04 Sep Shooting 8K With Standard Cameras
The big video equipment producers seem to be putting more and more effort into creating and launching fresh models equipped with once inconceivable resolutions. This race is not only unstoppable, but exponentially gaining speed. Moreover, high-definition cameras are not considered something out of the ordinary anymore: as the competition tightens, the products themselves become more affordable and within the reach of non-professional users.
4K resolution is the standard resolution today. All the cameras shoot in 4K, as most productions require 4K quality. However, while broadcasters and production companies are still trying to adapt their workflows to 4K – this standard was only adopted in the recent years – the manufacturers are already releasing 8K cameras and screens, pushing forward to reach new technological achievements and to set new quality standards. 4K is the standard today, but there is no doubt that 8K will be its successor in the future – the only question is, how far into it.
8K camcorders are still somewhat rare and fairly expensive, and it is certain that they will remain relatively unreachable for the time being. However, there exists a simple shortcut around the standard, a hack if you will, for those in need of solid 8K footage – time-lapse. Any DSLR camera with a high resolution sensor can and does take pictures that excede 8K video in quality. For this reason, I have found time-lapse to be the best (and definitely cheaper) way to create footage of quality so high it will make your head spin.
Over the last few years, I have shot all my projects using Sony A7r2 cameras. My films are rendered in the standard, 4K quality, in order to optimise the viewer’s experience for streaming on Vimeo or YouTube, but thanks to the use of the DSLR instead of a camcorder, the resolution of the original footage is, in fact, 8K. This is proving to be convenient, as more and more companies are showing interest in getting 8K footage, wanting to show the high quality of their displays, or to achieve striking representation for their brands.
The head-spinning pace of the race for better equipment is overwhelming and discouraging for many professionals, as they feel the never-ending pressure to constantly update their gear. My perception of the situation is, however, on the opposite side of the spectrum: I find it so exciting to be living in these fast-paced modern times. I get stoked about every new bit of technology or innovation, and more than anything, I diligently think about and work on different ways to put them to use in a smart, forward-looking way.