4K Video Production, Explained!
4K video, or “ultra-high-definition” (at least as of this week) video, is all the rage. Everyone wants it. Not many TVs can currently display it. Content will lead the way for consumers to pony up for even higher-end screens at work and at home.
Why? Because 4K image quality and color depth need to be seen to be believed! Go to you local Best Buy to check out the latest 4K offerings from Sony, Samsung and LG.
But what is 4K and why do we need it? 4K literally means that the viewable screen image resolution contains 4,000 horizontal pixels. Most HD TV screens and computer monitors currently display in the 1920×1080 range, or approximately 2000 horizontal pixels, or 2K. 2K good; 4K better. It’s simple.
Even the most modest consumer cameras (like your iPhone 5!) now record 2K video, although the recorded image is generally compromised because of poor optics and excessive video compression.
Consumers have gotten a taste of the images that a 4K television can yield, and they want more.
In response, a host of companies are producing gear to meet the growing demand for 4K content.
Blackmagic Design, for example, introduced a 4K camera at NAB this year retailing at just under $3,000, excluding lenses. That is an affordable price for a studio-grade camera.
Blackmagic also announced its higher-end, URSA 4K digital production camera, supporting an interchangeable sensor unit and various lens mounts. This models starts at just under $6,000, and can record 3840 x 2160 pixels at 60 frames per second in Apple ProRes 422.
Not to be left out of the picture, AJA also released its CION 4K camera, with a recommended price of just under $9,000. The CION can output 4K video up to a smoking 120 frames per second to an external recorder, ProRes 422 at up to 60 frames, or ProRes 4444 at up to 30 frames per second!
4K post-production costs will, however, increase with the need for plus-sized storage, higher processing horsepower and increased network requirements. More bits per pixel, more pixels per frame, more frames per second, with less compression, all add up to a lot more data to store, process and transfer.
Nevertheless, 4K production is here to stay. It’s all about the image quality. One word: WOW!!
Contact Capitola Media for 4K video production services in the San Francisco Bay Area.