BBC R&D

Abstract

There have been many attempts made to generate television pictures that have "The Film Look" while being generated electronically. Most have concentrated on mimicking the temporal appearance of film, while others have concentrated on contrast handling. Some have done both, and more. The issues of sharpness and depth of field are rarely tackled. This document investigates all of these major aspects of the film look and analyses the properties of film and electronic image generation to find out exactly how they are different and why, and how that difference can be minimised. The "BBC setup" conditions now adopted in some television cameras exploit this work, notably in PSC camcorders used for HDTV image capture. Although aimed primarily at HDTV cameras and their use in attempting to mimic and thereby encourage their replacement of film usage, the principles explored here could apply equally to all forms of video cameras provided that their control ranges are sufficiently flexible.