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The reasons I will avoid 4k
  • Some reasons that will make me avoid 4k:

    4k is very processor intensive for timeline playback and most times needs to transcode to cineform codec for a sttuter free playback and transcoding takes time and disk space.

    4k files are large and need lots of storage in sd cards and computer ssd/hdd.

    It is difficult to do chroma key or multi layer in 4k because it needs a very powerfull computer and a dual 4k monitor setup.

    With only one 4k monitor you can edit fullhd and see all the pixels and also the timeline in the same monitor.

    1080p is more than enough to tell a story, tv broadcast and netflix are 1080p.

    M43 and apsc cameras have great 1080p quality

    There is no sensor crop in 1080p in cheap cameras, i do not like sensor crop

    You can get 1080p 60p in cheap cameras, 4k 60p is expensive. For slow motion.

    1080p files are small and can playback great and easy in timeline without transcoding or proxy

    Using cineform codec you can work with multiple layers in timeline for complex compositions in 1080p in average computer.

    Backup is less expensive with 1080p

    File transfer, backup and upload is faster in 1080p

    Noise reduction is faster, render is faster in 1080p

    Average GPU works great with multiple 1080p layers

    If you do a new video everyday or every week you need to work fast and every step is faster with 1080p files

    When i see a movie, a series a soap opera, I perceived that 720p is pretty enough to my eyes in a 50 inch tv to get into the narrative story.

    When the story is great and get your attention, resolution, compression artifacts, gradient banding, and noise are not disturbing, you just want too follow the story

    When I see a narrative story I look to the talents face, and 1080p is pretty enough for this.

    Great audio with perfect dialogs is much more important than image quality

    You can get great 1080p image if you care about light composition objects clothes scenery.

    4k is overkill for narrative, you just dont need it

    Only few people will see your work in 4k online, between 5% and 15% of the audience.

    4k is much more important for porn, not for narrative

    4k can be the video ASMR and narrative is not ASMR

    When you see a narrative video it is better to be a little bit distant from the screen to understand the story and 1080p is enough for average distance from the screen.

    Narrative fiction use fast cuts and movements, there is no time to keep looking to each image

    80% will see your work in smartphone, 10% in computer and 10% in tv set, and most tv sets and computers are not 4k.

    If you work in low budget and in a "one people crew" 1080p will make things easy cheap and faster.

    4k is not a standard, it is a plus, and a plus is optional and not necessary, the standard is 1080p.

    Consider 4k for cuts only narrative without complex editing if you have beautiful actors/talents. Your rich sponsors will like it in big screens.

  • 33 Replies sorted by
  • Reminds me of a friend who used to go out on his cast-iron 10-speed CCM wearing jean shorts, flips flops and a loose tshirt with cut off sleeves bombing past these spandex wearing, gloved fruitcakes in their aerodynamic helmets riding thier 300gr italian made bicycles. All hat, no cattle.

  • And then you read this, and maybe you agree... and maybe you will consider 1080p for some projects and 4k for some other projects... but you will start making this question:

    I purssued 4k, and now I realised it is not so much necessary, was it a waste of time and money? The answer is no, because you won lots of other things:

    When you upgrade to 4k you also get:

    1080p 60p in camera (it was 720p60)

    Better audio preamp in camera , less noise

    Audio limiter to avoid distortion in camera

    Better low light sensor performance

    Less aliasing and moire, full sensor readout

    Better codec performance in camera

    Better dynamic range (110ire, shadow/highlight, idynamic, dr400, log)

    Phones output in some cameras

    Better resolution in lcd and evf

    No more hack

    Maybe better buttons/design/handling

    Maybe better autofocus

    More powerfull computer, more layers and more real time grading/effects in 1080p, faster denoise faster render

    Some features like zebras, focus peaking, level, lut preview

    Not only avchd, now you have mp4 and mov

    More power in battery in some cases

    Wheather sealed body in some cases

    What else?

  • 4K is only stupid marketing. The picture quality is not only made by pixels quantity. Full HD is very near at 2K cine. You can make great productions with HD and win an Oscar too.

  • I completely agree. I think 4K actively detracts from most narrative based projects. You notice the actors makeup and imperfections. Everything looks sterile and like it's a production.

    And now the companies are pushing 6K and 8K it's absurd. It's fine for nature documentaries, but not much else in my opinion.

  • Shoot in 4K; crop, pan, zoom in post and deliver in HD if you must (more creative options and you avoid noticing "actors makeup and imperfections").

    Btw, Netflix requires 4K at a minimum for its own productions.

  • You get more views in 4K and it affects your page ranking.
    Plus, it looks better.
    Also, if you are viewing a video on YouTube, on a 1080p monitor, and you click 1440p it looks way better.
    And so on.

  • These reasons seem more personal and budgetary oriented than actual reasons why it should be avoided. You don't want to use it? Great, shoot 1080.

    I have found 4K great for both image resolution and for punching in for a second angle in 1080.

    You're incorrect about 1080P being enough for Netflix and other streaming platforms. 1080P is fine your home movies, but if you're doing any kind of distribution, 4K is becoming the requirement.

    If your computer can't edit in 4K, it might be time to upgrade. Or, keep working in 1080.

  • Apefos don’t be sad, embrace 4K and 5G with spy sensors.. ehemm the the internet of things and COVID-19 and mandatory vaccines and social distancing , and mandatory house confinement and cell phones listening and stupid politicians and the new ai. Come one apefos don’t be sad it’s just one little more tech to live against us, uhumm sorry for us, for us, the people. It better for you, consume apefos consume and don’t listen muahahahhaha

  • LOL

    I will use 4K for cuts only / wipe /dissolve /simple grading editing.

    And I will use FullHD for multilayer editing

  • 4K is soooooo good for 1080! Delivery . You’ll not regret. Multicam Is the new easy mode for editing. You get so much from real good lenses, it’s really noticeable at 4K on the edges of the screen. Specially if your gonna crop for Multicam and punch in. You need god glass if not don’t use 4K don’t bother. You’ll see lots of imperfection you haven’t seen before. So...

    But we’ll that’s my personal View

  • its pixel density, not pixel quantity. (pixels per inch) Tv's can sometimes be less than half the quality of monitors.

  • It would be good if Netflix doses focused more on the artistic and narrative quality of their productions and less on pixels.

  • @danilo1 Cheap, facile shot, and illogical. How exactly will reducing the quality of the visual output increase the quality of the story, directing, etc.? What does "focus more" even mean - more money for authors? The camera cost is a very trivial component of the overall budget of their productions. There is no trade-off between pixels and the rest of the production quality.

    Film is a visual art. And, btw, the "focus" on pixels here is totally-off base - the Netflix visual requirements that are more important are dynamic range and number of bits - all of which much more directly affect visual quality. Most of their new productions are HDR. Netflix also has audio standards.

    It is difficult to write down "standards" for writing and acting, but there are objective measures for resolution (pixels), dynamic range, color steps, frequency range, distortion. The fact that they are written down and enforced does not mean Netflix is "focusing" too much on technical standards.

  • The questions are:

    Netflix has 3 plans, basic, standard and premium, only premium allow 4k streaming. So what percentage of Netflix clients are using the Premium Plan which allows 4k streaming?

    When will we see television broadcast in 4k?

    What is the percentage of homes which have a 4k tv set or a 4k computer monitor to see youtube and vimeo in 4k?

    How many 4k tv sets and 4k computer monitors are being sold each month?

    What is the percentage of youtube and vimeo views in a video who are whatching the video in 4k?

  • @apefos Your questions miss the point.

    This has been rehashed over and over on many forums: the fact is that for most cameras shooting in 4K and downrezzing in post to 1080 results in much better 1080 in terms of resolution and color than shooting in 1080. So, it is irrelevant how many TV's are 4K or monitors are 4K or subscriptions to Netflix are Premium. Better 1080 IQ from shooting in 4K, get it?

    In addition, as has been said, shooting in 4K and delivering in 1080 gives you more creative flexibility, as you can pan and zoom and reframe in post with no loss of resolution in 1080. Better imagery in 1080 from shooting in 4K, get it?

    And, on Youtube, uploaded 4K video looks better viewed in 1080 than uploaded 1080 video.

    I hope you have enjoyed your rant, and learned something.

  • This is not rant, this is a reflection to find the best workflow and solutions for low budget productions.

    Reframing, pan and zoom in post are for amateur people without skills to operate a camera in the moment of shooting, I do not need this.

    The difference in image quality between shooting in 1080p and shooting in 4k for downscale to 1080p is small and do not justify the cost and effort in low budget productions.

    The problem of 4k is not the camera. There are afordable 4k cameras with great quality. The problem is storage space in computer and editing workflow. It is impossible to edit 4k without transcoding to cineform codec, because h264 and h265 will sttuter, and this takes lots of time. Denoise, render, everything takes time. SSD storage for big cineform files is very expensive. Powerfull computer is very expensive.

    The simple answer is: if you have money so ok, build a powerful computer with lots of ssd storage. If you do not have money keep working in 1080p or maybe do some small videos in 4k.

    When I try to perceive the percentage of the audience who will see 4k this is an attempt to perceive if it would worth the effort to edit 4k. Because 80% will see in smartphone small screen 10% in computer and 10% in tv and not all computers and tvs are 4k... maybe only 5% or 10% will see your work in 4k online. So it would be much better invest the money in production instead of in a powerfull computer.

    What I am learning from some time ago is: increase the quality of your work and try to find great sponsors. And yes, gear is not the expensive thing, expensive thing is talents/crew and clothes/scenery. Get sponsors or stop working.

  • "The difference in image quality between shooting in 1080p and shooting in 4k for downscale to 1080p is small"
    Actually, I see I big difference. Just my 2 cents. Plus the big difference in viewing on YT.

