I've been working on 4K files for about a year now at a local motion picture studio, and I never want to go back to HD. 4K just makes everything so much better. Keys and Roto become easier, downscaling looks better, reframing and post-zoom is practical, and overall you just have a lot more room to play with.
This is why I'm so excited about the GH4 in a few weeks, going to a demo in london next week to have a look at it and some of the folks who have been filming using the pre-production models. Even for the light weight stuff I do it should make such a difference looking forward to the reframing and post zoom stuff for delivery at 1080p I won't be taking my primes off now!
Mproducer and Tooshka said it perfectly. It's not a big thing right NOW in the consumer market, but it will be eventually. 3D has always been a gimmick. It worked for some projects, but definitely not for all. 4K is entirely different. I know a few people who have nothing to do with this industry that want, and in some cases have purchased, 4K displays. They love them. I've never really heard the same reactions about 3D. As I mentioned, the current compression codes and methods aren't the best, but will grow over time. There are some codecs that do a fantastic job at maintaining visual fidelity while creating very small files. Not all codecs are created equal, so just because there's 4x the resolution doesn't mean the files need to be 4x as big to look good. Codecs also do better compressing data when they're given more data to compress, so a heavily compressed 4K video on a 1080 screen could look better than a lightly compressed 1080 video. The tech is there, it just needs to become more prevalent. I do plan to build a dedicated workstation for my work, but I definitely don't "Need" it to work effectively with 4K footage. Remember in my earlier comment where I said I had been comping in 4K on a mac mini? That computer is far from a beast, and it got along just fine. Sure I didn't get real time playback at full res uncompressed, but I really didn't need that for the work I was doing. This being said, everyone obviously needs to take a look at their needs. 4K isn't right for everyone (should be clear since there are some people that still work in SD). If it's not right for you, find what is and go with that. Just be sure you know what options are available to you and the pros and cons of each. For me, 4K makes sense. It makes my life so much easier, and even though I don't have my own 4K camera yet, I'm getting very close and already have people wanting to use me and my camera on paying projects as soon as I get it. Because of this, 4K is the way to go for me.
Will it be a heavily compressed 4k that you display your work which won't look as good as a 1080p video that's not as compressed?
Compressed yes in camera, but from what I've seen specifically for the GH4, in camera it's recording 4k at 100mbps all intra 8bit 4:2:0 with latest codecs in camera and it looks pretty dam nice even on the pre production firmware and you can technically scale that down to 1080p 10bit 4:4:4 to preserve as much details as you can and avoid introducing aliasing through compression etc. (you obviously can't create what's not there and artificially extend the dynamic range etc. but from what I've seen it looks pretty dam good from initial tests and you are hiding the noise even more as part of that) So it looks like even if you are just shooting for 1080p delivery to get best quality in camera looks like shooting 4k is best option.David Newman talking about it here and he's someone who knows what he's talking about seeing as he wrote the ciniform codec :-)http://www.eoshd.com/content/12140/discovery-4k-8bit-420-panasonic-gh4-converts-1080p-10bit-444There's some conversation around why you can get as good results in 4k at that 100mbs as well around pixel density etc. I haven't read up on it properly to fully understand it yet, will do at some point, I just know it looks nice :-)In addition with a break out box and an external recorder you can record 4k 10bit 4:2:2 off the sensor, that's a game changer in this type of camera and drops that capability right in the scope of pro / prosumer territory so I'd guess around £4K all in excluding lenses for proper 10bit 4:2:2 if you were doing it from scratch which while not cheap at all is when you compare it to what else is out there at the moment.
Same goes for capture codecs: Trying to cram 4K into the same 100Mbps codec of a high-end 1080 camera implies compression mud. Right no it's early adopter tech-love.
Have a download of the original GH4 footage here, does not look muddy to me I'm also happy to be wrong!, I can't find the piece I was reading about pixel density with 4k and compression was interesting. Anyway fingers crossed this is a typical example, it looks perfectly usable to me.https://vimeo.com/90794067
Finally, it's 2014, and, as an event/wedding videographer, I should note that only two of my jobs for the last two years required HD output--everyone else wanted DVD. 4K will happen for theater release and ambitious indy producers, but, even in Los Freaking Angeles, 15 years after HD was launched, it still has low penetration. I am shocked at how often I have to deliever DVD output.
I think thats because DVDs are the "ultimate" video delivery system. DVDs are the most popular video format on the planet. You can get a DVD player for $20 and DVDs will play on multiple other systems. It's also super cheap to produce them. I really believe that the average person is fine with good DVD quality. I've had several people comment, when they see a DVD playing on my setup, that "HD looks great".And on a side note, the company that I work for also delivers video exclusively in SD and probably will continue to into the foreseeable future.