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post #22411 of 22428 Old 03-23-2015, 08:44 PM
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Okamikakushi - Masque of the Wolf: Complete Collection

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

The traditionally animated series has fairly standard picture quality for this genre on Blu-ray. It has crisp colors rendered with inky black levels. I wish I could say more but you have probably already heard it from me before.

I will mention that Sentai has licked their banding problems on recent releases. The series is spread over two Blu-rays, a BD-50 and BD-25. The bitrates aren't substantially higher than before but it looks like they switched AVC encoders at some point in the last year for the better.
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post #22412 of 22428 Old 03-24-2015, 01:31 AM
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A general question about PQ if you don't mind.

I picked up a local copy (Netherlands) of the John Wick blu-ray this week and watched it yesterday. I wasn't really impressed with the overal PQ (a lot of soft/out of focus shots in my opinion).

Now I'm wondering if that has anything to do with the origin of the disc. Is the Dutch blu-ray differrent than the UK/US blu-ray?

Also the Criterion blu-rays have different PQ than the (amazon.co.uk) blu-rays I normally buy right?
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post #22413 of 22428 Old 03-24-2015, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnfout View Post
A general question about PQ if you don't mind.

I picked up a local copy (Netherlands) of the John Wick blu-ray this week and watched it yesterday. I wasn't really impressed with the overal PQ (a lot of soft/out of focus shots in my opinion).

Now I'm wondering if that has anything to do with the origin of the disc. Is the Dutch blu-ray differrent than the UK/US blu-ray?

Also the Criterion blu-rays have different PQ than the (amazon.co.uk) blu-rays I normally buy right?
Speaking specifically about John Wick on Blu-ray, Caps-A-Holic has direct screencap comparisons between the American Blu-ray, the Hong Kong Blu-ray, and what I believe is the Dutch Blu-ray. Apparently John Wick's distribution rights were sold to different companies all over the world. For a modern release like John Wick, the Blu-ray is almost always taken from the film's Digital Intermediate. That only leaves compression differences and possible tinkering with its color correction. Lionsgate is not particularly known for being a stellar Blu-ray label, the American rights owner.

http://caps-a-holic.com/hd_vergleich...d_multiID=2283

Addressing Criterion, they often perform their own transfers or tweak existing masters. For many of their licensed discs from Hollywood, they are at the mercy of what the studio provides in terms of film masters. Generally they will have different transfers than most UK Blu-rays, though there are exceptions. Several European films that Criterion has released have superior versions by their native owner.
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post #22414 of 22428 Old 03-24-2015, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnfout View Post
I picked up a local copy (Netherlands) of the John Wick blu-ray this week and watched it yesterday. I wasn't really impressed with the overal PQ (a lot of soft/out of focus shots in my opinion).

Now I'm wondering if that has anything to do with the origin of the disc. Is the Dutch blu-ray differrent than the UK/US blu-ray?
I looked further into your specific inquiry about John Wick. I don't know the veracity of this information but another place has this to say about the various international versions of John Wick. Notice it doesn't even list the Hong Kong BD in the comparison.

US - AVC 33233 kbps, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 5205 kbps 24-bit/Dolby Atmos, English subs Best AQ
NO/SE/FI/DK - AVC 36234 kbps, DTS-HD MA 5.1 3883 kbps 24-bit, no English subs Best PQ
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post #22415 of 22428 Old 03-24-2015, 01:09 PM
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Note that I haven't seen any other version of this bluray, so I cannot compare at all. It does have an Atmos track on the disc though. Wondering what that means in that comparision? They licensed the US version? It also has English subs apparently: http://www.a-film.nl/dvd/00036389/John-Wick
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post #22416 of 22428 Old 03-24-2015, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnfout View Post
Note that I haven't seen any other version of this bluray, so I cannot compare at all. It does have an Atmos track on the disc though. Wondering what that means in that comparision? They licensed the US version? It also has English subs apparently: http://www.a-film.nl/dvd/00036389/John-Wick
Like I said, I can't guarantee the veracity of that information. It was taken from elsewhere. I haven't seen John Wick.
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post #22417 of 22428 Old 03-24-2015, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnfout View Post
I picked up a local copy (Netherlands) of the John Wick blu-ray this week and watched it yesterday. I wasn't really impressed with the overal PQ (a lot of soft/out of focus shots in my opinion).
I saw John Wick in the theaters and watched the Blu-Ray about a week and a half ago. While I wouldn't say there was a lot but there were definitely soft shots in the film.

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post #22418 of 22428 Old 03-25-2015, 07:36 AM
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I did NOT see the soft shots others saw in their viewing of John Wick.

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post #22419 of 22428 Old 03-25-2015, 05:45 PM
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I spotted something interesting in this piece from Filmmaker magazine. It's mostly about new, large format digital camera lenses. I excerpted the most relevant question for the PQ Tiers. Aliasing was a serious issue for early digitally-shot movies, even from Hollywood. The aliasing was often still visible on Blu-ray despite the low-pass filtering.

http://filmmakermagazine.com/93508-p...-the-primo-70/

Filmmaker: Is there an optical difference from camera to camera?


