The world of video right now, is going through a phase where almost every video resolution you can imagine is available. You hear words like, 4K, and then 8K, one camera company is even selling a 12K camera (I am looking at you black magic design) but what does this all mean? and as a person looking at getting a wedding video, what are you looking for? is HD enough today? is 4K even enough? (spoiler, 4K delivery is the ideal product to get from a company shooting your wedding. HD is a bit low rez by todays standards. and 6K and up, is just overkill)
To begin with, lets get this image of what these resolutions mean, how they compare, with this graphic. While looking at this graph, keep in mind a blue ray disc, holds movies in Full HD. and Netflix maxes out at 4K if you have the best internet connection on the planet. Because of this, keep in mind that pretty much anything over 4K is never something that makes it to an audience without being down sampled to 4K or less
Back in 2005, the world of digital video cameras was one of HD, and maybe, if you were on a really big budget set, you might be shooting in 2K! back then, no one could conceive how you could ever need more then that, the world felt like they were happy, and locked in at those resolutions. Then in august of 2007 a little known (and recently started) company, known as red digital cinema, released the first ever 4K film production camera. it was known as the red one. at the time, it was an unprecedented leap in image quality. from that point on the race to 4K and greater resolutions was on!
today almost every, but not all, cameras that are taken seriously in the film production world shoots in 4K. some shoot in 6K, or 8K, or even 12K! now almost every filmmaker on the planet, from amateurs shooting on their cell phones, to pro wedding filmmakers, are shooting in at least 4K. But whats really fascinating is that the most popular cameras for shooting high end cinema work, are often not even capable of shooting in 4K. the Arri Mini which was used on productions like Joker, Game of Thrones, The Irishman, Solo: A star Wars Story, to name a few. The Alexa mini only shoots in 2.8K and yet, it is by far one of the most beloved cameras in the pro film production world.
This begs the question, is resolution the end of the story? is it even all that important? when you can shoot 8K on your cell phone, and yet cinema cameras are shooting in only 2.8K? how important is resolution? probably not as important as you think.
There is a lot more to an image, then its resolution, at the end of the day, the number of pixels is not as important as the image quality. Arri has a strategy of creating the best color that they can, they aim for creating a film like look. and they do a damn good job of it. Arri is well known and respected for having cameras that have phenomenal color properties in all the images coming off the camera. peoples skin looks amazing, color is reproduced in an incredibly pleasing fashion, which trumps resolution any day when your trying to make a quality video.
After a certain point, people can’t tell what resolution the video was shot at, some argue that point is just HD, others argue its up to 4K, but at the end of the day, people are far more sensitive to how the color of the camera looks. audiences do notice color, and it effects the finished video in a very tangible way.
In addition to this, there is a lot to be said to how far you can push an image in post, when your shooting on a pro cinema camera, your shooting in world class codecs, that can be edited in ways that clips off a cell phone, or even a high end DSLR simply cannot. changing white balance after the fact, adjusting the exposure of the image in the edit room (and having it look darn near like it was done on site) and of course increasing saturation, or changing the tone of the image. its all so easy to do, on a real cinema cameras files, but almost impossible to do on an off the shelf DSLR.
at the end of the day, words like 4K, 8K or 12K are not meaningful metrics of how good the image will be off a camera. they don’t mean much when it comes to image quality. What matters the most is the color of the camera, and if its got a codec you can edit in post. At casperson Productions we shoot exclusively on cinema cameras, with codecs that allow us to fine tune all our wedding videos to perfection in post. its not common in the wedding video world, but we believe in creating the best products possible, and in video, that means shooting on cinema cameras.