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Soon, No More Film Movie Cameras

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the video-has-another-crime-to-answer-for dept.

Media 227

phil reed writes "Creative Cow Magazine reports that manufacturers of movie cameras have quietly discontinued production of film cameras. There are still some markets — not in the U.S. — where film cameras are sold, but those numbers are far fewer than they used to be. If you talk to the people in camera rentals, the amount of film camera utilization in the overall schedule is probably between 30 to 40 percent. However, film usage is dropping fast, which has ramifications up and down the production line. Archivists are worried."

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Special offer (0)

samjam (256347) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723122)

1 buggy whip free with ever film camera sold

Re:Special offer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723130)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

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Now that you have read this (even a single word of it), the strange man will use his machine to insert counterfeit US quarters into your bootyass (thereby inflicting ridiculous amounts of tickle upon it)! To prevent this from happening, copy and paste this entire comment and then repost it as a comment three times.

Re:Special offer (3, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723558)

film is very high res. your comment shows your ignorance.

tell me, oh wise one, how do you squeeze more detail out of a digital 'film'?

otoh, gone with the wind (very old film-based movie) can be resampled and given more resolution than even some modern HD movies.

I laughed when some kid said something about 'yeah, but they didnt' shoot with HD film, did they?'.

film has always been 'high def' and with better scanners, you get more bits of res from it.

my old 35mm negs still scan very well, too.

film is more expensive to edit and change and digital does that easily; but film has its place and pretty much always will.

Re:Special offer (4, Informative)

nattt (568106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723754)

A good 35 film neg will contain around 3k of resolution. This is generally scanned at 4k to preserve all the detail. Scanning beyond that makes for larger files, but no more actual detail. "Digital film" - as in the files from modern digital cinema cameras like the RED Epic is already recording more detail than that 35mm film neg.

Why are archivists worried? (2, Funny)

Hyperhaplo (575219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723128)

There are a whole range of careers available for data center specialists..

Re:Why are archivists worried? (4, Insightful)

satuon (1822492) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723154)

They weren't worried about their jobs. They worried that now movies will be stored in physical mediums that last a lot less than 100 years. I know that digital information isn't bound to the physical medium - you can copy it to newer mediums, but there's still a valid concern.

Re: (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723194)

Solution: make a film transfer of any movie you want to archive. Also, they could transcode the digital info onto film in the form of one really long-ass barcode.

Re: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723256)

Solution: make a film transfer of any movie you want to archive. Also, they could transcode the digital info onto film in the form of one really long-ass barcode.

Barcode? Yes that's nice and inefficient and unsuited to the task. Given this, I must inquire: Are you a nigger?

Re: (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723514)

Their goal is not efficiency, anonymous retard, it's longevity. If they're already accustomed to archiving film, then why not just use it? You could probably fit a couple of hundred "tracks" of barcode on one frame of film, though it would still take a LOT of film to store one movie this way. Personally, I would just do an image transfer to large format film, but as an analog medium, that would be "lossy."

Obviously these archivists don't trust the standard magnetic storage media, otherwise they wouldn't be "worried" about the obsolescence of film. So if film is what they trust, they might as well just figure out a way to use it.

Re: (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723572)

They don't trust it, but only because they are familiar with the failure modes of film, and not (as) familiar with the failure modes of digital. There are no layers of abstraction to film, there are multiple layers with digital.

But also, film people have a point that digital can't yet overcome: film has more resolution than all but the most wildly expensive and impractical digital modes. Much of that resolution is wasted, but when newer digital standards emerge, film can be rescanned at that standard and you get more out of it. Can't really do that with digital.

Re: (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723796)

> film has more resolution...

I suspect that's why film has survived this long, despite all the hassles and expense associated with it. I worked in a camera shop in the early 90's, just as digital photography was coming to market, and I remember several "old-timer" customers who scoffed at the idea, often citing their Kodachrome slides from the 40's, still in pristine condition after fifty years.

