Obsession with Image Quality

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Kim Janson

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Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 7:18 am

Just a thought.

It seems we are often obsessed with image quality even when speaking of cinematography.

How sharp is the lens, CA, flare, bokeh,... Colour science, 4k/6k/8k/12k... They are all more still photography terms.

So what is cinematic, by the definition of most forums it is 24 fps 180 degree shutter angle, and that is the end of it...

If you think about that, it is over 20 ms exposure time, if there is any movement it is blurred, and is cinematography not about movement. I am not saying we should use shorter shutter time, but maybe the number of pixels and lens sharpens should not be the primary criteria.

How about the image flow the camera produces, how it exposes the image, sometimes the global vs. rolling shutter gets mentioned, but I think there is much more in it. What the actual capture does for the image flow and what the compression does.

How about lens and camera handling, focus trow gets sometimes mentioned, but how does the camera and lens feel in hand, how does it shake when operated. Sometimes there is some discussion about handheld vs. gimbal vs. steadicam, but not much and not much about in lens or camera stabilisation, possibly combined with the previously mentioned.

Just a thought.
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Ellory Yu

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 8:12 am

Kim I am not sure where you are going with your thoughts. Cinematography means different things to different cinematographers, especially those who are in terms with both being a Cinematographer, a story teller, and who also directs and provides the envisioning of the screenplay. Some prefer more shallow depth to bring attention to the subject the director wants the audience to take notice. Others might like to use vintage lenses for aesthetic reasons like softer creamy images, or that brings nostalgia to the picture. Documentary filmmakers want something light and easy to transport and a camera that’s able to shoot in low light while some creatives like a lot of resolution because the shoot a lot of green screen for VFX or sharp high contrast imagery. As long as we use the tool that will do the right job and give us the results we expect from our cinematic (and none cinematic) work, obsessing may not be what it is about. Instead we need to understand what the technology gives us so we can capture the image to fit our cinematic taste.
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Kim Janson

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 9:12 am

You are right, I am confused.

I am very technology oriented, not really any cinematographer, just enough to understand how to use the gear, and how to make it better. That is my passion, to innovate and improve the gear.

It is just for long time it has felt that the direction to what the cinematography gear is developing is wrong, and I am part of the problem.

On the other hand the focus to more pixels and the much improved computing that has no problems with 8k video editing makes stuff like this possible.

dims.jpeg
dims.jpeg (28.2 KiB) Viewed 2225 times


Is that cinematography though, I do not know, but it is significant, we will see that in couple of years after Apple has released their VR headset.

For traditional cinematography, do we really need 12k, 8k, 6k, or even 4k and lenses that can resolve that. I just feel the efforts would be much better spend developing the usability of the gear and image flow, including but not limited to global shutter.

I am just confused.

Ps. this was shot with first gimbal I provided to anyone, many years ago, just a bit before DJI released the Ronin, quite literally. It was all new and exiting, experimenting with new stuff and everything seemed so much more clear.

https://vimeo.com/105126122/5da86726a2
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John Griffin

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 11:06 am

IMO we have for now long surpassed 'good enough' image quality. Further advances may help in certain aspects of production but are not adding much in terms of what the viewer sees to the final result. Also this technological standard is now available to everyone and unlike the early days of 'DSLR' videography can it be really said that anyone's talent or ambition is being held back for want of better technical quality.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 11:52 am

My resolution to this quagmire is that I am the producer of what I create. I get to decide what quality of an image I want to achieve. I may see a soft image as a quality of the image I want to bring out. I may want to use a different shutter angle than 180° to achieve a look. What can I do with the tools at hand and what qualities can I achieve with each? I think it's interesting what the industry chooses to offer regarding tools but I get to decide if that tool is something I can use with what I do.
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Kim Janson

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 12:15 pm

I think so too as regarding resolution, dynamic range, noise even colour, but global shutter would be nice and sensor that does not have any of those antialiasing effects, really hope this would get more attention instead of more resolution.

For electrical lens control there is solutions, but they are expensive and complex and many lenses have limitations due their mechanical design. Area that could be much improved as is camera control. Sure there are control apps to control the camera wirelessly with phone...

