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Can you tell the difference between 1080 and 4K?
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retired dog
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Can you really see the difference between a video shot in 1080 and one in 4K?
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pantera989
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Yes, normally. However if your viewing distance is ages away from the screen, or on a really small screen you might not see the difference. For example, on a 5" cell phone, without using an magnify glass you wont see the difference between an 1080p and 4k screen.

Also if you record at 4k, and only want to view it in 1080p, you can downscale to 1080 and you should get a slightly sharper image then if you just recorded at 1080p (it also allows you to crop, and make camera movements).
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C_LUU
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Yes, Most definitely.

Try this test, if you have adobe or any other video editing software, take a still from an unedited video file using the software (not your snip tool ect or anything generic with the PC/MAC) Take one from a 4k file, then take one for a 1080 file. First compare the size of the picture files - the 4k will have a much larger file size because it is in principle a bigger picture.

Then Compare the size of the pictures by (for PC users) viewing actual image size in Picture viewer, you will see that the 4k image wont fit on your screen unless it is a 4k screen, the image will seemed zoomed in. Where as the 1080p will most likely be the size of the screen if you are viewing on a FHD (1080p) Screen

Filming in 4k is very useful for creating good shots, as mentioned it produces a sharper image when down scaled to 1080p and you are also able to create slide and pan shots with out losing quality in the final 1080p video.

Unless i want slow motion shots i always film in 4k.
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RodB
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Flyin'Bryan Posted at 2016-1-20 14:23
Heck yes you can... and it's big.   A good 4k display, almost looks 3d... i guess that's the best wa ...

Yep how it looks is all about what is the native resolution of the viewing device  , you cannot see more resolution than the native resolution of the viewing screen , a smaller screen res is rendered bigger and then down sampled to meet the native res , this takes processor power bogs down the player making it stutter on ordinary computers .
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Stanley Fredrik
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I'm always want shot in 4K when I'm start with post production then I downscaled to 1080p in premiere pro. Coz when u work with 4K u have more space and data to work with. But I can't edit 4K my 5, year old iMac can't handle it. But u get sharper picture when down scaled. If u can shot in 4K.  
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pantera989
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8k is already on the horizon too    I don't see them going much higher then that in resolution though, as the law of diminishing returns starting kicking in, jsut increasing the resolution is going to have less and less  gains.

I see things like the new Ulta HD Premium standard being the next big direction  (4k Resolution, but with higher bitrate standards (10Bit))
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lido_bmt
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In short? No. Not with what people are normally using for monitors to view on and viewing distances.


Human eyesight is variable, but optimal eyes can resolve full 4k pixels starting at roughly a 50" screen 4 feet from your face. Seriously. And that's if you have *excellent* eyesight. Don't even bother with a smaller screen, because the distance you need to resolve becomes impossible within your angular field of view! In fact, 1080p on a 50" can just about be resolved fully at a distance of 5.5 feet. Further away and you may as well use 720p. This chart here explains it fairly clearly, and if anything, that's a conservative estimate.


Getting even more in depth, viewing angles start coming into play, but I won't even bother touching on that (you can read about it here).


I'd say for 99% of the people in this forum and especially in this topic, they think they need 4k for added resolution. They don't. They're probably watching 4K videos in minuscule windows on Youtube, which is hilarious. Do you know what our main 4k editing bay monitor and proofing display is? It's literally a 33" calibrated display that you have to sit about a foot away from and watch content at full screen (any less and you have to sit even closer). However because 4K is such a "must have it" spec on a checklist, you can bet there are people all over clamoring for it. If you put them in a blind visual test at typical screen resolutions you're pretty much guaranteed to get a p-value less than alpha (in non stats terms: there would be no statistically significant difference in the group and it would essentially be random).


There are three scenarios right now that are valid for 4k:


- Future proofing / archiving, to revisit later and edit in 4k, but to edit in at 1080p or 2.7k now.

