4K or not 4K that is the question!

We could all be forgiven for thinking that 4K video is everywhere these days, a new standard. Everyone else must be sitting at home watching 4K TVs right now, you really must get round to getting one.

The 4K label is no longer the preserve of high end digital cinema equipment for the big screen.  We now have 4K TVs, 4K projectors, 4K computer screens, 5k iMacs! and even mobile phones that can shoot and display 4K video for a couple of hundred pounds.

Great your thinking, I’m going to call little ginger right now and get my corporate video produced in 4K!

Lovely, please do, but its never that simple is it.

These 4K TVs are still quite expensive and even if you do buy one then what do you watch on it?  Not TV, 8 years after the first commercially available 4K cameras were sold theres still hardly any 4K broadcast television in the world, most cinemas are actually only 2K! Most high quality video on the web is just 720p.  Last year just 1% of all screens sold in the world were 4K capable.

Whats the point then? It seems Expensive and pointless…

Not so!  despite the seemingly glum news things are changing rapidly, unlike the fad of 3D, 4K (and beyond) is very much here to stay.  That 1% of TVs sold is actually 700% more than the previous year. You can upload 4K videos to YouTube and internet speeds for most in urban areas are becoming fast enough to handle it.  Most people may not be able to view your video in glorious 4K yet but they will, and with current exponential growth that market they will quite soon!

But there are more reasons for shooting in ultra high resolution right now. There are clear benefits even when the end user will be watching on their 2 year old iPhone.

 

 

To start with there is a huge amount of extra flexibility in post with a higher resolution footage.  You can crop in without loosing any image quality when watched in normal HD for example.  This means that a basic interview or ‘talking head’ video which might have previously been filmed with 2 cameras, or multiple takes to get a wide shot and a close up can now be done in 1 take with a single camera. That means it can be less expensive,.. yes shooting 4K can in certain circumstances be cheaper than shooting HD!  This additional flexibility in post can be used to easily increase the creative options of your video.

HD video scaled down from 4K can actually look sharper than if it was shot in HD to start with and the additional care that must be taken during production with things like sets, make up and lighting result in higher production value and polish in the final piece.  And of course if you intend your footage to have longevity and be reusable in the future then the higher the quality you capture now the more future proof it is.

little ginger now even offers multi-camera 4K live web-streaming, primarily not for people to watch at home but we can stream a live show to a cinema on the other side of the world where an audience can pay to watch in incredible quality.

I could go on but the 4 and K keys on my keyboard are beginning to fade!   little ginger for one is fully invested in 4K and beyond in all its uses.