Parts of select Hollywood movies (including The Dark Knight, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and The Dark Knight Rises) – and all of our documentary films – are shot with proprietary IMAX cameras, the highest-resolution cameras in the world. The resolution and aspect ratio of these sequences are optimized for the IMAX screen, allowing the picture to expand to fill the entire screen and provide an even more immersive experience.
Among other differences, the IMAX camera uses 70 millimeter film – twice as wide as what’s used in ordinary cameras – and special, custom lenses to capture a unique IMAX image. Seventy-millimeter film yields an extraordinary negative, brilliantly sharp, with a wider, more subtle color “gamut” and the richness many directors say only comes from film.
It isn’t a small camera, but thanks to IMAX engineering it’s travelled from the deepest depths of the ocean to the outer edges of space – and a specially configured, lighter version climbed to the top of Mount Everest.
Even better for filmmakers, IMAX is expanding its repertoire of capturing tools by perfecting a next-generation 2D and 3D Digital camera. It will be small and nimble enough to go anywhere. It will also be hand-held, take longer shots. Directors will be able to work without interruptions, because there’s no film to change, yet still deliver quality that’s a match for the beauty of film. And as the technology develops, we expect it will ultimately go far beyond what film can do.