- Cropping

- If you actually know what you're doing and own a 4K output device and have configured your seating arrangements to actually benefit from it. So that 50" 4K TV your neighbor bragged about buying? His/her couch better be closer to it than five feet for it to matter at all.

Point two is an interesting option for flexibility, but in reality you should really be "getting it right in the camera", not cropping after the fact. That said, sometimes you have no other choice.

You know what's WAY more imporant than raw resolution and goes far more to making your footage look "professional"? True color representation. Wide dynamic range. Low lens distortion. High bitrates to capture all that. Not shooting at 60 (unless you're overcranking), or even 30FPS: shoot at 24 with the appropriate shutter speed. Good editing. Seriously. Good editing will make the worst footage epic. If you look at most videos posted in the forums they're just straightforward flights. Sometimes the shots last for a good 10, 20, 60 seconds; that may not sound like a lot, but if nothing's happening in those shots except some nice scenery, no one's going to stick around. Do you know how long average shot lengths are in films? Less than five seconds. Often less than three. Oh and let's not forget knowing how to use your quad to execute proper cinema-like shots that imitate those great camera moves like crane shots, dolly moves, tracking shots, and chases. What we get most of the time is a camera angled downwards over a landscape for three minutes. Woo hoo.

Included with that is sound editing. Sound is what makes the image come to life, and is hugely responsible for why we see certain things as cinematic. Those are all far more noticeable in the end result. Resolution increase are also useful, but at certain points on the technology curve it can get ahead of practical implementations, which is where we're at now. We will of course catch up, but for now? Not that close.




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DJI-Tim
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it depends on your display. Of course on a 4K screen the difference will be pretty obvious
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SydneyMark
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lido_bmt Posted at 2016-1-20 17:13
In short? No. Not with what people are normally using for monitors to view on and viewing distances. ...

good shots, good editing and good sound are what make something interesting, something most youtube videos are missing. content and location only get you so far.
That's where i struggle, flying and filming, thinking of how to edit it, with no idea of what audio i am going to use.

I worked 20 + years in the tv/film industry, a lot of folk start off in news, work their way up to current affairs, then docos then films if thats what they want to do.
filming and editing a 90 second story need different skills to a 60 min doco or a 100 min movie.
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lido_bmt
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SydneyMark Posted at 2016-1-20 02:21
good shots, good editing and good sound are what make something interesting, something most youtub ...

I agree there are some differences, but the fundamentals - color correction, editing for story, creative cinematography – those are all the same, no matter what the length.
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Flying Poptart
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I love my 4K monitors...

http://imgur.com/a/ySPjw
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gas.tube
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lido_bmt Posted at 2016-1-20 00:13
In short? No. Not with what people are normally using for monitors to view on and viewing distances. ...

The magazine Maximum PC was discussing this very topic a few months back. They archive their older issues online for free if anyone wants to read it and I am too lazy to post a link to it. Anyway, they said in the article that the difference in resolution between a BluRay disc and 4k is barely discernible to the human eye.

That tells me that anything released over 4k will be for connoisseurs, and regular folks like myself we will top out at 4k. If I upgrade it will be after my 4 year warranty runs out on my 2.7k 70" Visio.
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Fickster
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Depends, for example, if you want to a big film, and you have a good screen on your computer, you can see a big difference, but if not, it will just take too much space on your card
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pantera989
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lido_bmt Posted at 2016-1-20 14:13
In short? No. Not with what people are normally using for monitors to view on and viewing distances. ...

Have a source for this?

Absolute bollocks, I can easily tell the difference between my two 24" 1080p monitors and my 4k 24" monitor when using at from 2-3 feet away. Text is way clearer and high resolution photos absolutely pop out of the screen in 4k.
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aopisa
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lido_bmt Posted at 2016-1-20 01:13
In short? No. Not with what people are normally using for monitors to view on and viewing distances. ...

I could not agree more.

