This whole discussion of 4K vs 8K isn’t grounded in reality. At all. I’ve watched dozens of clips shot in 8K and 4K HQ and they look no better in terms of sharpness or color than plain Jane 4K. In fact, many are actually quite soft. To show that I’m not partisan, I also downloaded a bunch of Ursa Mini Pro 12K clips and while they were stunning, it wasn’t the detail that caught my eye so much as the highlight roll off, the skin tones, the beautiful gradations.

Lighting, lenses and grading are what counts, not the number of Ks.

I’ve already shared a link numerous times proving that our perception of sharpness has nothing whatsoever to do with the number of Ks. What matters is what you do with the camera.

The notion that the number of Ks is directly linked to the viewer’s perception of image quality is shared not only by members of online forums, but also by many filmmakers, studios, clients and streaming services. When I think about any of my favorite films, it’s the lighting, camera movement, the atmosphere, camera angles, the color and the framing that I recall, not sharpness.

Take these two examples, the first shot with the R5 in a Hollywood studio, the other shot in 4K with an $1,800 hybrid camera. Don’t watch on a phone or laptop. Watch on a proper 55″ OLED TV or on any decent home theater setup. The difference in detail is like night and day. If I said the top one was shot in 4K and the bottom in 8K, nobody would be the wiser. I’m not knocking the camera itself, just correcting the erroneous idea that 8K is somehow so superior to 4K or that 4K is on its way out.

HDR contributes incomparably more to image quality than 8K. Rec. 709 covers 40% less of the CIE 1931 color space than Rec. 2020 and lops off as many as nine stops of the sensor’s dynamic range. Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “8K Marketing Hype

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