Instead of barcodes, I think the most "efficient" solution would be to print the image on large format film -- large enough to allow a distinct "box" for each pixel -- and combine this with some sort of histogram of the colors in each frame. Sorta like an MD5 sum, this would allow color correction to control for aging/fading of the film. After a century of development, film manufacturers have gotten pretty good at making an archival-quality product. And film archivists have gotten pretty good at storing it, too. So it seems like a natural fit.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723284)

or Punched Tape

Re: (1)

qubezz (520511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723296)

Or 100,000 Blu-ray discs.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723386)

Or 100,000 Blu-ray discs.

or ... something like 1000 year "stone" disc.. See here: http://store.millenniata.com/default.aspx

Re: (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723554)

That's awesome! Fuck this blueray shit, I want to rent movies on punchcards!

Re:Why are archivists worried? (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723202)

If it makes them feel better, they can store the movie data on tape backups. If properly stored, magnetic tapes can last several decades.

Re:Why are archivists worried? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723208)

They weren't worried about their jobs. They worried that now movies will be stored in physical mediums that last a lot less than 100 years. I know that digital information isn't bound to the physical medium - you can copy it to newer mediums, but there's still a valid concern.

Film doesn't last anywhere near 100 years. Go look up the degraded footage from the original Star Wars cellulose. 30 years made the master copies look like hell. Digital lasts longer.

How many Star Wars reels were archived? (4, Interesting)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723324)

The cardinal problem we have with old film reels is not the medium's inherent instability. It's that no one had the foresight to archive the reels properly.

Properly stored and handled, film is quite stable. But if you send out all your reels on the road because each reel is expensive and they get handled by the doofuses in the projection booth that thread them backwards the first time, left in car trunks, etc. and you store your masters in a warehouse with no cooling/dehumidifying apparatus where it is subject to extremes of heat and cold, sure, you end up 50 years later with reels that are barely salvageable.

Re:How many Star Wars reels were archived? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723436)

So, it's a good thing that film gets replaced by digital formats? Only need to get the archivists do the data transfer.

Re:How many Star Wars reels were archived? (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723580)

Wouldn't the same thing be applicable to punch cards, tape, Betamax, VHS, floppy drives, CDs, DVDs, BluRay, HDDs, SSDs? With proper handling and storage, any of those could last just as long, and have better storage density.

Re:How many Star Wars reels were archived? (2)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723610)

The cardinal problem we have with old film reels is not the medium's inherent instability. It's that no one had the foresight to archive the reels properly.

And the problem is worse for digital. At best, the source material may be stored in a proprietary format on a server somewhere at $CORPORATION.

$CORP is not concerned with archiving, thinks they've got it all under control by themselves, and instead has most of its forces (think access control and DRM) working against your ability to make your archive.

Re:How many Star Wars reels were archived? (1)

nattt (568106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723758)

For archive purposes they generally use open uncompressed formats. That takes up more space, but is utterly more reliable.

Re:Why are archivists worried? (4, Funny)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723356)

The good part is that Lucas can always shoot the movies again, and make some improvements while he's doing it.

Re:Why are archivists worried? (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723640)

Thanks. Now I'm going to have nightmares about what it would be like if Lucas decided to just completely re-make Episodes 4-6.

Re:Why are archivists worried? (4, Insightful)

CaptBubba (696284) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723216)

Old film isn't exactly the most stable stuff out there either. Nearly every film before 1951 was recorded on nitrocellulose film which is very susceptible to breaking down (also to burning as well). We've lost many of the films from the silent era to the film simply eating itself.

Every generation of media has a special challenge which is eventually overcome. Digital is no different.

Re:Why are archivists worried? (3, Interesting)

Hyperhaplo (575219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723252)

I was thinking that it is much easier to duplicate and manage digital films... and more specifically perhaps that we will see an industry arise catering for very long term secure digital storage that will last for centuries.

Imagine many data centers spread across the planet, duplicate copies of stored items, offline and online access... we seem to be on this path now with The Cloud..

Re:Why are archivists worried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723446)

Somehow I don't think this would be a problem if copyright didn't last halfway to forever. For things that are out of copyright just put up a non-profit and ask people for hdd space and bandwidth and you're there. I'd be willing to dedicate a terabyte to that, a thousand like me and you have a petabyte. Make it a million and you have an exabyte. There are already private torrent site that have almost everything...

