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Thinking about seeing a movie in Digital Projection...is it better than regular film?

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Thinking about seeing a movie in Digital Projection...is it better than regular film?

Old 08-13-04, 08:14 PM
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Thinking about seeing a movie in Digital Projection...is it better than regular film?

Just want to know from peeps who have seen movies recently in theaters with digital projection. I am thinking about seeing "Collateral" in the dp form versus the regular film form and just simply want to know if it is better in terms of visual (I assume the audio remains the same, correct?). Thanks in advance for comments.
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Old 08-13-04, 08:56 PM
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I would say definitely check it out and see for yourself. I've heard both pros and cons and have seen it myself (Signs and Star Wars Ep2).

It is a much cleaner image, no scratches or poorly cut reel changes for sure, but depending on some people's tastes, it looks too clean, because there is hardly any grain to speak of. And some people have complained that it looks too much like a video projection, which it is of course, and not enough like regular film projection.

It would be interesting to see Collateral in DP because a lot of it was shot on digital video, so I'm curious if it would look better or worse than a movie shot only on film.
Old 08-13-04, 09:29 PM
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You bring up a good point that I didn't think of...with "Collateral" having that gritty feel to it, would it be better in regular film to have the gritty, grainy picture quality to enhance the realistic effect of LA. Or should it be seen on the format it was actually shot in mostly?
Now, this is a quandry.
Old 08-13-04, 11:38 PM
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One thing I really like is that there are usually no friggin' commercials before the feature in DLP theatres! YMMV...
Old 08-13-04, 11:48 PM
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Collateral was shot on digital. Being shown in digital projection makes it a lot better. format <--> format. I saw Collateral twice. Once on DLP and once on film. it looked much nicer on DLP. It still had the gritty look Mann was going for is still there. Just cleaner since it didn't have to go from Digital to film.


that was also the case with Episode II. Not only did you get a sharper image, but you also recieved extra scene not shown on the regular film print of episode II.

Open water is another title I would suggest watching on DLP.

Film on DLP sometimes suffered pixelation in the past. Not sure how true that is now a days. But if it's offered on DLP I will watch it that way.

Last edited by Jackskeleton; 08-13-04 at 11:50 PM.
Old 08-14-04, 12:25 AM
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Some people see a "rainbow" effect and get headaches when they watch a home DLP projector. Could this also be the case with a theatre one, or are they more advanced and minimize that possible effect?
Old 08-14-04, 12:49 AM
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Ive seen three movies on DLP. Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Alien Special Edition, and Collateral. I can honestly say that DLP is superior than regular film projectors.
Old 08-14-04, 02:38 AM
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We had DLP in Vegas for a month when Attack of the Clones came out, and boy was it fantastic. It completely blew away any 35mm presentation that I've seen.

The moment Attack of the Clones left theaters, DLP left Vegas with it.
Old 08-14-04, 09:39 AM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
Collateral was shot on digital. Being shown in digital projection makes it a lot better. format <--> format. I saw Collateral twice. Once on DLP and once on film. it looked much nicer on DLP. It still had the gritty look Mann was going for is still there. Just cleaner since it didn't have to go from Digital to film.


that was also the case with Episode II. Not only did you get a sharper image, but you also recieved extra scene not shown on the regular film print of episode II.

Open water is another title I would suggest watching on DLP.

Film on DLP sometimes suffered pixelation in the past. Not sure how true that is now a days. But if it's offered on DLP I will watch it that way.
Sold! I'll let you know how I like it...the movie and the presentation!
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Old 08-14-04, 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by Lara Means
Ive seen three movies on DLP. Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Alien Special Edition, and Collateral. I can honestly say that DLP is superior than regular film projectors.
That's more a statement of opinion than fact, because many, including myself, will swear by film. I've seen several films on DLP (Daredevil, Alien, King Arthur, Signs, Spirited Away, etc.), and almost every time I go in I'm disappointed by the quality. I can always see pixels. And it isn't a single theater, either, because I've been to three DLP theaters. I go so far as to avoid the DLP theaters now. The only argument I may concede to is the format to format idea. Collateral on DLP was beautiful, and so was Mexico. Aside from that, I don't see how a film shot on 35 mm can ever be surpassed by a DLP in terms of overall quality; it may one day equal film, but it seems to me that it will be impossible to become superior. With film, you have an actual print, so all fine edges are just that----fine edges. With DLP, however, pixels comprise those fine edges. IMO, it's very noticeable.

