Hi Karthik. Your question is somewhat incomplete. After having worked on many many hours of footage, originating both on digital and film, I have always preferred film. Why? Infinitely superior colour and density latitude that gives me infinitely more room for grading.though the film was interesting, just thought Kodak is being too defensive, because atleast for now there is no equivalent to film. To start with, its one sensor in a digital camera against different films for various conditions. And anyways I dont think anyone will choose digital over film on image quality issues, there are hundred other creative reasons from the producer. Anyways I do have one query, please help me out - how does an Alexa / Red footage compare with a scanned film footage. I am not sure about this, because for a feature what was done was a 2k scanning because of budget, and the result wasnt anywhere close to how it would have looked on 'just' film. At that time I wondered whether a 4k/2.5 k digital camera even if its not true 4k is better than this scanned nonsense.
In the absence of time and money for getting the 'colour' look of a film locked while shooting completely, I prefer to grade the rest of the look in post. Everytime I shoot digital, I am appalled at the lack of information. The picture per se looks good on the video monitor, but the moment you try to grade it, it starts suffering.
Remember, do not go by the image you see on the 'on camera monitor' on a red or alexa. take it to post and see what can be done. The Red footage is way too contrasty with little room for maneuverability. The alexa is too ultra low contrast and its tough increasing the contrast and NOT letting skins burn out.
About film scannng: Even I have seen this. Film, when scanned properly, is so gorgeous to look at, but unfortunately most of us will never have see that. Your typical movie has too little budget for a proper film scanning job. In India, the cost of DI has fallen to less than 7 lakhs a movie and some people (Like Avitel Studioz in Juhu) have given up on film DI because there is no money. Pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
With so little money in DI, the typical 'DI-Studio' doesnt invest in proper bandwidth for your film. Did they REALLY SCAN your negative at 2k (Full Aperture Native 2k: 2048 × 1556) or was it 1920X 1080. (most people do the latter, and most DoPs arent aware enough to check themselves). Also did they scan at 8 bit or 10 bit or 12 bit? Log or linear? Did they have a good scanner in sharp focus? Good crew? Good colourist? Enough bandwidth? Did they give good time? Did they print on the intermediate negative at a high enough resolution, or to save time because of backlog, they burnt the negative at a faster but lower res?For a 30 second commercial, we often grade for 5 hours. For a 2 hour movie?
When doing anamorphic, the pixel count is even less (it should be 3610 (1536*2.35=3610) ), because they use a pixel aspect ratio to stretch the image horizontally (Let me find this out, wil post, the anamorphic 2k used by post houses often has less pixels than 1920X1080). I would push for a larger image, but the studios never have the bandwidth. Is it possible for you to do your DI abroad? Should we start our own DI studio?