Re:Why are archivists worried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723660)

Sure, The Cloud looks great until we reach the point where everyone's cloud ends up being leased space on some Russian guy's botnet, which goes poof when someone figures out how to remotely disable it. Hooray, we beat the bad guys! Hey, where'd my music go?

Re:Why are archivists worried? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723668)

Imagine many data centers spread across the planet, duplicate copies of stored items, offline and online access... we seem to be on this path now with The Cloud..

That's a great idea . We could get it all organized and call it something catchy - like 'Pirates' or something.

Re:Why are archivists worried? (3, Interesting)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723340)

It really depends on the film type used. 3-strip dye-transfer prints, for example, are almost indestructible if stored correctly (i.e. negligible degradation over time).

Re:Why are archivists worried? (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723394)

Digital will last forever if archived correctly. The problem is that few people care enough to do that, either for digital or analog.

Those silent films that ate themselves ... (3, Interesting)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723354)

.... how many were stored in a climate controlled archive?

Some films do have problems with age. This is especially true of film reels from the early age of the motion picture. But in most cases the degradation is more a function of the film not being stored properly because no one imagined wanting to preserve them for posterity all those years ago. Just like during the studios used to just throw out animation cells, they used to can old reels after they retired them from the box office. Consider one of my favorites, Metropolis. Shortly after its debut, pretty much no one thought it was worth keeping around. The few reels still in existence were found by mistake or in the vaults of private collectors who, fascinated by the movie, bought their own copy when it first came out.

Re:Why are archivists worried? (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723420)

They worried that now movies will be stored in physical mediums that last a lot less than 100 years

You mean, like film? Making film last 20 years is easy. Making it last 50 requires considerable effort. Making it last 100 is really hard. The advantage that film has is that it degrades gradually. A film that's been badly stored (assuming it doesn't spontaneously combust, which is a problem with a lot of old films) will probably be watchable, but the quality will be bad. Digital recording tend to either be perfect or completely unplayable - there isn't much middle ground. The advantage of the digital recording is that, while it is not damaged, copies will be exactly the same quality as the original. This makes archiving a lot easier.

Re:Why are archivists worried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723596)

Not only that but digital copies will last forever, without question if they are stored properly (backups, etc).

Re:Why are archivists worried? (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723428)

So store them in The Cloud, they will be safe there. Right?

Re:Why are archivists worried? (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723538)

Correct. (Without the sarcasm). Millions of dollars have been spent and people sent to jail, all in an effort to eradicate movies from filesharing networks. So far as I know, they've never managed to extinguish all copies of even one single movie.

Re:Why are archivists worried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723158)

Archivist != Data center specialist

Re:Why are archivists worried? (2)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723298)

If an archivist isn't actually a data center specialist, they're certainly analogs to data center specialists. ;)

More seriously, I know how archives work. Not only do I have friends/family that did stints at the national archives, I frequent archives for research on my MA thesis on an 11th century philosopher who wrote in Arabic. Archives are, in fact, data centers. It just so happens that the data isn't digital and the various physical media require different techniques for being catalogued, indexed, and searched than one might expect if you've been raised on Google. But it's really the same thing.

The Italian takeover has begun (1, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723138)

This is an aspect of the sinister Italian conspiracy to destroy all the things that make America great: Dsney, Warner Brothers and Ted Turner, and to a lesser degree, Burger King.

Right. So start archiving then. (3, Insightful)

bartron (772079) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723150)

Archivists might be worried but you can't say there wasn't enough warning. Production houses have been switching to digital since at least the 90's.

Re:Right. So start archiving then. (1)

nattt (568106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723174)

Film only lasted as long as it did because of digital intermediates and digital technology, film scanners etc.

Re:Right. So start archiving then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723254)

Copyright should prevent the archiving of at least some works. But that's okay. Saves us the trouble of burning them anyway.

Re:Right. So start archiving then. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723434)

You don't need to burn film, just leave it exposed to the air for long enough and it will burn itself...

