You wanted it and now you've got it. Almost every single video-capturing device today boasts 4K capture. Do you feel the future is here?
About two years ago, I wrote an article that questioned the need for 4K video-capturing cameras. Today, I have the same question: Do you desperately need a 4K video camera like two years ago? Is it a failure when Brand X releases their new camera model and it doesn't support 4K? Of course, there are benefits to 4K for the video producer; let me quickly outline the most obvious:
- More resolution gives you the freedom to crop in post and deliver in 2K without losing significant quality.
- Shots out of focus won't be so noticeable when scaled down to 2K.
With benefits come higher requirements for storage and hardware performance. These can only make the camera and computer hardware manufacturers happy, but not your wallet. According to the prophets of higher-resolution videos, 4K must become a standard, and that will make videos future-proof with the ever-growing display resolutions. Let's see the facts for 2018:
- Mobile traffic prevails over desktop devices, and their screen resolutions are hardly 2K. To be more specific, according to the statistics for fstoppers.com, the majority of photography and videography-loving viewers are browsing the website with devices that have less than 2K resolution.
- Internet speed and bandwidth is not three or four times greater to compensate for the larger amount of data in 4K videos.
- Hosting companies charge more and more for bandwidth, which makes it highly impractical to serve videos from your servers.
- General hardware is still not four times faster than two years ago to process or display 4K footage easily and quickly.
- Desktop computer and laptop displays are still less than 3K in their majority, just like two years ago.
- Movie theaters still project 2K movies.
- There are still people who boast their final video files are 4K. I know, it's still a fashion trend.
In my opinion, the jump to 4K was a bit too early for most low-budget video devices, including DSLRs, sub-$10,000 cinema cameras, and phones, of course. It seems the winners of that transition are mostly the hardware manufacturers.
Tell us what you think. Have you invested in 4K hardware and workflow, and was it worth it? If you haven't, will you do that today or is 2K still king?