A motion picture refers to a series of still images, which when viewed in brisk succession, seem to be moving. There are two principles behind the creation of the illusion of movement of the pictures. These include; persistence of vision and displacement. Persistence of vision is a phenomenon that enables us to see the frames as a constant image without the incursion of seeing the space between the frames. Our brains form a visual impression upon seeing an image and the image loiters until the next image displaces it. Displacement, conversely, forms the illusion of movement. As the image shifts from frame to frame, we are able to recognize the new position of the focus relative to the rest of the images and fill in the gap between the frames. This creates the impression of seeing movement. As rates of projection of frames increase, the time between the frames decreases and the ‘persistence of vision’ smoothens out the shimmer from image to image. There are two types of motion picture cameras; digital motion picture camera and film motion picture camera. There are a number of differences between these two types of cameras .
Lenses for motion picture cameras come in long and normal wide-angle focal lengths. The required lens is fixed into position by rotating the turret, on which the lenses are mounted. Many super-8 cameras have a zoom lens that has a number of focal lengths that are controlled by moving a given group of lens fundamentals away from the film or towards the film. For viewing purposes, these cameras use a beam splitter which, to some extent, is a reflector that is silvered to divert a small amount of light to a viewfinder and allow most of the light to reach the film .
Film motion picture camera comes in different sizes; 8 mm, 35 mm and 75 mm. They all operate on the same principles. Exposures made are usually at the rate of 18 or 24 frames per second. This means that the film stops for a very short while to expose each frame as it goes through the camera. This is achieved by a device known as the rotary shutter. A rotary shaft refers to a half-circle of a metal which spins to alternately open and close the aperture. The film is located behind the aperture. In order to make the film hold still, to allow exposure of the frames, while moving along its path, a device known as claw is used. This is a piece of metal that pops into the perforations in the film alternately to; pull down the film, react to release the film during the exposure of the frame and take hold of the next frame when it returns to the top of the channel in which it travels. The movements of the claw and the shutter are synchronized, so as to close the shutter while the frame is being pulled downwards by the claw. This also ensures that the shutter is open when the frame is not in motion in its gate .
The Red Epic digital motion picture camera is a camera that took the world by storm in 2007. It is able to shoot music, commercial and episodical videos of full length. It is a camera that was designed to advance in the digital motion world. It has the ability to use RED Electronic mount, PL mount, Canon or Nikon Smart mounts, thus providing focusing and exposure capabilities that are fully automatic . It houses a 27 layer ASIC, the most advanced processor in the world. It also has a sensor called Mysterium-X sensor. This technological advancement gives the Red Epic digital motion picture camera the capacity to take up to 120 frames per second of attractive slow motion recording in 5k resolution. It also takes up to 300 frames per second of attractive slow motion recording at 2k resolution .
It gives a native lively range of more than 23 stops that surpasses 35 mm motion picture film. Addition of the newly advanced High Dynamic Range Extender (HDRx) greatly extends the dynamic range technology to about 18 stops. The High Dynamic Range Extender allows taking of many pictures with different values of exposure and then later combine them to come up with one photograph. The pictures have similar names and time-code; thus it is easy to combine them in post. Any grading system that has high end such as; ‘DaVinci Resolve’ or ‘Scratch’ have no trouble using the High Dynamic Range Extender in their regular workflow. It allows the operator of the camera to choose the number of highlight protection to apply . Red Epic digital motion picture camera is the first camera to use High Dynamic Range Extender with motion pictures .
Conversely, when using a film motion picture camera, each individual scene is carefully set up, staged and lit, rehearsed and shot. Generally, many takes of each scene are made and the best take is edited to form the final production. As some directors strive to make perfection in current film productions that involve high budget, they re-shoot scenes several times before being satisfied .
The supreme standard for photographers is film speed ratings. The governing body that sets the standards for many subjects is known as the International Organization of Standardization (ISO). Films, used in the film motion picture cameras, are bought in ISO 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600. The ISO’s of film stocks are indicated on the films . Digital cameras, on the other hand, have interchangeable ISO settings. In digital photography, it is possible to change the ISO setting for each shot to be taken . One problem incurred when using ISOs is the deterioration of the quality. The higher the ISO number, the higher the sensitivity to light. When high ISO film such as 800 is used, the emulsion utilized on the film has more sensitive and larger grains, which are perfectly visible in the images, thus reducing the quality. High ISO sensitivity allows a film to work better in low light conditions . However, in digital cameras, the higher ISOs produce digital noise, which looks like grain and is as a result of increasing sensitivity of the pixel. Digital noise refers to any light signal which does not come from the subject, thus forms random color in image . High ISO sensitivity in digital cameras allows the image sensor to work better in low light conditions because the image sensor works stronger to establish an image that is effective .
High ISO film speed is different from high digital ISO speed due to the fact that there is a great difference between digital image sensors and films. ISO speed refers to the mathematical expression of sensitivity of a photosensitive material to light. The arithmetic value used is ISO 400. ISO film speeds are established through exposure of the film in question to a given range of values, then providing it with a specified scale of progress in a particular developer. The point at which a particular minimum density takes place on the resulting film curve decides on the speed of the film. A film of high ISO speed has more sensitivity to light than a film of low ISO speed. However, when the ISO setting of a digital camera is changed from one value to another (from low to high), sensitivity of the image sensor is not altered, but, the data it produces is amplified. . Unlike a film motion picture camera, the ISO of a Red Epic digital motion picture camera can be increased through touching a button. This flexibility makes it much simpler to obtain the desired image. With higher ISOs, it is good to use higher shutter speeds so as to do away with camera shake and motion blur .
