Jump to content

What will it take for digital camera manufacturers to catch up with the film look?


Matins 2
 Share

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, Matins 2 said:

I'm curious to know if you have any footage without rolling shutter to show to support this claim.

Go stand outside a cinema and as the people leave, poll them with the questions: "did you see the rolling shutter?" & "did you find it objectionable / deal breaker?"

The answer will be "No" & "No"
(or even more likely: "what the hell are you talking about?")

Not a single person watching a film in your average cinema theatre gives a damn if the camera used has a global shutter or not. 

But if you really "must" (perhaps you shoot tonnes of flash photography, or you're the world's biggest fan of whip pans) then buy yourself  Sony PMW-F55 and be happy. (they're becoming quite affordable ish now on eBay)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Q: When will digital catch up to film?
A: When you learn to colour grade properly.

With a few notable exceptions (you know who you are), the colour grading skill level of the average film-maker talking about this topic online is terrible.  Worse still, is that people don't even know enough to know that they don't know how little they actually know.

I have been studying colour grading for years at this point, and I will be the first to admit that I know so little about colour grading that I have barely scratched the surface.  

Here's another question - Do you want your footage to look like a Super-8 home video from the 60s?  

I suspect not.  That's not what people are actually looking for.  Most people who want digital to look like film actually don't.  Sure, there are a few people on a few projects where they want to shoot digital and have the results look like it was shot on film in order to emulate old footage, but mostly the question is a proxy for wanting nice images.  Mostly they want to get results like Hollywood does.

Hollywood gets its high production value from spending money on production design.

Production design is about location choice, set design, costume / hair / makeup, lighting design, blocking, haze, camera movement, and other things like that.  If you point a film camera at a crappy looking scene then you will get a crappy looking scene.  There's a reason that student films are mostly so cringe and so cheap-looking.  They spent no money on production design because they had no money. 

Do you think that big budget films would spend so much money if it didn't contribute to the final images?

I suggest this:

  • Think about how much money you'd be willing to spend on a camera that created gorgeous images for you, and how much you'd spend on re-buying all your lenses, cages, monitors, and all the kit you would need to buy
  • Think about how much time you would be willing to invest on doing all the research to work out what camera that was, how much time you would spend selling your existing equipment, how much time you would spend working out what to buy for the new setup, how much time you would spend learning how to use it, how much time you would spend learning to process the footage
  • Take that money and spend half of it on training courses and take the other half and put it into shooting some test projects that you can learn from, so you can level-up your abilities
  • Take that time you would have spent and do those courses and film those projects

People love camera tests, but it's mostly a waste of time.  Stop thinking about camera tests and start thinking about production value tests.  Take a room in your house, get one or two actors, hire them if you have to (you have a budget for this remember) and get them to do a simple scene, perhaps only 3-6 lines of dialog per actor.  It should be super-short because you're going to dissect it dozens of times, maybe hundreds.  Now experiment with lighting design and haze.  Play with set design and set dressing.  Do blocking and camera movement tests.  Do focal length tests (not lens tests).  Now do costume design, hair and makeup tests.  

Take this progression into post and line them up and compare.  See which elements of the above added the most production value.  But you're not done yet - you've created a great looking scene but it is probably still dull.

Now you have to play with the relationship between things like focal length / blocking / camera movement and the dramatic content of the scene.  Most people know that we go closer to show important details, and when the drama is highest, but what about in those moments between those peaks?  Film the whole scene from every angle, every angle you can even think of, essentially getting 100% coverage. 

Now your journey into editing begins.  Start with continuity editing (if you don't know what that is then start by looking it up).  You now have the ability to work with shot selection and you should be using it to emphasise the dramatic content of the scene.  Create at least a dozen edits, trying to make each one as different as possible.  You can play with shot length, everything from the whole scene as one wide shot to a cut every 1s.  You can cut between close-ups for the whole scene, or go between wides and close-ups.  Go from wide to mid to close and go straight from wide to close without the mid shots in between.  What did you learn about the feel of these choices? 

What about choosing between the person talking and the person listening?  What does an edit look like where you only see the person talking, or just the person looking?  Which lines land better when you see the reaction-shot?  Play with L and J cuts.

Now we play with time.  You have every angle, so you can add reverse-angles to extend moments (like reality TV does), you can do L and J cuts and play with cutting to the reaction shot from some other line.  What about changing the sequence of the dialogue?  Can you tell a different story with your existing footage?  How many stories can you tell?  Try and make a film with the least dialogue possible - how much of the dialogue can you remove?  What about no dialogue at all - can you tell a story with just reaction shots?  Can you make a silent film that still tells a story - showing people talking but without being able to hear them?  Play with dialogue screens like the old silent films - now you can have the actors "say" whatever you like - what stories can you tell with your footage?

