In the very near future we will see 4K delivery. No doubt about it. But who gets to play?
It seems obvious that Standard Definition is not High Definition. But is High Definition (720P and 1080P) able to scale to 4K? Not from where I sit. Pushing less than 2K up over 400% to “fit” a 4K delivery is exactly the same as pretending that SD is HD. It just isn’t.
We will attempt to demonstrate exactly what we mean. I will add other cameras performance as we do the testing. But to begin with… let’s start with the Canon 5D, which promises a 1080P output. While the file size is 1080P, the actual measured resolution is quite a bit less. So too is Bayer pattern resolution lower than the file size. RED 4K actually measures about 3.2K and 4.5K actually measures about 3.7K. The new EPIC 5K will measure a full 4K. For comparison, 35mm Film measures about 2.8K for ASA 500 stock and about 3.2K for ASA 100 stock… both from a 4K scan. Film resolves much less from a 2K scan… less than 2K.
Graeme has shot Zone Plates of the 5D, along with the new M-X sensor upgraded RED ONE.
Here are the results.
M-X sensor (in red) and the Canon 5D (in black). The grey area is where the 5D2 provides either NO detail or corruption caused by aliasing. It really measures a “ragged” 1.4K horizontal resolution vs. about 3.7 for the Mysterium-X at 4.5K.
BTW… that is over 4 times more measured resolution.
3800×11630 = 6,194,000 measured resolution from 4.5K Mysterium-X sensor
1400×1080 = 1,512,000 measured resolution from the 5D
6,194,000 / 1,512,000 = 4.09 times more resolution
So… what measured resolution actually qualifies to be 4K delivery worthy? Same answer as what qualifies for HD. We know of no 1080P output camera that actually measures a full 1080P. There are varying degrees of uprezzing in every HD delivery. Some not much, some more. Same will apply to 4K delivery. The industry will decide.
We beg our customers to debayer RED footage at full resolution for final output. If you do your debayer at half-res, you throw away one of the primary advantages of RED… resolution. It will matter in the future.
Jim Jannard – RED Leader