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It's not about how high the resolution....

composite1's picture
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

I constantly get questions about 'what resolution did I shoot at' or 'what camera did I use to make my films?' When I tell people I use a combo of a 720p Broadcast Quality camera, point-n-shoot digital cameras and sports cameras I get the 'you didn't use a high-end camera?' look.

Unless a client specifically asks for a particular resolution, I shoot in 720p. It's HD so I don't have the hassles of dealing with compression issues like with SD video and it takes to color correction just fine. If there's something that needs particular attention, I will use 1080p during production and then just resize it for 720p and it looks great. High res video is great long as you're getting paid for the extra storage space, hardware horsepower and rendering times when using it. Otherwise, it's like using a cannon to shoot squirrels!

Here's a good video by Director Ken Simpson that breaks down the question of 'do you really need all that resolution to make your film?'


Rick Crampton's picture
Last seen: 1 month 1 day ago
Joined: 08/20/2009 - 1:08pm

Yehbut . . . . . . . YOU know what you're doing, right? For those who DON'T know what they're doing, they have to make up for it by impressing themselves and others hat they have the very, very " best " camera.


composite1's picture
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

"Yehbut . . . . . . . YOU know what you're doing, right? For those who DON'T know what they're doing, they have to make up for it by impressing themselves and others hat they have the very, very " best " camera."

Hahaha!
Oh man, I can't tell you how many times I've tried to talk clients down off that ledge. Even when I show them the significant increase in cost for 'going hi-res' especially when it's not needed, the old 'Well I want 'film quality' in my production' thing always comes up. I often say, 'If you want film quality, I can just shoot it on film. Just factor the cost of film, keeping it fresh, processing fees, potential reshoots due to damage in-camera or during processing, telecine and transfer to digital fees and transfer from digital to film if you don't plan on taking advantage of your digital print.' That usually stops all that right quick.

Having 'the very best camera' doesn't mean squat if you have a $#!% story, poor performances, sound issues and a terrible edit because you blew your budget on getting the top of the line camera and everything needed to support it at the expense of everything else. Investors and audiences aren't going to give a rat's petootie whether you shot at high resolution if the story is weak. The only thing hi-res will do in that situation is highlight how visually stunning the 'turd' you just spent all that time and money on looks....

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


dellwovideo's picture
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 05/20/2011 - 6:35pm

I hear what your saying. I've got a T3i, which has the same image sensor as the 60D and the 7d. People think a more expensive camera equals better end product. But that's not it at all. It's how you shoot your video and how you deal with it in post.

 

I recently worked as 2nd camera on a short film that used a RED as thier primary camera. I asked the director and DP how my stuff compared and they said it was really good. No problem cutting the two together.

 

I do have to say that I do shoot in 1080, though. Not that you're ever going to tell on a computer screen... or really hardly any screen for that matter. But it does allow me to reframe in post if needed, or add a zoom, pan, etc, without dropping under 720. But yeah... that's the only real reason you NEED to shoot 1080.

 

Here's a fun calculator you might show clients to put things in perspective.

 

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/viewingdistancecalculator.html

 

It shows that for the 40" 1080p TV that I have, I have to be 5.3 feet from the screen to take advantage of the higher resolution due to the limitations of the human eye (visual acuity.) Since my eyes are 9' away from my TV while sitting on my couch (and my eyes aren't quite 20/20 anymore) it really doesn't matter whether I'm watching 1080 or 720. Most television is broadcast in 720 anyway since it requies less bandwidth.

 

Contrast is a far more important factor than resolution. Just compare an old LCD projector to a new DLP projector at the same resolution and you'll see a massive picture improvement in the DLP with higher contrast.

 

If the end product is only going online, then there's even less reason to shoot in 1080. Ask them how often they sit at a 1080p screen and watch streamed video at 1080 and if they do, how often it freezes, drops frames or loses synch with the audio. I watch most stuff online at 720 or 480 because it plays smoother and looks just as good.