6 things you always wanted to know about 4K (but were afraid to ask)…

6 things you always wanted to know about 4K (but were afraid to ask)…

1) All of my friends are shooting in 4K. Should I?

It depends. Shooting in 4K necessitates a huge amount of data storage space, and for an efficient workflow, a DIT specialist to handle said data. If you need to shoot quickly, or are planning to shoot guerrilla-style, 1080p may be a wiser choice.

2) Will 4K make me popular?

Only if the other elements of your project also look, sound, and feel professional. Did you cast well? Is the script good? Other considerations aside, 4K allows you tools that aren’t available at lower resolutions: With so many pixels at your disposal, you have room to reposition or re-frame shots in post-production. Although your DP might not appreciate said compositional changes, this allows you to get in a bit tighter and lose the track in the bottom of the frame, or even straighten the horizon – useful for when the best take wasn’t the most level one. You can also do crazy things like this.

 3) If I shoot in 4K, will a smaller resolution ever please me (In post-production)?

4K does afford post-production benefits unavailable to those working with a smaller image. Added resolution makes it easier to do high-quality effects work; 3D graphics look better when they’re rendered in 4K, a la The Avengers or The Hobbit trilogy, which was shot on no fewer than 48 Red Epics. With more pixels, it’s also easier to differentiate your subject from your background when working with green screen footage.

 4) Does 4K hurt (my budget)?

Not anymore. The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K produces (as one might guess) 4K video and retails for $2,995. Other camera makers are also rapidly developing affordable 4K solutions. However, at the end of the day, it’s rarely necessary to purchase a camera yourself; since most independent filmmakers require different gear (cameras, lenses, lights) for different jobs, it often makes the most sense to simply rent equipment rather than purchase it outright. Digital Film Studios offers a selection of 4K-capable cameras for rent at a fraction of the cost of purchasing one.

5) Will shooting with a Red Epic ruin me for all other cameras?

The short answer is “no.” While Red cameras, starting with the Red One and now including the Scarlet, Epic, and Epic Dragon, have become synonymous with 4K+ imagery, many camera makers have since entered the 4K market, including Panasonic, with the GH4, Blackmagic Design, with the Cinema Production Camera 4K, and others.

6) Should I try 4K now, or does “true love wait?”

The real questions you should be asking are “What is the longevity of my content?” and “Do I need to have a 4K version ready for when (not if) it becomes the viewing standard?” If the answer is yes, then certainly, shoot in 4K. If not, keep in mind that some studios still require their productions to archive in 4K (even if they’re only releasing in HD).

4K will likely be a video production standard for a long time, and while most people don’t yet have a 4K television at home, this will be the case in the not-too-distant future. YouTube currently allows 4K streaming, and Netflix is set to begin streaming in 4K, albeit in an experimental fashion.

At-home 4K viewing is going to be a reality sooner than we think, so be prepared! At the very least, try not to end up like these guys:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.