I was surprised to see this headline in Studio Daily today:
Roger Deakins’ Digital Odyssey Not in 4K
The Cinematographer Says 2K Alexa Footage Up-Resed to IMAX Looks 'Superb';
ARRI Says 'No Need for 4K Alexa Right Now'
The full article is here:
and the first part of the video interview is here:
I have great respect for Roger and his work, but I have to say there is a visible difference between something shot in 4K and something uprezzed from 2K to 4K. What I will say is that the difference is much smaller than a lot of people think, and it depends a lot of content, exposure, contrast, and color correction.
I have to say, the 2K projects I've seen that were uprezzed to Imax -- including a film I worked on, Shine a Light -- looked fine. The technology to sharpen and uprez material has gone a long way. But I still think there's a lot of issues on both sides.
I was struck by another sentence in the article:
"While Alexa is being used more frequently to acquire big-budget Hollywood films, notably this year's box-office crusher The Avengers, the camera is an even larger hit among DPs in episodic television, where it has now surpassed a whopping 85% market share."
The article doesn't note that I suspect this is happening because the camera can quickly generate simultaneous QuickTime files without the need for DeBayering or further processing (assuming the end result is 1080 HD). The reasons for choosing the camera have nothing to do with 2K or 4K, but more about a perception of speed and ease of use. I think when the Meizler Module ships, this will level the playing field a lot more.
Let me also say that Deakins is a fine cinematographer who does great work. In his hands, I don't think the camera will make that great a difference. And I bet he could great incredible pictures out of the Epic.