Cut|Color|Post

excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry, and other stuff of interest

Why 4K Isn't a Safe Bet

As we lead up to NAB 2014 I thought this a fitting reminder for what we'll be assaulted with while at the various exhibits next week. Every manufacture will likely be touting some 4K aspect to their hardware, software, lenses, camera, storage, or compression. There is still no reliable way to deliver 4K to the end user.

John Bourbonais, Cinematographer, writing for Broadcast Engineering on 4K:

Camera manufacturers stoke our egos with the thought that if we shoot 4K, we’ll be able to improve the overall quality of our production, expand our business, be more creative, use the footage forever and become a Hollywood filmmaker. Since 1998, the advertising buzz surrounding technologies such as 24p standard definition, 1080i HD, 1080p HD, 720p HD, 720p Variable Frame Rate, 1” imagers and the like have had compelling reasons that drove their success. However, some touted technologies such as the biggest marketing debacle in the past 15 years — 3-D TV — have not lived up to expectations, and 4K technology is another flash in the pan despite what equipment manufacturers tell us. The most oft-repeated promises for improvement are in the areas of quality, post, delivery and future proofing, but here is why that will not hold up.

His writing about quality, post, and delivery are spot on. I've already written about some of the problems with 4K before, see here and here. While 4K has some limited uses for today's productions I don't think it's the magic-bullet that many in our industry are making it out to be (or manufacturing advertisers are making it out to be).