Digital Cameras to be Used on ‘Dawn Treader’

Posted July 4, 2009 12:45 pm by glumPuddle

Here is an excerpt from a recent interview with Cinematographer Dante Spinotti about the new film, “Public Enemies:”

Dante Spinotti, Cinematographer for Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Dante Spinotti, Cinematographer for Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Q: Why not go with a digital camera you’d already used? Why did you decide on the Sony F23 for Public Enemies?

Spinotti : Michael [Mann] likes depth of field, images with deep focus, and that camera has a chip that’s more like 16mm that gave us that depth of focus. It’s the same reason why I chose the same camera for the film I am going into now, The Chronicles of Narnia. The depth of field works in our favor. The camera also has an advantage in the sense that it is much more elastic. You can adjust gamma curves and gain for incredible control over the image. You can also shoot much bigger energy in the sense that you can have a zoom lens and the camera can move around in a quicker way.

Your reaction to this news will depend on which side of the Film vs. Digital debate you are on. One side argues that the quality of digital video is not yet as good as 35mm film while the other side argues that the difference is not noticeable. Both “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “Prince Caspian” were shot on 35mm film. This year, “Slumdog Millionaire” became the first movie shot mainly with digital cameras to receive the Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

From a filmmaker’s perspective, filming digitally offers many advantages for the production. You don’t have to wait for the film to be processed; you can upload it to a computer and begin editing that very day. Shooting digitally can cut down post-production time by weeks. It may also be cheaper.

The “theoretical resolution” of film is certainly higher than digital. But how noticeable is the difference in quality? That’s the debate.

(One more tidbit that may interest fans: Because they will be using digital cameras, there will no longer be any need to “check the gate.”)

Thanks to ‘Icarus’ for the find.