video production

4K, or not 4K

Rather than paraphrasing The Bard of Avon, with “4K, or not 4K”, maybe we should say “4K .. or Ultra HD”?

Even as we shoot motion footage today, there are cameras (and monitors) offering a resolution way beyond the current television broadcast standard of HD.

HD or High Definition, displays an image 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high. In the industry, individuals use different terms for this resolution. Broadcasters may call it ‘1080’, following the practice of defining horizontal scan lines, as a PAL image is ‘625’ and NTSC is ‘525’. Some use the terms ‘1080p’ (for progressive scan) of 30 frames per second (fps) and ‘1080i’ (for interlaced) at 60 fields per second, referring to the two fields within each frame. Computer programmers and graphic designers; who commonly refer to a measurement of pixels on each axis; may use ‘1920 × 1080’.

No matter what you call it, some may simply refer to HD as ‘the old standard’.

While HD is a signal many terrestrial broadcasters have only in recent years started transmitting; and while it is the standard for most online video platforms; the format has been around for over thirty years.

Japanese engineers developed HDTV in the 1980s. Sony, Canon, NHK, Ad Agency Hakuhodo and laboratory Imagica, all collaborated to shoot ground-breaking sequences in Queensland. Digital Tsunami founder Andrew W Morse, was Production Manager of this first shoot in Australia on the massive High Definition studio cameras.

Giving a television interview on location, Morse needed to explain the meaning of ‘pixel’, a relatively unknown term in the cathode ray tube era. The HDTV gear was so large; that in order to film on Whitehaven Beach; the executives flew by helicopter, but we also had to charter a barge to take our large crew and the truck in which all the camera, monitoring and data storage equipment was installed.

As SeaWorld dolphins leapt into the air, the crystal clear images of water and spray were astoundingly sharp, bright and full of rich colour. This image quality was in stark contrast to the blurry video images of the day. At the time, only 35mm film could achieve such high quality, which is why most drama and commercials productions were shot on film.

Decades later, 4K cameras allow us to shoot stunningly sharp, rich images with dramatically more data in every frame. Where HD offers 2 million pixels (megapixels) per image, 4K is four times larger, delivering over 8 megapixels per image.

However, terms still need defining. An image of 3,840 × 2,160 pixels is sometimes referred to as 4K, but is more accurately described as ‘Ultra HD’. To differentiate, 4096 × 2160 images are sometimes referred to as ‘True’ 4K.

With 8K cameras launched in 2015, the obligation of filmmakers to their clients, is to deliver the best images which can be displayed on currently available monitors and projectors. Very large 8K television monitors have been available for a year or more, but prices are still exceptionally high.

So when the question is posed today on which resolution to shoot, the answer is:

Not HD. Not Ultra HD. .. It must be 4K” !

 

 

Review recent 4K video productions:

Craig Defence video
Master Residences Yinchuan video
Hanas LNG bilingual video
Hanas Windfarm video

From Our Clients

Quotation Mark

Andrew and the team at Digital Tsunami are an absolute joy to work with, going above and beyond to design and host an amazing website for Cameragal Montessori School. Their work has led to an increase in enrolments and greater visibility within the community. They are always quick to make suggestions for improvement and implement changes - the embodiment of great customer service.

Kellie Beumer
Marketing Officer
North Sydney, NSW, Australia
Quotation Mark

When I need a comprehensive online strategy and innovative solutions to achieve results for an important client, Andrew is the only person I need to call.

Sean Aley
Director
North Sydney, NSW, Australia
Said Studio
Quotation Mark

Service delivery is precisely what was asked, while respecting deadlines and budget constraints. Digital Tsunami are very good value for money, particularly for quick wins without long pre-planning project phases.

Claudio Falcão Gomes
Head of IT
Pymble, NSW, Australia
Solvay Pharmaceuticals
Quotation Mark

I recently engaged Digital Tsunami to design and build my 60-page website. I'm a website copywriter who relies heavily on web-generated business, so my own online presence needs to be impeccable.

The solution that Digital Tsunami supplied is brilliant. It meets my needs perfectly; it's clean, bold, elegant, fast, and easy to edit. I've had lots of very positive feedback about it, and since launch, my request for quote rate and conversion rate have increased markedly.

The team at Digital Tsunami was incredibly responsive, delivering a solution well ahead of deadline. Their technical knowledge was exceptional, they were innovative, and they were very meticulous. What's more, they understood my business and technical requirements and translated them into a user-friendly, refined, professional site which is conceptually simple and cohesive.

I have no hesitation in recommending the website design services of Digital Tsunami to any business .. that needs a stand-out online presence.

Glenn Murray
copywriter
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Quotation Mark

Central to the development process is Digital Tsunami’s thorough understanding of the project needs, clear and constant communication, and creative, innovative and meticulous approach to delivering solutions.

Sharon Don
General Manager, Products and Services
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Personal Broadband Australia
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