Why Indie Filmmakers Should NOT Shoot 4K!

numbrobot

New member
An issue I see come up again and again is indie filmmakers shooting a format that they can’t handle in production, post production or in delivery. Currently the big buzz word is UHD (Ultra High Definition).

Now shooting 4K in todays world is a bit different. It cost much more than you’d expect once you factor in all the things you’ll be dealing with down the pipeline.

Don’t make your filmmaking process more difficult than it has to be. In this episode I go over a ton of info on why you shouldn’t shoot 4K if you’re an indie filmmaker. Happy Shooting!

Click here to listen to the podcast: http://www.indiefilmhustle.com/4k/

 

Wilbo

New member
I may get slated for this but I don't think 4k is a significant enough difference for me to want to invest in using it for an Indie shoot compared to HD. I know the quality is significantly better but if I have the option to spend that money on improving the production in other ways I always would. Plus the cost needed re: storage for significant amounts of 4k footage can really spiral.
 

cameramagic

New member
I have a different opionion tho. I think it's better to shoot in 4k and future-proof yourselves. Filmmaking aside, on a consumer level let’s not kid ourselves. Demand for 4K / UHD TV’s are being driven by prices under $1000 and consumers hungry for the latest technology. Not to mention Netflix and Amazon have started creating original content in 4K leaving traditional broadcasters somewhat in the dust. 4K is not huge right now but it’s here and continues to evolve.

I find that when you shoot in 4K and then downscale to HD any noise patterns (or sensor grain) become much nicer looking on some cameras and footage. Also since 99% of sensors in digital cameras are bayer-pattern sensors, when you shoot with higher resolutions like 4K, 6K, or 8K and then downscale it to HD you increase the resolution of the blue and red channels which normally are only 1/2 the resolution of whatever format you were shooting in to begin with. This can be important for green screen work, keying, and other VFX applications.
 

dslrtraveller

New member
I have a different opionion tho. I think it's better to shoot in 4k and future-proof yourselves. Filmmaking aside, on a consumer level let’s not kid ourselves. Demand for 4K / UHD TV’s are being driven by prices under $1000 and consumers hungry for the latest technology. Not to mention Netflix and Amazon have started creating original content in 4K leaving traditional broadcasters somewhat in the dust. 4K is not huge right now but it’s here and continues to evolve.

I find that when you shoot in 4K and then downscale to HD any noise patterns (or sensor grain) become much nicer looking on some cameras and footage. Also since 99% of sensors in digital cameras are bayer-pattern sensors, when you shoot with higher resolutions like 4K, 6K, or 8K and then downscale it to HD you increase the resolution of the blue and red channels which normally are only 1/2 the resolution of whatever format you were shooting in to begin with. This can be important for green screen work, keying, and other VFX applications.
Really good and well educated points here cameramagic. Although I was also reading a blog on this subject found a healthy argument. What do you think about it? The blog is here: https://www.909music.com/blog/post/should-online-video-creators-be-making-4k-quality-content/
 

sidharthsid

New member
Technically, “Ultra High Definition” is actually a derivation of the 4K digital cinema standard. However while your local multiplex shows images in native 4096 x 2160 4K resolution, the new Ultra HD consumer format has a slightly lower resolution of 3840 X 2160.

Now while having a larger image to play with is better it does bring a ton of baggage along with it. RED Cameras started popularizing 4K with it’s first camera the RED ONE. It was so far beyond anything else on the market at the time that it ignited the imagination of indie filmmakers everywhere.

Now shooting 4K in todays world is a bit different. It cost much more than you’d expect once you factor in all the things you’ll be dealing with down the pipeline
 

Jared Isham

Moderator
I probably think along the same lines as camermagic. Future proofing your content is usually never a bad idea. Netflix is doing this for a reason and I heard mention on a panel discussion at the CineGear Expo in LA that Netflix is requiring all new productions to shoot at a minimum 4k.

I also have the belief that you use what you have, so if it makes more sense to shoot HD then do it.

Also the argument of shooting in HD vs 4k due to storage requirements I think really only applies to shooting in RAW is where it really applies, compressed 4k is probably not as big of a difference in file size.
 

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
I have changed my position on this. I now think you absolutely need to shoot 4K if you at all possibly can.
 
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walshfilmmaker

New member
I have a 4k camera, but don't both shooting on 4K unless there is a reason, as it can just be so much more effort in the edit. Shoot for the viewing medium, if its gunna be shown on the big screen, shoot 4k, if its going online, don't bother unless the spec says it needs to be.

The only other time I use 4k on a HD project is when I need to punch in. If there is just myself and I am filming a 2 cam interview, I will use the 4k camera in the edit as a 3rd camera by cropping in.
 
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