New Technologies That Further Empower Digital Cinematography
Date & Time
Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Laurence Thorpe Nate McFarlin


Elevations in resolution, dynamic range, color gamuts, and picture capture rates have propelled innovations in cinematography lenses, cameras, accessories, and on-set reference displays – all that constitute the contemporary production ecosystem. This paper will outline innovative breakthroughs facilitating digital motion imaging in all – for both theatrical motion picture production and high-end television production. Deployment of two separate photodiodes within each photosite of a CMOS image sensor expedites higher efficiency in electron capture that elevates dynamic range. The dual photodiode also offers a phase difference assessment within each photosite that powers a precision auto focus system – critically important for some particularly challenging 4K / 6K shoots. For those who seek the creativity of manual focus operation, the system alternatively signals in the camera viewfinder a guidance to precision focus on a chosen subject within the scene. The paper also reveals a third exploitation of the dual photodiode – embodied in the DGO (Dual Gain Output) image sensor – whereby two separate gain levels in the column amplifiers for the two photodiodes provides effective double exposure with absolute simultaneity that further extends image sensor dynamic range. The paper also outlines contemporary strategies in column amplifier readout in CMOS imagers providing a five-fold Base ISO system exercising significant control over noise levels at the higher ISO settings. A new innovation in digital cinema camera incorporates realtime electronic correction that restores textural detail to motion imaging scenes impaired by diffraction. An analysis of the behaviour of the point spread function of light beams passing through the optical system was converted into a mathematical function – termed the optical transfer functions (OTF). An inverse function was then created and this formed the basis of the recovery filter data base that that controls the correction circuit to return the video image quality to that associated with wide open aperture setting. The paper describes a built-in electronic image stabilization within a 6K digital cinema camera providing five-axis control. HDR presents challenges for accurate monitoring and brightness representation in grading, mastering and QC environments. The paper details technological advances to address these issues in a new 2000 nit HDR reference display. They include a single layer IPS LCD panel utilizing an advanced backlight system, improved local dimming algorithms for greater accuracy in grayscale reproduction and black levels of .001 nits, and new monitoring tools to address HDR needs in higher dynamic ranges and wider color gamuts.

Technical Depth of Presentation
What Attendees will Benefit Most from this Presentation
DoPs, DITs, Movie Studio and Television Studio engineers, technologists, managers
Take-Aways from this Presentation
1. Advances in 4K/6K Image Sensors – that elevate HDR functionality and ISO range – augmented by a new HDR reference display 2. Precision Auto Focus or alternative Focus Guide – that ensure sought-for image sharpness in digital cinema cameras 3. Electronic diffraction compensation and electronic image stabilization – that protects high sharpness in challenging shooting situations