Still the open question... is 1080P good enough?
Almost good enough for any feature film with heavy VFX and a 2k delivery (although the VFX people would appreciate the 4k plates). It's highly unlikely anyone will ever come back with money to redo the post for a 4k deliverable in the future unless you're a Star Wars, 2001 or Blade Runner significant release.
I just watched a couple seasons of The Big Bang Theory in 480p (it exits in 1080p), I'm probably never going to rewatch them, so 480p would have been good enough.
I'm all for high resolution sensors. And I'm all for supersampling for better 1080p. I'm not terribly convinced of any urgency for a 4k deliverable until a media provider actually delivers respectable 1080p. I would barely call what most people see 1080p. I've never seen an MP4 that delivered anywhere near uncompressed 720p quality.
And while Epic-M is available in "Limited" Numbers... aren't there still more of them than Alexas 'in-the-wild'?
These are people who can't see a difference between upscaled DVD and 1080p ProRes of the same footage when seated 8 feet from a 50" 1080p plasma. Can't is too strong a word ... don't. When I show them, sometimes I see the light bulb go off in their eyes, but then they often don't care. They see the difference suddenly, but they don't think its worth fussing over the difference.
Most of them truly can't tell 720p from 1080p in motion images. If you pause they can see the difference in still frames ... but they just can't see it in motion.
Don't get me wrong - I can see the difference, and I'm 100% convinced that 5K at least is worthwhile. I'll have to wait until 4K displays become available at Best Buy to see what folks think ... but I fear it will be a less compelling upgrade to most viewers than 1080p was over SDTV.
Let me put that differently - what I learned from my "market research" is that we professional image makers see and value a lot more than our audiences seem to- and thus we can not trust ourselves with regards to how the audience will react to image quality.
For business I justify my plan to buy Epic based on dynamic range, HDRx, frame rates, camera size and 12/16 bit RAW. Those are plenty powerful enough reasons to buy, so pending actual money you have my business.
That said, I expect to be delivering primarily 1080p or 2K materials for at least 3 years. (Though I'm eager for that to change!) So, for me 5K is just "future proofing" my acquisition. This talk of future proofing is just a sales point though - I doubt that anyone will be remastering almost any of the 4K Red materials I shot that finished at 1080p - even my Star Trek episode.
After shooting my first few days with the Epic, I'm so stoked to be getting one when the time comes. 6:00AM doesn't seem so bad when I get to go in and put an Epic up on a Fisher 11 tomorrow.
Those of you that think 1080P and 2K are future proof... God love you. You are dead wrong.
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