  • the problem here is that everyone thinks like technology-passionate videographers and not project managers. passionate videographers give their blood for a few more pixels while project managers distribute the money, time and effort among all items in the project and think of pixels in the same way they choose the fabric of a costume. In the cost-benefit relation, in the financial return, in the available budget, in the target audience and in many other variables that only administrators know about

  • @apefos If you cannot see the difference between downscaled from 4K 1080 and original 1080 even on small screens and 1080 screens then this discussion is not worth having - you are basically blind. Perhaps you should shoot in 720, save even more time and the difference is likely not discernible to you either. Perhaps VHS is all you need.

    You obviously are illiterate in economics as well, and clearly not a "project manager" or independent videographer.

    What are these "low-budget" productions that cannot afford storage and computing power? If there are enough of them, then investments in computing power and storage constitute a fixed cost that is amortized.

    No one who makes any money from video would not invest in proper computing power - it enhances creativity across all productions and saves time in each, which is money. And the cost per production goes down the more productions there are, regardless if each individual production is "low-budget." Transcoding is faster (if it is even necessary) with a more powerful computer. But it is not as if you cannot carry out other tasks while waiting for the batch transcoding or even rendering. These time-consuming computer tasks are trivial costs of video production of any kind.

  • @apefos almost no consumer/prosumer camera that is advertised as shooting 1080p actually resolves 1080p. Debayering alone creates a 30% resolution loss (and there's more even resolution loss because of highly compressed codecs, denoising, the camera's image processing pipeline...), so you'll end up with 720p optical resolution if you're lucky.

    Same is true for 4K. The real, optical resolution of prosumer/consumer cameras - but even cameras from the professional series of Canon, Sony, RED - in reality only is 3K or less. It's not even easy to find lenses that fully resolve 4K.

    So, if you're buying a "4K" camera, you're really just buying a camera with "4 marketing K". But it will likely be able to record genuine 2K/1080p optical resolution, at least.

    (More on this topic: )

  • If a 1080p camera can resolve 720p dont you think it is pretty good? 720p is everything you need to enjoy a movie in big screen. There are studies about film cinema proving that 35mm film projection in theaters could only resolve 800 lines at maximum when cinema was film.

    I grew up as a child and as a teen with VHS and it did magic at that time. I own a VHS camcorder today and I will use it in my projects.

    What do you prefer? A good movie in VHS or a bad movie in 4k?

  • @cantsin What about cameras that use all the pixels of the sensor - that oversample? Do they debayer from the full sensor (say 24 megapixels) and then downrez to 4K after debayering, in which case they are true 4K?

  • @apefos You are now being even more silly, to cover up your ignorance and perhaps your blindness. We prefer a good movie in 4K to a good movie in VHS. Your question is stupid - there is no trade-off between all other movie goodness and resolution. Are there "good" movies available in VHS and not 1080?

    What "projects" are you talking about using VHS? Certainly not ones anyone would pay for. As I predicted, you are satisfied with VHS, so you are either blind or have never seen a 4K video on any screen.

  • Maybe it would be possible to create a new religion... and God will be called Pixel... and everything less than 4k will be a SIN...

    When you shoot without 4K

    When you shoot in VHS

    Be careful what you do

    Its a SIN

    I will sacrifice my life

    I will beg for sponsors

    I will build a powerful computer

    Its a SIN

    Pixel forgive me

    I am on a low budget

    Pixel is my God

    I give you my blood

    Its a SIN

  • Hey man, I get your points, theres lots of SD distributed content made in beta or dvcpro thats great. I remember a TV show where actors narrate short stories from local authors, thing is from 2003 have a horror tone, the visual is great even with crapy low DR, highlight clipping and blooming. I would say it even adds a lot to the character of the show. That put, their equipment was not subpar in the date and content is still enjoyable.

    I have recorder with HVX200 lots of times and i prefered it to things line 5d mkii that was getting all the hot in the day, but thing is, that camera put 100mbps, the noise is very high, media cost kidneys, everything is damn expensive. You had to shoot what you want to deliver if you cant, you wont. Theres no room for adaptations. That was years ago.

    On the other hand i aquired a LX100, a cheapo. Media is cheap. Storage is cheap. Bitrate is same. 4K downsampled have waay less noise. I can actually plan and choose if theres something to post. And I can do 4K on a Sandy bridge. And an i5 K is cheaper than a shitty new computer, put modern nvidia tha you will need anyway for post in 2K, youre set. Thats consumer level and its way cheaper than to work with an HXV200.

    So if you have artistic considerations you do what you please, if you have hard budgetary restrictions you do what you can with what you have in hand, but those things are not universals.

    The cost of 4K vs 2K is negligible, its consumer grade gear that adds tool capability. Theres no reason to buy gear in 1080p only as the total cost will be about the same. Paid work will afford you 4K anyway.