Cine film and video have been used for many years for a good reason: they’re reliable, quality ways to record and watch television or homemade videos, even if a bit outdated nowadays – still, you can find plenty of media in these formats, especially classic movies that never go out of fashion and your own home movies! Knowing how these mediums differ from one another, though, can be challenging.
How the Image is Played
You can probably picture the two different formats in your mind immediately. Cine film is something you associate with the ‘old times’, maybe even with silent movies projected on a blank screen. VHS tapes often needed to be rewound if the person who watched it before you forgot it… So, the difference in regards to playing them is that film has to be developed and needs to have light shining on it to be projected, while video is captured on a magnetic tape and scanned back over a playback.
One of the most significant differences between cine film and video is the pricing range. While a lot of new movies are being shot with film, which is becoming the favourite format of many filmmakers, there’s something very important you should consider if you’re planning on using film: it’s much more expensive than video, no matter the width used, which was one of the reasons why it was phased out and VHS took its place little by little.
Then, of course, it was the turn of DVDs, which eventually became the commonplace way to play movies and shows. This is because digital media is much cheaper.
Images captured on film tend to look smooth and soft when projected, since film captures light waves. This is true whether you’re projecting a small or large image size. The process of taping video is considered digital, even if the tape is analog, which means video has a native resolution made up of pixels, sharper than film – however, images can only reach a certain resolution before degrading in quality (becoming pixelated).
Cine film allows you to film at 24 frames per second. With video, you can shoot images at 30 interlaced frames per second, which means most video has the quality of 60 frames per second – given that it actually uses two sets of half images. This greatly reduces the motion blur you can sometimes notice with images shot with fewer frames.