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Shooting in 4K: Why and How?

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

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.

4k video is 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.

How do you shoot in 4k?

Like any new technology, there is a learning curve. However, the benefits outweigh the cons, especially in production and post-production. By increasing from 1920x1080 pixels to 3840x2160 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, ensure your system can handle the demands of working with 4K files. This process brings an extra step to your workflow.

What equipment should I buy?

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 - to 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.

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