Tech Tuesday: Should you be filming in 4k?

Last week we talked all about what 4k video is. This week we are talking about if you should use it and if so when. And while big budget Hollywood movies and nature documentarians might film in 4k, a lot of the time you most likely will not need it but it is also great in certain instances.

An issue with 4k video is it's file sizes and the processing power needed to edit it. Unless you have terabytes of storage space and a high spec computer to edit with you might have a rough time working with the footage. Even my MacBook Pro can't seamlessly edit 4k footage. Especially if you are just starting out, most places you will post your videos are online meaning people will be watching from a computer screen or phone. Since most people do not have 4k screens they will not be watching your video in 4k anyways.

With all of that said I am not saying do not film in 4k because there are also a lot of great benefits to doing so. One is being able to crop into a shot. If you're end product is going to be 1080 then you can crop into a 4k shoot while editing and not lose much resolution. You can also do this to emulate two cameras for something like an interview. Also if you just downscale your 4k footage to 1080 it will look sharper and have more color data to work with. One final reason to shoot 4k is for the future and archiving. While 4k is not a standard yet, we seem to slowly be heading that way and just as 1080 took over 720, 4k will probably eventually take over 1080. When? Who knows for sure but your footage would still hold up if shot in 4k. This is also a reason you find some people filming in 8k, even if their videos are just ending up on youtube.

So should you be filming in 4k? That is honestly something you have to decide yourself and most likely will very project to project in the end.