

What sucks is that he's done some great flicks (which is why I feel he's been nominated by association). I just never realized how bad-looking the cinematography was until I went back and re-watched some of them.

Did you see Hitchcock? One of the ugliest movies I've ever seen in terms of cinematography.

August 23, 2013

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Nick

I would agree about Hitchcock.

August 23, 2013

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Robert Hunter

I guess I'll have to go back and re-watch Girl With A Dragon Tattoo. Nick what are some of your movie favorites in regard to cinematography?

August 23, 2013

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Razor

Hey Razor,

My favorite cinematographic style is one in which the film would look equally as beautiful in black and white as it does in color. The perfect example would be my favorite cinematographer Conrad Hall (R.I.P.). If you watch Road to Perdition or even American Beauty to a lesser extent, you can tell it would be just gorgeous in black and white.

Dion Beebe is another good example of this style.

Another of Fincher's DPs who is better than Cronenweth (IMO) at the naturalism thing is Darius Khondji (Se7en, The Game).

Roger Deakins is a great mix of the Hall/Beebe and the Khondji/Cronenweth style.

August 26, 2013

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Nick

Oh yeah but the films. Sorry.

Road to Perdition
Gangster Squad (Say what you will about the film. It still looked gorgeous!)
Sweet Smell of Success (B&W)
Anything directed by Wong Kar Wai like Chungking Express (with Doyle) or My Blueberry Nights (with Khondji)
I Saw The Devil
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
Chicago (yes, Chicago!)
Bronson
Glengarry Glen Ross
to name a very select few.

August 26, 2013

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Nick

No, but neither Fincher nor the DP shot Dragon wide and reframed it to death. Professionals don't do that unless they have a very, very good reason to do so. Usually it's done in an emergency. There is more to choosing a particular focal length than FOV.

August 23, 2013

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walter

Every shot that was shot on Epic was reframed from 5k to 4k...does it matter if composition is done on set or in post? How do you feel about push processing film?

August 23, 2013

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Gabe

The opposite is one way I would consider doing a 4k shoot: shoot everything silky smooth and add shakiness in post with the wiggler as much as you like.

August 24, 2013

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Some of us want the extra resolution to downsample into better 2K final outputs, or require the headspace for visual effects plates. I also get the confirmation bias in this article, we get it, you're making a camera that's 2K, and doing your best to justify your camera's output while the rest of the industry is gaining more dynamic range AND resolution. It also seems a little odd to be getting a technical lecture about a camera that's not even close to being released. *shrugs*

Frankly the processing power to debayer 5K or 6K images isn't that tough, and very few of us need to edit 1/1 and instead are happy to edit in 1/4 or 1/2 with minimal hits to performance on a decent machine. If your working output is the web, fine, 2K is great. If you're doing broadcast and need to do post-work it's good to have the resolution headroom. I wouldn't tell a photographer that because his final output is for the web, that he should only grab a 12mp point and shoot. We shoot much higher res to have that resolution when and where needed.

August 23, 2013

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Thom

I like the part where you completely missed the point in the article...

He's coming from an independent film making perspective, he's not saying you can't use 4K, he's merely stating that you don't need 4K to achieve a great image. He mentions that in his opinion there are more important things to look at.

You state: Visual effect plates, Downsampling, broadcasting headroom.

Neither of these statements reflects what the article is trying to communicate to the reader, instead of criticizing the points made, you move the subject to other broader aspect that the article was never referring to, which was independent film making.

On the topic of bias, every one is bias in one form or another. Its the the reader's goal to perceive these statements in a logical form. Does these statements have merit? I think so.

August 23, 2013

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Xiong

No need to be defensive about S16 and 1080p/2K, fellow hipstagrammers. I love 16mm and there's a ton of gorgeous glass for it. Couple points though. 1. The live-action parts of Avatar were shot in 2K. 2. "Netflix/iTunes in 4K? Sure, in 2030" You don't know how wrong you are, darling.

August 23, 2013

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Natt

"Netflix Chief Product Officer: expect 4K streaming within a year or two ...
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Neil Hunt : Streaming will be the best way to get the 4K picture into people's homes. That's because of the challenges involved in upgrading broadcast technologies and the fact that it isn't anticipated within the Blu-ray disc standard. Clearly we have much work to do with the compression and decode capability, but we expect to be delivering 4K within a year or two with at least some movies and then over time become an important source of 4K. 4K will likely be streamed first before it goes anywhere else ..."

