My take on shooting in 4K...

Jordan Budd

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I've gotten quite a few emails/PM's lately, specifically on 4K cameras and my stance on 4K video. So for all those wondering, here it goes..

With a lot of affordable cameras now days offering 4K and all the hype around the quality of it, I see a lot of people wanting to take the leap. While 4K is great quality and really versatile in certain applications, if your just wanting to film your personal hunts for fun in a "run and gun, point and shoot" type of manner I wouldn't recommend 4K. 4K is (pixel wise) two times bigger than regular 1080p, so while that does get you a sharper image, here's some downsides to it:
- Much larger file size. Takes an insane amount of drive/card space versus regular 1080.
- Needs a very beefy computer to run it smoothly (if at all), especially in an editing program.
- Needs to be shot, edited, exported and watched on a 4K TV or monitor to get the full 4K benefit.
In regards to souped up computers, we have 2 updated high performance PC's in our editing room and only 1 will stream 4k smoothly like a regular 1080 clip. I also have a MacBook Pro and it handles 4K pretty good, just lags a little on the editing side.

I think it's safe to say that most people on here probably aren't going to have the machine power to even playback their footage without it being glitchy, basically because of the file size. This is one of the big reasons I'm hesitant on selling people to 4K, because that would be sooo frustrating to not be able to playback and edit footage.

Now I'm not totally opposed to 4K, there are certain shots and situations that I switch to 4K for. Those being, when I want to pan across/in/out of a scene without losing quality. So basically you can get "extra zoom" with your 4k image being twice as big as 1080p. In post production (Premiere Pro for me) your 4K image on the scale will say 50%, but if you change it to 100% your image will be cropped in ("zoomed in") and now be a 1080 picture. So that is definitely a benefit of it, being able to create large "fake" movements from a static shot in post production can be a great thing.

But other than that I personally don't see a reason to shoot everything in 4K for the kind of filming we do and the output we post it on. The gains don't outweigh the downfalls in my opinion for the kind of shooting we're doing. When I have a shot I see potentially wanting to pan around in I'll switch to 4k, take my shots, then switch back to 1080. Pretty easy to do on most cameras if you learn your menu settings and even set pre-sets for it.

Hopefully that made some sense and cleared some mud up on the subject. If not or you have any questions, hit me up!
 

William Hanson (live2hunt)

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Very informative. It's great that lots of people are filming their stuff now but folks need to consider their end purpose. There's no need for most people to invest in the equipment required for professional videography or even pictures.

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