Why You Should Be Shooting 4K Even If You’re Outputting To High Definition

Image Credit – DISH

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

We’ve talked about not stressing over shooting ultra high definition (UHD), or even buying a 4K TV, since broadcast TV isn’t even in 1080p (it’s stuck in 720p in many cases), and some of your clients may only request 1080p or lower renders of their videos. But Photographer/Videographer and YouTube star Peter McKinnon believes that everyone should be shooting in 4K from here on out. Period.

Even if your goal is to publish to HD, shooting in 4K future-proofs your content so that it can be usable in the future. But that isn’t all; It can be fertile ground for being even more creative.

“4K is all the rage. Everybody wants it. Everybody wants to shoot on it. But the argument is that everyone watches in 1080p. But 4K footage downsampled looks so much better. So if you have the option of 4K, you get better quality HD as a result.” – Peter McKinnon, YouTube

McKinnon makes the argument that not only will you be able to future-proof your footage, but that 4K downsampled to 1080p looks far better than shooting natively in full HD. Then, with the native 4K footage, those who wish to watch in 4K, have that option. That’s great news, since you really don’t have to do much.

1080p-to-4k
Image Credit – GeFen

Another benefit of shooting in 4K is that with four times the real estate, a project that is shot in 4K opens up a world of post-production possibilities, including cropping in for a close up camera angle. Imagine the benefits of shooting a wedding or an interview, and being able to change up the camera angles without having to invest in additional equipment. Cropping from a wider shot to a closer one allows you to get in tight without sacrificing the quality. At least beyond what you’re planning to output the project at, anyway.

So, the result is that shooters have a kind of second camera without having to lug a real one around and set it up, or paying for an additional camera operator. This not only gives shooters additional production value, but can keep your budget manageable without making your shoot suffer as a result.

There’s also the benefit of camera movement. Without actually moving the camera, which can cause unwanted shake, panning and tilting within the image can be accomplished in post, thanks to that very same four times amount of real estate. So within the editing workflow, you can zoom in and then slide the image from left to right, up or down, or in any direction. Since you’re outputting to HD, you can create a camera movement with no equipment whatsoever. Call it a virtual slider. A lot of these suggestions were given during the SD to HD transition with HDV cameras back in the mid-2000s. Now it’s HD to 4K.

And that’s just a few of the techniques you can use to make 4K work for you, even if the goal is to continue to output to 1080p. So if can shoot in 4K, why not let it  beyond the hype of it being ultra high definition? It will certainly give you options. Even more so for 8K and beyond.

Oh, and if you want to enjoy some entertaining and informative content, recommend giving McKinnon’s YouTube channel a sub.

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About James DeRuvo 338 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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