You must have come across the term ‘4K video’ plastered across camera storefronts a number of times. So what is 4K and why is the videography industry obsessed with it? 4K is a video resolution specification that literally means 4000 pixels.
4K video resolution is incredibly detailed and has nearly quadruple the resolution of a 1080p video. It’s a true wonder how more people haven’t swarmed into the new form of shooting. Most people are concerned about editing large-sized files and the time it takes to produce an end product.
Benefits of shooting in 4K
1. 4K has exceptional quality
It goes without saying but the entire crux of 4K video technology is the detailed and high-quality results you can produce. The change in quality is easily noticeable to the viewer when they can see the intricate details of a strand of hair or the fine pores on the actor’s face.
2. 4K offers more options
Just because you have a camera that shoots in 4K resolution doesn’t mean you have to. Shooting in 4K can be a tedious and unnecessary endeavour at times. So for low-key projects that don’t require the best of quality, you can just shoot in 1080p instead. It’s better to have it and need it than need it and not have it.
3. 4K allows stabilization in editing
All the extra resolution that 4K offers can come to great use when stabilizing your footage in post-production. It doesn’t matter what software you use to edit, with 4K you can stabilize your video to make it look cleaner without losing out on much of the visual quality.
4. 4K looks better
Leaving quality aside, 4K just looks better as it reduces the chance of colour banding. So your set colours will be captured in far more detail. Even the smallest of gradual colour changes will be captured almost as good as how you’d see it in person. Skies won’t just look blue anymore, but rather a majestic spectrum of blue shades.
Should you start shooting in 4K?
As tempting as all the benefits sound, there are a few reasons to not shoot in 4K. The process is more time-consuming and expensive as it takes a lot of time to edit. Even storage may be a problem, as 4K videos take up a large amount of space- which can be fixed by buying external hard-drives.
The internet may not even be fully ready to handle the magnificence of 4K videos and can take forever to load for a viewer. So it really comes down to your project and who your viewers are going to be.
If you’re shooting a small project with little or no special effects, you can settle for 1080p instead of going the extra mile with 4K. But VFX-heavy projects for more large-scale clients can definitely use the magic of 4K technology.
The industry was quick to jump on the 1080p bandwagon but it looks like it’s taking a long time for people to come around to the idea of 4K. Whether you choose to make the transition or not, 4K is here to stay.
You can always turn to it if the need ever comes up but with 8K quickly coming up around the corner, it’s better to get a head start if you’ve got the time and resources to spare.
If you’re planning to start shooting in 4K, there’s no time like the present. In a couple of years, we guarantee you’ll be thanking us.
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