Is Shooting in 4K Necessary?
You have heard about it, and you have probably seen cameras that have the capability. However, when was the last time you opted to watch something in 4K resolution?
We will list some features that prove why it is a worthy option. It all depends on how much you value (or don’t value) the features of working with 4K.
Doesn’t 4K Capture Looks Better?
A common misconception is that 4K is useless if your audience won’t be viewing your videos in 4K resolution. Even if your end product will be in 1080p, filming in 4K will produce a higher quality downsampled image. It will be capturing four times the amount of information as 1080p, which will be noticeably sharper.
Most cameras record 4K at a higher bitrate. This reduces the chance of color banding. More color detail is captured, making improvements to gradual changes like deep blue skies. It is important to compare all of the stats of your camera options, because some 1080p cameras will shoot better HD footage than cheap 4K cameras.
For most projects, 1080p satisfies resolution and quality standards. A benefit of shooting in 4K is the quadrupled resolution, allowing you to digitally zoom in since you have better source video to work with.
If you need a close-up, you can crop while still having enough resolution to satisfy 1080p requirements. It offers you the ability to crop or add movement to any shot you want, without losing image quality in the process. You can even take some decent still images from your footage. They won’t look amazing, but the option can save you if someone requests a still image for use on the web.
Thinking About the Future
1080p videos don’t look good on 4K TV screens. Think about that before buying a 4k TV. Anything you shot in 1080p will look worse than if you watched it on a 1080p screen. 1080p will be relevant for years to come, but at some point in the future, 4K will take over as the standard. So here’s the question: Is it worth it to you to film in 4K now so that your current projects will be pleasantly viewable when 4K takes over? We could be talking about 10+ years into the future. Would anyone be watching your videos a decade from now, wondering why you didn’t film in 4K?
The Level 2 Productions team has the capability of shooting in 4K and we use it for certain shoots and use cases. We will often have a wide shot filming in 4K so that we are able to crop while editing without losing resolution. We don’t foresee 4K taking over as the new standard any time soon. When it does, we will make the full switch. In the meantime, we just use it as needed while enjoying the smaller files sizes of 1080p. We spend more time and effort composing our shots to look good, rather than relying on the extra source material of 4K to fix things in post.
Now that you know more about the whole debate, you can consider your options. Is the price jump for that 4K camera worth it to you? Do you have the hardware and storage space to handle the files? Since 1080p is the standard, 4K is not always necessary, but it sure is nice to have. Let us know what you end up deciding on in the comments below. We’re interested in hearing from you!