Film camera dying (0)

onezeta (2484494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723160)

So the big film camera industry is dying, let's go back to planting crops then. I think we are better off without all of this technology.

Re:Film camera dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723172)

Uhh, people all over the world plant crops, including Americans. Where the fuck do you think all of the corn syrup used in your junk food comes from? Yeah, that's right, corn that somebody planted and grew. Where do you think that piece of lettuce in your burger came from? Yeah, that's right, lettuce that somebody planted and grew. Where do you think the potatoes in your potato chips came from? Yeah, that's right, potatoes that somebody planted and grew.

Re:Film camera dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723198)

You think there's still any potato in your potato chips?

You poor, deluded fool...

And for good reasons... (5, Interesting)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723190)

The good: Film stock is expensive. Being able to play back what you just captured is invaluable. Reloading by slapping in a new hard drive saves downtime. Cutting the size and weight of the camera down by 70-90% gives you flexibility. Recording in any aspect ratio by just pressing a button is awfully convenient. Filming at high frame rates like it's nothing is damned cool. Digital projection in theaters and HD sets at home let you have an all-digital workflow.

Improving: Film has (had?) better dynamic range. Digital cameras are getting cheaper, but still more up front; still, you make it up pretty quickly.

The bad: Film has established reliable procedures for archiving. Data's still iffy.

So yeah, other than nostalgia for film grain, digital is the future. This isn't a surprise to anyone in the industry... A few years back digital gained solidly "good enough" picture quality at an attainable price, and everyone's switching as fast as they can get comfortable with the new toys. The technology just keeps getting better, so this isn't going to reverse.

Re:And for good reasons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723238)

What about 1000 year disc? Would that rest your fears?

http://www.herald-journal.com/archives/2011/columns/mo082211.html

I think this was even seen on slashdot recently -

A 1000 year medium is only half the problem (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723378)

Recall the story about the NASA tapes found a few years back with footage from the moon walk. It took over a decade to find the parts to build something that could play them. And that was with analog video.

It is true that film has the same problem to a certain degree. But, due to its nature, it'd be far less expensive to build an analog projector than it would be to try to reconstruct a data format on an obscure disk standard 500 years after everyone has stopped using it.

Re:And for good reasons... (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723496)

It's all about what price archivists are willing to pay. I think it's workable, but it's not me establishing the procedures.

Re:And for good reasons... (1)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723672)

It's all about what price archivists are willing to pay. I think it's workable, but it's not me establishing the procedures.

Exactly. $CORP is establishing the procedures and at best they think they've got it perfectly under control by leaving in on a forgotten server somewhere. At worst, they're actively working to make copying their films difficult.

Re:And for good reasons... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723308)

Cutting the size and weight of the camera down by 70-90% gives you flexibility.

I think you're exaggerating a bit how much the film is of the camera, there are some pretty compact 35mm video cameras and the professional ones are still rather big and heavy. Yes, my little prosumer camera also does 1080p now and that couldn't be done with film, but I doubt anyone's going to make a serious production on it.

Re:And for good reasons... (2)

all204 (898409) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723410)

I've shot some projects on 16mm with both an old Aaton camera and a small Bolex. The Bolex was quite small and handy, but has some major drawbacks. (Although cool as hell to play with.) One of the issues most people seem to gloss over or ignore is the effective resolution of the film stock itself. Namely 16mm will give you a good 1080p conversion, 35mm somewhat higher than 1080p and 70mm, I'm not entirely sure, but greater than 4k. Notice all those WWII in HD footage on the history channel? That was all 16mm news footage transfered to HD. I ramble a little, but the point is, there is an element of future proofing what you've shot when you do it on film. Don't want >1080p now, no problem, but shoot it on a 1080p camera now and you're screwed later. Shoot it on 35mm and your good for 2K later. Trouble is, it's expensive, not that renting a Red camera that shoots at 4k is cheap either.

Re:And for good reasons... (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723626)

Don't want >1080p now, no problem, but shoot it on a 1080p camera now and you're screwed later. Shoot it on 35mm and your good for 2K later.

