Re: [Frameworks] Analog and digital

From: Steven Gladstone <>
Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2011 00:23:09 -0400

On 8/27/11 9:12 PM, Flick Harrison wrote:

> I'd call film analog because each grain is exposed to a light of varying
> colour and brightness, for any amount of time, focused by any amount,
> then processed with more or less chemicals and time, all of which are
> analog variables. The placement of grain on a frame is also random and
> analog.

Digital - provides a precise voltage state (either on or off) for each
"photosite"/pixel. Here is the thing.

1. If you say digital is ones and zeroes you are referring to and analog
representation of on and off. It isn't really ones and zeroes.
Noise floor and strength of signal, and signal degradation will all
affect how this is represented. In digital it is either on or off, if a
signal is above the off state but not fully at the on state, then what?
It is rounded either up or down to on or off. This can lead to various
issues in either capture, or display.

2. All imagers are ANALOG. In the process of converting the light
striking the imager (film or electronic sensor) to an electronic version
(um analog) for storage and later display it is "sampled" and converted
to numerical values. The more samples per second, the smoother the
resulting waveforms will be when the digital information is reconverted
to analog for display. The more pixels as well, equates to smoother

Steven Gladstone
New York Based Cinematographer
Gladstone films
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Received on Sat Aug 27 2011 - 21:23:41 CDT