Our Golden Age of motion Picture Imaging


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So I'm kind of believing that we've hit, for all practical purposes, a kind of pinnacle of digital imaging in motion pictures.* 

This does NOT mean that cameras stop improving, but I'm implying that from now onward if "you," a typically casual end-user consumer, buy a newly released camera, you're gonna have imaging that will not only look great for the rest of your life, but it won't be all that distinguishable from the IQ (image quality) you'll get decades down the road.  Yes, in the future the dynamic range will be wider and resolution will probably be 16k+, but even so, watching an image on an 80" monitor from 10 feet away will kinda look similar to 4K, even good 1080, for that matter.

4 decades ago, great motion picture  IQ wasn't a consumer possibility.  8mm film stuff shot then looks like it was shot then.  3 decades ago consumers were shooting NTSC video on nascent CCD's.  That stuff is dated.  It bears the mark of the 1980's.  However, if you go film a scenic of, say, The Anza Borrego Desert this afternoon then it's still gonna look great 4 decades from now and onward, which is kinda cool --and sad in a way.

The advance of technology is wonderful, I'm just musing on what's lost when we gain.  

For instance, personally, I have a tendency to make my pristine footage look retro through lens choices and post-production.  I feel images need some sorts of "flaws" to feel authentic.  I grew up in a darkroom, so I nurture that aesthetic nostalgia in my images.  And, of course, many people love instagramming their stills, so there's still a strong desire to 'analog' the 'digital.'  Could this tendency be an attempt to psychologically grasp a past that's easier to comprehend rather than the future that is rushing to us non-stop?  

"Brownie" 8mm film camera

"Brownie" 8mm film camera

Anyway, that's all part of the mix too.

This sort of stuff, maybe it matters more to us older folks that have this visual legacy that bears the mark of technological evolution.  I suspect new kids aren't hung up on this sort of thing, they just go do stuff, and they get to do it without an obvious technological time-stamp.

Any thoughts?

* talking' 'bout 2d imaging.  3d and holograms will come along somehow, but that's a different story.