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How Many Pixels is 5-perf 65mm Film?

Abbreviations, terminology, and the varied details regarding things like film gauges and stocks can be overwhelming for any aspiring videographer to attempt to understand. There’s so much involved, so many different things to learn, and so much to recall. Identifying the various film gauges and stocks that are utilized to capture cinema quality footage is important for any videographer, but then questions like, “How many pixels is 5-perf 65mm film?” Arise throwing everything you thought you knew for a loop.

What does 5-perf even mean and how is it comparable to 65mm film? Another set of common questions that must be answered, early on in order to fully understand where this is going. 

As professionals with more than 20 years in the filmmaking and production industry, here at Beverly Boy Productions we realize how confusing things can be. This guide will help you to identify suitable answers to common questions like, “How many pixels is 5-perf 65mm film?”

What Does Perf Mean in Film?

The word “perf” is an abbreviation for film perforations and happens to represent the number of sprocket holes that are included in the film stock when it is manufactured. Sprocket holes are present in the film and provide a way for the sprockets and claws to transport the film. 

In early filmmaking, sprocket rollers would be used to grab the film and pull it through the camera by the focus puller, this is where the term “Focus puller” comes from. Likewise, sprockets were also used 

What is 65mm, 5-perf film?

Now that you know what the “perf” Means, let’s take a look at the next step toward answering out question, “How many pixels is 5-perf 65mfilm.

Exactly what is 65mm, 5-perf film and what does it have to do with the total number of megapixels that are output when an image or video is captured? 

The use of digital projection of images calls for films to be captured with a larger format and greater number of megapixels than was once necessary. 

Traditional cameras of 35mm provide approximately 20 megapixels of video or still image resolution whereas 70mm film output provides roughly double the number of megapixels or about 30-40mp for a digital image. IMAX film, thus, would provide approximately 90-120 megapixels for digital images.

The large format camera that includes 5 perforation frame height and 65mm film gauge then would provide the approximate same average number of megapixels that would be achieved with the 70mm film, equating for between 30 and 40 digital megapixels. 

Cinematographers frequently turn to 5-perf, 65mm film because it can provide such a high level of image area behind the lens. In fact, this film provides 4.2 times the viable image area compared to standard 4-perf 35mm film.

This wider film provides amazing color saturation compared to standard film, too. And since 5-per 65mm film can effectively be direct-down printed to anamorphic 2.35:1 four-perf 35mm which is the standard used in all domestic theaters, the use of this larger format film provides an incredible distribution factor. 

So, the next time someone asks you how many pixels is 5-perf 65mm film, make sure that you discuss more than just the digital output that will be achieved with this film. Touch base on improvement of image quality, and the vast improvements in projecting too.