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jasonmillard81

1080 vs. 4K: What is REALLY necessary?

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The following conversation gave me pause and I am hoping to get a few questions answered by more knowledgeable individuals:

 

 

One of the topics discussed was how these DPs feel that are sort of forced to use digital and many long for the days of film.  In addition they seem to acknowledge the necessity to keep up with the 4K, 6K, and 8K race but that sometimes the preferable image is of a much lower resolution and they spend time trying to achieve that by softening the image up etc. as they (maybe Deakins) feel that the audience finds the optimal image to not be so "realistic".

 

I'm curious on what everyone's opinions are.  If one isn't doing paid work and 4K+ aren't demanded then you still get away with investing in a new product that is 1080P if the image is currently seen as not only acceptable but desirable?

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Hey Jason, I think 4K is good for some of us who need a nice HD image with consumer equipment. For Pros great Arri 2K, for indies Digi Bolex 2K is nicer than

4K from Panny and Sony consumer cams. But that Panny and Sony and Samsung 4K ist just so nice for us to shoot it with that affordable tech.

Though the Big Screen shows every single digital flaw to the image, but digital projection on 20 feet wide screens looks nice with consumer 4k downscaled HD.

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For me resolution is nowhere near the top of the list of what makes a good image.

When I compared the 4K NX1 and RX100iv to the 5Ds HD Raw, the Canon won.

The BMPCC or Bolex runs circles around GH4s and Sonys, imo.

Same thing happens with still cameras.

Plus I don't know how many times I've done blind tests and not even the biggest 4K evangelists of this and other forums can tell the difference.

Now, if we have HD vs 4K and all else is equal, both shooting Raw, wide DR, nice color science, etc.. Then 4K might come in handy. But its not needed for any of the work I do personally. Not until its a standard, and thats years from now.

So with that said, I still buy HD cameras and have gone back and forth from 4K many times.

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To Mattias's point, I would rather have really good 1080p than less than stellar 4k.  The c100 C-log looks every bit as good as the 1dc downscaled to 1080, and the c100's 1080p60 is far superior.  No ND, proper audio, faster workflow with smaller files means for me the c100 is a better fit for my needs.  But that c100/300/500 sensor has all the voodoo magic esp. with skintones that the 4k 1dc gave me.

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I got a 7D recently just for photos with a heavy investment in EF glass, I already had a GH4 for video and shot almost everything in 4K. Since I got MLRaw installed on the 7D and figured it out I haven't even considered picking up the GH4 since... and the 7D raw I'm shooting is only 1066p, not even 1080p haha. GH4 has way more res, but the images are worlds apart, in comparision 7D looks like a film, GH4 looks like a camcorder (even when edited nicely).

Made me realise how much I actually want a BM cam. :D

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I like 4K over HD for the reasons Cronenweth mentioned: it gives you a lot of choices in post in terms of stabilizing, reframing, and even fake camera moves in a pinch (like pan and pedestal moves). Obviously there will always be other factors that might be more important than resolution, but with everything else equal 4K will typically make more sense than HD given the high quality of 4K these days.

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32 minutes ago, tweak said:

The issue at hand is (for most indie filmakers on here) that everything else is far from being equal in our price range @Sekhar.
I do like the benefits of 4K, but wouldn't give up a good image just to have them.

I guess it depends on the price range you had in mind, but the reason we're even discussing 4K vs HD is precisely because we get such high quality 4K for so little these days. I shoot regularly with NX1 and NX500; both produce fantastic 4K and neither cost me a pretty penny. I actually bought the NX500 for some $350 for crying out loud.

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12 minutes ago, Sekhar said:

I guess it depends on the price range you had in mind, but the reason we're even discussing 4K vs HD is precisely because we get such high quality 4K for so little these days. I shoot regularly with NX1 and NX500; both produce fantastic 4K and neither cost me a pretty penny. I actually bought the NX500 for some $350 for crying out loud.

