Thread: The goldilocks zone for image acquisition is 6K

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  1. #1 The goldilocks zone for image acquisition is 6K 
    Senior Member Karim D. Ghantous's Avatar
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    We have always known that 2K was never enough for delivery. Perhaps it was good enough for soap operas and news gathering and commercials, but for cinema it was not. It is irresponsible now to not be able to deliver in 4K. But, how do you get it? Do you shoot 4K, 6K, or 8K?

    There’s nothing wrong with shooting in 4K for 4K delivery. In fact it’s arguably the easiest thing to do. And there are great 4K cameras out there. The Raven, Alexa Mini, Pocket 4K, GH5s, to name the better ones across the price spectrum.

    But, let’s say you want some room to play. IMHO the ideal acquisition format is 6K. You compose in a 5K window. If you want to pull out a little, you can. If you want to punch in a little, you can. This is not a hypothetical feature, it’s a real one, and it’s one of the advantages of digital cameras.

    This leaves 8K for specialised uses. It’s not just about price, although that does help. 6K is the ideal compromise that balances all factors if you want something more than 4K acquisiton.

    You won’t always be shooting full frame, though, as sometimes you will need to shoot a lower resolution for higher frame rates. And you’ll rarely be pulling out to 6K, which means that the colorist won’t have to spend too much time matching downsampled 6K to downsampled 5K.

    So, what does that mean for current and future cameras?

    IMHO this means that hybrid cameras like the Panasonic S1H are arguably the better choice than the just released Canon R5. The S1H can shoot all day, and has 4K60 in S35 (the R5 has FF 4K120, though). If Panasonic is smart, they’ll keep refining 6K and not be tempted to go 8K.

    The Blackmagic Pocket 6K can do 6K50 FF, as well as a 2.8K120 window. Not bad!

    The Komodo can do 6K40 FF, as well as a 4K60 window. Those are all 17:9 resolutions, so keep that in mind.

    Once again, the number of really good 4K cameras outnumber the 6K cameras, so you have a lot of choice. The rumoured A7sIII is going to make 4K even more compelling. But if you want that goldilocks zone, you have three damned good solutions, at three different price points.
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  2. #2  
    As I see it you are completly wrong. The image quality of current cameras are far from perfect on a pixel level. All cameras have noise, all cameras use debayer estimation to determine the color for each pixel. All current decent cameras use olpf tech to soften away the moare issues that comes with sharp edes in the shot.

    All the above means that your image quality per pixel level will improve from downsampling. And that goes far, basically the more you downsample the better the image you get.

    And simply put, downsampling 6k to 4k is far from “enough” It sure helps, but if you downsample the same image to HD you will see that a lot of the flaws in the image will disapear.

    So the race for more resolution, as I see it is far from over. And it does not nesesary need to mean more bitrate and heavier files. Red is a perfect example. Not many people understand how it works with compression and resolution. But for a fact, if the bitrate is held constant the image will improve with resolution andit does so with imore than a 1:1 ratio. This means for example that monstro 8k shot with lower bitrate than the same camer, monstro shot at 4k The 8k file will still look alot better even though the file was lighter.

    So its actually cheaper to shoot 8k instead of 4k as the improved picture quality gained in the extra captured resolution allows for more compression. In other words you need less disk space to reach the same result if you up the K’s.

    I had this discussion with so many producers and its amazing how long it can take then to wrap thier head around it. But one way to explain it so the coin falls down. Monstro can not capture more data per second than dragon, gemini or any of the current red offerings, raven included. Still it offers a far better image.

    So simply put there is no real well grounded arguments to cap on resolution. Some say 8k is enough, but when 12k cameras comes I think a lot of people will reconsider as the image will simply be improved. Something that will be visable even when downsampling to 2k.

    So with compresion involved as a factor, which is somthing most cameras provide today, you could actually say that higher resolution allows for smaller filesizes to be captured with the same end result.

    And if you dont care about file size, then its easy to see that monstro at 8k at 2:1 compression simply delivers a better image than any of the 6k options at lowest compression.

    So yes as I see it, captured resolution matters and we are far from having enough of it.
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Björn Benckert View Post
    As I see it you are completly wrong. The image quality of current cameras are far from perfect on a pixel level. All cameras have noise, all cameras use debayer estimation to determine the color for each pixel. All current decent cameras use olpf tech to soften away the moare issues that comes with sharp edes in the shot.

    All the above means that your image quality per pixel level will improve from downsampling. And that goes far, basically the more you downsample the better the image you get.

    And simply put, downsampling 6k to 4k is far from “enough” It sure helps, but if you downsample the same image to HD you will see that a lot of the flaws in the image will disapear.

    So the race for more resolution, as I see it is far from over. And it does not nesesary need to mean more bitrate and heavier files. Red is a perfect example. Not many people understand how it works with compression and resolution. But for a fact, if the bitrate is held constant the image will improve with resolution andit does so with imore than a 1:1 ratio. This means for example that monstro 8k shot with lower bitrate than the same camer, monstro shot at 4k The 8k file will still look alot better even though the file was lighter.