But sure there is so many low cost very good cameras that provide very good results. I just hope they would have simpler ergonomics, less automatisation and more tool like design, but maybe they are good tools, just not the kind of tools I would like to see.

John Griffin wrote:IMO we have for now long surpassed 'good enough' image quality. Further advances may help in certain aspects of production but are not adding much in terms of what the viewer sees to the final result. Also this technological standard is now available to everyone and unlike the early days of 'DSLR' videography can it be really said that anyone's talent or ambition is being held back for want of better technical quality.
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Jeffrey D Mathias

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 12:57 pm

Thinking of movement: Well, how many images does it take to create a particular feel to a given movement? Would this not then relate to fps? How far should that movement go before another image is laid upon it? Could this not include pixel resolution? How might the look of a particular movement be influenced by sharpness or softness quality? Indeed motion pictures seem to be a lot about movement. That movement may or may not rely on the various aspects of image quality.
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Kim Janson

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 1:12 pm

The image flow has the simple aspect of selected fps. Where that gets more complicated is when the timeline on editing is different that the fps the clip was shot, when there is clips at different fps that need to be edited together. Where the fps gets also complicated is the lights, if they are 50 or 60 Hz and how good they are, if they cause flickering or not. Where it gets annoying is when youtube content is produced and especially edited 24 fps and mostly viewed 60 Hz monitor. There is so many frame-rates and display refresh rates than things more often go wrong than right.

But what I meant actually is more technical, how the pixels are adjured from the sensor and processed to the video file. There is the obvious global vs rolling shutter, but I have feeling also something else. Feels like some cameras are maybe exposing the same image multiple times, the image blur just does not look right etc.
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John Brawley

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 1:18 pm

I hear you Kim.

There’s a lot of obsession with the specs themselves. The headline resolution, the codecs recorded or the bit depth.

It’s an easy way to compare A to B so we like it as humans.

Lenses start to get more interesting. We love to compare the parameters that involve maths. The aperture, the focal length/s the minimum focus distance. When it starts becoming subjective around lens flares, CA or other attributes some see as features and others as faults it starts becoming more polarising.

And what you’re talking about is form. How we as human operators of a piece of hardware interface to that equipment and what those interactions can allow in storytelling terms. What can we DO with this stuff once we have it (literally) in our hands.

We sometimes see a discussion about ergonomics. Or the form factor. The many threads begging for a “box” camera beget the drive to put cameras on gimbals.

But “image quality” could be argued as a sum of all these choices. What equipment we choose and THEN how we use that equipment. How does it actually work.

At the beginning of every new show I love testing. Now some of you will have seen my camera tests, compared my side by sides. One thing that I personally don’t talk much about unless it’s specifically relevant is that there’s another component to these tests.

What are they like to use on set. What is the process of utility of use. It’s only when you have to get a result that you learn that the way the camera functions with accessories or what it possible with one build that isn’t possible with another.

I was discussing on Facebook someone who asked me about zooms Vs primes. Some argue that zooms are visually indiscernible from primes. I’ve favoured primes in the last few years and I had to think about why.

It’s because they suit the way I like to work. I prefer my cameras to be smaller. I like them to be lighter. I prefer the generally better minimum focus of primes. The counter is that zooms save you time because you’re not changing lenses all the time or rebalancing a gimbal or head. Again it made me think about how we all make these calculations about process that DO affect image quality that have nothing to do with a resolution spec.

These choices can all have massive impact on the end results, and yet mostly we obsessed with only one part of the story here. The resolution.

Very rarely are we talking about other issues that have an equal or even greater impact on the “image quality”.

JB

*there must be a drinking game for the number of times in a thread Yedlins post on resolution will be tagged.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 2:41 pm

The pursuit of perfect temporal painting. But perfection is not the same kind of precisely perfect that describes a circle. It’s perfect in its ability to achieve your purpose. And that’s attempted differently every time you try. Because you’re a creator.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 5:09 pm

This one seems a bit of a jumble. Don't we need a distinction between the character of the image -- a product of lens, lighting, production design, etc. -- and "image quality", which can mean anything from measurable characteristics or absence of artifacts, to what any given viewer finds pleasing? To refer (again) to Yedlin, "image quality" in the narrowest sense would seem to be meaningless or irrelevant once a camera captures a threshold of usable data, as more and more cameras manage to do today -- amd with "image quality" understood in this way distinct from "production value".

