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Insights & Thoughts

Does 4k Really Matter? – Three High Class DPs Weigh In

By Justin Heyes on October 25th 2014

If you have been paying attention to the photography world, you might have noticed a trend. More and more companies have been jumping on the 4K train. 4K is on its way to become the standard that all film will be shot on, but is it necessary? Three high-profile DPS (Geoff Boyle, Rodney Charters, and Bill Bennett) sat down with Dan Chung of News Shooter at IBC to talk about the the current state of digital imaging and the the future it should take.

[REWIND:2015 Could Be The Year Of 4K For Canon | Rumor]

Just a few years ago, with the push to HD, camera manufacturers scrambled to constantly one up each other and see who could get to the top of the resolution peak first. Now, the camera in your pocket will shoot 1080p, but that doesn’t mean that it should be used for any commercial work. Camera manufacturers now are racing to 4K and no one will win.

As consumers, we see 4K this and 4K that and we assume that more is better. Companies are producing more and more cameras with higher resolutions because we keep demanding it. They hype up resolution over color and contrast because it is easier to manufacture than dynamic range.

Dynamic range and color are more important to any scene than the resolution. Look at the rise of Fuji and their X-Series of cameras. They are not concerned with sensor resolution or even sensor size; they care about color. To the human eye, contrast and dynamic range can seem sharper than a flat image. We add sharpening and clarity to our image in Lightroom, but it is just a pixel by pixel contrast shift to give the illusion of sharpness and doesn’t add any resolution to the image.

Digital video is already too sharp to begin with. Professionals either use nets or diffusion filters to soften the images to make them more film-like. Why shoot in the highest resolution and bandwidth only to obscure the details?

[Via No Film School / Image screen capture]


What do you think? Should camera manufacturers stop pushing 4K? Is resolution all that matters? Share your thoughts below!

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Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar


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  2. David Hall

    love it.

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  3. Kayode Olorunfemi

    At last, some common sense to the 4K hype…

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  4. Arnold Ziffel

    “….the standard that all film will be shot on,…..” Funny how we use the word film now…

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  5. Mircea Blanaru

    The article is great and I agree with the author. Better enhance the appearance than rising the resolution!!!!

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  6. Eric Sharpe

    I always appreciate real perspective over hype.

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  7. Connor Katz

    That was cool to watch, thanks for posting this! I for one, am really looking forward to HDR displays.

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