Uh, since 4k and 2k refer to the horizontal resolution 1920x1080 is already ~2k. A direct scan of a 35mm film negative will have a bit more detail than that, but plenty film grain too so in practice they're pretty close as we've seen on many 35mm to BluRay transfers. Note that with analog processing the actual resolution in a cinema was typically less than 1080p so it's not like it was better in the "good old days". Digital 4k all the way from the camera to a 4k projector is likely to look better than 35mm and more like something shot on 70mm, which was fairly exotic. Relatively little was shot on it then and even less now, I'd wager.

As for 4k, yes it's expensive but not like Hollywood-expensive anymore. Compared to paying Will Smith $20,000,000 to star in your movie renting a Red camera or a Cinealta F65 is peanuts. Then again, unless you're going to be in 4k digital projection cinemas then it's not going to help you today, only when what comes after BluRay comes out. That could take a very long while. Not to mention I wouldn't bet on the tool chain being ready for it either, if only the raw footage is 4k then it'll be a huge job to upgrade it. We saw that with many things made for TV, even if it was shot on 35mm film all the rest was done in SD and would have to be redone.

Re:And for good reasons... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723774)

Compared to paying Will Smith $20,000,000 to star in your movie renting a Red camera or a Cinealta F65 is peanuts.

This is key for pro work. The camera cost is a very small percentage of the total budget. Most productions rent them. Since your intermediate step is more than 90% digital these days (nobody rotoscopes by painting on the film any more), you might as well forgo the chemical process altogether and use digital capture.

Archiving is a separate issue and if one bothers to read TFA (which is pretty good BTW, congrats) you see a number of companies are actively working towards solving all the problem us brilliant armchair archivists have thrown at the subject.

Re:And for good reasons... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723732)

16mm will give you a good 1080p conversion, 35mm somewhat higher than 1080p and 70mm, I'm not entirely sure, but greater than 4k.

1 35mm frame = 4 16mm frames
Many movies, including the original Tron, were shot in 70mm (4x35mm).

The film's speed [wikipedia.org] plays an important part in its resolution as well. The faster the film, the lower the resolution.

Re:And for good reasons... (2)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723444)

It's not just the reels on top. The mechanical film path through the camera is also gone, which involves a lot of big metal parts.

Seriously, look at these things: http://www.red.com/products/epic [red.com] ... The body is 5 pounds. Another 5 pounds for a lens, and you have a cinematography camera in about 10 pounds.

Picked up a Panavision lately? The body alone weighs more than that. By the time you've strapped on a lens and a loaded reel, it's quite a load to lug.

Re:And for good reasons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723778)

A panavision camera are heavyweight full featured camera (could compare that to the Panavision Genesis) a more apt comparison to the epic would be to something like the Arriflex 235 (7.7lbs). Mind you your 5lb epic body doesn't include the 1.7lb viewfinder or a media module. There is a lot of reasons why digital wins over film, weight though really isn't one of them.

Re:And for good reasons... (2)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723392)

The bad: Film has established reliable procedures for archiving. Data's still iffy.

Afaict with a few golden rules you can make a very safe digital archive

1: keep lots of copies (remember unlike with analog medium there is no quality penalty for making a copy) at geographically diverse locations
2: keep block checksums and check them frequently. Use other copies to restore corrupt blocks.
3: Give network sharing read permission only.
4: don't let the same people have admin privilages on all your locations.
5: keep some copies completely offline

Re:And for good reasons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723460)

The problem with digital archives is that you have to want to do the work. Many films have fallen into neglect. In the analog world, that leaves you with degraded, perhaps damaged film. Neglect a digital archive and you end up with nothing. Analog sources can be restored even if they were not deemed worthy of preservation at the time. Digital sources will simply be gone. Early Doctor Who episodes no longer exist because they've been taped over (not even digital, but the analog tapes share this property because unlike film they're rewritable). Nobody considered Doctor Who to be archive-worthy material.

Re:And for good reasons... (1)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723638)

Afaict with a few golden rules you can make a very safe digital archive

Sure, you can, but can you convince $CORPORATION to do the same when most of their attention is focused on *preventing* copies (think access control and DRM)? We'll probably always find a way to archive DVD/Blueray/whatever is released but the original HD source and audio tracks are probably locked away on $CORP's server and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

Re:And for good reasons... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723568)

The bad: Film has established reliable procedures for archiving. Data's still iffy.

