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What is the target exhibition for this camera? 4K or 2K?


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#1 Mike Miller

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 10:53 AM

The new digital cinema standards call for 2K and 4K digital projection. True 2K and 4K projectors and theater screens are now a reality and it is obvious that future high end productions will be 4K. How does this camera with actual resolution of 3K fits in? Will it be used primarily for 2K projection? Is 3K acquisition needed in a digital 2K post production, where there is no resolution loss and 2K will mean the same resolution as 3K when acquisition is concerned? 2K camera with the same size sensor would have an advantage because of bigger pixels. Would not it be then advantageous for the camera to have 2K output, gathered from the whole 35 mm sensor, rather than 4K?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 12:45 PM

The camera doesn't have to match the projector exactly. What, a 1080P camera can't be used for 2K projection because 2K and 1920 are not the same thing? You can't show 2K material on a 4K projector (which is what is happening currently with most 4K projection)?

Digital cameras will have all sorts of recorded resolutions and actual resolutions, and the project will be finished in some resolution or another that may or may not match the camera's recorded or actual resolution... and copies will be made in other resolutions for display devices of other resolutions, not always matching the resolution of the source they are playing.

And there are generally benefits of oversampling, shooting at a higher resolution than the final display format.

People have to get off this kick of refering to picture resolution in terms of pixels because it is ultimately meaningless. A 4K D.I. of a movie shot in Super-16 with heavy diffusion, and then projected with a 4K projector, is not going to display even the detail of something shot on a 1080P HD camera. You can nitpick about 3K being the "actual" resolution of a 4K Bayer-filtered camera, but what does that mean? Compared to what? A 4K D.I. of 35mm? Another 4K Bayer-filtered camera? An imaginary 4K 3-sensor camera? A 3-sensor HD camera? With what lenses on these cameras? What filters?

All that matters is viewer perception, or if you want to get scientific, MTF transfer curves. Does it look sharp and detailed without aliasing problems? Compared to what standard or frame of reference? A 35mm contact-print? 35mm shot in 1.85 or anamorphic? With what lenses? What stock? What filters? People are assuming that a 4K scan of 35mm will give them 4K resolution when measured on a line chart when that may or may not be true.
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