December 8, 2016 at 2:07PM


How high of a resolution does a short need to be?

I ask this question as a complete novice to filmmaking: How high of a resolution does a digitally-shot short film need to be to play on a festival screen? How do I get that resolution out of a DSLR like the Canon T5i? I don't actually have one, but I'm saving up for one. At some point I'd like to submit to some film festivals, so I'd like to know if an ordinary DSLR like that one can get the right quality image. Also, does the editing software make any difference? At this point I edit my shorts with iMovie, and I want to know if I need to get Creative Cloud or something comparable before thinking about film festivals. Thanks.


Generally speaking, festivals--and theaters, play 1080p. Obviously if you are submitting to a 4K film festival (they exist) you need to deliver 2160p. But 1080p is adequate for 99.99%. Canon DSLRs (and most cameras made after 2006) shoot 1080p if they shoot video at all. Preferred theatrical frame rates tend to be 24 fps (NTSC) or 25fps (PAL). Video frame rates tend to be 23.976, 25, or 29.97 fps. It is never a bad idea to check submission guidelines before shooting footage.

December 8, 2016 at 10:08PM


Honestly, there's always an option to upscale to 4K to match the format.

Karol Weber

December 9, 2016 at 11:31AM


David Jordan

December 9, 2016 at 3:54PM, Edited December 9, 3:54PM

The overall industry standard is 1080p/2K (1920x1080 / 2048x1080) resolution. You won't watch a film in a higher resolution than this in cinemas.
4K projectors are just coming up (12/2016). But Full HD will be fine.

December 10, 2016 at 1:29PM, Edited December 10, 1:29PM

Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller


December 12, 2016 at 2:52AM


For A Short 1080 is good , it is also easy to edit on even a lower end pc ...

December 13, 2016 at 5:17AM

Arsh DSJ
Director Editor Producer

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