Yeah right. Just ask any celebrity who's had their cell phone hacked and naked pictures posted online how "iffy" that global archive is...

Re:And for good reasons... (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723608)

Can you extend this technique to cover the masters of every hollywood movie being shot? :)

;FP MARE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723192)

first organiza7ion BY SIMPlE FUCKING

Movie theaters (2)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723212)

What about the thousands of screens that still use film? Will they ALL have to change their projectors, or will the digital recording be converted to film for them. Also, doesnt film have effectively unlimited resolution, while digital is limited to something around FullHD(1920*1080)?

Re:Movie theaters (2)

nattt (568106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723236)

35mm film negative measures around 3k resolution - so 3000 pixels across. Any more rez on the scan and you won't get more detail out of the image. Digital is already at 5k with the RED Epic. Digital is not limited to HD, and most "HD" cameras don't measure HD resolution anyway.

Re:Movie theaters (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723438)

one of the best photographic film can give about 160/80 lines per mm under high/low contrast conditions, which translate in approx 22/5.53 megapix of true RGB resolution or 66/16.5 megapixels of resolution in techspeak, so 5K sensors from RED Epic are getting there but not quite there regarding the quality. The theatre audience may not realize the lower contrast but certainly the technology will move on from bluray to higher definition formats and then the 'telecine' transfers will be quite crappy. (not that you can find crappy transfers even with the film)

Re:Movie theaters (5, Informative)

nattt (568106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723494)

Film doesn't have a "true RGB" resolution because the granularity of the three layers is different. If you examine some film scans the detail you'll pick up in blue is much less than the other channels due to the larger grain size in that channel. Even at 160 l/mm that's like what, 3.5k across the film? Typically 35mm film will measure around 3k resolution. RED Epic will measure (in the recorded file) ~4k and in A/B testing does look sharper than 35mm film, looking more like 65mm film.

Re:Movie theaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723590)

The LP/mm resolution tells you the absolute maximum resolution if you push down to 1 bit per channel.

Re:Movie theaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723270)

That would be a limit for a specific encoding... If anything, I would imagine most encodings can have 65536x65536 (jpeg uses a short for representing resolution and is limited to this size, never really looked at specifics for any video encodings) or higher, and you're only limited by harddrive space and the maximum file size the filesystem can handle (this can be evaded anyway by doing something similar to 7zip's split files)
Anyone who makes their encoding limited by an arbitrary number 'just because' is an idiot.
If an encoding's compression algorithm is somehow bound to a lower resolution, then you can just find another one that isn't.
(Or try to fix it)

Re:Movie theaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723512)

You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Are you an idiot or a nigger?

Re:Movie theaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723278)

Also, doesnt film have effectively unlimited resolution, while digital is limited to something around FullHD(1920*1080)?

What? No.

Film / tape is just sequential hard-drive, essentially.
Neither have any resolution limits. The interfaces that decode them and project them are the only limiting factor. (unless of course you record at a resolution that requires more storage than either of them can hold for a period of X)
4k seems to be the largest mentioned from the last time I checked. I believe this is becoming the new standard for all recordings, then they can be shrunk, stretched, panned and whatever done to it to fit the resolution the way you want it to. Youtube also streamed some videos at this resolution when they opened up the large-resolution uploads to the world.

As for the projectors in use at cinemas and the like, going to have to replace them sometime. Going to suck for the poorer cinemas, but that's life...

Re:Movie theaters (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723618)

Well, they are both unlimited to this extent: if you use more of it, you get more resolution. If you use a film stock that is a square foot and run it at 180 frames per second, you are going to get a lot of resolution. But same thing if you use a giant digital sensor with 100 LTO4 tape drives hanging off the back. Effectively, however, we are mostly at the limit of what we can do with film. It is too expensive or impossible to make cameras that can run large film at a high framerate. We are not, however, at the limit of what we can do with digital.

