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Resolution is obviously better in 4K but can anyone give some insight as to whether other factors of video quality are being compromised? If so, does it make sense to record in 1080?

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Where are you planning on exhibiting the footage? In my experience, the average consumer has a low-quality TV they bought because of the price, and they have the factory settings that look awful because they don't even know that they would want to change them, let alone how that would happen. In my opinion you're wasting your time because your client probably won't be able to tell the difference.

On the creation side, you're multiplying the amount of data captured by 4. That increases the cost of filming (more memory cards to save it), storage (more hard drives to use while editing), and editing (need a better graphics card, more RAM, and likely more time).

If you have clients who will truly benefit from 4K, by all means, use it. But if you're doing typical videos for the web, corporate or home televisions, it's probably not worth it. If you're creating content for large outside displays that actually reach above HD, or for professional projection in a theater, then it could be worth it.

FWIW, most television shows are shot in HD, and even some feature films. I've never heard anyone complain about the quality because of the lower resolution. If I recall, parts of the first Captain America movie were shot on a Canon 7D, which only does HD. I know of nobody who said those parts were terrible or even noticed them. (Here's an article about it on Canon's web site.)

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  • Thanks very much - I would actually be the client in this case. Capturing our wedding, only a few people offer 4K and the others are saying that although it would be lower resolution, the video quality is better. I'm thinking ahead 20+ years and wondering what would be the best technology around today to capture it on
    – Bendy
    Jun 21, 2015 at 5:45
  • 4K is not lower resolution, Bendy - I'm not sure why you think that.
    – Dr Mayhem
    Jun 22, 2015 at 7:19
  • Hi, I do quite a bit of Wedding videograhpy and I have not had anyone request 4k as a lot of people dont even know what it is, bare in mind as well if they are shooting 1080 HD or 4k putting it on a DVD to watch is still only going to be DVD quality, most people dont even have a device to view 4k some not even 1080 HD, I shoot everything in 1080 HD and it looks amazing, for future proofing, it is hard as 4k will jump to 6k, t0 8k to 10k +++++ base it on the skills of the person not the kit they use Jun 22, 2015 at 8:50
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    @Bendy For what it's worth, I got married in the 1990's. I could have hired someone to do it in HD, but I wouldn't have had anything to watch it on for another 10+ years! But it doesn't matter for 2 reason: 1) We've only watched our wedding video a handful of times in 17+ years. 2) When we watch it, we don't even notice the low resolution. It mainly reminds us of the day we made our commitment, and how far we've come since then. The memory is what's important, not the resolution of the video. If you want 4K, go for it. But you're not missing anything if you don't. Jun 23, 2015 at 4:41
  • Thanks @user1118321 for putting it into perspective ;-) I've found people that will do do the wedding in 4K...just that other videographers who 'only' offer HD are saying that 4K hasn't matured enough yet to capture the framerate/color depth/contrast you can get in HD
    – Bendy
    Jun 23, 2015 at 7:29

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