View Full Version : Film Reels or High Definition?

13-04-07, 14:53
My friend and I have an interesting debate last evening. I told him HD movies are sharper and in higher quality compared to film reel but he thinks otherwise. He said film reel is better because it was in analog format compared to HD being digital and it is also a lot sharper.

Analog as he said has data signals that can reach infinity compared to digital. But he also admit when I said digital is more useful to developers because of it's ability being able to be edited and it's the common standard of film industry nowadays.

So who do you think is right? I like to hear your opinions on this one.:)

13-04-07, 15:50
That's actually a very interesting question. The fact is that analog material can have theoretically unlimited amounts of information (i.e. infinite number of shades of, say, red), while digital formats always have only a fixed number of step. So theoretically, some information can only be kept analog, i.e. on film reels.

However, things are not all that bright as they seem. First of all, the representation (either analog or digital) is only as good as the input source, and neither has much advantage there. Then, the ways the information is transmitted is also crucial. With analog, it goes from the lens to the film, then another film, then another film and so on, possibly with a conversion to digital and back for special effects. All of these conversion steps can and will have some data alteration. This cannot be avoided in analog at all. In digital, however, it is fairly easy to make sure that no data is lost during a copy process. Also, digital has the advantage that CGI effects can be brought in directly, without any conversion.

Finally, the question is how well the data ages. Old analog data just tends to rot. Analog data is very tightly copied to the physical medium it is on, and it cannot be transferred without data loss, so once the physical medium reaches the end of it's life span, it gets very difficult to preserve the data in the original quality. Digital does not have this problem. While hard drives and DVDs and anything can (and will) fail, the data can be transferred without any loss in quality, so it can easily outlive it's source medium.

13-04-07, 17:10
Ah Cochrane, you beat me to it:p Good post though. That sums up the debate perfectly. While film has a much much higher resolution than DV at the moment, traditional techniques require multiple prints to be made during the post production process. So like Cochrane said, there's a loss of image quality. A normal production will go through at least three copies so when you get to the cinema, naturally the film will look less sharp and vivid than it's digital counterpart since DV is a straight dump from the camera originals, into the computer than to a projector. I'm with Cochrane on this one, in terms of preservation DV is the way to go.

13-04-07, 17:18
I forgot about films loss of quality. Interesting opinions Cochrane and Mr. Burns,thank you very much:tmb: :D