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Digital Cinematography (2018)

Updated: Nov 24, 2019

The modern technology of camera and lighting are moving fast, and I have experienced the edge of innovation with camera and lighting. This is not really an article to enhance your creative cinematography, which can be achieved through many ways. This is more understanding the technology and the tools that are available now. I am amusing you have already learned the basic understanding of camera and lighting.

I will cite books and websites that benefited me through my understanding in current camera technology. If you have more to add on thingsI don't know or if I forgot to list it, please email me or leave a comment. This would enable this article to keep advancing my understanding and everyone else'.

Resolution, Digital Sensor, and Color Science

My first recommendation in furthering you knowledge in Digital camera technology is the book, "The Filmmaker's Guide to Digital Imaging, for Cinematographer, Digital Image Technician, and Camera Assistants." This book goes into the denser information about camera sensors, workflow, and the evolving technology of Digital Imaging (DI). It is not the first book if you are starting to learn about cinematography.

8K vs 2K

Resolution has been advertised so much that people forget what makes resolution important. There are advantages of shooting at a higher resolution than 2k or 4k but is it necessary?

Steve Yedlin, ASC has a very informative video where he experiments with resolution and shows other factors that make an image look sharp other than resolution. Here is the link to his website. Link The video is dense and long but he goes through his experiment very thoroughly.

Light Iron and Panavision show why large format is the future of film making and the many attributes that come with large format. Link This is an hour long talk which shows examples of 8k resolution footage and the future of large format.


All camera manufacturers have their own color science. Because color has to be processed in the debayering process, the color is interpreted to the companies' specific wants.

In Digital motion picture cameras (Arri, Red, Sony Cinema, etc.) there are different color capturing settings; Rec 709, Variations of Log, or Raw. Each has their own pros and cons. Raw has the most color information (information in general because, depending on the camera manufacturer, nothing is baked in).

The Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have released a color capturing setting that exceeds the human perception of color. They created, ACES (Academy Color Encoding System). Aces is a workflow that will standardize color processing through different stages of the DI. Aces covers more in the color spectrum than Rec 709, Rec 2020, Film, and DCI P3, meaning it is more precise with its color representation and color nuance. The ACES workflow can be used as RAW files are being interpreted.

Deeper into Color science

Steve Yedlin takes the human perception and includes it into the topic of color science. He does another experiment with photos to show if color science of different cameras actually matter in the end. Link

Let me know if you have something to add or any critiques regarding this article. I try my best to only give references and it is your decision to make an opinion about the importance of different camera innovation debates. I hope this gives you the tools to further enhance your cinematography.

Level Nine Productions

Nyv Mercado

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