One of the most popular buzzwords in the video industry is 4K. Consumer technology shows are full of the latest 4K technology, and consumers are starting to take notice. YouTube’s been well ahead of the curve, having supported the technology since 2010.
But is it a worthwhile investment for your business? Let’s find out.
What Exactly is 4k Video?
4K is one of the newest and best resolution standard available for digital media. It’s a huge deal because of how much more powerful it is than its predecessors. 720p and 1080p HD formats are both named for their vertical resolution. 4K, however, is named for its horizontal resolution. This is an important difference since it means that 4K is proportionally much more powerful than previous standards.
For example, aspect ratio 4:3 is 1920×1080 for 1080p, for a total of 2,073,600 pixels. The same resolution on 4K would be 4096×2160, for a total of 8,847,360 pixels. Given the difference in pixels, it’s clear to see why the world is so excited about 4K video technology.
What are the Benefits and Drawbacks?
4K is obviously a much more powerful technology. The video you shoot will be crisp and clear. The question is whether or not you’ll actually see any benefits from taking the time to shoot a higher quality video.
Here are some of the ways that shooting in 4K quality will offer tangible benefits:
- Not much competition. The fact is that there’s not very much 4K content out there right now. Content providers like Netflix don’t offer 4K streaming for more than a handful of programs. You can’t even find 4K content on cable television. The majority of companies don’t bother to put out 4K content, either. If you’re able to create some, people may end up checking it out simply because they want to consume all the 4K content they can.
- The 4K niche is worthwhile. 4K video is a brand-new technology. The only people who have access to devices that can view it in its full glory are early adopters; a niche that typically has more money to spend than they know what to do with. In other words, it’s a niche worth targeting.
- Positions you as a leader. Even if you don’t have a single prospect watch your content in 4K quality, you’ll see a benefit. Simply offering 4K content shows your audience how serious you are. You’re offering something that’s newer and better than content your competition puts together. In your customer’s’ eyes, that puts you at an advantage.
- Greater flexibility. The improved quality of 4K video offers more than just a better image. You’ll be able to crop and zoom without any degradation of quality. It also makes it easier to stabilize footage during post-production. Finally, unlike 1080p, 4K footage is high-quality enough to grab still frames from. You’ll be able to grab pictures for you print advertisements right from your video, saving you time and money.
Of course, there are also some drawbacks to shooting in 4K quality. The first is that not many people will be able to tell the difference. If you’re targeting an audience that tends to not be ahead of the technology curve, you’re probably not going to see much of a benefit.
There’s also the problem of opportunity cost. You’re going to spend additional time and money shooting a 4K video versus a regular video. Depending on the audience you’re targeting, it might be worthwhile to spend your budget on another aspect of your production.
To figure out exactly what your opportunity cost will look like, let’s take a look at exactly how much shooting a video in 4K actually costs.
How Much Does a 4K Video Shoot Cost?
There’s a great deal of benefits to be gained by shooting 4K videos, but there are a lot of costs, too. You’ll need to spend a great deal of money simply buying equipment to shoot in Ultra High Def (UHD). Low-end 4K video cameras will set you back at least $2,000, and higher-end cameras will cost even more.
It also costs a lot more money to handle the footage you shoot. 4K footage tends to take up four to five times as much space as 1080 HD footage does. That means you’ll need much larger memory cards and hard drives to shoot and store the footage. It’s also going to take you a lot longer to transfer, backup and upload your files – so be sure to schedule extra time for this if you’re having a crew transfer footage on site. If you’re already running into storage or bandwidth problems, you’ll probably need to upgrade your capabilities before handling 4K footage.
Finally, it’s trickier editing 4K video footage than it is lower quality files. It requires a more powerful system, preferably with solid state drives for the lightning fast memory access and data transfer rate. You’ll also want a powerful processor, upgraded RAM, and at least a mid-range graphic processing unit. With more options than ever, it’ll even take you a bit longer to edit your 4K videos.
Is 4K Video Really Necessary?
In the end, 4K video isn’t absolutely necessary yet. However, it’s quickly gaining momentum and will become the gold standard sooner or later. Getting a start working with 4K video now will give you a wide variety of immediate benefits, plus a competitive advantage when your competition is forced to start shooting 4K video and you’re already extremely well versed in it.
The best way to start off with your 4K videos is by taking it one step at a time. Some videos, like interviews or videos for your mobile audience, won’t benefit a great deal from the increased video quality. Instead, focus on using videos you really want to showcase, like explainers or product demos. You’ll be able to enjoy the same benefits of shooting 4K videos without incurring the entire cost.
If you want to venture into 4K video, you need a qualified crew to help you out. It doesn’t make sense for you to invest in equipment until you’re ready to shoot 4K videos full-time. All you have to do is click here and we’ll send you a quote for the perfect crew for your next video project!