Is 4K better than Full HD?

Probably most of the interviewed amateurs of filming or photography will say that the higher the resolution of the sensor means the better image and that generally the more megapixels the better.

Of course, higher resolution allows you to achieve most of the resolution of the final image – a photo or a movie frame, but the thoughtless pursuit of more megapixels in the matrices can be fatal, as we will try to prove in this article.

People that produces for YouTube are consumers like we all and usually want to have the newest best equipment.

They compare parameters and try to get the biggest and the more expensive solutions. But if this run for the best is really so important ?

Greater resolution – what are the advantages – is it worth investing in new equipment?

In this article we will compare the 4K and FHD resolution for video recording – both amateurs’ and professional YouTube channels.

We will answer the question: is really 4K or even 8K a must have in 2020 and Full HD is not enough ?

The higher the resolution of the recorded movie, of course, more details visible in the video.
Of course, in order for these details to be registered by the photosensitive matrix – we need to ensure the right amount and quality of light so that the matrix is able to distinguish colors and contours, not noise.

More photosensitive elements mean that they have to be smaller and on the same surface. So we can reduce the elements of the matrix or keep the same and thus increase the total size of the matrix to the size of, for example, a full frame of 35mm.

The smaller our matrix components are, it is more prone to noise, because the number of photons falling on such a small fragment of the CMOS or CDD matrix elements increases their sensitivity to noise and interference in low light.

This is due to the construction of sensors that react to changing voltage by light photon – the smaller the matrix is, the greater its sensitivity to spontaneous excitation and noise.

Higher resolution = more computing power required

It should also be remembered that the substantially higher resolution of the matrix and the final product requires more computing power than the image processor located in the camera or photo camera.
In addition, it is necessary to use faster cards for recording stream and, of course, greater capacity of media (SD cards or SSD drives)

How image resolution affects maximum FPS

Physics cannot be deceived. More data to process means more time, so the number of frames per second that a given camera can provide decreases with the increase of resolution due to the limited capacity of the computing power of the graphics processor in the camera. If we increased the resolution without limits, our movie would come to the limit of smooth motion.

4K and 8K in nonlinear video editing programs.

Another problem with increasing resolution is the need for a faster computer to process such material. As we said before, a high definition 8k stream is 4 times the amount of 4K.

In turn, 4K takes 4 times as much as good Full HD (1080p)

So to go from FHD to 8K we need a computer as much as 16 times faster – if we want to keep the same export time of 1 minute of film.
When we leave our old computer – our movie export will take 16 times longer and on average it will take 16 times more GB on the hard drive.


So it is worth considering whether the decision to switch to a higher resolution, for example from FHD to 4K or from 4k to 8K, makes economic sense.

Please note that if our viewers use Full HD monitors and one or two percent use 4K monitors, this move does not make much sense.

People watching our material on a Full HD monitor will generally not notice the difference, and paradoxically they may have problems with fluidity – if the image is mixed into FHD “on the fly”

Is Full HD – 1080p sufficient for 2020?

Personally, I think that at the funeral of Internet productions, the Full HD standard still makes sense in 2020 and is completely sufficient.
Instead of increasing the size of your films – it’s much better to invest in better optics and lighting.

The pursuit of increasing the resolution must require the development of equipment recording and processing the material, it also results in lower number of frames per second.

Finally, it is worth adding that in addition to the CPU and HDD, we need faster internet both for sending material and watching. If we broadcast live – it is very important.

It should also be remembered that watching a 4K stream from a distance causes that we still lose the details that we see up close.
The 4K and 8K standard, of course, is used in photographic applications or large-scale printing and cinema productions. Nevertheless, the amount of details should not be overdone.

If our productions are presented on TV screens, computers and smartphones, they will look very good on the full HD standard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">HTML</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>