Here's something that's had me thinking for some time now. We always tout the virtues of HDV and DV before as "enough" for TV but definitely never good enough for large screen projection, with HD barely making the cut. It seems that every SD or HD camera can, with a lot of care and expertise, squeeze by and look acceptably good on a small screen, but don't you ever delude yourself in thinking that something like that could give you the resolution and quality to be shown on a big screen without the audience going: "what the f... is wrong here?"
And, as I've navigated this forum for months now, before making the decision of buying a RED and after the decision was made, often times I've been concerned with footage samples where there's noise in the blue channel, or blown highlights there, or lost detail in the blacks over there, and I've obssesed about the fact that if such deffects are obvious on a computer monitor, then they'll be glaringly unnaceptable on a cinema screen, right? Then I read a thread where the VFX supervisor on Wanted made it clear that RED, compared side by side to Kodak film scanned "AT 4K", look virtually identical to trained eyes. Then I also re-read an old thread when the first cinema projection of RED material took place in NY, and EVERYBODY agreed on the fact that RED looked awesome, without noise, clipping or the like, basically, just like film. And then I went back to a print we made from a Sony Z1U and transferred to film, and watched it again on a real large screen, and could not really tell that a "lower" quality camera had been used. And I remembered how impressed I was when I saw Robert Rodriguez's Once Upon a Time in Mexico, which was shot on the Sony F-900, actually cropping the 2/3'' 16 x 9 sensor to the 2.40 x 1 widescreen format AND recording to tape at 3:1:1 fidelity and still looked VERY good on the big screen. Imagine how much better you can do with a RED and a little care in your exposure.
So, instead of being the ultimate test of fidelity and resolution, is theathrical projection indeed a sort of equalizer, a medium that actually forgets, forgives and flattens the imperfections of digital cameras to a very acceptable degree instead of showing how inept they are? Do we obsses too much about how much quality and resolution we need for a film blow out when in reality film will help smooth out the very imperfections we terribly fear? Should we instead be more worried with the nasty artifacts that compression for the web and other small, albeit crappy, formats introduce to our beloved and hard acquired footage instead of declaring our digital cameras not fit for the big screen? I'm beginning to lean more towards this latter way of thinking myself...what say you?