4K Video

What is 4K?

4K is a video specification that literally just means ‘4,000’. It gets its name from the approximately 4,000 pixels of width of the footage. … 4K is significantly more detailed, since it has twice as many pixels horizontally, and four times as many pixels in total.

This is much more detailed than anything you’re likely to have seen before. You’ve probably already noticed the jump from pre-digital ‘standard definition’ television up to ‘HD’ and ‘Full HD’ services that are now available on digital TV, online streaming, and Blu-Ray discs. Compared to earlier standards, this HD footage is detailed, crisp and it even looks good when viewed on a large TV. But even the best quality, ‘1080p’ HD footage is only 1920 pixels across. 4K is significantly more detailed, since it has twice as many pixels horizontally, and four times as many pixels in total.

The name 4K is used to describe a couple of different, though very similar, standards. The form you’re most likely encounter is Ultra High Definition or UHD, the new standard for 4K television. 4K video is poised to become the new benchmark for both recording and watching the video and it brings a whole host of benefits, right away.

Get more clarity in your video

The images below represent the difference in details between various video resolutions. Video captured using a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX100

Standard Definition (480p)

High Definition / HD (720p)

Full HD (1080p)

4K

What does it mean for video shooters?

If you shoot HD video, should you upgrade your camera to a 4K-capable model? The obvious reason to make the switch to 4K is to future-proof your work.

Consumers may not demand 4K content today, but at some point, they will, and if history is any guide this will probably happen soon. Just imagine if you had continued to shoot in standard definition up until the moment that everyone finally had an HD television. Who would want to watch that crunchy, mushy low-resolution content today? As a content creator,  you’re always better off getting ahead of the curve.