I hardly watch videos on this forum anymore because they all seem to be 45 degree down angled, unedited, improperly exposed footage of suburban rooftops with the aircraft constantly searching around like it's looking for OJ's white Bronco. Five+ minutes in glorious 4K!

As was stated, it is far more important to take some time to get the proper exposure, learn some basic editing to make short segments and cut out the propellers and all the badly executed turns, change the camera's perspective and learn some basic color grading.

And please scout out some interesting places to fly. I know DJI is working very hard to make it so you can't fly in those places, but we have all seen enough of your house from 100 feet in the air.
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[RCG]Balthazar
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Am I the only one using a projector?
It's 150" and "Only" 1080p which isnt much at that size.Video games will NEVER be the same again!
Mikal_Playing_NFS_2015-06-31.jpg
I wish I didnt buy the 55" Samsung UHD sitting as monitor 2.
Should have spent it all on a 3x better cinema.


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lido_bmt
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pantera989@gmai Posted at 2016-1-20 14:17
Have a source for this?

Absolute bollocks, I can easily tell the difference between my two 24" 10 ...

Yes. I linked two source directly in my original reply. You may want to look at them. The resolution scale chart is particularly well known and a common point of reference. It even confirms exactly what you said - a full screen 4k video at 2.5 feet on a 24" display will show a visible resolution difference. However if you make any parts of that smaller (either watching it in a window on your 4k display or moving further back) makes it physically impossible for your eyes to see a difference.
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lido_bmt Posted at 2016-1-20 14:54
Yes. I linked two source directly in my original reply. You may want to look at them. The resolutio ...

You seem to be ignoring the bitrate differences (60 megabits in 4k vs 40 at 1080p) as well as the benefits of downsampling from a higher resolution.

The monitor comparison chart does not include the effective downscaling / subscampling of downconverting a higher resolution.

I have looked at 4k30 and 1080p60 footage from my Phantom 3 on both a 65" 1080p tv and a 27" 1080p  monitor. The difference is huge. The footage shot in 4k has better saturation and is much crisper looking.
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[RCG]Balthazar Posted at 2016-1-20 16:02
Am I the only one using a projector?
It's 150" and "Only" 1080p which isnt much at that size.Video g ...

Projectors are really the way to go; to get the benefits of even 1080p resolution your screen size must be fairly massive by usual TV standards. For example, if you want to sit 10 feet away from your screen and still make out a 1080p difference your screen needs to be just around 90-100". TVs at that size are more annoying to place and the selection is very limited; projectors start coming out on top, especially in terms of price.
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alexm42 Posted at 2016-1-20 17:12
You seem to be ignoring the bitrate differences (60 megabits in 4k vs 40 at 1080p) as well as the  ...

Actually I specifically mentioned bitrates as well as downsampling; the first bullet point is about working with 4k source material and editing down to 1080p or 2.7k. However if you're only getting 60mb, you've already lost all your bitrate advantages to resolution, especially if you're overcranking. If you want to actually improve bitrate issues like compression artifacts and image tearing you need to go way above 60 or use a very efficient and custom compressor.

As for your amazing 1080p vs 4k footage, was it shot exactly the same? At the same time? With the same lighting conditions? The same exact camera movements? You don't even have the same framerate, which completely changes exposure, and filmed correctly, the 30FPS version will actually be purposely blurrier. This is why for the purposes of comparison, you need to provide evidence and clear examples, not the fact that you think it looks better. Anecdotes are not objective.
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lido_bmt Posted at 2016-1-20 15:17
Actually I specifically mentioned bitrates as well as downsampling; the first bullet point is about ...

I feel the advice you are giving is absent of the specifics of this situation. Yes, from a video production standpoint all those considerations apply.

From a "footage that the Phantom generates" standpoint, the footage it generates in 4k30 looks a lot better than the footage it generates in 1080p60. The difference is immediately apparent in youtube videos that are uploaded.