Then sound design....

Then coaching of actors....

Now you've learned how to shoot a scene.  What about combining two scenes?  Think of how many combinations are now available - you can now combine scenes together where there are different locations, actors, times of day, seasons, scenarios, etc.  Now three scenes.  

Now acts and story structure....

Great, now you're a good film-maker.  You haven't gotten paid yet, so career development, navigating the industry, business decisions and commercial acumen.  Do you know what films are saleable and which aren't?  Have you worked out why Michael Bay is successful despite most film-makers being very critical of him and his film-making approach and style?

There's a saying about continuity - "people only notice continuity errors if you film is crap".  Does it matter?  Sure, but it's not the main critical success factor.  Camera choice is the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, MrSMW said:

Not possible in Covid-2020 and even after, they will all be shut forever soon anyway because of mobile phones + international popcorn prices that have got waaaaaaay out of hand. Facts.

Smuggle in your own popcorn, and put your mobile phone on silent, but don't accept the defeat of cinema!

RISE UP!

3000.jpg?width=380&quality=85&auto=forma

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/17/2020 at 6:39 PM, Matins 2 said:

Is it even possible? Are new sensor technologies needed? Are there certain developments going on that some of us are unaware of?

 

Two different mediums 

 

not a question of catching up

 

the difference between working with Kodak film and digital video is substantial when you a pursuing a career 

 

Thats why I have a film camera  in my gear bag

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you could grab pretty much any camera now and make the audience believe it looks like a “real film”. 

@kye notifies sone great points. It’s more about what’s in the scene, and how that is coloured and lit. 

Sure, cameras like RED, Blackmagic, Arri all have a special feel to the motion. No doing about it. But the audience will barely notice. 

At the same time, most consumers have “TruMotion”, “Smooth Motion” switched when watching films on TV. They rarely notice it, but they notice production design, colour and performance quality above all else. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/19/2020 at 3:20 AM, IronFilm said:

Go stand outside a cinema and as the people leave, poll them with the questions: "did you see the rolling shutter?" & "did you find it objectionable / deal breaker?"

The answer will be "No" & "No"
(or even more likely: "what the hell are you talking about?")

Not a single person watching a film in your average cinema theatre gives a damn if the camera used has a global shutter or not. 

But if you really "must" (perhaps you shoot tonnes of flash photography, or you're the world's biggest fan of whip pans) then buy yourself  Sony PMW-F55 and be happy. (they're becoming quite affordable ish now on eBay)

I'd be lying if I said that I truly care what the average citizen likes or dislikes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, TomTheDP said:

Pondering cameras 

Exactly, if you're not doing it professionally, then for sure, you can do silly stuff such as promoting the criteria of "global sensor' to being above everything else as being waaaaaaaaay "more important" full stop. 

But in the real world, then for 99% of productions not having a global sensor is not a deal breaker. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The question was raised to discuss and share information about the technical side of digital cameras, specifically their sensor technologies compared to film. Questions that come to mind are: which sensors come closest and why, in what way could they be improved, and what makes them better if their image quality has surpassed film (which I don't think is the case)? It wasn't exactly raised to discuss the use of certain cameras in productions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice thumbnail.:) @Matins 2 Daguerreotype, right. Pristine film look would be possible with a BMPCC as the cheapest option, in 4K one could try a used G9 in HLG with the 10bit update for 600 or 700usd. I already got a run for my money years ago filming 8bit HD, in natural profile and 100mbit with the GH5, because the 10bit codec was still new for Davinci Resolve :) Mission accomplished:)

For even mored dependable results use a PMW F3 with its external 10bit output. They gotten more expensive now due to their good rep. Would love to get my hands on a F5 or shoot something meaningful with my F3 first. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, PannySVHS said:

Nice thumbnail.:) @Matins 2 Daguerreotype, right.

The oldest preserved photograph (adjusted), by Nicéphore Niépce. Taken around 1826 using a box with a hole in it, a lens and a pewter plate coated with natural asphalt. 🙂

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/View_from_the_Window_at_Le_Gras
https://photo-museum.org/niepce-invention-photography/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Matins 2 said:

The question was raised to discuss and share information about the technical side of digital cameras, specifically their sensor technologies compared to film. Questions that come to mind are: which sensors come closest and why, in what way could they be improved, and what makes them better if their image quality has surpassed film (which I don't think is the case)? It wasn't exactly raised to discuss the use of certain cameras in productions.

The question "what sensor most matches film?" is about as useful as "what film matches digital?".

If you're interested in using digital sensors to emulate film, then learn to colour grade, like I said.  What is possible far outreaches what people think is possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...