Monday, March 29, 2010

The end of film?

The recent Great Camera Shootout compares DSLR's to film, and while the DSLR's did a really good job compared to film, they still lagged a bit on lattitude; getting about 10 stops compared to film's 13.

But DSLRs aren't the only digital option out there; and if you have the money there's RED's Mysterium-X and the just announced ARRI ALEXA.

Visual effects supervisor and producer Marc Weigert has a write-up at HD User Magazine where he goes through tests performed to compare the RED, ARRI and film in low-light situations. He comes to the conclusion that: “FILM (Celluloid, that is), IS DEAD!

The dynamic range of these two cameras blew me away. ARRI has measured 13.5 stops.
The RED had slightly less dynamic range than the Alexa. I would put the RED rather in the range of 11-12 stops usable range, which is still excellent. I’ve heard of other test shoots for the RED coming in at 13 stops, and that may be true, too. But in direct comparison, we could see detail in the blacks of the ARRI footage that was gone in the RED, and the same with highlights. But, as I mentioned before, I believe none of this practically matters much, unless your DP grossly over or under exposes, which would be pretty much impossible if you have a calibrated monitor on set.

HD User Magazine: Out Of The Dark Ages

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