How useful is 4k video? Does the pain outweigh the gain?

by steven schwartzLeave a Comment

More is better most of the time.

More is better in video pretty much all of the time.

HD is better than SD; a larger color space and longer-lasting batteries are a big plus. 4K, according to David Shapton, Managing Editor of RedShark News, 4K is nothing less than the next big step in motion imagery. Read the full article if you're wondering why, so soon after the transition from SD to HD, which believe it or not was a decade ago, we're invoking the pain of transitioning to a more demanding workflow.

Shapton makes the point that many consumers haven't experienced full, progressive HD and don't know it. Actually, many professionals including myself have yet to take advantage of all that HD offers.

For example, now that the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera now has 12-bit RAW, the additional “headroom” will offer better color grading and image quality.

We'll need more and faster storage, better, more capable computers, and better-looking 4x larger displays. Just like we're not going back to SD, 4K will take over the industry and I for one am glad. For a real, in-depth argument for and against 4K, read the full article.

How useful is 4k?

Excerpt from an article on RedShark News:

Not all images justify 4K

And this final point is just one example of what might be 4K's biggest flaw. Which is that it's so precise and so demanding of image quality that, very often, even with a complete 4K workflow, it's very difficult to actually capture an image that justifies 4K resolution.

It's one thing to say that, at eight million pixels or so, 4K is only equivalent to a mid-to-low range still camera resolution, but this isn't the whole story. Because it's quite another thing to capture a moving image and keep it completely in focus. You only have to blur two adjacent pixels in a 4K image to be back down to HD again. With motion artefacts as well, the times when you will see a genuine 4K image might only amount to moments in a whole production (remember, I'm looking deliberately on the gloomy side here!).

When you take all of this into account, and you look at the potential for degradation throughout the whole production and distribution chain, it's easy to see how even with 4K end-to-end, what you finally see might be nothing like 4K.

Of course, technologies like HEVC (H.265) are going to help. But might not H.265 be better used making it possible for us to see HD without artefacts, and at a higher frame rate?

Read full article at RedShark News


The great 4k debate


Note: It is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before

Are you for or against the coming 4K workflow? Check out the discussion via the Forums link below.

(cover photo credit: snap from RedShark News)

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