Exactly, we are comparing the best 1080p to the best 4K within a budget. So a real life scenario, would for example be comparing a BMMCC image to a GH4 or NX1 in 4K. These images are far from being equal, thus "with everything else equal" (as you put it) isn't really a valid situation for many here. (As nothing is equal in the same price range in regards to 1080p vs 4k. You don't get something for nothing).

p.s. Not trying to have a go at you, just trying to point out that your logic (whilst true) isn't realistic for most people here weighing up 4K vs 1080p with the current tech.

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Show me how HD produced with BMMCC is better than HD from 4K shot by NX1 (which I presume is what you're implying here), and I'll agree. I've seen some real crappy video from BMMCC that looks like mush compared to video from NX1, but may be I just saw the wrong video. There is a technical case to be made for shooting in RAW that will save you in post for some extreme exposures, but again this seems more like an academic issue than something that you have use for regularly in real life. Certainly not with controlled lighting. Again, please show specific and real life examples of how BMMCC is better than NX1, and I'll change my opinion. I mean this sincerely, not being sarcastic.

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40 minutes ago, Sekhar said:

Show me how HD produced with BMMCC is better than HD from 4K shot by NX1 (which I presume is what you're implying here), and I'll agree. I've seen some real crappy video from BMMCC that looks like mush compared to video from NX1, but may be I just saw the wrong video. There is a technical case to be made for shooting in RAW that will save you in post for some extreme exposures, but again this seems more like an academic issue than something that you have use for regularly in real life. Certainly not with controlled lighting. Again, please show specific and real life examples of how BMMCC is better than NX1, and I'll change my opinion. I mean this sincerely, not being sarcastic.

There's not much content shot with the BMMCC yet. There is tons of very black magic pocket footage however. The color it can produce is just on a different level.

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4 minutes ago, Hans Punk said:

Colour rendition and broad dynamic range trumps higher resolution needs every time....especially if the goal is to achieve 'filmic' results.

 

 

Agreed, but I just don't see evidence of that, which is why I asked for specific examples comparing the two (either directly or indirectly). The videos I saw on YouTube show neither a better DR (in fact some videos are just awful) nor better colors (it's not easy to judge that however given all the grading that happens in post). NX1 actually produces some great colors as well, it's not just about resolution. Bottom line, specs are one thing and results are something else altogether, so it's not enough to just say BMMCC has great colors and DR and end the discussion.

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In my opinion a big downside to shooting 4k in the prosumer price range is the rolling shutter is typically much worse when compared 2k/HD.  I personally find rolling shutter to be one of the most annoying aspects to shooting on cmos sensors.

While nice to have, resolution probably falls somewhere after accurate colors, good dynamic range, bit depth/image fidelity, and a lack of difficult to repair artifacts such as rolling shutter, moire, or aliasing.

Limited resolution really doesn't matter much to me and can be flattering in a lot of situations.

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40 minutes ago, Sekhar said:

Agreed, but I just don't see evidence of that, which is why I asked for specific examples comparing the two (either directly or indirectly). The videos I saw on YouTube show neither a better DR (in fact some videos are just awful) nor better colors (it's not easy to judge that however given all the grading that happens in post). NX1 actually produces some great colors as well, it's not just about resolution. Bottom line, specs are one thing and results are something else altogether, so it's not enough to just say BMMCC has great colors and DR and end the discussion.

Camera comparisons not important here, 4:2:2 8-bit vs 12-bit log are two different worlds - regardless of camera.

This is not an arbitrary tech spec, this is the meat and potatoes of what can deliver superior looking images from a 'lower resolution' camera.

Nowadays the image is 'made in the grade' - shooting with the broadest dynamic range allows 'creative choices' to be made. Shooting 8-bit, those choices are somewhat limited. But as they say ' It's not the amount of bits, it's what bits you grab' - meaning it is totally possible to get wonderful results from a compressed codec, when exposed and lit properly...people have managed to do it for years. YT or Vimeo not a great place to judge any camera's image from - most of the time people just throw a heavy teal LUT over everything and call it 'done'...not the best showcase for what RAW processing can do in competent hands.

