GOOD

image via vimeo screen capture - 10328x7760 - A 10K Timelapse Demo from SCIENTIFANTASTIC

I’ve never been much of a photography or videography buff, but even a layman like me (and hopefully you, too) can appreciate just how stunningly gorgeous this time-lapse video of Rio De Janeiro truly is. Created by photographer Joe Capra, the footage might seem misleading at first, but don’t be fooled—For each locale, what appear to be separate shots taken at different distances within the same basic frame of reference, are actually all snapped from a fixed point in astonishingly, almost ludicrously, high 10K definition. Put simply, everything you see is part of a single, incredibly-detailed, larger image.


You might want to go full screen for this:

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First, the technical stuff. The footage was shot on a PhaseOne IQ180 camera, while Capra was working on an assignment in Brazil. As he explains on Vimeo:

Each shot is comprised of hundreds individual still images, each weighing in at a whopping 80 megapixels. Each individual raw frame measures 10328x7760 pixels.

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Each shot sequence starts off with the full resolution footage scaled down to fit within a 1920x1080 resolution (14 percent scale). The next shot in each shot sequence is the full resolution shot scaled to 50%, so basically zooming in quite a bit. From there we go into the full resolution shot scaled to 100%, which is an extreme zoom/crop. As you can see, the quality and detail holds up extremely well, it’s pretty amazing.

I wanted to show a couple things with this demo video. First, the extreme resolution of this camera (and medium format in general). Second, the amazing amount of flexibility this resolution allows for in post production. You can literally get about 8-10 solid 1920x1080 shots out of a single shot. You can also get about 5-6 solid 4K shots out of a single shot.

As io9 points out, when it comes to high-definition screens, most people are at 1080, with 4K (to say nothing of 8K) resolution hardly commonplace. Still, in spite having been shot as a demo reel, Capra’s time-lapse gives a viewer the sense of just how powerful those next levels of detail are, even while they’re still in the “expensive novelty” phase of the consumer pipeline.

Beyond the technical, though, this time-lapse is something more: A unique way to look at cities as a whole. While hyper-detailed static cityscapes are nothing new, that Capra allows us to flow effortlessly from macro to micro in a moving series of images affords us an almost-omniscient ability to experience a vibrant urban environment as it truly exists, from both holistic and composite perspectives, simultaneously. The effect can be a bit overwhelming at first, but also serves as a beautiful reminder that our cities are complex, exhilarating, living things, as well.

Sometimes seeing that is just a matter of having the right definition.

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