Re:Movie theaters (3, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723290)

While it's recorded on film, it's edited on a computer, and then duplicated back on to "film", which really is just a long strip of color laser printer transparency paper. The edited digital film is transferred at 4096x2000 give or take. The only films shot in 1080p were independent films. You'd be shocked at how many films are distributed this way. Something like 90%.

The end result is that the picture you see in the theater isn't as clear as the image you saw in the 1980s, but it's still ultra sharp for the purpose it's used for.

Re:Movie theaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723632)

On the other hand, the picture that I see in theater after it's been playing a month is probably better with a digital projection system. Film scratches and wears out.

Re:Movie theaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723814)

Is the film really printed with a laser printer? I didn't think those had the color range of other techniques.

I couldn't tell if you meant that as "what it's sorta like" or if you mean that's literally how they print the film from the digital copy. ?

Re:Movie theaters (3, Insightful)

AC-x (735297) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723338)

Given that most post-processing in film has been digital for decades but digital projectors have only just started to become widespread, I'd say we already have perfectly good ways to produce 35mm prints from a digital source.

Re:Movie theaters (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723358)

Film resolution is limited by the grain size. It's about 3k grains across on 35mm. 1st-gen digital projection was 2k pixels across; the current standard is 4k; 8k may become popular if 3D stays in fashion.

Re:Movie theaters (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723402)

4k is extremely rare, even today. Even IMAX Digital isn't really 4k.

Re:Movie theaters (1)

nattt (568106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723452)

4k scan is typical for 35mm film. 65mm (think Baraka or Samsara) would be scanned at 8k. IMAX would be scanned higher still. As for digital projection, 2k is standard, 4k becoming more common.

Re:Movie theaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723522)

The film is oversampled. Just because they scan at 8k doesn't mean that there is detail at that level worth salvaging, it just means you'll destroy less in the conversion.

Re:Movie theaters (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723630)

Agree. I have a shoebox filled with negatives that all have this mythical high resolution. The problem is, none of it is used. No point in over-sampling blur, where only 1/5 of the dynamic range is used.

Re:Movie theaters (1)

nattt (568106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723784)

Yes, there's some oversampling, so the 3k detail in 35mm film is scanned at 4k to avoid aliasing artifacts and get some over-sampling in there. But 65mm film is around twice the size, hence the greater resolution on it's scan at 8k to preserve it's detail with some oversampling, and larger again for proper IMAX for it's larger frame area.

Re:Movie theaters (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723560)

That's comparing apples and oranges. Scanning 35mm at 4k doesn't mean it ever had that much resolution. The grain is clearly visible.

Re:Movie theaters (1)

nattt (568106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723408)

3k is the neg. Projected film doesn't generally measure more than 720p in a typical cinema. Digital projection already out-measures film projection.

Re:Movie theaters (2)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723400)

Virtually all movies are edited digitally, so for a decade film prints have been from digital copies, anyway.

And given the costs of film copies (and the corresponding cut in profits from the distributor), theaters are being very heavily incented to go digital. (And the rise of 3D is pushing that, too.)

FuCkeR (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723234)

To the transmissIon R4ymond in his

In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723328)

makers of the buggy whip are concerned that these new fangled auto-mobiles will cut down on the need to whip the horses ass.

Loss of (or difference in) color fidelity? (3, Interesting)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723348)

Ordinarily, being the geek that I am (and having worked at the very forefront of digital cinema) I'd be pleased that faster, better cheaper technology is replacing film, even in the "capture" (recording) stage.

However, as a wanna-be physicist, I know(?) that color is NOT just the simple mixture of three (or more) primaries; that is in Real Life(tm) it is a continuos spectrum and that film cameras (I think) capture it with some chemicals that are not just sensitive to a narrow slice of this spectrum. I compare this to modern CMOS based cameras in which the sensors, even if they are similarly "broadband", probably have different responses to light than say Kodachrome.

So, does this account for why some people say digital looks different than film? Can it corrected? Do people care? I worked in compression not color but I guess I should have learned this. :(

Re:Loss of (or difference in) color fidelity? (2)

nattt (568106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723418)

Film negs use three layers which respond to it's three primary colours, CMY. Digital generally uses three filters to do RGB primaries. Our eye's cone cells come in three types - LMS.

