Apart from an investment in powerful machines that can process 8K video and robust storage, 8K cameras are typically more expensive than standard HD options. Cameras that film in 8K are still not as common as those that film in 4K, but options ranging from the Samsung S20 Ultra smartphone to the $55,000 RED Monstro cinematography camera are out there.
Can you actually tell the difference?
One debate about the value of 8K is centred around the limitations of the human eye. It has been argued that 8K approaches the limit of how many pixels the human eye can actually discern, with some saying the difference between a film shown on a 4K screen and an 8K screen is indistinguishable.
What’s certain is that you need proper viewing conditions to get the full benefit of 8K and those conditions are rare. For example, it doesn’t matter if a video was filmed in 4K if the screen showing it is a standard HD laptop screen and most film theatres still show films in 2K resolution. Viewing distance matters too; at the distance from which most people watch TV, the definition of 8K is often lost. On top of this, different screens show varying, inaccurate colours. One step you can take to mitigate this issue is to calibrate your monitor for the most accurate colours.
Should you use 8K format in your videos?
There’s a lot more to consider than just getting the highest resolution possible for your videos. “8K is a great move forward in the sense that it’s really cool that cameras can do this,” says Leonard. But between the higher cost and the potentially negligible impact of all that extra resolution, you should carefully discern whether 8K is right for your project.
You’ll see a big difference if you’re working with special effects and CGI videos. The ability to crop in without losing quality is also a big plus for 8K. “Fashion photography and high-end commercials often use 8K,” adds Hara. While 8K is still mostly used in special areas like these, it’s quickly becoming more and more accessible.
If you do decide to use 8K, make sure you use video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro that can keep your workflow running quickly and smoothly.