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Is digital movie picture big difference?

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Gadjet, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. Gadjet

    Gadjet
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    Hi everyone,

    Tomorrow I am going to see Batman Begins on Imax in Manchester for first time, and while booking seat seen films that are being shown there with (Digital) by them. Is the quality a lot better in sound and picture than normal.

    If there is anyone there with projector knowledge whats the difference between the projectors used. Is normal film from reel and digital from disk?. Last question will all films be this way soon or is it just a few for a treat because of expense.

    Thanks for your time if you can answer any of my questions,

    Phill
     
  2. elicash73

    elicash73
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    i didnt know they could project imax size with a digital projector. I dont think they can, can they?

    They are able to project at IMAX sizes because they blow up the conventional 35mm film to 70mm. This is a fairly recent process as previously IMAX films had to be shot 70mm. But now they can blow it up without increasing the grain too much, hence you can now get movies old movies like Apollo 13 on IMAX.

    Not everything will be projected this way because 70mm film is roughly twice as expensive as 35mm. Okay, so digital projection might just be taking over (but technically its technically rougly equal to the quality of 35mm) mainly because its a lot cheaper to deliver films in that medium than it is to make thousands of projection prints.
     
  3. Gadjet

    Gadjet
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    Sorry Elicas I put the question wrong, I am watching Imax tomorrow but while looking on internet to book it I saw in same cinema (the filmworks) on normal everday screen films like Madagascar with digital by them. There where no digital in Imax screen. Not sure if it will make difference to answer.

    Take care,

    Phill
     
  4. Artie Fufkin

    Artie Fufkin
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    Where it says digital, could it mean Dolby Digital? Just a thought. I could be totally wrong.
     
  5. pj

    pj
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    digital projection is like the original jump in quality from vhs to dvd! if u ever get the chance to see something projected digitally jump at it! the last thing i saw was attack of the clones (starcity lost their digital projector a few years ago :mad: ) something like madagascar will look amazing as it is a pure digital source (the same as star wars or sin city as they were shot on digital) even a normal movie converted to digital is worth the price of admission :clap:
     
  6. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I'd be reluctant to say that digital projection is higher quality than 35mm.
    Its lower quality than 35mm on just about every single criteria that image quality is judged on.

    The difference is that digital projectors are newer and require less maintenance than your average 35mm projector ( when they work). So a digital exhibition will normally look better than a 35mm exhibition on a badly maintained projector. Print quality can also vary a fair bit and they don't stand up well if they are run through a badly maintained 35mm projector with a half dead bulb.

    Digital is not the panacea its made out to be. I'd rather watch a good 35mm print on a good projector ( the NFT springs to mind which has a better picture even with the house lights up than most commercial cinemas manage with the lights down).

    The main benficiary of digital exhibition is the distributors who in time will not have to stump up for the print costs although given the price of a decent theater grade digital projector its unlikely you'll see digital cinema outside of western countries so print runs will still be a necessity in th rest of the world.
     
  7. elicash73

    elicash73
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    Word.

    Interesting point about distribution to non western countries.

    The digital revolution is a myth.

    Also worth noting that a restored and well preserved print is still the optimum archival format used by all major studios.

    Its like digital cameras, to get anywhere near the resolution of a 35mm negative you need to spending well over £500 and you could stick a £2 roll of Kodak in a £10 camera that is twenty years old and still acheive better results. Consumerism gone mad.
     
  8. probedb

    probedb
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    It's not just the costs of distribution, it means films can be released simultaneously worldwide as there's not need for prints, it also means the quality is the same wherever. It'll be good to see the back of days where we get already used films from the States because it's released later. I can guess that a brand new 35mm film must look fantastic but it just doesn't happen in your average UGC or Cineworld! Digital projection will at least mean I get to see a decent quality picture at the local pictures :)
     
  9. elicash73

    elicash73
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    Films can be released worldwide on 35mm, anyway. It's just cowardly distributors in this country that stop it from always being simaltaneous. You get American films released in Spain and France before they are here, and they require extra time to be subtitled.

    I would hope that Digital Projection would bring an end to this and offer a greater variety in all cinemas thus allowing for better promotion of smaller films. However I expect the reduction of long run expendature (due to not having to pay for thousands of prints) will just bolster profit margins. Particularly as the largest promoters of Digital cinematography (George Lucas, Robert Rodriguez) are mostly concerned with special effects blockbusters and new technology. Entirely removing analog from their production line makes life easier for them (which is a crock).

