November 6, 2018 Lucas

Shooting in 4K: Why and How

4K, UltraHD, Cinema 4K…what the heck does this all mean? You’ve probably seen a lot of this at your local TV store and, if you’re in video production, you’ve heard a lot of chatter around shooting in this resolution. We’re always excited when it comes to new technologies (maybe not-so-much 3D TVs…but to each their own), so being able to shoot something in nearly four times the number of pixels compared to HD…let’s just say we get a bit giddy after viewing the final video.

Not Another Hokey Trend

When it comes to video production, we’ve pretty much seen it all; from curved and giant TV screens, to LCD and plasma, to virtual reality and 3D; and we’re always eager to try the “new” and “improved” (you can’t dock it ‘til you try it, right?). With 4K, it really is all about the resolution! Full HD means you have 1080 pixels that fill up your screen. With 4K, you have four times as many pixels in that same screen, which means four times the amount of detail.

Image via Videoblocks.

How Do You Shoot It?

Like any new technology, there is a learning curve. However, the benefits outweigh the cons, especially in production and post-production. By increasing from 1920×1080 pixels to 3840×2160 pixels, the picture definition is well worth the investment! Keep in mind – with an increase in pixels, there is also an increased data rate and memory demands. When editing, make sure your system can handle the demands working with 4K files. This process brings an extra step to your workflow.

As for equipment recommendations when shooting 4K, there are a variety of cameras on the market and their prices are all over the map. Really know your projects’ demands before making the leap to purchasing a new camera. Some projects may only need HD, while others would make more sense with 4K. If you have a project that can afford the upgrade or benefit from 4K, don’t hesitate – make the move! With cameras ranging from $1,500-$100,000, there is definitely something for every price point – just make sure you do your research and find the camera that best suits your needs.