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Should you shoot 4K video for web projects?

 

4K video for websites 

Shooting 4K video for websites is definitely a benefit, but maybe not for a reasons you are thinking. Let me explain why I think 4k is the most flexible and future proof way to film.
 
4K video isn’t the standard right now, not for TV broadcasting and not for web viewing. Although it is starting to make some real headway, it is still really in its infancy. Almost all modern phones and cameras will shoot 4K video in some capacity. A lot of platforms do make it possible to upload 4K videos but quite often you will never see them unless you are manually setting the viewing quality yourself. 
 

Drawbacks of 4K video for websites

The drawback of 4K is the size of it, this is fine for playback on a TV or Phone using apps. But a website will really struggle to natively play anything that size and your website visitors will be cursing you for 1. Making them wait for the page to load and 2. Using all of their mobile data. 
 
Embedding video on the other hand is possible through Youtube or Vimeo and this will put a little less strain on the end user. Although they may never see that full 4K video if they don’t change those settings. Which is even less likely when a video is embedded as the user may not even have playback controls available.   
 

Benefits of 4K video for websites

This is all a bit negative, so why did you say yes? 
 
Things change so quickly in the digital world, screens get better, internet access and speeds get quicker and it will eventually catch up. Then having that 4K video becomes useful if you want to get some reuse out of it. 
 
There is no denying that the visual quality of 4k is stunning and has a noticeable difference over HD video. That alone is a very good reason to shoot in 4K, always shoot the best quality you can afford to use, both in terms of time and technical resources. 
 
Reframing is the biggest positive from shooting 4K, it allows you to shoot a looser frame and then give yourself the room to reframe it in post. This is perfect for making wide, square and vertical videos all in one take. No one wants to have to reshoot and edit content multiple times, so this at times makes it indespensible.  
 
Some people tend to dismiss cropping in post or reframing because they say you need to create the composition when you shoot it. But times change and so do the places we deliver our final product to. You can shoot the nicest video in the world but if it limits the reach of your content then it is not good business. No one will pay you to make the same video multiple times, for different formats, 4k to an extent solves this issue. 
 

So should you shoot 4K video?

If you have the storage space and a machine with enough power to edit it, 4K is definitely the way to go. 
 
If you have any questions or would like to discuss a video project then please get in contact using the form below, you can find examples of my work here

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