Thursday, December 13, 2007

progressive forever

I will never willingly shoot an interlaced frame again.

After watching a movie on a 46 inch LCD in 1080i, and then in 720p, it's clear to me that progressive is the *only* way to shoot anything. High resolution is an aesthetic imperative, as much as good sound. The 1080i image felt 'blurry' and 'fuzzy' compared to the progressive image.

For a low-budget independent filmmaker, I think this means that the only thing to be shooting is 1080p. If you want your films to be around in 5 years, shooting anything less than 1080p is self-destructive. Given a choice, consumers are going to prefer higher resolution. (How many VHS tapes have you watched lately?)

Hollywood knows this, and according to one expert I talked to, the big boyz are already experimenting with shooting 4k (and higher) progressive at 48 frames per second. Their data rates are into the terabytes. (Have to find details on this.)

All this boils down to Sony's new HDCAM EX for low and no-budget filmmakers like me. $7K and you get 1080p 60 frames, recorded to solid state memory. (I got a chance to put my hands on the EX at DV Expo last week researching Digital Video Secrets, and the camera's really slick.)

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