The quality and range of images is evolving exponentially in the production of high definition content. And while many are satisfied with standard high definition, the majority are moving towards the next frontier in high definition, 4K. There is now a greater advantage to shooting 4K resolution (4096 x 2730), over standard HD (though cost effective and great quality overall). One thing is for certain, 4K cameras and monitors are becoming the norm, and is forecast to become the next standard for program acquisition, delivery and broadcast.
So, what is the great advantage to shooting 4K? Well, for starters there is superior detailing in image quality. More importantly, there is wider flexibility zooming in and cropping 4K images without losing any resolution during post-production. The fear of compromising image quality is fairly obsolete with the 4K cameras. Recording in higher resolution formats will help content retain its value in the longer term. Keying tools deliver better results due to more well-defined edges resulting in a faster post workflow. 3D images retain a higher resolution when shot in 4K, as is evidenced in several blockbusters including AVENGERS 3D. Consumer electronics manufacturers are eager to promote and distribute 4K cinemas and monitor systems, as these easily outperform HD home theater systems. All in all, 4K appears to be the next amazing format for quality content.
4K Video Production – its time has come!
With clear advantages, many productions are gravitating toward the new 4K resolution over the once comfortable 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 HD codecs. Images shot in 4K allow for greater creative opportunities in postproduction, especially when delivering full HD content to both broadcast television and the web. When content is finished for full HD distribution, but originates as higher resolution “negatives”, creatives are able to reframe, zoom and manipulate that content for motion graphics, visual effects, green screen, background plates and sporting events. Sony has officially transitioned over to Digital Cinema, upgrading over 13,000 theaters with its own digital projectors, and the remainder installing projectors from other companies, all of which support 4K.
While shooting 4K will help producers to deliver much higher resolution images, the one question that no one can answer is whether this will actually produce more aesthetically pleasing images. 4K pictures are incredibly sharp and our experience is that when directors of photography (DoPs), are faced with incredibly sharp images, often choose to degrade their pictures by introducing some kind of softening filters to make their pictures look… well, more filmic!
The hard reality is that 4K is here.
Some are embracing it and others are avoiding it. If you choose to go down the 4K route, you will undoubtedly give your clients additional capabilities in post-production such as zooming-in and better VFX. Your pictures will be future-proofed for 4K projection (until 8K arrives, at least). And, you’re likely to be ahead of the competition.
The American Movie Company is proud to offer several camera package options for 4K resolution shooting. These include: