HD is so 2012.
At every level of the production process, video professionals are embracing the benefits of 4K and large raster video acquisition. Of course, they are also facing the challenges of more data-intense workflows.
While 1080i and 720p production are not going away tomorrow, they are quickly being replaced with a new standard for commercial production. The popular ARRI Alexa, for example, only offers 2K resolution, but has become a popular choice for episodic television and motion pictures. Canon, RED, and Sony all have 4K models that rival 35mm cameras, while JVC and GoPro offer 4K resolution without the “film look” in smaller and less expensive cameras. Plus, companies like FOR-A and Vision Research offer high-speed 4K cameras for slo-mo work.
Other manufacturers are also jumping on the 4K bandwagon. At the 2013 NAB Show, for example, Panasonic committed to developing an all-4K line of products for the entire production cycle by 2014, including a variety of camcorders. They won’t be alone.
VFX and post-production professionals are also pushing for higher resolution formats, more than willing to accept new workflow challenges for more information for improved visuals. Some productions may continue to edit in HD for today’s audiences, but they are shooting and archiving 4K footage for the future.
And that future could be sooner than you think. Some experts predict 4K distribution to the home before the end of the decade. The FCC has not approved a 4K broadcast standard yet, but the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) approved a standard in 2012 that created parameters for ultra-high definition television (UHDTV) that supports 4K and 8K production and international program exchange.
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