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The Future of Video Resolution

Posted by Mitch Blank under Video


If you do any kind of video shooting, editing, or even YouTube watching, you are probably familiar with the infamous 1080p. 1920 x 1080 is the standard in the film industry and is accepted as professional quality. But for how long will this be true?

There are many things in the world of technology that could easily put 1080p in the past with the many other forgotten "revolutions" that seemed unmatchable in their time. There will never be a time in which video, design and other like industries will stop advancing and settle into one place for the rest of eternity. As far as 1080p goes right now, there are already ways to capture 4k, even 5k video. While right now, the standard does remain at 1080p, there is so much room for improvement in the near future.

Things change at a mind boggling rate when we're talking about video and animation. Take a look at one of the first animated films to come out, then compare it with a recent one. The contrast is shocking. It would be unacceptable for a movie to come out this year that looked like the original 'Finding Nemo' film; yet back when that was the most recent thing, it looked amazing to everyone. This just shows the immense speed of progression in the world of technology.

Right now, the industry standard remains at 1080p, making it difficult to get a low cost camera that can shoot at 4k or 5k. At this point in time, you really have only a few options. You could buy the GoPro hero3, which is capable of 4k, but only at 15fps. If we're really honest with ourselves, that isn't worth much. Sure, it would make a cool time lapse, but as far as actually shooting footage, 15fps is far from making the cut.

Your next option would be more expensive. It's the canon 1d X that clocks in at just under $7,000. This DSLR allows you to shoot at a cool 5k resolution, but as I said before, there's a fairly large cost involved. While you might say that $7,000 is affordable, it's quite expensive in relative terms. Here at Identity Island, we use the Canon T3i for our video, and it looks great at 1080p (its max resolution). This camera can be had for under $1,000 with a lens and other extras.

Your final option for going to 4 and 5k resolution is where you get into the crazy expensive range. Something like the Red Epic is what you're looking at now. This is the camera used to shoot 'The Hobbit' film. It can shoot at 5k raw, 120fps. For this camera, however, you're looking at around $30,000 for just the brain and nothing else. This would be outside of the price range for most independent filmmakers. This could all lead you to say that 4k is out of the question for today's standard as far as the price thing goes. The thing is, if it does become standard, then they will begin to integrate it into the cheaper cameras and then it will become available at a lower cost. All in all, it just comes down to the time when consumers and or producers demand a higher resolution for the standard. In my opinion, it is highly likely that 4k is right around the corner in the film industry. For now though, we'll just make do with 1080p and all its friends that will soon be forgotten to a new standard.

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