It’s time to sort your Ultra HD from your HD, your PAL from your NTSC and perfect your video workflow. Why? It’s film-making month!
If you want to make your videos look their best and get the perfect accessories to help – you’ve come to the right place. Over the next four weeks, we’ll be looking at everything video-related, and that includes 4k. But, let’s start with the basics…
Modern DSLRs (digital SLRs) are effectively tiny supercomputers with lenses on the front. Take the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Its 20.4-megapixel Live MOS sensor does a fantastic job of taking stills in virtually all light. With its five-axis image stabilisation and ability to shoot up to 60fps full-resolution RAW images – it’s pretty extraordinary. Flip the mode dial to movie mode, and with the right lens, you can create truly professional-looking footage.
So, what is 4K?
Also known as Ultra HD – the same way that your camera produces still images of a certain resolution, it produces movie footage of a particular resolution. Take a single frame of Full High Definition footage – 1,920 pixels wide by 1,080 pixels high – more commonly known as 1080p. That means there are 1,080 horizontal lines making up your image. It’s those increased pixels that makes modern TV shows look so fantastic.
But, with bigger sets and more powerful cameras come bigger resolutions. And that’s when you’ll hear people talking about 4K. This relates to the total number of megapixels in a single frame of film. So, while Full HD has just under 2.1 megapixels in one frame, 4K has over eight! That’sa lot more detail in every frame – essential if your video is viewed on a large screen.
So when should I shoot 4K? Only when my film is being shown on a 4K screen, right?
Most TV sets don’t show 4K so there’s no need to rush out and buy a new TV set just yet. However, if you do feed 4k footage to a mere full HD TV, it still plays back smoothly, albeit at a lower resolution. There’s not many 4K TVs out there right now, but there might be in five years time, so it makes sense to future-proof your footage.
You’ll also find that by feeding a 4K video into a Full HD timeline, you’ll have a much bigger picture than you need. That’s fine. Crop your video without enlarging individual pixels, and you’ll have more options when it comes to composition.
How do I shoot 4K on my Olympus camera?
A 4K video is enormously demanding for a battery-powered, handheld device, and not all cameras can do it. Currently, the OM-D E-M10 Mark III and OM-D E-M1 Mark II are where it’s at for 4K shooting.
Don’t forget, with all those pixels being captured, you’ll want a decent sharp lens on the front as well. Video resolution is controlled from the camera’s main control panel – press OK to see it, and simply select 4K to start shooting next-generation content. We recommend using an SD card with a USH speed class of three or higher.
Happy shooting! We’re making movies all month here at Olympus, so if you’ve caught something great, whether it’s a 30-second viral clip or a ten-minute short film, we want to see it. You can let us know about it on our Facebook page. We’ll still be grabbing the odd still on our adventures, mind, and if you’ve got awesome new work, don’t forget to tag it with #OlympusUK on Instagram.