Would a comparison url of a 4k video vs a 1080p video of similar footage help?
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aopisa
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This same type of argument shows up on audio forums with some claiming they can hear the difference between one high bit rate vs. another even though science shows that the human ear cannot discern above a certain level.  They convince themselves to justify their purchase of some super high end expensive component.
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alexm42
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aopisa Posted at 2016-1-20 15:24
This same type of argument shows up on audio forums with some claiming they can hear the difference  ...

Do you disagree that the 4k and 1080p footage from Phantom 3 Pros looks demonstrably different? Because I believe screenshots can be provided that prove they do. Assuming the eyes are not an unreliable instrument here.

If the footage is different, presumably we can establish that people have some preference for one setting or the other, and that people trying to get that specific effect should shoot in that desired footage.

I don't think calling this "just another audiophile debate" is correct or helpful.
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alexm42 Posted at 2016-1-20 17:23
I feel the advice you are giving is absent of the specifics of this situation. Yes, from a video p ...

If the footage was set in a controlled environment, yes. If not, again, it's just anecdotal. I can make 720p24 footage look superior to 4kp24 footage in very similar, but non-controlled environments. This is why rigorous testing methods exist. It may seem dry to most people, but that's because it is. It's incredibly tedious. When someone says "4k obviously looks better!" you can't just say that in a vacuum. It has to be compared to something else. And because 4k has some much cachet right now as a fun buzzword, people think they can see the difference when there either isn't one, or it's actually the result of something completely different – this is a type of logical confirmation bias.

The only way to actually determine if something is "better" is with a double blind presentation of the same exact footage, then made replicable by repeating it with a large number of people. And this has been done before, which is the basis of the RED article and the resolution chart. When you say "look at this footage in 4k and now look at this similar footage in 1080p", there are so many variables that have now been introduced that it's impossible to say what 4k did or did not bring to the table. This is a very basic concept of argumentative and scientific rigor.

And again, this is not to say I'm against 4k. I think 4k's great. But most people vastly overestimate the benefit it brings to their footage.
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aopisa Posted at 2016-1-20 17:24
This same type of argument shows up on audio forums with some claiming they can hear the difference  ...

Bingo. This is exactly it.
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lido_bmt Posted at 2016-1-20 15:31
If the footage was set in a controlled environment, yes. If not, again, it's just anecdotal. I can ...

I disagree, we are not doing a peer reviewed study or making some kind of definitive statement that is going to go into an encyclopedia / textbook. We are giving people general tips for Phantom settings and what they can expect the footage to produce.

In general, the benefits of 4k footage or video are overstated just as you said, and picture quality has a lot to do with the source footage.

When talking about the Phantom 3 drone, the footage it generates in 4k30 mode seems, to me, demonstrably superior to the footage it generates in 1080p60 mode. Far above the difference just the format / settings should make. I haven't really dug into the why.

So I feel that the general advice of "4k is probably not worth it, 1080p is great", which I do agree with, ends up being slightly misleading for Phantom purchases. I feel that people were given good advice that applies 95% of the time, but is a bit misleading when it comes to the Phantom 3 pro vs advanced, or in terms of shooting in 4k vs 1080p mode on a pro.

Can I ask which setting you use to film and which kind of Phantom you have? For other people reading the thread with Pros, what setting do you use?
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alexm42 Posted at 2016-1-20 17:39
I disagree, we are not doing a peer reviewed study or making some kind of definitive statement tha ...

If we're not getting into the generalities of 1080p vs 4k and instead focusing on the P3's capabilities and performance, by all means, I (and I'm sure tons of other people) would be interested in that. As of right now, I don't know of any comprehensive discussion or review on the differences in any of the resolution modes; I'm guessing everyone's assuming the output is the same and the only difference is resolution… that might not be the case.


