The human eye is limited in the amount of resolution it can actually perceive, assuming 20/20 (or close) vision. Do a test for yourself next time you look around. What’s the smallest thing you can see sharply, consider that a pixel. Would 6K resolution do everything you see justice? 8K? Obviously you’re seeing in 3D as well but without the glasses.
So what is that ultimate camera? Once you get up to a 25 megapixel sensor, capturing 6K at 120 frames per second with 20 stops of dynamic range, an uncompressed RAW capture format and 24-bit/192 kHz or higher sound, I’d say you’re there. Assuming you can exhibit the footage from such a camera at similar specifications in 3D without glasses, you will have pretty much equaled or exceeded the limit of resolution of the human eye.
When can you buy this ultimate camera system? That’s the real question. It might be as soon as five years from now, or as many as 20. Or even never. The major camera manufacturers are constantly outdoing each other now. If I had to roll with the ultimate camera as of today, I'd look seriously into the likes of the RED ONE, the Panavision Genesis, Sony F-35, and the Canon 7D.
All of these camera makers would probably agree they haven’t built the last camera you’ll ever need to buy -- yet. However, I think we’ll get to the ultimate camera sooner than you might expect, so start thinking of good stories to tell. What good will all this amazing technology be if we don’t have something interesting to watch?
Noah Kadner was born in New Jersey and raised in New Mexico. He administers several online filmmaking forums including 2-pop, Creative Cow and DVXuser.com while offering training classes at Call Box. He also writes for industry magazines like Videography and American Cinematographer. Noah wrote the cover stories for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Noah also wrote, RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera.