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What Is 4K Video? And Should You Care?

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4K resolution, also known simply as 4K video, refers to a horizontal screen display resolution in the range of 4,000 pixels or thereabouts. To put it into perspective, High Definition video, or HD, is 1920 pixels wide and standard definition video, or SD, is 720 pixels wide.

So 4K resolution is pretty big by comparison! So whilst most videos are viewed in high definition, what’s the benefit of shooting a small or large scale video production in the larger 4K format?

 

4K makes it easier to edit interviews

In the old days, we would use two cameras when filming interviews – both cameras would be focused on the subject, but one would be zoomed in to a close-up. This allowed us to cut between different angles to hide any edits and avoid jump cuts if we needed to edit anything out.

Filming in 4K makes this possible with just one camera, which makes it more cost-effective and quicker on set.

 

The extra resolution that 4K gives you over HD means that we can capture up to 3 different camera angles from just one shot!

By zooming into the shot in post-production, we can get a wide shot, a medium shot and even a close up without even moving the camera. And there’s no reduction in picture quality either!

 

4K means you can easily crop and adjust shots afterwards

In the same way that images from a high megapixel DSLR camera allow photographers to crop further into their image, 4K resolution gives the same luxury to video production.

By capturing shots in 4K, we have so many more options in the edit to crop or adjust shots as needed. Where if shooting in HD, the footage would look nasty and pixellated.

 

For example, capturing moving objects can be tricky at the best of times. However, if we film them in 4K, we can then track the object in post production and crop into the frame to create a smoother shot. All without losing picture quality.

 

4k allows you to add smooth moves in the edit

Creating a gentle pan, tilt or zoom move in camera is far from impossible, but filming in 4K makes it super easy.

All you need to do is to capture a wide shot that takes in the full range of the scene, then fake the camera move in post production. This way, zooms can be much slower and smoother and pan or tilt shots can be timed to match action in the scene.

Filming in 4K and having the freedom to adjust the shots in post-production if needed makes filming much more efficient and stress-free. Our edit suites are being constantly upgraded to handle more demanding productions, so the additional storage and processing power that working with 4K footage requires is never an issue.

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