I have been working with 4K video for a couple of years but it was always with other people’s gear.
Today, I took the plunge into the 4K universe, even though the world is not demanding 4K video product. In fact, there are very few televisions equipped to handle 4K in consumer’s homes. No doubt it will come. Just need a couple of good Super Bowl television selling seasons. From an acquisition point of view, shooting on 4K make total sense. Even when producing videos that end up only the Internet, the difference in quality is discernible, especially since you also need to step up the image quality with better lenses. Of course, there are all sorts of advertised consumer 4K cameras out there, including cell phones, so how does that work? The world is changing and this technology is becoming much more accessible. Allow me to digress.
Just as I made my move into this 4K arena, I was standing in line at the local grocery market talking to the young man behind the deli counter. We got talking about work and he asked what I did. I told him I make videos…and he said, “Oh, really?! So do I! I love making short videos!” OK. Then my 12 year old granddaughter comes home and wants to use my editing equipment to fix a video she shot on her cell phone! She did a great job with iMovie, a program I have never figured out how to use! Finally, I am on a location in a small town, doing a complicated green screen shot, and the janitor comes in and looks at my gear. He knew the camera! Turns out he is a weekend video producer. OK. I totally get it. Life looks pretty rosy from the other side. I have been successfully making film video productions for clients like major corporations, television networks and not-for-profits for many, many years. Folks, this is work…and yes it can be fun work and incredibly rewarding. It is still work. I mention this now because I have to find more work to pay for the expensive camera I have just purchased!
Someone said 4K will be the limit because it is already beyond what the human eye can discern. That didn’t stop one of the major networks from announcing that they were going to 8K! What’s a few K’s between friends? Personally, I wanted to do some different visual things with 4K that I cannot achieve with regular HD, so I am eager to explore. I bought a real video camera, a Sony, as I continue to be frustrated by the state of the video SLR market. Those are indeed amazing cameras that can delivery superb visuals, but they are still cameras, designed for taking still images, and are very difficult to use in video for anything but set up shots, unless you also buy a zillion optional tools to help you handle the still camera like a video camera.
In the end, it still boils down to just telling stories well. That is the ultimate skill here. So here’s to 4K and beyond!!