The size of the image sensor of Red Epic digital motion picture camera determines the ISO setting that result in the lowest amount of digital noise. The image sensor size is different from the pixel count. Image dimensions refer to the sensor’s physical dimensions. The image sensor of a Red Epic digital motion picture camera is the same size as a 35 mm frame. A large full frame sensor enables more pixels to be packed into the image sensor. This results in smoother images that are grain-free at ISO settings of even 1600.Smaller image sensors result in more digital noise at high ISOs such as 800. This is because high pixel count means that more pixels are packed onto a much smaller area, thereby producing more grains .
Relative equipment robustness is an aspect that can be used to make a comparison between Red Epic digital motion picture camera and the film motion picture camera. It is assumed that digital motion cameras are less durable than film cameras, since film cameras are mechanically simpler. However, Red Epic digital motion picture camera lacks moving parts that can be affected adversely by extreme weather conditions, unlike the film motion picture cameras; whose film stock undergoes color shifts, when they are used or stored in extreme temperatures .
Technical quality aspect is also important in comparing these two different motion cameras. If conditions of production are controlled and comparison purely made on the grounds of color fidelity and sharpness, then Red Epic digital motion picture camera is superior to the best 35mm film motion picture camera, if the latest professional-quality cameras are used and the ultimate outcome is broadcast. The above statement might be controversial to some film people. However, if the process of production of each camera is traced, the statement becomes obvious. If a signal from a Red Epic digital motion picture camera is recorded on a very high quality process, there will be no perceptible difference between the image from the camera and the electronically reproduced image .
On the other hand, if a film is intended for the broadcast, the process becomes far more multifaceted. The image is first recorded on the image film, which is then used to make an intermediate print. A dupe negative is then made from this intermediate print. A positive print is the made. These add up to three generations. At each stage, quality and color variations are brought in by film processing and emulsions, resulting in a slight degradation of the image and unavoidable accumulation of scratches and dirt on the film surfaces. After all these stages, the projection of the film print into a video camera is done to change it to an electronic signal .
Unlike Red Epic digital motion picture camera, the film motion picture camera is based on mechanical processes. When the film is going through the gate of the camera and projector, unavoidable loss of ideal registration occurs. This is notable easily when one sits close to a large motion picture screen. Ever-so-slight changes in the position of sharp lines are seen on the screen. This is referred to as judder, which results in projected film images that are slightly blurred .
However, the digital image sharpness is not essentially an advantage. Many people have the illusion that the somewhat softer appearance of the film is one of its advantages. The soft environment around the film image is subconsciously related to film making. There are also slight color and tonal variations with the film, which, while not corresponding to the actual values of the original focus, are subliminally related to film and its historical heritage. On the other hand, the subtle sharper image of the video from Red Epic digital motion picture camera is related to live coverage of subject matter and events that are in disparity with the normal fare of film features .
An aspect that can be used in the comparison between Red Epic digital motion picture camera and a film motion picture camera is the cost of investment and processing. The minute-for-minute cost of broadcast-quality digital image recording is hundreds of times less than the 16 mm and 35 mm film and processing. Depending on the levels of complexity, Red Epic digital motion picture camera is more expensive than a 35 mm film motion picture camera. However, there is considerable savings in cost when using digital image recording for postproduction; editing and visual effects. This transfer takes place once the film leaves the film processor. Conversion of the negative film to a positive image, with needed correction of color, can be done electronically when then film is converted to video. The visual effects and editing are done by video process from this point. The negative film is, therefore, kept in a film vault and stored in a perfect condition. Substantial cost and time savings are realized through transfer of the film to video for editing. The video or digital imaging form is then used as a ‘blueprint’ to edit the film .
Another aspect that can be used in the comparison between Red Epic digital motion picture camera and a film motion picture camera is resolution. A film motion picture camera records images in a way that is almost similar to a digital motion picture camera. A film comprises of three dye layers; one to record blue light, another one to record green light and the other one to record red light. Every layer is covered, in an arbitrary arrangement, by silver grains. Resolution on a film motion picture camera is limited to a grain’s size. However resolution of a digital motion picture camera is limited to the size of a pixel . Red Epic digital motion camera has fantastic specs. It has a considerable 30mm by 15 mm sensor that provides 5120 by 2700 pixels .
Even though some film directors still assert that the appearance of film cannot be matched by video or digital imaging, in due course, digital imaging will completely replace film in the work involving motion picture. This transition is being enhanced by aesthetic and economic issues. The feature film called ‘28 Days Later’, which was shot using a digital motion picture camera released in 2003, was a success. It did very well at Box Office . Red Epic digital motion camera is modular since it provides great input and output options, recording options and formats, monitoring preferences, lens choices and power solutions. It also enables upgrading of components such as sensors. It is a depiction of a significant cost savings in technical quality, distribution and duplication of the image. According to the National Association of Theatre Owners’ trade group on 5th May, 2013, more than 85% of the 4044 theatres, embodying 34161 screens, had gone digital by 2012. Those who have not gone digital will either be forced to close or spend $60,000 or more so as to acquire digital equipment. This is because in next to no time, all movies will be available on computer disks rather than film. Many TV and film directors still oppose the fact that digital imaging is kicking film out of the motion picture industry. However, as soon as ‘Hollywood’ becomes 100% digital, this matter will become that of historic significance .
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