Film and digital : Is IQ and rez really better?

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Max Iso
Max Iso Senior Member • Posts: 6,338
Film and digital : Is IQ and rez really better?

So i'll start off by saying, i have no desire to shoot film. Ever. Never did and never will. I know nothing about developing film and it's not something i wish to spend time on, nor do i want to give up the benefits of digital such as immediate screen review, raw PP, ect. I will also add that im using a video frame as an example here but this is in no way a video question, it applies to stills as well.

With that said, i was watching Star Trek TNG from the first episode as it's been a while since i binged and i noticed the quality of the image. Considering the first season was in 1987, that means the video was filmed in 87, or perhaps 86. Here's a screenshot of an episode late into season 1.

Now im not the biggest video guy but i have used many 1080p cameras, had many phones that record 4k, as well as owned a GX8 and used it's 4k video. Noise and DR aside (that's another conversation), i noticed the frame above is quite detailed and sharp. Not over sharpened, just very clear and detailed.

Not the first time this has occurred to me, a lot of older movies from the 80s and 90s (even 70s) have brought up the same thoughts. I assume film was the only medium back then for Hollywood, it's quite high quality. Again, not just about video but this happens to be the example used.

So the general question here, am i crazy for thinking that digital is just now catching or passing this up? I know that film, video or stills, is kinda resistant to any actual pixel counts since it's not made up of actual pixels, so how do we quantify resolution in film to compare it to digital?

And if you could do so, what would the above be liken to in digital? Is it 8mp quality (4k)? 4mp? 2mp (1080p)? Is that why film persisted in movie production for so long? And what limits the resolution for film, lenses aside? Is it the actual size of the film, or type? What are your thoughts concerning digital vs film for detail and resolution?

I know we have a lot of film users here so lets keep this civil, not meant to be a fight, im just curious as to how our tech can be so advanced yet we seemingly took 3 steps backwards with digital IQ and for so long.

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"We've come prepared
Suspending all benevolence
You've bathed in arrogance
Our retribution we will bring
She flies on unforgiving wings
Your children in Heaven shall weep and grieve
As holy gates open and nothing leaves
So down the cattle chute you will move
And die for him who's died for you...
Blinded by our pride we've missed the signs
We now beg of you, Lord, hear our cries.
The scars you've made altered the plan
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And the burden of Earth will be removed
You are quarantined to the abyss
With all life forms deleterious
You have lost all that you will ever lose
Your request to be saved by God, refused !"
- The Subjugated

 Max Iso's gear list:Max Iso's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Panasonic GX850 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +5 more
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