    So its actually cheaper to shoot 8k instead of 4k as the improved picture quality gained in the extra captured resolution allows for more compression. In other words you need less disk space to reach the same result if you up the K’s.

    I had this discussion with so many producers and its amazing how long it can take then to wrap thier head around it. But one way to explain it so the coin falls down. Monstro can not capture more data per second than dragon, gemini or any of the current red offerings, raven included. Still it offers a far better image.

    So simply put there is no real well grounded arguments to cap on resolution. Some say 8k is enough, but when 12k cameras comes I think a lot of people will reconsider as the image will simply be improved. Something that will be visable even when downsampling to 2k.

    So with compresion involved as a factor, which is somthing most cameras provide today, you could actually say that higher resolution allows for smaller filesizes to be captured with the same end result.

    And if you dont care about file size, then its easy to see that monstro at 8k at 2:1 compression simply delivers a better image than any of the 6k options at lowest compression.

    So yes as I see it, captured resolution matters and we are far from having enough of it.
    I take it you're not a big Alexa fan?

    What about S16 film?

    I agree in theory. I remember trying out the Sigma DP2. 15 megapixels feels like a lot more when it's oversampled that much. Shot with C200 and EVA1 recently and the 6k vs 4k acquisition makes a world of difference.

    But what are the benefits in practice beyond just "more pixels"?
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  4. #4  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    The actual thing going on is the actual thing going on.

    There are three major delivery formats in two aspect ration containers which represent the maximum resolution in both the X and Y:
    DCI 2K or 16:9 1080p
    DCI 4K or 16:9 2160p
    DCI 8K or 16:9 4320p

    Mass market and in home delivery is the world of 16:9 and whatever aspect ratio you toss into that container.

    Cinema, DCI.

    6K is great at finishing to 4K and excellent at finishing 2K. Not really a thing to upscale to 8K, though people will do it. Most won't go there for the reasons that upscaling is still not a major workflow option.

    8K is good to great at finishing 8K, excellent at finishing 4K, and stellar at finishing 2k.

    Beyond 8K capture is still a smidgen of mystery, but we've got a ways to go.

    In terms of motion picture format sizes, you'll have capable to finish 4K and 8K solutions in most formats at the end of the day. RED world = Monstro 8K VV, Helium 8K S35, and the 5K and 6K variants for ideally 4K or 2K delivery, which reflects the mass market.

    Anything above 8K resolution in terms of delivery is pretty much exhibition or weird stuff for now. It would be that way forever though. The question in itself will be do we ever desire above 8K acquisition and do consumers desire above 8K in the home.

    The industry as a whole has "plans" for 10K, 12K, 14K, and 16K. However, it's unclear what the hell all that will actually end up being at the end of the day.

    Interestingly, for a very long time now, all roadmaps end at 16K playback and delivery that I know if terms of planned consumer products. Perhaps at that point we'll move back into the realm of vector based imaging or whatever. Who knows.

    We have a long time of 4K and 8K delivery to grow and saturate first.
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  5. #5  
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    Bjorn, you stated that argument really clearly and It seems absolutely correct. As I understand it, down scaling is one of the best ways we have to minimize aliasing to improve image quality with RED’s compression ability giving control over file size. I hope I have it right.
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  6. #6  
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    Bjorn is usually right, 100% of the time.

    By the way “ The Komodo can do 6K40 FF, ” perhaps should say s35 or something, since there are actual FF cameras and lenses out.
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  7. #7  
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    Hm, didn't know DCI 8K was a thing. Are there 8K theaters?
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  8. #8  
    This is a trivially testable hypothesis.

    In a house in the woods, on a clean table, lay out a Raven (4.5k), Komodo (6K), and Monstro (8K). Invite a passing klepto named Goldilocks to enter the house, try all the camera's, and take for free the one that suits her best. That is the only way to measure the Goldilocks zone for image acquisition.

    If I put on the wig and claimed to be Goldilocks, I'd take Monstro every time.
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  9. #9  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Šabović Adis View Post
    Hm, didn't know DCI 8K was a thing. Are there 8K theaters?
    The question itself is now "are there going to be theaters". Long term yes, but in our current world, hard one. DCI 8K hasn't "locked" as a standard, but in the last 4 years I can confirm I have shot and delivered DCI 8K content for uses.

    In home, UHD 8K is the thing, 7680x4320. Interestingly as people have started purchasing larger televisions in the 50+ inch realm, DCI has been "chatted about" as a television screen medium once again. Don't know if that ever will happen truly, but I wouldn't be made about that.

    16:9's penetration is so vast that it would be a hard ocean to hold back at this point. It's become part of the design language for so many other products as well like laptops.
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  10. #10  
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    Thanks, Phil!
    Well, I think I'll have to beef up my PC yet again. Damn...
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