The image resolution of the ViperCam filmstream mode is 1920x1080 covering an aspect ratio of 1 to 2.37. The output of the camera is 10bit per pixel. The pixel count happens to be identical with the highest HD resolution.
When Kodak introduced a system to capture 35mm film and record it back out their research suggested that you would need 4096x3112 pixels to truthfully map a frame of film negative into the digital domain. Six times the pixel count than 1920x1080.
These numbers could suggest that film has better resolution than a digital image in the current 1920x1080. It could further lead to the notion that digital would be only visually up to par with film when it was recorded in the so called 4K flavor.
I think that neither one of these ideas are true. A digital image with 1920x1080 resolution on a good projector will look as good if not better in terms of resolution than any 35mm film print you might have seen. Including answer prints that were struck directly from the camera negative.
This statement seems to contradict the numbers cited here earlier. The solution is, that you need indeed 4K to truthfully map film grain. Even though only a very small portion of digital productions have been done at this high resolution. Most of the time digital effects were 2K resolution at some stage of their processing pipeline, and results were usually satisfying.
When using a CCD to create images there is no film grain. Instead there is the native noise of the CCD itself. Which of course can be entirely reproduced by the native resolution of the device. Interestingly, it is this native "CCD grain" that get's decimated during the compression that is inherent to a HDCAM/SR workflow that compresses the image via Mpeg4 3 to 1 or 1.5 to 1 in the HQ 880Megabit recording mode.
Film is still superior to digital acquisition in terms of contrast ratio. But the perceived resolution of clean uncompressed digital 1920x1080 is high enough to create a cinematic feeling in the audience.
Datalab, llc's workflow could easily be adopted to higher than 1920x1080 resolutions. Many pieces of the process pipelines would need no change at all. However a 4K approach appears to be a waste of resources in most cases. The gained time and money are better being spent on creative than on technological experiments it seems.
A more helpful application of enhanced resolution would be the concept of a digital ground glass: One could record an extra couple of hundred pixels on each edge of the frame. This would be helpful when reframing would be needed. A file format like OpenEXR could easily carry the 'active' viewing image around it's head information. The benefits of such an approach would be worth the extra efforts and difference in extra amount of data would be carried around.