But even Yedlin, or especially Yedlin, sees value in recreating the artifacts of film -- grain, weave, halation, etc. Does degrading the image in that way count as enhancing "image quality"?

Which roundabout gets to my point, FWIW: degraded image quality and artifacts associated with analog film projection create more involving fictions. Imperfection, or a veil between image and audience, engages the mind. But a "degraded" image can still have high production values, the two are not mutually exclusive.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 5:22 pm

John Paines wrote:But even Yedlin, or especially Yedlin, sees value in recreating the artifacts of film -- grain, weave, halation, etc. Does degrading the image in that way count as enhancing "image quality"?

It all depends how it impacts the visuals while telling the story. I also think it is more of the aesthetic value of the entire picture over image quality. The right tools will partly get you there.
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Obsession with Image Quality

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 6:05 pm

Good point, John. I agree with Ellory though that cinematography is usually concerned with the aesthetics rather than any bench test perfection. Those aesthetics can begin with what might be considered flawed bench optics. For instance it’s often desirable and cinematic to have some gentle focus falloff from the centre as you move to the edges. Another example would be the grain which is cinematic in film and contrary to the plastic look sometimes found in videography.

Art trumps science but it uses science as a tool where appropriate. Look at the triumph of egg tempura in painting which relies on mysterious science but creates timeless visual art. Same with a Stradivarius violin. It’s the science that creates the nuanced aural art as much as the violinist who plays it.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostSat Jan 22, 2022 1:20 pm

rick.lang wrote:Art trumps science but it uses science as a tool where appropriate. Look at the triumph of egg tempura in painting which relies on mysterious science but creates timeless visual art. Same with a Stradivarius violin. It’s the science that creates the nuanced aural art as much as the violinist who plays it.


With paintings, like Rembrandt, it's actually quite brushy and not so realistic and there's distinctive 'hand' or signature in the work. It's just paint and turpentine but there will always be those trying to figure out if there is some special brush or formula that was used, what was in the paint. There should be some 'secrets' kept.

The Stradivarius is typically reserved for the most talented musicians though right? Apparently some of those 'special' musicians can actually hear the difference in the range that the violin produces that's measurable scientifically as well.

It's harder to convince someone that 'talent' is involved in images with the camera. If you're showing someone your photos how often do you hear "great camera" or "what camera did you use" over valuing your skill as a craftsman or artist.

Barry Ackroyd has that 'signature' running through his work regardless of camera choice I think. It's connected to the director too, but he was carrying his point of view from 'United 93' to 'The Hurt Locker' in a really decisive way with two different directors. I'm always interested in looking at those actor / director / cinematographer collaborations. Their go-to.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostSat Jan 22, 2022 4:49 pm

Ryan Earl wrote:
rick.lang wrote:Art trumps science but it uses science as a tool where appropriate. Look at the triumph of egg tempura in painting which relies on mysterious science but creates timeless visual art. Same with a Stradivarius violin. It’s the science that creates the nuanced aural art as much as the violinist who plays it.


With paintings, like Rembrandt, it's actually quite brushy and not so realistic and there's distinctive 'hand' or signature in the work. It's just paint and turpentine but there will always be those trying to figure out if there is some special brush or formula that was used, what was in the paint. There should be some 'secrets' kept.

The Stradivarius is typically reserved for the most talented musicians though right? Apparently some of those 'special' musicians can actually hear the difference in the range that the violin produces that's measurable scientifically as well.

It's harder to convince someone that 'talent' is involved in images with the camera. If you're showing someone your photos how often do you hear "great camera" or "what camera did you use" over valuing your skill as a craftsman or artist.

Barry Ackroyd has that 'signature' running through his work regardless of camera choice I think. It's connected to the director too, but he was carrying his point of view from 'United 93' to 'The Hurt Locker' in a really decisive way with two different directors. I'm always interested in looking at those actor / director / cinematographer collaborations. Their go-to.


