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Sony: 4K isn't just about the resolution

Sharif Sakr
06.03.12
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With M. Night Shyamalan already shooting his next movie -- After Earth -- on the F65 4K camera, Sony's PR machine is going all out to assuage remaining doubters in the film industry. One of the more curious aspects of the awareness campaign is that it doesn't focus solely on the exorbitant resolution -- in fact, it gives almost equal weight to other visual promises that Sony hopes will persuade producers, directors and cinematographers to make the leap before anyone else does.

What might those eyeball treats be? Philippe Ros, a DoP hired by Sony to shoot a 4K promo film, put it succinctly at a showing we attended in London this week: "Only the first row in the cinema may notice the resolution, but I'm more interested in the colors than in the 4K." According to Ros, every terabyte that floods out of the F65 per hour of filming contains color and dynamic range info way beyond what you normally get when shooting digital. The end result? Crews on the ground can relax just that little bit more, knowing that any mundane-looking scenes can be given far greater impact later. Now, even bearing in mind that Ros couldn't have said anything bad about 4K without things getting awkward, it's still interesting that he admits to being skeptical of the resolution itself. But if others on independent shoots discover the same post-production flexibility that he did, then the push for 4K might come from filmmakers rather than those further down the food chain.

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