Recently I've read a number of articles which have popped up highlighting the film industry's growing preference for digital media. Some of them boast an almost tear-jerking level of nostalgia for a dying technology, while others offer arguments in favour of digital which are, at best, mootable.
|Chris Nolan with a 35mm Panavision Panaflex XL2|
In a recent LA Weekly article, Christopher Nolan proselytised and pleaded for the continued use of 35mm film. His argument is that the elegance and power of film outweighs any financial benefits to dropping the medium.
The truth is that the studios are fully justified in supporting - if not forcing - the adoption of digital, as it is simply cheaper. Let's keep in mind that they are running businesses and not art studios.
|Red Epic-M with all the trimmings.|
This obviously allows the crew to focus more on the artistry of what they're doing, and less on timing their takes correctly. The knowledge that the SSD can be overwritten (as opposed to a bum reel which must be trashed) also relaxes everyone involved, as a mistake does not mean blowing a $500 reel.
|Red's proprietary SSDs|
known as RedMags
Personally, I'm in favour of eventually migrating completely to digital cinema, but not yet. Despite the technology massively lowering the barrier-to-entry for professional quality filmmaking, 35mm film has some beautiful light-capturing qualities and nuances that digital just cannot yet measure up to. The inexorable march of technology, however, suggests that the quality of digital cameras and projection will continue to improve and eventually surpass film. At the moment, we're just at the mercy of producers who favour bottom-line over beauty.
 The Epic-M and Epic-X models have approximately the same surface area of a traditional Super 35 film frame masked to the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, creating a similar angle of view and depth of field as the Super 35 film format.
 SSD: Solid State Drive. A modern hard-disk technology which features no moving parts and, thus, fewer points of failure. Basically a bigger version of a USB flash stick.