Absolutely. Which quality of an image are you looking for?
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostSat Jan 22, 2022 8:02 pm

wemrick1 wrote:…Which quality of an image are you looking for?


That’s the personal question that can only reflect a subjective answer.

It all usually begins with LED lights at 3200K. Like to use real tungsten (but that’s not in my control except) when shooting narrative.

For me, owning only two cinema cameras, the lens is the most important starting point and the colour grading software is the most important end point with the camera the meat in the sandwich that limits the dynamic range.

I like the kindness of the SLR Magic APO primes and the recent Tokina cinema zoom and the old Fujinon Cine zoom. The glass is slightly warm and lower contrast and reasonably ‘sharp’ but without feeling like it’s a razor. There’s character in the lenses with that character varying somewhat from one stop to four stops down which influences edge-to-center performance.

The Colour Science from Gen 3 and up are good and getting better to handle extremely different light. Who wouldn’t wish they all had at least another stop or two of dynamic range?

Of course I use Resolve at the other end which has all the tools I need and more. Grading everything these days using ACEScct 1.3 using HDR scopes and primary controls, but with respect to the limits for each deliverable I require (which excludes DCP).
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostSun Jan 23, 2022 12:18 am

rick.lang wrote:
wemrick1 wrote:…Which quality of an image are you looking for?


That’s the personal question that can only reflect a subjective answer.

It all usually begins with LED lights at 3200K. Like to use real tungsten (but that’s not in my control except) when shooting narrative.

For me, owning only two cinema cameras, the lens is the most important starting point and the colour grading software is the most important end point with the camera the meat in the sandwich that limits the dynamic range.

I like the kindness of the SLR Magic APO primes and the recent Tokina cinema zoom and the old Fujinon Cine zoom. The glass is slightly warm and lower contrast and reasonably ‘sharp’ but without feeling like it’s a razor. There’s character in the lenses with that character varying somewhat from one stop to four stops down which influences edge-to-center performance.

The Colour Science from Gen 3 and up are good and getting better to handle extremely different light. Who wouldn’t wish they all had at least another stop or two of dynamic range?

Of course I use Resolve at the other end which has all the tools I need and more. Grading everything these days using ACEScct 1.3 using HDR scopes and primary controls, but with respect to the limits for each deliverable I require (which excludes DCP).


Bingo! And isn't that our obsession? We see an image in our mind's eye and try to reproduce it. We define the qualities that we chase.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostSun Jan 23, 2022 6:26 am

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robert Hart

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostSun Jan 23, 2022 10:19 am

If one wants to become pedantic about the aesthetic from 35mm film projection in a cinema hall, I am told that what you are seeing is two consecutive projections of each frame, (ie., 48 bursts of light per second) as it stops in the gate at 24 frames per second.

For some reason it was deemed to trick the human eye into seeing more smoothness in the projection. Reducing the heat load on equipment and projection optics might have also been part of the equation. I have not done any independent reading on this topic so it may be all rubbish.
Last edited by robert Hart on Sun Jan 23, 2022 10:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Kim Janson

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostSun Jan 23, 2022 10:42 am

"what you are seeing is two consecutive projections of each frame" That was the case with analogue film to overcome the limitations as I understand, and there might have been some variations on that.

Not sure how they do it today with the digital projector, but pretty sure it is much different.

On 120 Hz monitor each frame is shown 120 / 24 = 5 times and that works good. Unfortunately most of us still have 60 Hz monitor, 60/24 = 2.5 and how do you sow 2.5 frames. Editing SW may do tricks on that, but on computer monitor, sometimes each frame is shown 2 times sometimes 3 times, causing the uneven image flow I much dislike, but many do not seem to notice.

Many monitors do support native 24 Hz, but too complex to change that just to see a youtube video that was shot 24 fps especially as the next video probably was shot 30 fps that works perfectly with 60 Hz monitor.

I do hope this would get more attention, for my viewing experience it is far more important than HD vs. 4k video.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostSun Jan 23, 2022 10:54 am

With digital cinema projection, a synchronised 48FPS mechanical shutter disk between light source and transparent LCD display panel could achieve the same effect and perhaps confer the same reduction of heat load on the panel.

As in all crafts, there is a point where use of the tools of trade to get by steps upwards into the genuine art of the individual specialist. The art may be technically perfect and attract an audience of like-minded people who appreciate the art and are not fazed that the rest of the presentation may comprehensively suck.

The so-called democratisation of cinema production with lower cost disruptive tech may have relieved some screen projects from being stillborn due to budgets but some mundane product has come out of it. We only live so long. Being sideswiped by choosing something which turns out to be a waste of rare leisure time is annoying.

Maybe I am not moving with the times but when I see a slightly weaving static establishing head-on wide of a car arriving and disgorging its occupants into the next interior scene, I see bean-counter driven haste or just plain lazy film-making. That takes me out of a less than compelling story.

I mean how long does it really take to set a camera on a tripod?

The ones which really work for me are those where all crafts are in perfect balance, with none drawing extra attention.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostSun Jan 23, 2022 2:41 pm

Story is King.

In all of my time spent researching lenses and sensors and cameras and lighting and tripods/sliders/steadicam... It's all for naught without story.

"Cinematic" has lost a lot of meaning. Visually speaking, though, it's one of those, "i know it when i see it" things. Some of the best moments in cinema are all-encompassing with Production Design, Costume, Acting, Lighting, Camera Movement, etc... but without a 'reason' or story behind the visual/sound, it's just 'good looking stuff'.

I know that begs the argument of the purpose of "cinematic" images. How many YouTubers put "Cinematic" in their titles to get views? (Pocket 6k Pro Cinematic Test Footage-- and it's all in slow-mo!) It's a buzzword in many communities and yet is still has meaning in other realms. Sometimes you have to make a 'sexy' commercial with gimbal swoops and wide angle lenses on dour-looking people wearing trendy clothes, and sometimes you may get to do a documentary that's functional, and sometimes you do a period piece with a deep narrative meaning...

I just know that I've been shooting weddings on the side for about 5 years and I'VE even used the phrase "Cinematic, Timeless, and Emotional" to explain what I offer. And I have shot short films that are soaked in drama that i at least tried to be "Cinematic"... and the result is a skewed story that focuses more on the 'look' of things rather than what the story/narrative/documentation needs to give the audience the right experience.

blah blah blah, TL;DR
We overuse the word "Cinematic" and it has many meanings, but ultimately focus on the goal of the piece you are making rather than just the visual element.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 2:20 am

robert Hart wrote:If one wants to become pedantic about the aesthetic from 35mm film projection in a cinema hall, I am told that what you are seeing is two consecutive projections of each frame, (ie., 48 bursts of light per second) as it stops in the gate at 24 frames per second.

For some reason it was deemed to trick the human eye into seeing more smoothness in the projection. Reducing the heat load on equipment and projection optics might have also been part of the equation. I have not done any independent reading on this topic so it may be all rubbish.


Actually most commercial cinema projectors are 3 blades, so three flashes per frame, or 72Hz is the typical cinema refresh rate.

The flashes help reduce the perception of flicker on larger screens that fill your periphery. When you look slightly askew (not directly) at a screen, you're more likely to notice the flicker.

Many "Americans" notice the 50Hz refresh rate of PAL TV's because they would appear to flicker on larger sets when they come to visit Australia when PAL was still being transmitted, but most Australians didn't notice it. (Prior to higher hz TVs)

A LOT of operators complain about EVF's when they are set to ACTUAL 24 FPS, because they flicker. On an Alex and most high end cameras they typically have a "smooth" function for the EVF to make sure you can negate that.

No one actually watches anything @24 fps.

JB
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 4:33 am

And all the classic Arri cameras with the rotating mirror had terrible flicker in the viewfinder.
Nevertheless, a few nice movies were shot on these.
The software may be free, but the hardware needed for smooth performance is not.

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 6:07 am

Modern displays, PJs or panels, don’t flicker because there is no shutter. 24p footage captured at a 180 degree shutter, or any degree, plays back with a 359.99 degree shutter, the redraw (refresh) interval between frames is nano seconds on the display side regardless of the capture interval. Strobe and jitter, definitely.

