Does 4K Video Matter?
Today we’re going to talk about 4K. Does 4K matter for video? 4K is one of those terms that gets thrown around a lot. TVs are 4K, videos are 4K, your new iPhone apparently shoots in 4K… but what does it actually mean? 4K, for our purposes, refers to the resolution of your video clips. Resolution is how many pixels tall your video is.
This might give you a good frame of reference -- if you have YouTube on hand, try going to the settings of a video, it should look like a little gear on the bottom-right corner of the frame. If you’re on mobile, it’ll be three dots up at the top right corner. You’ll see a setting that says “Quality,” and when you look at the drop-down menu, you’ll see numbers ranging from 144p to 1080p.
P, in this case, stands for pixels. So if you’re watching at 720p, which is considered high-definition, the image you’re viewing is 720 pixels tall, and 1280 pixels wide. If you’re watching at 1080p, which is sometimes known as Full HD, the image is 1080 pixels tall, and 1920 pixels wide. In general, 4K Ultra HD, is 2160 pixels tall and 3840 pixels wide. So it’s about 4000 pixels wide, thus being called 4K. 4K footage also offers four times as many pixels as 1080p Full HD offers.
So clearly, 4k footage is four times as good, right? Wrong.
Are there benefits to 4K? Absolutely. But it’s worth mentioning that in most cases, the human eye struggles to tell the difference between 1080p Full HD and 4K Ultra HD. Especially on iPhones, laptops and on screens under forty inches, there tends to not be a discernible difference to the average viewer.
For some practical examples of this comparison, and for some really great technical in-depth information, check out Matti Haapoja’s video on the difference between 720, 1080, and 4K here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x-u8mUSFss
At ValCinema, our full documentaries and wedding highlights are typically shot in 1080p Full HD. We believe our footage not only still looks great, but achieves our goal of telling your story in your style.
Is 4k worth more money?
Here’s something else that’s worth noting about 4K, especially in the wedding videography industry. Some videography services may try to charge you more money because they shoot exclusively in 4K, as if that’s indicative of the quality of their footage. I can confidently say I’ve seen really fantastic footage in 1080, or even 720p, and I’ve seen really low-quality, grainy, out-of-focus footage shot in 4K.
So in conclusion, 4K basically just means an increase in pixels, but it does not guarantee an increase in quality. The only thing that can guarantee your high-definition footage is also high-quality is hiring a professional, experienced videography team.
If you have more questions about 4K, resolution, and the technicalities of videography, feel free to drop them down in the comments, or reach out to us on our website at valcinema.com.