[Tig] Shadow or Datamill

Sean McKee sean at screentimeimages.com
Sat Nov 25 01:03:38 GMT 2006

We like our Millennium as well. I don't work for or get anything from any of
the companies mentioned. We compared scans from it and a Spirit 1, and were
more than sold. Haven't done a lot of 16mm in HD, but with 35mm in HD, 2K or
4K, the results were far superior. Regarding 2K, after a bit of research, we
found the following information which applies to Millennium vs. Spirit 1,
and may apply here as well, if the Shadow does 2K, since it is using similar
technology to the Spirit. The newer model Spirits (2K & 4K) have since fixed
many of the issues mentioned below:

The Spirit samples luminance information from film with a fixed 1920 sample
CCD array. It samples color information with three 960 sample RGB, CCD
arrays. This is, in effect, 4:2:2 scanning. There is less color information
available than luminance information.

The Millennium Telecine Scanner on the other hand, samples all 3 channels of
RGB information from film at a full color bandwidth. This is, in effect,
4:4:4 scanning. The Millennium samples 3 RGB 16 bit channels containing 1920
samples each in HDTV mode and 2048 samples each in 2048x1556 data mode. Even
in 1920x1080 HDTV scanning mode, the Millennium captures more information
from the film being scanned.

Some colorists have noticed that the Spirit has problems reproducing certain
colors. This makes it necessary to make more use of secondary color

Since the Spirit has CCD sensor, which are only 1920 and 960 samples long,
there is a fixed relationship to the film area being scanned and the
sensors. Instead of mapping the 1920 samples to the desired area on the
film, the Spirit must throw away information when zooming, panning or
tilting. To zoom, the Spirit does interpolation processing on the digital
video signal equivalent to a DVE ­ and just like with a DVE, the picture
quality suffers. 

In 2K mode, Spirit expands its 1920 samples to fit the 2048 sample output
resulting in a lower quality result. Since the color information scanned
from the film contains only 960 samples, the resulting video is only really
4:2:2, or contains half of the color information.

In contrast, the Millennium always samples just the desired area of the film
and does not throw any information out. It scans the film with a flying spot
CRT. When zooming, the CRT raster size is changed to sample only the area of
interest on the film ­ resulting in the best possible reproduced image. The
Millennium does not throw any information out nor does any interpolation. In
HD, 2K and 4K mode, the Millennium outputs true full bandwidth 4:4:4 color
information unlike the Spirit.


Sean McKee
Screen Time Images / Screen Time Classics
974 Estes Court
Schaumburg, IL 60193

On 11/24/06 10:05 AM, "Rob Lingelbach" <rob at colorist.org> wrote:

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>> I cannot speak for images produced by the Shadow, but I will
>> proudly stand
>> behind the incredibly sharp, stunningly saturated, romantic and filmic
>> images from the Millennium.  I do tons of SD, HD and minimal 2k
>> scanning.
>> The resolution and color reproduction from this machine is
>> unbelievable.
> I too, after 6 years working with Spirits, was absoloutely enthralled
> by the images
> from a well-tuned Millennium, which I found in New Zealand a couple
> of years ago.
> It was like, to me, WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING -- this is what I've
> been missing with
> Spirits.    I couldn't get enough of the pictures from this
> particular Millennium and the
> Spriit was like blah.     (although, you can take Spirit blah and
> make it look great; only
> problem is it doesn't have that depth, that perspective that the best
> tube machine has).
> I don't work for nor receive any money or promotional considerations
> from Thomson/GV
> or from Cintel or (ITK).   This is a completely unbiased opinion.
> Rob Lingelbach
> http://www.colorist.org/robhome.html
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