Good Luck
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Kim Janson

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 7:14 am

Yes, when the monitor is set to to 24 Hz display rate, and on that case 24 fps looks totally fine. Typically tough a computer monitor is set to 60 Hz.

If just there would be automatic function on computers than when watched full screen it automatically sets the computer screen to the video FPS...

Howard Roll wrote:Modern displays, PJs or panels, don’t flicker because there is no shutter. 24p footage captured at a 180 degree shutter, or any degree, plays back with a 359.99 degree shutter, the redraw (refresh) interval between frames is nano seconds on the display side regardless of the capture interval. Strobe and jitter, definitely.

Good Luck


Ps. good description og the FPS madness https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24p (tough it does not mention the most typical 24 fps on 60 Hz monitor problem)
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 8:06 am

If you set them to "ProMotion" the new Apple laptops will adapt automatically.
For 24 fps they'll use 48, though.

BTW, there's more to this than just reproduction, the way the camera treats timing is very important too. Red explains it pretty well here: https://www.red.com/red-101/cinema-temporal-aliasing
Unfortunately, they acquired that company and the patent to the Motion Mount right away.
The software may be free, but the hardware needed for smooth performance is not.

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carlomacchiavello

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 8:31 am

Adam Langdon wrote:Story is King.
We overuse the word "Cinematic" and it has many meanings, but ultimately focus on the goal of the piece you are making rather than just the visual element.


It’s a matter of historical period
Ten years ago in the you can see tons of docufiction with “the movie” add in the title be cause duration is more than classic 55 minutes, like light could do magic instead of good Story, good photography, good audio, good scenes…
It’s only matter how to sell your product

Ps I’m with you, Story is the King.


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carlomacchiavello

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Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 8:39 am

I think that everyone had different picture quality taste. My goal is smooth motion, I came from video of 90, I had a very fast retinal persistence and most of video give me stroboscopic defects. Theatre for me is best vision, but is very personal opinion.
For this reason at home i have economic tv but a good video projector.
I tested many tv of any range of price (I’m lucky, I had a friend obsessed like me of quality that work like vice director in a big electronic store and we tested in different moment every single tv arrived on a store, hundreds of tests with our shooting that we know perfectly shooted for shutter, contrast, fps for that tv), also with all “enhancing disable” I disagreed most of them also if them cost many time more than my projector, but this is my visual problem and my taste


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Kim Janson

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 10:42 am

What worries me is that it seems there is a whole generation who thinks 24 fps on 60 Hz monitor is THE Cinematic look... edits and views like that.

Indeed the ProMotion MacBook Pro would be nice, I do have the iPad pro that has very nice display, but do not have much use for it otherwise, really waiting the Mac Air would get the ProMotion display.

I have been thinking getting the new MacBook pro, but traveling or drinking coffee like this with a 3k€ computer would feel too risky :)
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codedeltajames

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 11:17 am

Kim Janson wrote:What worries me is that it seems there is a whole generation who thinks 24 fps on 60 Hz monitor is THE Cinematic look... edits and views like that.


Exactly the same with 50Hz content on 60Hz displays, not helped by the big global media/tech companies invariably being based in 60Hz countries and not acknowledging for a long while that there was a problem. For a long time both Google and Amazon closed tickets for complaints about 50Hz content being played back at 60Hz on their dongles / sticks, with people complaining that video was choppy or stuttering being told it must be their internet connection.

Even today, many android based OTT boxes are locked to 60Hz output regardless of where they are used and the content they are playing.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 11:29 am

Which is strange enough, since China is 50 Hz.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 4:57 pm

Uli Plank wrote:Which is strange enough, since China is 50 Hz.


The WHOLE WORLD is 50 Hz aside from the US and Japan.

The Hz rate of power has long been disconnected from the refresh rate of the TV.

In 50Hz countries the higher refresh rate is / was typically 100 or 200Hz, a multiple of 50Hz.

Though these days, the streamers and devices tend to spit out 60Hz “families” of signal and the TV displays that despite being powered from a 50Hz power point. It doesn’t matter as long as it displays what it was encoded as.

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Bromine 18

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 5:08 pm

Since we’re on fps and mains frequency, it’s worth pointing out that something interesting seems to be happening at the BBC.

