At the risk of sounding reductive, New Zealand is most famous for three things: "Lord of the Rings," those guys on HBO, and sauvignon blanc.
Now you can add a fourth item to the list: New Zealand is the home of what claims to be the world's first film to be sold to the public as a 4K resolution file you can actually own at home. Called "TimeScapes," the movie is the brainchild of Orange County photographer and former serviceman Tom Lowe and New Zealand composer Nigel Stanford. It's a 50-minute film featuring some pretty stunning night sky cinematography, and just one frame of the film (the image above) won 2010 astronomy photo of the year.
The film is available in a number of different formats with the highest bit rate 4K version on its own hard-drive setting cinema enthusiasts back a whopping $299. Meanwhile you can also get a lower-quality, though still 4K resolution, version on a USB stick for $99. The film is also available in a Mac Retina Display optimized download, as well as Blu-ray and DVD.
Tom Lowe shot the film on a 4K Red MX digital cinema camera and a 5.6K Canon 5D Mark II DSLR mounted on custom-made rigs in order to deliver the slow-motion panning effects.
While 4K as a consumer format is a long way off, with Toshiba pushing back its 4K TV to 2013 and LG's TV yet to materialize, this film is sure to be the first of many available once TVs and projectors become available.
If you want a taster of what "TimeScapes" will look like blown up to 4K, stick your face very close to the trailer below.