Cut | Color | Post

Ryan Holmes Cut Color Post. Excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry of editing, color grading, and deliverables.

4K Needs More Than Just Resolution

“Broadcasters know consumers can barely see the difference between HD and 4K if you do nothing more than change the resolution, and this is well based in solid trials methodology. It isn’t just a bit of prejudice. The higher numbers are good for marketing, but not much else,” said Paul Grey, director of European research for NPD DisplaySearch.

For the new format to make a real difference, improvements other than a higher resolution are needed, including higher frame rates, better color reproduction and a higher dynamic range for brighter whites and deeper blacks, according to Grey.

The second paragraph is the key to me (I'm assuming the first paragraph to be true, that it's hard to tell HD from 4K when only resolution is changed). I'm not so concerned with higher frame rates, but better color space, bit depth, and dynamic range are areas that need some iteration. I would be more than happy with 24fps (or 30) at HD with better color, and dynamic range than the current craze of bigger resolutions that we can't actually deliver. The press to 4K seems like little more than marketing at this point to me (save for the rare benefit that you can (1) show it in its original resolution on a screen that benefits from it, (2) do pan & scan in post for mastering to HD).

For why 4K still doesn't matter in your home, see here.


You've Gotta Train People to Look at Things

This is a good way to spend your next 30 minutes. Cinematographers Geoff Boyle, Rodney Charters, and Bill Bennett talking about 4K, 3D, VR, lighting, and learning to see.

When Will HEVC See Industry Adoption

“Therefore, there will be no single date for when the industry will officially ‘adopt’ HEVC. It will roll out over several years, and it could be beyond 2018 or 2019 before [it becomes] fully ubiquitous. That is not an official date, just my best guess, based on what I’m seeing and past experience. In particular application spaces, such as video over the Internet, we already are starting to see it happen with software encoding. However, it won’t be a complete or meaningful rollout until it is in the hardware for market applications such as traditional broadcast over direct-broadcast satellite, cable TV, and terrestrial, where highest picture quality at lower bit rates are required, and for UHD content to the consumer. These rollouts take longer.”

I think after 2019 is a good guess for when h.265 starts to become ubiquitous (though the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will feature h.265 encode/decode for FaceTime, see tech specs under "Video Calling"). The software for content creators has to begin incorporating it, and then consumer devices have to incorporate a h.265 decoder processor on their devices - TV, cell phone, tablet, game console, etc. And until HEVC gains significant consumer-level device traction you can bet there will be minimal consumer-level adoption of 4K/UHD. 



Everyone in the TV Business Should be Reevaluating How Important the Broadcast Business Is

“Everyone in the TV business should be reevaluating how important the broadcast business is,” media analyst Rich Greenfield told me this week in a post-Emmys discussion. “Everyone sees that behavior is changing. Either you should be exiting the TV business, or driving reverse retrans fees dramatically higher – taking dollars from the TV stations.”

While hyperbolic there's still a nugget of truth contained in here. Broadcast viewership tends to be declining, but this trend isn't linear, meaning it can change. The cries about broadcast or cable dying seem reminiscent of pundits decrying the end of cinema because TV was invented. Cinema didn't dye or fade to black, it adapted to the culture and became something different. I fully expect broadcast and cable TV to do the same in the face of mobile users and incumbent Internet giants—Netflix, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Apple.


Where the 7D Mark II Fits

Despite having used a 7DmkI for 3 years, it is clear to me that the 7DmkII is not a portrait focused camera. If you read the announcement and specifications, it is obvious the rumor mill had been correct regarding one main theory about Canon’s intentions with the 7DmkII: It is clearly designed for sports and event photography mainly. You can candidly call it a baby 1D, perhaps, but reading up on the 7DmkII’s specifications clearly shows a camera body that was designed for action, wildlife, sports, and events. Canon even excitedly compares it to the 5DmkIII, and state that the new 7D is ideal for weddings.

This is what Canon built the 7DII for - sports and event photography. It's not your next video camera. It's not your 4K monster. It's not your lowlight video king. It's not your super cheap, Super35 high-end codec camera. It's a DSLR! Period. Remember those....the ones that take pictures? And it takes pictures of fast moving objects while tracking them and keeping them in focus!

Take a look at some of the specs: 65 point AF, built in intrevalometer, 10fps (31 RAW and over 1,000 JPEG as long as your card is fast enough to write the data), automatic lens distortion correction in-camera, GPS, weather-sealed aluminum body, and a completely revamped and upgraded metering system. These are features video guys/gals don't care about. Action photographers do. This camera makes a legitimate swipe at the Canon 1D X and Nikon D4S for a third of the price (yet, there are still reasons why a photographer might want a 1D X or D4S over a 7DII).

If Canon wanted to announce a new video camera, DSLR or not, it had NAB in April or IBC last weekend in Amsterdam. But they didn't. They announced the 7DII at Photokina, a photography show. That should say a significant something about where they intend to position this camera in their lineup.

Read the specs and press release for Canon's 7D Mark II here.