Michael Ballhaus: Over and Under Exposure Tests
The guy who started his career shooting feature films for RW Fassbinder and now shoots for Scorsese (amongst others) has taken the time to create exposure tests of the Canon 5D Mark II, Sony PMW-EX3, RED One, Sony F35, and Arri D21. The beginning of this test, the exposure bracketing, is an incredibly useful resource as it shows the true limitations limitations of these cameras. Disregard the Side by Sides at the end of the video as I see that several of the examples have been heavily manipulated in post production. Was this accidental, overlooked, or intentional? Don't know. Don't care. It's good to see the over and under examples on the 5 different cameras though.
I spent the afternoon at Kodak today and saw a film projection of Daryn Okada's 5219 demo and I've got to say, it made me feel a little fatigued by digital. That 5219 is just incredible. It sees so much and is so forgiving. It sees into the highlights 2 stops more than 5218 even which still was a great stock. You don't have to light so carefully and be so protective of your shadows and highlights. There's also a certain smoothness to the tonality that I've just never seen in a digital camera. We spend so much time these days looking at these tiny web videos that it's difficult to really evaluate the quality of a medium until you're seeing it massive in front of your face. I make my living with digital cameras and love the process but, DAMN, I'm just blown away by the quality of this stock. Even rated at 2000 ASA/EI and processed normally, the grain is remarkably tight. I hate this reigning attitude of film vs. digital and "why can't film just hurry up and die." Why can't both technologies co-exist peacefully? Just as manufacturers are developing new ways to digitally capture and process motion pictures, Kodak is developing stocks that are of equally remarkable technology. Yeah it's a cost issue and sadly, shooting 35mm color neg is not an option for most independent productions. But I'm glad that Kodak (and Fuji) remain committed to creating excellent products that still very much fit into the current paradigm.