Re:Loss of (or difference in) color fidelity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723504)

It should be noted that RGB primaries are a much better fit to LMS than CMY(K) and could theoretically yield more vibrant colours.

Re:Loss of (or difference in) color fidelity? (1)

nattt (568106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723792)

Yes, the colour gamut of a modern digital cinema camera like the RED Epic already exceeds that of film.

Re:Loss of (or difference in) color fidelity? (3, Informative)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723570)

Digital will never be 100% for everybody... for most of us, it's pretty close though. The reason is that while light is a continuous spectrum of wavelengths, our perception of light is a mix of 3 primaries. There's 3 basic colours of cones in your eye (red, green, blue... what a coincidence!), and your brain compares how much each of those react to different wavelengths to produce a colour. Digital display relies on this in order to reproduce the same perception of colour... it displays relative intensities of each of these three primaries in order to trick your brain into thinking it's looking at a different wavelength when it's actually looking at a combination of primaries.

The thing is... your "red" cones aren't all responsive to exactly the same frequency. Ditto the green and blue ones. And my red peak sensitivity band is almost certainly different from yours. Because digital display doesn't reproduce the exact colours you're sensitive to, it'll never be 100% true to life. It'll be close enough that most of us won't notice the difference, but it can't be 100% true to life. More than that, some humans, mostly females, actually have 4 colours of cones instead of 3, and can see slightly into what most would consider the ultraviolet range (I'm one of them). For those people, digital playback can never be as vibrant as real life, because it's not capturing that extra information that the eye sees. (and no, Sharp with their quattron, is still a waste of money, because the 4th colour isn't yellow).

Re:Loss of (or difference in) color fidelity? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723714)

There's 3 basic colours of cones in your eye (red, green, blue... what a coincidence!)
No, it's actually yellow, green, and blue.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cone_cell

Re:Loss of (or difference in) color fidelity? (1)

luckymutt (996573) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723624)

So, does this account for why some people say digital looks different than film? Can it corrected? Do people care? I worked in compression not color but I guess I should have learned this. :(

I don't think so. I think some people say it looks different when they are talking about low budget, quick turn around digital like like soap operas and low budget independent shot on consumer grade equipment.
When the digital pipeline is professional grade, shot, comped, edited and finished at 4k, then I think most people won't spot the difference (that is, if the director is going for a "film" look, which many do)
As for color, some pro digital cameras sport up to 18 stops of dynamic range, which is greater than film.

Take a look at this list of movies shot with the Red camera [red.com] and have someone honestly say if they could tell it was shot digital.

I think most would be surprised.

Re:Loss of (or difference in) color fidelity? (2)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723682)

Film looks "correct" because it is analog and made of real world chemicals that have the same flaws that the real world does. The green pigment in film (for example) shares some of the non-linearities that the green pigment in grass and tree leaves do. The color gamut reflects the real world better. Where digital is more linear, and a bit more artificial. You can also make Serious Photography Mistakes on digital and just correct them, where in film, you are more stuck with it. So, for example, if you shoot in low light, you just correct it. But that makes the subjects look un-real, because our eyes see a bright face that looks different than a face would look if it was actually lit brightly.

Not to mention, analog fails more pleasingly than digital.

Don't Cling to the Past (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723366)

Don't fret so much about lost media. You can always remake a film, with the added bonus of improving it for modern sensibilities. Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose! Next up: Soylent Green, it's people!

Can we have some consistency of terms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37723492)

Summary: "Creative Cow Magazine reports that manufacturers of movie cameras have quietly discontinued production of film cameras."

So those who make movie cameras have stopped making film cameras.

If the writer uses 'movie' and 'film' interchangably, the sentence makes no sense. How are you a manufacturer of movie cameras if you have discontinued making movie cameras? It invites the interpretation that film and movie are two different types of cameras.

But if they are, there's nothing in the summary to indicate what the difference is.

Re:Can we have some consistency of terms? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37723600)

Film [wikipedia.org] cameras are a subset of movie cameras.

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