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

Thank you for the development of an updated brand image for Wah Yuet in China.

While originally contracted to produce a video highlighting Wah Yuet's manufacturing capabilities, it was apparent very quickly that your understanding of our requirements, combined with your experience, were the perfect fit to create a new logo and style guidelines for the company. While relatively small in scope, you were dedicated to the success of the project and I am pleased to say that you hit the bullseye!

Stephen Pollack
Marketing Director
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
Quotation Mark

Digital Tsunami provided an outstanding service throughout the whole web development process. Andrew spent extensive time early on to understand our business in order to provide additional conceptual and strategic contributions to the brand and corporate identity of Kinetic Defence Services to ensure the message was clear, precise and appealing to the target audience.

The development process was smooth and efficient and enabled us to have an input throughout to guarantee total satisfaction with the final look and feel of the site.

Angelo Mastropietro
Director
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Kinetic Defence
Quotation Mark

Andrew and his team have provided consistently good service and met both our needs and expectations. He certainly knows his stuff and delivers workable web solutions in a highly professional manner.

Dr Adrian Cohen
CEO
Sydney, NSW, Australia
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Sharon Don
General Manager, Products and Services
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Personal Broadband Australia
Quotation Mark

Digital Tsunami has supported us for many years now, and we continue to be impressed by the standard of service and advice. We not only get quality web design and implementation, but also honest feedback and suggestions which are crucial to the final product.

Digital Tsunami is able to discuss ideas with us and then develop them into a practical solution online, and this ‘team’ effort ensures the results are of the highest quality.

When our website is the first thing people look to when making an assessment on our company, I’m pleased to know that we have Andrew and his team behind us.

Roger Christie
Web Project Manager
Sydney, NSW, Australia
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