From this past March's Verge column, but also available across the webs.
http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/14/4098896/netflix-chief-product-officer-...

PS. And don't be calling Neil Hunt "darling". I read he prefers "honey bunch" instead.

August 23, 2013

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DLD

Again, I'm not saying the technology for Netflix 4K will be 17 years off, but the adoption rate.

When will the average person you don't know 5 states away see a movie you shot presented in 4K.

The adoption rate to get 4K to 75% of homes, AND 4K Netflix is very very slow. It will take many many years.

Maybe not 17, but at least 10.

This is the underlying point of this article. No matter how any tech company tries to drive the market, the market does it's own thing. And the market is what we have to be paying attention to, not listening to the tech companies shouting in our ear.

Even if you shoot a movie tomorrow in 4K, unless your Spielberg, and he has trouble doing this too, you aren't going to be showing it in 4K anytime soon.

August 23, 2013

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An article all 4K hipsters should read.

August 23, 2013

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To those of you who use 4K to crop, re-compose, stabilize or 'punch in'... if we ever meet, please inform me, up front, that you do that so, I don't waste any time talking to you.

August 23, 2013

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Please contact David Fincher, who has done that on all his films using the RED. By all means I'd love for you two to compare resumes.

August 23, 2013

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Thom

I used to work for David and he would stab you in the face if you shot a scene like that. It's done in an emergency or to stabilize footage.

August 23, 2013

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walter

First. You can capture and create beautiful images at any resolution.

For anybody who has shot and finished S35 4K shouldn't be an alien concept. We've been working with it since the 90's via 4K film scanning and laser recording. A good deal of productions preferred to work at 2K due to cost and time expenses. However, S35 does indeed resolve 4K and a bit more if shot perfectly.

4K projectors have been in theaters since 2007 I believe. There are thousands of them worldwide now. More and more features, not just big budget VFX work, will be finished in 4K.

4K has actually been a goal that the entire industry has been after and now that technology has allowed it we're finally getting to a place where our digital cinema cameras are matching or exceed motion picture film on a format and technical basis. In terms of resolution the Sony F65 and Red Epic are the cameras that today exceed S35's resolving power. Red Dragon actually exceeds film in both resolution and dynamic range. This is the first time this has happened in the history of digital cinema cameras. I need to stress that.

There's different cameras for different types of shooters and each shooter needs to observe their format and reolution preferences. S16 pretty much resolves about 2K resolution when shot carefully with good glass and scanned in. Which is why in my mind the Digital Bolex D16 is on a resolution basis a good idea. BlackMagic's cameras also somewhat land in this ball park, although I personally have thoughts on using them for production work.

The best thing actually about all of this are the camera raw formats. This was/is the right move from a capture and post standpoint. While not sometimes friendly for rushed ENG styles of shooting, although it's being done on a daily basis, it does allow the most creative freedom. That and the raw stream itself, at the cost of recording media space.

4K digital distribution is coming. ODEMAX has just had a soft launch and should be available in Fall/Winter 2013. 4K displays are hitting households at $700-$6000 and up if you have the dough. Any modern video card can output UHD resolution for playback. The new Sony PS4 and Microsoft xBox One both support 4K playback and will be available this year. 4K tablets, cell phones, and laptops were demonstrated in January of this year as long at Netflix's prototype 4K tech, which should be out next year. DirectTV has invested in it. Sony has invested in it. Gaming enthusiasts have even been playing PC games at 4K for a couple years now.

Market acceptance is some funny business, but if you think 4K is 20 years away I'd say that's a fairly wrong number. I personally have been working exclusively in 4K+ for 3 years now and have been working with 4K material for about 14 years. That's my own unique personal and professional choice based on the industry I'm in and what I expect/demand out of the content I shoot. It's also what my clients hire me for as it's what I specialize in.

I come from a film background and my particular format preferences have been S35 and VistaVision in terms of format. I've even shot 65mm and IMAX, and while beautiful, it's somewhat unpleasant for a great deal of shooting conditions, not to mention expense film and processing costs.

A few questions all should ask when purchasing a camera are: What format do you want to shoot in? How many frames per second do you need? You want raw right? What camera fits your budget with these specs? What if you take money out of the equation?

Right there you have the camera you can afford and the dream camera you desire to own. A great deal of those in this somewhat difficult quandary at that point choose to rent. Which is a good way to go if you are working on a project by project/job by job basis.

