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Film and telecine vs video


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#1 Christopher Husta

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 10:12 PM

Hello everyone im new to film, but im extremely intersted in it (im a film major at Emerson college) and I honestly want to do this for the rest of my life. I love reading these forums and hearing from pros. Thought it was time I asked a question ive been thinking about. So film has a higher dynamic range than digital. How can film that is telecined retain that dynamic range. The film is being captured by a digital sensor. So in the end isnt is just like capturing the image with a digital camera? Is the issue not with the sensor but the codec? Is each frame being recorded RAW instead of as video stream?

Thanks a bunch,
Christopher Husta
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 12:23 AM

Well, the print stock used to show something shot on color negative doesn't display all the dynamic range of the negative either, because the print needs a higher contrast so that blacks look black even with a bright projector light pounding through the print and bouncing an image off of a white surface.

Same goes for broadcast TV gamma, the contrast is higher, the dynamic range more limited, than what film negative can hold.

But what the larger range of film gives you is more flexibility in color-correction because you have more information to push around and decide what to cram into the narrower range. If the amount of dynamic range was the same both for origination and for presentation, it would be like shooting slide film, you'd have to nail almost everything in the original with no leeway to make adjustments.

Now you could telecine the film negative to a flat Log format that holds all the dynamic range, but on a broadcast monitor, it would look milky and flat and somewhat dim in the whites.
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#3 Christopher Husta

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 01:43 AM

So its not that digital sensors cant pick up the same dynamic rage its that it cant be reporduced by ntsc. And I never even thought about the print film! It makes sense. Im the dp on my first color project at school and everyone wants to use an ex3 except me. I sugjested doing a DI for comprimise but then started ponder digitizing. Thanks a bunch I honestly really apreciate your response. I cant even describe how excited I am to start experimenting with stuff!
Christopher.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 01:50 AM

So its not that digital sensors cant pick up the same dynamic rage its that it cant be reporduced by ntsc. And I never even thought about the print film! It makes sense. Im the dp on my first color project at school and everyone wants to use an ex3 except me. I sugjested doing a DI for comprimise but then started ponder digitizing. Thanks a bunch I honestly really apreciate your response. I cant even describe how excited I am to start experimenting with stuff!
Christopher.


Well, most consumer video cameras don't allow you to record beyond Rec.709 broadcast gamma, but many pro cameras allow either a flatter "film rec" or "hypergamma" function, or even the flatter Log format. But considering that most consumer cameras are limited to recording 8-bit 4:2:0 video in a highly compressed codec, it's probably a good thing that they don't attempt to squeeze a super-wide dynamic range into such a small container.
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