How a Universal Sensor Size Could Revolutionize the Industry


This is the latest entry of our video presentations from NAB 2019. If you would like instant access to all of the sessions, enter your email on the video, or sign up below.

Today is Michael Cioni, SVP of Innovation at Panavision and Lightiron. Michael is a passionate, eloquent, and engaging speaker, and in this presentation, he talks about how a universal sensor size could revolutionize the industry, and benefit filmmakers from production to post.

Watch the session

Session highlights

Here are the highlights to take away from the video.

  • The issue of how big the sensor is relevant mainly because we have so many different methods of consuming video: mobile, desktop, apps, theatrical, etc.
  • Larger sensors will be the key to delivering content in any aspect ratio using extraction techniques.
  • Extraction techniques are made more complicated because of the various sensor sizes and shapes. 10% on an Alexa is not the same thing as 10% on a Venice or a DSLR.
  • When you look at all the aspect ratios around the globe (IMAX, EU Widescreen, HDTV, American WS, Digital IMAX, Anamorphic, etc.), you come to an average sensor size of 2:1. House of Cards was the first online show to use that ratio.
  • A 2:1 ratio makes all the extraction math very easy to do in your head.
  • Cinematographers, Editors, post & VFX houses, and lens manufacturers benefit the most from such a sensor.
  • Creating a 2:1 “universal” sensor can only happen if a community of filmmakers gets behind it.

The presentation deck

Below is Michael’s Keynote presentation as a video. Feel free to play online, or download.

Ron Dawson

Ron is an award-winning video producer with over 25 years experience telling stories in the video medium. He's a coach, speaker, and author of “ReFocus: Cutting Edge Strategies to Evolve Your Video Business." Ron was also the host and producer of Radio Film School a podcast described as "This American Life for Filmmakers." You can follow him on Twitter @BladeRonner.