Originally posted by: boris
Just to nitpick, when you say film holds as much colour as picture information (which is true at the time it's filmed), and is comparable to 4:4:4 - what we're talking about is the original star wars negatives, which have deteriated so much that they need to be colour corrected scene by scene (and I might add that they didn't do a perfect job in 1993 or in 2004 with this correcting). With this in mind, wouldn't it be fair to say that the master star wars film reels do not hold colour as well anymore? Wouldn't this be more comparable to 4:2:0 then to 4:4:4?
No. Maybe you'd better read up on what 4:4:4, 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 actually means. It has nothing to do with faded or washed out colour. Even faded film still has a direct 1:1 colour to 'detail' ratio.
Originally posted by: boris
Also, keep in mind when comparing the quality of detail in the 2004 release, that a lot of that detail is in newly created digital elements introduced to those scenes - and there are so many alterations that are of course going to be better and more crisp then the original film, so that when you watch the entire SE movies an illusion is created making you believe it's more crisp with more detail then the film itself had.
Take a look at any of the 'untouched' scenes, like closeups of Leia's face etc. The level of detail is stunning, and this is *after* the film image is downsized and had 3/4 of the colour information thrown away, and then compressed through a lossy codec.
Originally posted by: boris
Maybe I'm wrong, and the original SW negatives do hold picture information to the equilivant of 1080p - but I still really doubt it, I think a good quality interpolation upscale of DVD resolution would look pretty close.
Yeah, I'd have to say you are wrong on this one - I'll scan a super8 frame and post it when I get myself a new computer and you can see how much information even *that* holds compared to laserdisc or DVD. The SW negs definately exceed 1080p in detail and colour.
Really, I used to have to scan and put frames back out to film as part of my job, the difference between 2K and 4K and original film is instantly obvious when viewed side by side. Go down to 1080P and 8 bit colour and 4:2:0 and there is an even bigger difference.
I know Cameron and Lucas have opinions on HD, but then again Cameron prefers Pan and Scan over letterbox, and they are Directors, not DOPs or Cinematographers. HD has enormous cost and workflow advantages for a Director and *looks* very sharp. The older HD cameras like the Sony cinealtas have a massive depth of field which gives the *impression* of more detail in a scene as more of it is in focus. (Which makes it more suitable for 3D which was Cameron's focus in that article - you want a very deep depth of field for 3D)
There is absolutely not more information in a 1080P image though, you can test it scientifically and prove it - it isn't a matter of opinion any more than that a CD audio track holds more information than an MP3 file. You may not personally be able to hear the difference but it doesn't mean that the MP3 file holds the same fidelity.
We have shot HD and film side by side and scanned it and there is just a lot more information on the film negative.
I also disagree with what you're saying about laserdisc quality - I've watched Laserdiscs projected by professional-grade mounted movie projectors (thanks to friends who are complete movie geeks - and it sounds like you've watched them too) and the quality is good. It's not fantastic, of course, but it's still good enough to enjoy on a big screen. By the way, many independent films are filmed digitally at DVD resolution and are still more then acceptable theatrically.
Until I can get set back up and scan you a Star Wars frame myself, here is a grab from another old film (T2) comparing the DVD (ultimate edition) to a 816P scan from the film (The WMV 'HD' release - keep in mind the HD image is *heavily* compressed). If someone has digitised the laserdisc *please* post this portion of same image - it will be HALF the detail again of the bottom image!
If you really can't see the difference between upscaled lasedisc, DVD and film (the above is just DVD vs low bitrate HD - both sourced from film - laserdisc would look much worse again) All I can surmise is that it was not a very good projector, not very well setup or your eye is *very* forgiving.
No amount of interpolation would make the 'subway' logo on her cup readable from the DVD version.
I've watched DVD upscaled with a Terranex on a G90 (possibly the best projector other than a Cine9) and it just doesn't compare to the same films on a native HD transfer - there is literally no comparison.
Laserdisc going through the same process just looks awful. It kind of looks OK until you play the same move in HD, then you can hardly stand to see the laserdisc. (and I am a BIG laserdisc fan, but it just doesn't cut it for big screens)
There are only 270 or so lines in an NTSC widescreen laserdisc. No matter what you do to it. It will never look in the same ballpark as 1080 lines or even 720 lines. Seriously there is no comparison - you can watch it, but it isn't pretty.
Where do you live Boris? I'd like to send you round to someone where you can see LD compared to HD properly on a decent setup. On a dodgy DLP or LCD projector with a bad scaler, or a bad setup DVD could look almost as bad as laserdisc I guess.
You are welcome to your opinion, and I have no problem if you can't tell the difference between a widescreen laserdisc and film, or think that the difference isn't important - but to say "I'm certain that any 35MM print will not have as much picture information as 720p, let alone 1080p" isn't correct, and is easily shown to be so. Even the image above shows how much more detail there is on film than on DVD, and it doesn't even begin to capture the level of detail of the negative.
It always good for people to discuss this stuff though, as it can help clear up a lot of misconceptions and cut through some of the marketing spin put out there.