Is there a website where I can see a side by side comparison of 35mm film and DVD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ricardo C, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    I'd really like to know just how much "real" image quality is lost in the transfer to DVD. We can discuss image resolution till the cows come home, but I'd love to see how that theoretical loss translates into the actual (more subjective) viewing experience.
    I read an interesting article about a 35mm vs DVD screening that showed six films, first on 35mm, and then on DVD. But they did not provide any side-by-side screenshots. You can read that article here
    Can anyone help?
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    The problem is the "screenshots" would have to be downsampled to 72dpi in order to be displayed on the web. It would be difficult to display in the digital realm the difference, because the very nature of the difference.

    -Vince
     
  3. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Very true.

    I wonder if I know anyone with a 35mm projector *gets out address book*

    Curse this obsession! lol
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Ricardo,

    YOu might try attending film festivals- expecially workshops for filmmakers. I have seen some interesting displays on DV transfers to 35mm at workshops- so I assume some Film vs. Video displays probably exist somewhere.

    One word of caution however- since video and film can't be played from the same projection source, you're going to have a tough time making a real serious comparison back to back. Video projection comes in so many different forms that your impression would hinge heavily on how the video was being scaled and projected!

    I know I've seen DVD projected to full cinema screen size at Fox studios- and it looked very very good (you could have probably fooled me with some of the shots and told me it was film)-- but I couldn't replicate the results myself with less than $100,000 to spend.

    -Vince
     
  5. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Thanks for the info, Vince [​IMG] The problem with living in the third world is that there aren't that many colleges that house film schools. Venezuelan cinema is... Well... Current American porn has higher production values. The sad thing is that I'm only half-kidding about that last one.
    A couple more questions, if you don't mind [​IMG]
    As I've said in my other thread, I'm in the market for a 16x9 TV. However, my longer-term goal (next year or so) is to acquire a good digital projector (DLP ideally, but I'm willing to go with LCD too) and use it exclusively for watching films. What's the absolute best model (in your opinion) that can be had for a moderate, "I'm not taking out a second mortgage, dammit!" kind of budget? Say, between $3,000 and $8,000. Also, what's the biggest picture size I could achieve with such a projector before the image starts losing quality?
    And my last question would be: You said:
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  7. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Thanks a million, Vince [​IMG] Man, I love this place. Who knows how much money I might waste if I you guys weren't so willing to help a newbie out [​IMG]
     
  8. Stephen_Dar

    Stephen_Dar Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't see how you're going to make the comparison between DVD and film myself; as has been pointed out, that sort of comparison doesn't seem to get much attention as being relevent. But, I too am very interested in getting this resolution thing sorted out. As someone who's only been serious about HT for a couple of years, I note that there seems to be a lot of confusion and down right quackery in this field. Digitization strikes me as being no where near as simple a thing as the damn tech industry has been telling us for the past decade.

    A friend recently bought an HD CRT TV and we've been doing comparisons on this question of resolution. First thing you notice - component video does seem to matter a lot on his TV, but not much at all on a regular 4:3 far as I can tell. And, as others have said, stores almost never seem to have their junk set up well. But, the biggest thing we've tentatively noted is the variation between DVD transfers is HUGE, so making a comparison to film probably isn't warranted yet. We've found most DVDs actually quite disappointing and soft when you compare them to the very best images like Gladiator (what's up with that disk - our imagination, or is it head and shoulders above the image quality of almost all other disks?). When you realize these are tiny little 5 gig compressed copies of films that, uncompressed, contain terabytes of data, I find the comment above hard to swallow (ie, that DVD projected onto a full size theatre screen could pass for film). But, I'd like to see it for myself. Problem with such a comparison - many prints sent even to theaters here in the LA area are actually quite grainy, scratched, and otherwise not so great.

    In the end, film is not a digital medium, so it may never be possible to say film contains exactly X amount of data and no more (it depends on the size and density of the molecules in the emulsion I guess). But, I've always heard rough estimates that film contains at least twice the total resolution of the 1080i standard for HDTV. Based on my experience with still photo emulsions like kodachrome, I'd say that sounds right.
     
  9. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    I guess what I want to find out is how a good DVD transfer, projected onto say, an 8-foot wide screen by a quality projector, compares to the average film print I see in theaters. I know it could never compare to a pristine print, but not many theaters actually get such high-grade prints to begin with.
     

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