Sasaki: A digital camera has different pixel pitches. For instance, the ARRI ALEXA have a fairly large pixel pitch of 8 microns and the Sony F55 has a 6 micron pixel. The smaller pixel pitch means that you’re going to have a different frequency at which that lens is going to alias, so therefore the larger the pixel pitch the more aggressive your low pass filter. Generally the more aggressive your low pass filter, the thicker your optical low pass solution becomes. You’re going to see a variation in low pass filter thicknesses.The fortunate thing is most of the manufacturers have realized that we don’t want to make too drastic a change, so there are differences between cameras, but they’re not so substantial where if you have a lens that’s for ARRI you can’t put it on a RED without major impact. They’re a pretty good balance between each other, but there are differences between cameras.
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post #22420 of 22428 Old 03-25-2015, 06:15 PM
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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

STUNNING!!

As with its predecessor, this Blu draws you into the film with exquisite DETAILS, DEPTH, and CLARITY. The details are simply mesmerizing, with details of close-ups displaying fine texture in nearly every scene. Facial details were every bit as good as in An Unexpected Journey, if not better (Bilbo Baggins definitely fared better in this one). Details in general were off the charts in most scenes, even in mid to long range shots of mountains, forests, castles, etc. The sharpness and clarity was as good as I've ever seen, though in a couple of scenes it came across as a bit too *digital* (a case in point would be the scene with the dwarfs riding down the river in barrels). Depth was phenomenal in some shots.

You're going to love Peter Jackson's cinematography in this sequel and as mentioned above every scene teems with details making for some of the sweetest EYE CANDY you'll ever feast your eyes upon!

If I had any complaints, it would be with some soft shots and a couple of instances where black levels faltered resulting in murkiness in one shot and crush in another. But these were clearly the exception and not the rule so any penalization would have to be marginal.

I voted for Tier 0 (right above Braveheart) for the first installment and this was a hair better....

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0* (right above The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
I have taken the liberty of quoting my review of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, for MOST of my comments are identical to those that I would make if I were to write up a review of the current title. There is a difference though, for which I will add a few remarks. I am happy to say that the BLACK LEVELS never faltered in the least in this one; I never saw any soft shots; and there wasn't any scenes that came across as too "digital." In a word, this release was flawless...PURE REFERENCE quality from the opening battle scene to the closing scene in the countryside and home of Bilbo Baggins.

I gave the first two outings a Tier 0 (.75) rating; this won deserves a spike of at least a quarter of a tier....

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0* (.5)

Viewed from 6.5' using the equipment listed below....

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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
I did NOT see the soft shots others saw in their viewing of John Wick.
I'll have to see if I can get a screen shot of one if I can find it. I just remember it was an outside shot during the day. Some bushes or foliage were out of focus. I don't think it's a very long scene so it might be easily missed.

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post #22422 of 22428 Old Yesterday, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
I spotted something interesting in this piece from Filmmaker magazine. It's mostly about new, large format digital camera lenses. I excerpted the most relevant question for the PQ Tiers. Aliasing was a serious issue for early digitally-shot movies, even from Hollywood. The aliasing was often still visible on Blu-ray despite the low-pass filtering.

http://filmmakermagazine.com/93508-p...-the-primo-70/

Filmmaker: Is there an optical difference from camera to camera?


Sasaki: A digital camera has different pixel pitches. For instance, the ARRI ALEXA have a fairly large pixel pitch of 8 microns and the Sony F55 has a 6 micron pixel. The smaller pixel pitch means that you’re going to have a different frequency at which that lens is going to alias, so therefore the larger the pixel pitch the more aggressive your low pass filter. Generally the more aggressive your low pass filter, the thicker your optical low pass solution becomes. You’re going to see a variation in low pass filter thicknesses.The fortunate thing is most of the manufacturers have realized that we don’t want to make too drastic a change, so there are differences between cameras, but they’re not so substantial where if you have a lens that’s for ARRI you can’t put it on a RED without major impact. They’re a pretty good balance between each other, but there are differences between cameras.
I'm wondering if my preference for the ARRI ALEXA is because of this difference. I often feel that while the image isn't as clear and sharp as the RED EPIC, I prefer the ARRI as it looks more "film-like" to me. Maybe I just like a little blur to make things look like film. It's also why I don't necessarily prefer the look of the new Hobbit movies because they're too much like TV than they are like film. That said, I'm really impressed with how well movies are looking when shot digitally.

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I tend to prefer the slightly sharper, more revealing image. Most ARRI ALEXA productions fall in a rather specific band on the PQ Tiers spectrum from my observations. Except for the biggest blockbusters, Hollywood cinematographers shy away from the most extreme resolution and clarity possible. It's why we see many Asian films with smaller budgets often beating out bigger Hollywood films in the PQ Tiers. Hollywood stars often wield enough power to dictate how they should look in the movie's dailies and finished digital intermediate.