    If you watch the new Superman (which is being shot on high definition) production diaries, there is a video entry in the screening room revealing that their digital rushes are taking two days longer to get to them. Okay so the format is in its infancy but WETA had no problem scanning their footage for Lord of the Rings and certainly enjoyed the greater resolution that doing this offered. Even if it took a little longer.
     
  10. pj

    pj
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    but if the movie is shot purely on digital like a lucas or rodriguez movie or an animated CG film, the 35mm version is the lower quality version its the equivalent of watching it on vhs @ ur mates house when u know you have it on dvd in full clarity at your own house, its not how the director intended it to be seen
     
  11. elicash73

    elicash73
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    Wrong. It makes absolutely no difference if it was shot on digital.

    15 million film grains versus 1million to 5million photosites on a ccd. Film has the higer resolution and wider exposure latitude. People would do better to install top notch and well maintained 35mm projector in their cinemas. It would be cheaper.
     
  12. pj

    pj
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    :lesson: errr no it is defintley better to see a movie that was shot digitally then projected digitally as it is a pure digital to digital presentation, if u watch revenge of the sith or sin city or any pixar movie on 35mm it has already been converted down to 35mm from its original digital form, the quality of such a movie presented digitally is mind blowing compared to the 35mm version and u will never see any wear and tear on the print either
     
  13. pj

    pj
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    :lesson: errr no it is defintley better to see a movie that was shot digitally then projected digitally as it is a pure digital to digital presentation, if u watch revenge of the sith or sin city or any pixar movie on 35mm it has already been converted down to 35mm from its original digital form, the quality of such a movie presented digitally is mind blowing compared to the 35mm version and u will never see any wear and tear on the print either
    btw im not on commision for dlp! :(
     
  14. elicash73

    elicash73
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    Have you seen a 35mm film projected digitally?
     
  15. Mr.D

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    Transfering a digitally captured movie to 35mm is by no stretch of the imagination a "down" conversion. Its written to 35mm intermediate stock on a laser recorder . Thats a 4k ( 4096x3112 for fullap) resolution film frame bearing in mind the original digital footage will only be 2048x1556 at best. ( animated features are even lower resolution and I don't think the system lucas uses is even 2048x1556) This procedure is considered to all intents and purposes to be "perfect" in comparisson to original 35mm footage down to the original grain pattern. It will cope with the smaller intensity , colour and detail levels on digital footage easily. It might even visibly improve it .

    I've not seen it myself but a professional motion picture matte painter sitting next to me has seen ROTS on both digital projection and on print and he prefered the print.

    That aside , there is nothing intrinsically superior about a digitally captured movie compared with shooting on 35mm ...quite the reverse.
    A good print on a good projector will toast a digital exhibition on a purely image quality basis.
     
  16. pj

    pj
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    maybe it just comes down to personal preference? if i haave the chance i would go out of my way to see a movie projected digitally as i feel it is the better of the two for image presentation (at least all the movies i have seen) my friends were not sold on it, until we watched AOTC 4 times on opening day 3 times on film 1 time dlp, lets just say they didnt see it on film ever again! the detail, the colours, the lack of scratches, no cigar burns, i know its not old school and all the projectionists i know just wont let go, but for me i cant wait for all cinemas to be digital, i attended a presentation on digital projection with some 35mm vs dlp tests and some were very close but the dlp took it every time some of the dlp tests even looked more "filmic" than its counterpart, i have always strived to get the best picture quality @ home and @ cinema i see it like HDTV, its coming and i cant wait, though i know the majority of people will never see it or will have to go out of their way to get hold of it, which is a shame :(
     
  17. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Must have been a very poor 35mm print and projector then.

    We have a theatre grade 3 chip dlp in our screening room and a top notch 35mm projector. The dlp is better than what you will see in the majority of most commercial digital setups ( ours is 2k for a start). Its still not as accurate as film and as far as we are concerned the whitepoint isn't bright enough , meaning the contrast range isn't sufficient and the gammut is much less than a 35mm print. ( and this is on a 20ft diagonal screen ... its going to be a lot worse on a larger screen)

    And this is feeding it uncompressed 10 bit log film scans , not the compressed stuff you get in a digital theatre.

    Anyone who thinks digital theatre is superior to 35mm has never seen a good 35mm presentation.
     
  18. BAN5HEE

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    Went to see Batman Return at the London BFI IMAX. All I can say is that it was amazing!! I hope they continue showing certain films like that at the IMAX. I would go and see them every time. Now watching anything at my Local Odeon makes everything seem bland.
     
  19. elicash73

    elicash73
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    Thanks for the technical information, Mr. D. Would it be possibe for you to tell me what line of work you're in?
     

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