Recently uploaded trailers on their YouTube channel are in 50 fps:

Peaky Blinders Series 6:

The Responder:

Chloe:


Right click on “Stats for nerds” to check.

It’s known that most of their material is shot at 25 fps, which is the norm in 50 Hz Europe.

But it appears they have made the switch to 1080p 50 fps for streaming – especially with respect to the iPlayer.

I’m fairly certain Peaky Blinders Series 6 was filmed at 25 fps, just like its earlier seasons. And that’s probably true for the other shows; I’m guessing those trailers were converted to 50 fps for YouTube.

Nonetheless, they question is why, and what’s changed?

Anyone know for sure why they’ve switched to 50 fps for online content? And how is 25 fps material conformed to 50 fps?
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 5:51 pm

The BBC have done 50p streaming on iPlayer for a number of years, I believe even going back as far as their initial HD tests. Certainly all their UHD streams have been available as 50p since they started them.

BBC delivery requirements - https://www.bbc.co.uk/delivery/technical-requirements - specify that all SD and HD content be delivered at 50i (UHD can be 50p or 25p). 25PsF can be used for content shot at 25 fps and delivered as 50i.

50i to 50p conversion is relatively simple, even mediocre deinterlacing algorithms can make a decent job of it.

From what I understand, big changes to the BBC's transmission and distribution have been happening over the last couple of years, with a move to cloud and decentralised processing of their entire broadcast chains. There's been a few rumours that they have moved to 1080p50 for their internal distribution and then downconverting to interlaced for transmission. iPlayer is nowadays highly integrated into their broadcast feeds, in a way that was probably never envisaged in it's initial development.
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Bromine 18

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 6:17 pm

codedeltajames wrote:BBC delivery requirements - https://www.bbc.co.uk/delivery/technical-requirements


Fascinating, thanks.

24 fps to 50p – speed change plus frame doubling.

25PsF to 50p – frame doubling, no de-interlacing required.

Don’t think 50i is involved though – I’m presuming they use “progressive segmented frame (PsF) format to carry 25fps progressive images”, which in turn is converted to 50p with frame doubling.

It’s amusing that everything’s still categorized quite strictly by UHD, HD, and SD with minimal acquisition and delivery fps overlap.

I’m sure they have their reasons, but these broadcasting requirements look superfluously complex and still a bit outdated overall.
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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 6:26 pm

Bromine 18 wrote:
codedeltajames wrote:BBC delivery requirements - https://www.bbc.co.uk/delivery/technical-requirements


Fascinating, thanks.

24 fps to 50p – speed change plus frame doubling.

25PsF to 50p – frame doubling, no de-interlacing required.

Don’t think 50i is involved though – I’m presuming they use “progressive segmented frame (PsF) format to carry 25fps progressive images”, which in turn is converted to 50p with frame doubling.

It’s amusing that everything’s still categorized quite strictly by UHD, HD, and SD with minimal acquisition and delivery fps overlap.

I’m sure they have their reasons, but these broadcasting requirements look superfluously complex and still a bit outdated overall.


50Hz environments are very easy transforms between 25 and 50 because that’s what the rest of the world has already done for decades.

Most drama, TVC’s etc content has ALWAYS been shot at 25FPS in 50Hz countries.

When transmitting or working with 24 FPS material, it’s typically a simple SPEED UP 4% for a frame for frame transcode, and sometimes the audio is then pitch corrected. It’s always a frame for frame transcode though.

It’s 23.98 and the vagaries of 24fps into 60Hz environments that’s way more complicated and non-conforming.

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Bromine 18

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Re: 25fps/50p

PostMon Jan 24, 2022 6:47 pm

BBC’s earlier online material was delivered in its native 25 fps though, so far as I’ve seen.

Their shows on Netflix still playback at 25 fps, for example.

Outside the UK, this is the first time to my knowledge the BBC have started using 50p delivery for 25 fps material.

It’d be interesting to see in what form Peaky Blinders Series 6 is delivered to Netflix – 25 fps native or within a 50p “container”.
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Kim Janson

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Re: Obsession with Image Quality

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 11:26 am

This is about photography, but you could just replace the photography with video ;)



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