But at the end of the day if a camera creates pretty pictures that you are very happy with - then that is the best camera for you.

 

 

 

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I'm not sure if the conversation has gotten far from the original post but interesting points here.  As an amateur, I jumped off the 5d3 bandwagon just to ride the GH4 one.  After spending too many hours reading and watching for "sharpness" I have come to realize I, and all of my layman friends, prefer color, cadence, and highlight roll-off to sharpness.  In an unscientific test a group of documentary and movie fan friends of mine chose canon over Samsung, Panasonic, and Sony when comparing sub $10K cameras.  

I did this independent of each other as to avoid group-think or "mob mentality" and without question: color, is what was the number one factor for them.  I think paralysis by analysis and spec-sheet intellectual meandering gets away from what matters to the unbiased brain processing images.  

Again, in the video I posted the fact of the matter is world renowned DP's try to soften the image and focus on lighting, motion, and color to get an image that appeals to the audience.  So the original question:  is 4K necessary if most DP's and audiences are choosing HD images that demonstrate superior color to 4K sharpness?  

I'll weigh-in and say that unless 4K is demanded it is NOT needed at all and color space is where its at when looking at an image.  While many Sony Fx cameras may boast specs superior to canons, the color depth of canon at 8-bit looks better to me and others.  I may bypass 4K until a 4K camera combines color with sharpness at an image and price that is reasonable.  The NX/A7S/GH series need too much to become appealing.  I'll pass for now.

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Yeah, if you've watched all the test footage, and you're still asking if 4k is necessary (and you don't answer to anyone), it's not. But of course there are other advantages in these most recent 4k cameras.

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22 minutes ago, jasonmillard81 said:

I'm not sure if the conversation has gotten far from the original post but interesting points here.  As an amateur, I jumped off the 5d3 bandwagon just to ride the GH4 one.  After spending too many hours reading and watching for "sharpness" I have come to realize I, and all of my layman friends, prefer color, cadence, and highlight roll-off to sharpness.  In an unscientific test a group of documentary and movie fan friends of mine chose canon over Samsung, Panasonic, and Sony when comparing sub $10K cameras.

Discussions like this really frustrate me because they're academic and digress into specs and possibilities. Every time there's a tech advance, the first reaction of many is to say they aren't impressed, as if that puts them on a higher pedestal than the mortals who are easily pleased. 4K? It's really about DR. High DR? It's about color. Great color? For pros, it's ergonomics. Everything? Camera doesn't matter. Full equipment? It's not about gear. Etc. Heck, I've seen people ridiculing the excitement over the first Internet browser Netscape (remember that?).

Going back to the OP, if you read my first response, I mentioned Cronenweth on the video talking about the advantages of 4K that I mentioned. I didn't make that up: it's from the same video. It may not fit the narrative on this forum, but it was actually said. 4K is NOT about higher res folks, even when you deliver in HD. It's about giving you choices in post WRT stabilization, framing, camera moves, etc.

I just put a video on another thread that has video from NX500 (a very low end 4K camera) cropped to be HD. NO extra res there, just HD, but you see a tight crop and framing that would have been impossible using a HD camera without additional lenses. And I was specifically comparing it (and NX1) with an actual HD camera BMMCC, not engaging in an academic discussion. My point is that today you can buy a 4K at comparable prices and get the advantages I mentioned, which directly addresses the OP. May be BMMCC's claimed 13 stops DR and RAW do shine, but I don't see evidence of that (not that it doesn't exist). Specs matter squat if the result is garbage.

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Good points for 4K I like the analysis. 

 

Do do you think on a tv the average person would prefer the nx1 or a7s image versus the image from a c100 ?

my own inquiry into this was the c100 was chosen 100% of the time. 

A few said of the 4K cameras I mentioned "wow that's sharp, pretty cool" but the color rendition of c100 was desired above even the fs5/fs7 image. 

So if 4K seems to be desirable for more than image does than then mean a 1dxii is more desirable than a c100 in the same price point?

just curious, I'm learning here  

 

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