Digital Cinematography

Topics: Film, Camera, Film stock Pages: 3 (1005 words) Published: September 1, 2008
Digital Cinematography

For over a century motion picture have entertained the masses, allowing people to view life taking place on a large screen. For the majority of this time these movies were shot using the same film found in photographic cameras. Technology always seems to take over and the film industry seems poised to be the next target. With digital picture acquisition getting better everyday, movies are beginning to be shot completely digital. There are a number of plusses and minuses of shooting digitally but digital cinematography will soon replace film in most productions.

The emergence of digital or "electronic" cinematography, began in the late 1980's. Sony came up with an idea for a HDTV camera but there was little interest in this concept. Most all television shows and commercials are shot using some form of digital video tape, but now films are leaning in the same direction. Low budget filmmakers have been utilizing the MiniDV format for years with it's quality being considerably greater than other prior formats. In May 2002 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones became the first major motion picture release to be done digitally. This film was shot using 24 frame-per-second high-definition video utilizing a Sony CineAlta camera. Typical video cameras operate at 29.97 fps, but these higher quality digital cameras being released are capable of operating at 24 fps, the same way traditional film cameras work.

Digital cinematography operates on the same principals as digital photography. These cameras go about capturing images by the use of light sensors. These sensors are commonly referred to as CMOS and CCD, with CCD sensors being the most common. These sensors typically come in one of two arrays allowing for flexibility while shooting. Most cameras used for digital cinematography are equipped with one sensor that operates in a similar manner to a film frame. These large sensors allow the user to outfit these higher quality digital...

Cited: Editors of Videomaker. The Videomaker Guide to Digital and Dvd Production. 3rd ed. Woburn: Focal Press, 2004.
Hitzik, Michael A. "Digital cinema take 2." Technology Review Sept. 2002: 36.
Kennedy, Joseph. "Out of film." Print Jan. 2005: 120.
Doherty, Richard. "Cinema poised at brink of digital storytelling." Electronic Engineering Times. May 2001: 85.
Digital Cinematography. Mar. 2007. Digital Information, Digital Cinema Now.
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