In other words, IMO, film projectors are superior to DL projectors.
Old 08-14-04, 11:43 AM
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I agree with corvin. If a film is shot on digital then it will look beyond great on DLP. but if it's shot on 35mm then there is no real reason to go out of your way to watch it on DLP. you get the format transfer that will be there with the pixels showing up. Go for digital films but don't go out of your way for any regular films.
Old 08-14-04, 07:19 PM
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Digital is not "perfect," but I agree that it benefits 'motion pictures' originated that way.

Do not believe ANY DLP shill who tells you digital has more resolving power than celluloid in regard to color or detail. It's a lie and can be objectively proven by researching the respective technologies.
Old 08-14-04, 07:29 PM
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I wish I would have had the opportunity to see Collateral in DLP ... the theater I went to had the film spliced together horribly ... the worst I've ever seen. On two of the changeovers, there was actually a second or two of black screen and a beep.
Old 08-14-04, 08:17 PM
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I always go out of my way to see the latest Pixar in a DLP equipped theater.

Go for it.
Old 08-15-04, 10:47 PM
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Originally posted by cultshock
Some people see a "rainbow" effect and get headaches when they watch a home DLP projector. Could this also be the case with a theatre one, or are they more advanced and minimize that possible effect?

I have had that same reaction to every DV film I have seen and it severely sucks!

Even if I don't get a major headache from it(I have had some severe ones though),I always feel abit dizzy and just light headed. Meanwhile sometimes a splitting headache will slowly creep up,then explode in my skull making me feel beyond terrible and takes hours to subside.


So DV has not won me over yet. But it would be interesting to see how I react to Collaterials visual quality and if it even looks 'gritty' to my eyes. Since other DV attempts at gritty grainy looks have'nt fooled me yet(28 Days Later) and still look 'too' good for their own good.
Old 08-15-04, 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
that was also the case with Episode II. Not only did you get a sharper image, but you also recieved extra scene not shown on the regular film print of episode II.
Extra scene? More like, extra shot.

Anyway, I saw the DLP release of Episode 2. While it was superior to the 35mm print of that same film (which looked very muddy), it was not superior to a normal 35mm film. For one thing, I could see the pixels.

Eventually, DLP will get up to film quality. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. But it wasn't there for Episode 2. Once the technology catches up, there's no question that DLP will be the wave of the future, with the advantages far outweighing the cons.
Old 08-15-04, 11:33 PM
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As far as I can remember, I've seen Episode 2, Terminator 3, and I, Robot on digital projection. All three are big SFX movies with a lot of digital effects. Of the three, I, Robot looked the best, but I attribute that to advances in DLP technology. Even in I, Robot I could make out pixels. Terminator 3 was by far the worst. Most of the effects in that film don't look digital, even if they are, and the pixels stood out like a sore thumb. Episode 2 wasn't so bad. It definitely looked clearer than the film print. But I would rather have grainy 35mm than not-grainy but pixelated DLP.

As Groucho said, when DLP manages to get to (or hopefully beyond) the level of film, then we'll have something to brag about. As it is, I wish everytime I saw a DLP screening of a film, they had then paid for me to see the 35mm, because I know I would enjoy it more.
Old 08-15-04, 11:39 PM
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If people are seeing pixels, then something is wrong with the projection itself. I saw SW Ep2 at Mann's Chinese, which, for those who don't know, has a massive screen, and on something that huge and with such a busy movie, there wasn't a hint of pixelation.
Old 08-15-04, 11:48 PM
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I've only seen Episode II in dlp and I thought it looked pretty amazing.
Old 08-16-04, 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by FinkPish
If people are seeing pixels, then something is wrong with the projection itself.
I don't think something is wrong with the projection is we're seeing pixels. I've been to every DLP theater in the Chicagoland area (that I'm aware of), and I've seen pixels in each presentation.
Old 08-16-04, 09:49 AM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
Collateral was shot on digital. Being shown in digital projection makes it a lot better. format <--> format. I saw Collateral twice. Once on DLP and once on film. it looked much nicer on DLP. It still had the gritty look Mann was going for is still there. Just cleaner since it didn't have to go from Digital to film.


that was also the case with Episode II. Not only did you get a sharper image, but you also recieved extra scene not shown on the regular film print of episode II.

