8 Reasons Why 4K Videos Reach Perfection

Much ink has been spilled the past few years on 4K technology that seems to have hit the mainstream and become a major new standard in the digital video world and the film-making community, allowing video shooters, gamers, and TV viewers alike to enjoy images that look unbelievably life-like. What makes 4K videos unique? Here are eight benefits you could draw from using 4K technology when you want to produce breathtaking, awesome videos.


Why Use 4K to Produce & Deliver Incredible HD Footage?


1. Sharper Footage

If you choose to shoot 4K footage to enhance your 1080p videos, then you can expect sharper and clearer footage than HD. When it comes to resolution and clarity HD tends to be considered a universal standard, giving people the impression that if they shoot something in HD, it will look super sharp. The truth is that HD footage simply means 1080i/p or 720i/p footage, with most cameras shooting in 1080p.

In fact, with 4K, your source footage is 4X sharper and more detailed than 1080p HD footage, which is great news for the video shooter. To give you an idea of the image detail and clarity of a 4K video, you would need to use nine 720p HD cameras, strategically placed around the scene, to make sure you capture the same detail as with a 4K camera.

You can also rest assured your 4K footage will maintain the sharpness of the images and not lose any of the fine detail even when required to be projected on larger screens (bigger than 65 inches) or be displayed on larger displays. It is no wonder Hollywood film-makers use 4K to reproduce the finish and resolution one could get with 35mm film!

Another secret that makes a big difference to the quality of the footage lies in the camera’s bit-rate. To cut corners and save money on memory buffers and processors, many cameras output HD footage at some megabits/sec, which is a relatively low bit-rate and causes the footage to look muddy and pixelated. The good news is that if you shrink down a 4K footage to be 1080p, it will make a huge positive impact on the quality and detail of the video.


2. Stabilized Footage in Post

Producing flawless camera moves is challenging, and many video shooters are forced to shoot with hand-held devices. The issue here is that they see their camera shake even when they are standing perfectly still or using video effects that help stabilize footage, not to mention what happens to the footage when they start walking. Shooting in 4K gives you room to play with more pixels, which, in turn, allows you to zoom into the footage and have no discernible effect on the final 1080p export. Of course, cropping was not an option video shooters could consider some years ago but the flexibility of recomposing a shot whenever you feel necessary is something that can certainly not be passed unnoticed.


3. Reduced Noise (in Post)

You will also notice significant noise reduction from each pixel in the images when you down convert 4K footage to 1080p footage in post-production. To create a single pixel in HD, you need a 2X2 group of UHD pixels. Combining that group of pixels can lead to reducing the visibility of noise from each pixel together, while also smoothing the noise out at the same time.


4. Enhanced Color Resolution


The 4K technology presents more varied, vibrant, and realistic colors, as well as impressively higher frame rates. This is because using 4K on your 1080HD footage will deliver an impressive increase in bit depth and color resolution. For example, a camera that records UHD or 4K footage at 8bits/pixel usually utilizes 4:2:0 color sampling, which results in 4:4:4 color sampling (there is one color sample per 2X2 block of pixels) and 10bits/pixel after down converting 4K 3840 x 2160, 8-bit, 4:2:0 footage into HD. This is a significant advantage that can be particularly handy when recording video drone footage with 4K!


5. Improved Depth


As for the depth of the pixels, the original HD footage is usually recorded at an 8-bit depth or a 10-bit depth, providing 256 or 1,24 shades per pixel respectively. The problems appear when image manipulation is required, where most of the time, the 8-bit encoding does not allow for subtle transitions from one shade to another. This can be a deal-breaker when you want to film smooth gradients, such as the blue sky on a beautiful day. With 4K and 10-bit depth, you are able to retain between finer shades of color and enjoy the greater depth, as well as convert 8-bit pixel depth into 10-bit pixel depth without much effort on your side!


6. Perfect Zooms


Shooting 4K gives you the opportunity to film an entirely smooth zoom and pan much easier than with any other video camera. Just zoom out and shoot a few seconds of the selected scene. Then, once you get back home, use your computer to add movements to your video (a zoom or pan), and you are pretty much done. With the extra pixels you are provided with 4K, the end result will look flawless for sure.


7. Ability to Shoot 2 Roll Shots Simultaneously


Setting two cameras, one shooting tight and the other shooting wide, is something common for those that want to film an interview. Don’t be surprised though, if you need more than two cameras to be able to shoot accurately. The biggest concern is how to avoid the “jump cut” when you have up to 100 cuts in a 5-minute video. Masking each cut is necessary, yet thoroughly tedious. Shooting 4K videos, though, and down converting them into 1080p allows you to replace the two camera setup and gives you more up to three different looking shots (tight, medium and wide) to play with, making your life much easier indeed.


8. Improved Frame Rate


When shooting stills, even the fastest of cameras cannot capture all movements. This has to do with the speed of the camera, which is usually at around 14fps (frames-per-second). So, being able to record those missed, subtle movements can help improve the final outcome significantly. With 4K, your videos’ frame rate can skyrocket to as high as 60fps. To shoot 4K for stills, one needs both the necessary hardware and still-video techniques. A piece of advice? Keep the camera still as much as possible and the shutter speed high for sharper still frames!

Now, if you feel that you have not yet reached an expert level at shooting and editing videos, be it 4K or HD, VIDDEDIT pros can help you get started!

It has become apparent that there are a lot of components that make 4K video special. Clearly, 4K is the future and can significantly help improve your videos today, regardless of the format you are currently working in, even if your final project is destined for a standard-definition delivery and finish!