I work in a world where we target 40 and 60 foot screens. Newer 4K laser projectors are on the horizon and provide an unprecedented level of consistency and quality in the theater. Something film has always had an issue with. Also, there are 4K projectors coming to homes too.

So basically different tools for different folks. 4K in someways has been here for a while. You've actually even experience that level of quality in theaters for years on good optical prints. Sooner than many expect 4K will be in homes and in very affordable and approachable ways. You haven't seen a sports broadcast before like what you're going to see in 4K. It's tremendous and that's all happening right now. Motion pictures are equally impressive if they are shot and finished properly. If you've seen it, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Cheers and have a good weekend.

August 23, 2013

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I knew you'd pop in at some point Phil :)

I of course understand and agree with everything you're saying.

You are in a very unique position in this industry.

What I'm trying to get people to understand is that yes, 4K is "here" tech wise, but for most people that make an indie film there is not a distribution platform for them that will exist for several if not many years. If you make your Bubba Ho-tep in 4K no one will see it in 4K for many years. It will most likely not get a theatrical release, and if it does they won't put you in on a 4K screen instead of Avengers 2, most likely you will go DVD, VOD, and eventually Netflix. And again if those services offer 4K they won't be showing your movie that way, they'll be showing Avengers 2 again.

So yes 4K is great, but for most indie films shooting 2K will give you almost exactly the same delivery products.

August 23, 2013

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Another wannabe pro who probably shoot horrible wedding gigs for friends. Maybe if you have work with real professionals in the industry that uses After Effects, Maya, and Nuke, you would know how often an editor, director and producers edit, re-compose, stabilize a shot for vfx. Mindset like yours will never get a job in real world. The internet is where you belong. haha!

August 23, 2013

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Christine

This is just silly, arrogant comment. How much post stabilization have you done? As a previous poster already said, Fincher uses 4k for this purpose already. It makes perfect sense to use it for this. I would call him at least competent, if not one of the more talented directors today. You could probably make an argument re: the reframing as it is a bit of a cheat, but, are you really that much of a snob?

August 23, 2013

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Eric Jolley

What exactly makes stabilization and composition in post worse than stabilization and composition on set?

Does making something harder to do make it better? Should we still be using hand crank cameras with 25 ASA film stock?

Film history is made up of clever people who looked at what they had and got the most out of their tools to realize their vision. Those are the kind of people I want to work with.

August 23, 2013

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Gabe

Sounds fine to me. I get the impression it would be me wasting my time.
No-one sets out to do it - its happens due to the many vagaries of production. The key is to get the story told. Everything else (quality of individual actors, lighting, set design) is gravy.
If you have a moral stance about it fine. I'll treat you the way I treat others whose irrational moral stances I don't agree with. I'll smile patronizingly, as if at a small child, and move on.

August 23, 2013

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marklondon

Photographers crop and reframe all the time. Seems silly to suggest that a cinematographer who does it is somehow impure.

August 23, 2013

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Tom

To those of you who won't use any tool at your disposal to try and achieve the best possible results you can. Perhaps you should consider it...

August 23, 2013

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I think this article makes good points.

Not everyone needs or has to have 4K. To me though this seems like a media pump for his company and camera honestly. I mean how long as it been since it was supposed to release? The first time I read this I thought this makes sense. The more I think about it, I think there is a very large possibility Joe is trying to get people to still want his camera. I mean 4K is around the corner. Him choosing 10-30 year comparisons is extremely out there and random.

Netflix has already mentioned 4K streaming was coming in a year or two. Some Broadcast networks have already made the jump. I think it is for sure a matter of choice for must of us. I still think 2K is good enough for work now.

This whole article just comes off as a big hidden "well we're super late to delivering a product which has since been surpassed by well, the 5D III with raw, BMCC, BMPC, and new cameras every month it seems, It's time to write a press release with a bunch of facts and evidence that will validate why our camera is still worth it."

I totally get it, had I put that much time and effort into something to have it take 2-3 years to develop and release and it's almost becoming more obsolete tech by the day, I'd totally do the same thing.

I'm not saying the camera doesn't have a place, it does, i'd love to test one out but I guess to me this just seems like a reach to hold onto customers and people who may have been on the fence about the camera. I think 4K is coming alot faster then most though... I still own and shoot 1080 cams as well. I could totally be reading this wrong. Just seems like a marketing attempt to keep all the work he's done relevant.

August 23, 2013

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Jeff

+1

August 23, 2013

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Thom

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