Open water is another title I would suggest watching on DLP.

Film on DLP sometimes suffered pixelation in the past. Not sure how true that is now a days. But if it's offered on DLP I will watch it that way.
I did not know that Collateral was shot on HD when I went in to see the movie. After sitting there for about 30 minutes I started to think it was filmed on HD, even though I though the movie theater I was in projected it using film.

1. The fast action sceens were a little choppy (not as smooth as film).

2. The 1st down town LA shot of the building looked better than normal.

3. "Purple Fringing" around some of the street lights (PF can be a problem with Digital Cameras)
Old 08-16-04, 09:56 AM
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Originally posted by FinkPish
If people are seeing pixels, then something is wrong with the projection itself. I saw SW Ep2 at Mann's Chinese, which, for those who don't know, has a massive screen, and on something that huge and with such a busy movie, there wasn't a hint of pixelation.
I'm not talking pixelation as in "compression artifacts" that you see on DVD's with poor transfers. I'm talking about the fact that the resolution was small enough, and the screen was big enough, that I could make out individual pixels.

In scenes with motion it wasn't as apparent...but when somebody stood still, or when there were letters on the screen (sub-titles in particular), it was very obvious.

There was nothing wrong with the projection.
Old 08-16-04, 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
But if it's offered on DLP I will watch it that way.
Same here man, without a doubt.
Old 08-17-04, 04:43 AM
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As far as I can remember, I've seen Episode 2, Terminator 3, and I, Robot on digital projection. All three are big SFX movies with a lot of digital effects.
The only way you can accurately judge digital is to watch a digital film projected digitally. You can make a fair judgement by watch a movie shot on film projected digital, or vice version. It has to be all digital.

As Groucho said, when DLP manages to get to (or hopefully beyond) the level of film, then we'll have something to brag about.
Well, digital is already superior to film in most areas but pure resolution. Digital is far cheaper for the studios and filmmakers. It has a complete lack of grain, which is a plus in my opinion. I have no idea when grain suddenly became an image enhancement. Spielberg is frickin' obssessed with grain. Yes, there are digital cameras that allow you to add grain if you want. Digital is also clearer, with no dirt or debris all over the prints, and it maintains it's clarity no matter how many times it's shown, unlike film.

Only in pure resolution and black level does film still hold the advantage. But I don't see that lasting long. Digital is still in it's infancy. The advancements made in the years between Episode II and III are pretty amazing. I can't even fathom the advances made in another 5-10 years. We already have 6-14 megapixel digital cameras that surpass 35mm film. There are a number of articles on this subject from professional photographers who've written detailed articles on why these digital cameras have now surpassed 35mm film cameras. It's only a matter of time before digital movie camera resolution increases as well.

Last edited by Terrell; 08-17-04 at 04:49 AM.
Old 08-17-04, 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by Terrell

Only in pure resolution and black level does film still hold the advantage. But I don't see that lasting long. Digital is still in it's infancy. The advancements made in the years between Episode II and III are pretty amazing. I can't even fathom the advances made in another 5-10 years. We already have 6-14 megapixel digital cameras that surpass 35mm film. There are a number of articles on this subject from professional photographers who've written detailed articles on why these digital cameras have now surpassed 35mm film cameras. It's only a matter of time before digital movie camera resolution increases as well.
Can you provide a link, because everything I've heard (plus my inner-logic) tells me that it isn't possible. Better than film in terms of resolution? How is that possible? With film you don't have a resolution at all, it's a projected image, and if in focus, the fine edges are as sharp as possible. How can DP surpass that?

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