8K UHD:The ultimate ultra-high definition.
The highest resolution available for cameras and screens, 8K is the newest tech on the block. “Video resolution is the equivalent of megapixels in a photo. It’s how many pixels exist within the frame,” says videographer Mike Leonard. Nearly 8,000 pixels wide, 8K native resolution is 7680 x 4320 pixels, which equates to 33,177,600 total pixels. By comparison, 4K, also called ultra HD or UHD for short, is approximately 4,000 pixels wide with 8.3 million total pixels. “To put that level of detail in perspective, movie theaters show films at a resolution slightly higher than 1080 pixels (full HD). And that’s on the biggest screens out there,” says Leonard.
In addition to pro cameras, 8K TVs are becoming increasingly common as the newer technology replaces 4K TVs. Other consumer electronics, such as the Sony PlayStation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox Series X, and smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S20, now come with 8K video capabilities.
At four times the resolution of 4K, 8K may be the future of video, but four times the pixels doesn’t necessarily equate to quadruple the quality. “Resolution is one of the foundations for understanding video quality, but there’s a number of other factors at play,” says videographer Hiroshi Hara. “It’s much more than the pixel count,” adds Leonard. “It’s how the image is perceived by the sensor, by the color, and by the dynamic range.” Everything will contribute to its quality, from the camera and lens used to the video format, bitrate, and frame rate of the video recording. Get to know the benefits and drawbacks of shooting in 8K to find out if this high-resolution option is right for you.