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Film Formats

Film Formats - Unlike pre-HD television, which had only two image formats, 525/60I and 625/50I, 35 mm film has many. Of these the most common are Full Frame, which occupies the largest possible area of the film, Academy and Cinemascope. The scanning for these is defined in the DPX file specification as follows:

At full frame,
4K – 4,096 x 3,112
2K – 2,048 x 1,556
1K – 1,024 x 778
Aspect Ratio – 1,316


These scan sizes generally represent the valid image size within the total frame size indicated by full frame. It is generally considered that all scanning is done at full frame size as this avoids the complexity of adjusting the scanner optics or raster size with risks associated with repeatability and stability. Although these digital image sizes came about as formats for scanning film, new digital cinematography cameras are also using them, exactly or nearly. In the file-based world of DI the exact size does not matter, as long as it’s managed correctly and, most importantly, able to produce high quality output for release prints and digital cinema – where the DCI specifies exact sizes.