The Lover (region-free German Import)

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

You can sell the older MGM DVD, this German Blu-ray from Universum Film represents a dramatic improvement in clarity over the domestic DVD which has been out of print for many years. The film transfer is slightly windowboxed in 1080P resolution, commonly seen from European distributors. This is one of the better film scans I've seen from an early 1990s film, revealing sharp detail in its relatively clean presentation. I would guess it is a 2K harvest from a well-preserved IP.

The newer film scan is bereft of severe processing, this is a solidly film-like presentation of the sensuous cinematography. Aside from a handful of compression artifacts in the darker scenes, this is top-notch catalog video quality. I highly doubt MGM could produce anything better, especially considering their standard modus operandi handling Blu-ray releases. Shadow delineation could be improved a bit, scenes with less lighting have questionable depth and inkiness to their black levels.
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post #22424 of 22428 Old Yesterday, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
I tend to prefer the slightly sharper, more revealing image. Most ARRI ALEXA productions fall in a rather specific band on the PQ Tiers spectrum from my observations. Except for the biggest blockbusters, Hollywood cinematographers shy away from the most extreme resolution and clarity possible. It's why we see many Asian films with smaller budgets often beating out bigger Hollywood films in the PQ Tiers. Hollywood stars often wield enough power to dictate how they should look in the movie's dailies and finished digital intermediate.
You would LOVE The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, for it's the epitome of "sharp" with an unbelievable "revealing image." I believe it was shot using the RED EPIC camera.

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Last edited by djoberg; Yesterday at 02:14 PM.
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I want to clarify that it's not that the RED EPIC and others don't produce more sharp or clear images than the ARRI ALEXA, it's that the slight blur to the ARRI (if it can be called a "blur"), reminds me more of film. So I have no doubt that The Hobbit films end up very high in the tiers and look amazing, it's that I just prefer the slightly more film-like images of movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

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post #22426 of 22428 Old Yesterday, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredxr2d2 View Post
I want to clarify that it's not that the RED EPIC and others don't produce more sharp or clear images than the ARRI ALEXA, it's that the slight blur to the ARRI (if it can be called a "blur"), reminds me more of film. So I have no doubt that The Hobbit films end up very high in the tiers and look amazing, it's that I just prefer the slightly more film-like images of movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
I think many filmmakers go with the ARRI ALEXA for the same reasons you listed. Sometimes the video might be too clean and vivid for the story they are trying to tell in the movie.
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post #22427 of 22428 Old Yesterday, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredxr2d2 View Post
I want to clarify that it's not that the RED EPIC and others don't produce more sharp or clear images than the ARRI ALEXA, it's that the slight blur to the ARRI (if it can be called a "blur"), reminds me more of film. So I have no doubt that The Hobbit films end up very high in the tiers and look amazing, it's that I just prefer the slightly more film-like images of movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Speaking of the RED EPIC...

Muck

recommendation: Tier 1.25*

For a film likely made on a minuscule budget, Muck looks fantastic. Filmed on the high-end RED Epic digital camera at 4K resolution, the 1080P video presentation has outstanding clarity and sharpness. Its cinematography lacks the polish and refinement of better Hollywood filmmaking, Muck’s compositions are overly cramped with far too many close-ups.

Starz/Anchor Bay provides a solid AVC video encode for the 98-minute film at an average rate of 24.92 Mbps. This is a technically sound Blu-ray presentation taken directly from the pristine digital intermediate, resulting in vivid levels of detail. Interior scenes suffer a fair bit in terms of depth and overall vividness when compared against the immaculate exteriors.

The razor-sharp definition is tempered by its reserved color palette, especially in the darker scenes. There is a slight teal push to the color grading, though flesh-tones remain largely unaffected. Detail remains high most of the time. Shadow delineation however is mildly limited in some specific settings. This kind of high-grade digital clarity is a far cry from the days of soft, mushy 16mm film prints a movie of this nature would have been made on thirty years ago. The picture quality is fairly bleak but impressive in its own way.

Code:
                                                                                                                 Total   Video                                             
Title                                                            Codec   Length  Movie Size      Disc Size       Bitrate Bitrate Main  Audio Track                          Secondary Audio Track
-----                                                            ------  ------- --------------  --------------  ------- -------  ------------------                        ---------------------
00001.MPLS                                                       AVC     1:38:35 23,470,479,360  24,994,581,286  31.74   24.92   Dolby  TrueHD 5.1 3496Kbps (48kHz/24-bit)
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Understanding the mysteries of Gamma for your display of choice. Making it more difficult is that there isn't a standard gamma specification for Blu-ray, so calibrating your display for a gamma of 2.2 isn't necessarily correct for all Blu-ray transfers.

http://www.chromapure.com/colorscience-gamma.asp
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