But again to decide which is better someone's going to have to set up and execute some decent testing procedures. It may not have to be insanely rigorous, but there has to be an even testing ground similar to any decent dSLR review or whatever where they take exciting shots of brick walls. It's too hard to say "this looks better in my opinion" without much to back it up, because some people really enjoy 1080p60, and some people think that framerate looks like garbage. Some people really like extended color gamuts, and some people say it looks like a clown threw up on the video.
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alexm42
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I find it is much more useful to have a discussion with some video. Here is a link to a 4k to 1080p comparison video, shot from two phantom drones on the same day.



If you feel that there is no value to shooting at >1080p, please click the link and tell me whether you think there is a difference between the 4k and 1080p footage. Please note the video is in 1080p, and it's on youtube which means it was heavily compressed.
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Geebax
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The 4K mode of the P3 camera is the native mode of the sensor, and it is therefore going to perform better in native mode than in 1080, as there is less additional processing required. To keep the same FOV, and produce 1080, the most commonly used method is pixel-binning, where pixels are thrown away to reduce the image dimensions. Any processing done in the camera is less than optimum, there are far better software options for processing images than the simple ones forced upon you in the camera.

If you want the best 1080 images, then shoot in 4K and post-process using a high quality package like Blackmagic's Resolve. Even better, shoot in log as well to further reduce the in-camera processing. Unfortunately, the one thing you want to do but can't is record at a higher bitrate, because that is currently restricted by the use of less than stellar recording mediums. Real 4K cameras do not record to microSD cards, they use CFast that can writre at much higher rates. But for a consumer grade camera, the Phantom one does quite well.

My personal preference is to shoot in 4K at 25 fps with a slower shutter speed using ND filters where necessary, with log image processing. I then scale to 1080p for the final product using Blackmagic Resolve. As far as using the footage, there is little point in keeping it at 4K because there are few methods to release it at that resolution.



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"the most commonly used method is pixel-binning, where pixels are thrown away to reduce the image dimensions"

Nothing is thrown away, with binning the pixels are effectively added together so on a 4k image, 2x2 binning would create a 1080p image, each of the pixels would have 4x the area as compaired to the 4k pixel. This of course makes them a lot more sensative to light as well, so exposure times would have to be reduced. The loss of data would be in the loss of resolution in the image.

For reference https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_binning
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Geebax
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Aardvark Posted at 2016-1-21 12:00
"the most commonly used method is pixel-binning, where pixels are thrown away to reduce the image di ...

I did not consider a full explanation of pixel-binning was required on this forum, so it was an over-simplification.

The important point is that if you want the best possible images, you don't want to be at the mercy of the processing carried out on the sensor chip it its accompanying image processsing chip. Sophisiticated image processing applications on your computer can give you greater control over how that image scaling is performed than the on-board systems.
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alexm42 Posted at 2016-1-20 17:47
I find it is much more useful to have a discussion with some video. Here is a link to a 4k to 1080p  ...

First things first: I never said there wasn't any value in shooting at resolutions above 1080p. In fact I pointed out specifically why you *should* shoot at 4k. What I did say was that 4k as an output format is basically overkill for most everyone at this point in time.

As for the video, while an interesting comparison, it doesn't really get down to anything of value. It basically reiterated my three points - 4k is useful for archiving and editing, cropping, and output at 4k. The actual quality of the video in terms of differences outside resolution? I can't see anything. But that doesn't mean there isn't any difference: I just can't point anything out.

If we went by the majority of people's methodology in this topic, then that would mean 1080p is clearly superior, because for less space, it produces equal output. That, of course, is ridiculous. This is why when doing comparisons you need an objective measuring stick, not someone saying "Hey, that looks better." Again, I'll point to reviews of camera lenses and sensors: there are direct comparisons of lens resolutions across the frame, quantified lens aberrations, and light transmission numbers. Can you imagine photographers buying lenses because someone said "Yeah, this lens is better looking," but giving no object reasons why? This is what's needed for the P3 cameras, and pretty much any comparison in general.
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[RCG]Balthazar
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So we should have somebody set up a path and record it using the various aviable resolutions
Post processing 4k video is ok provided you have a POWERFUL pc and some editing knowledge!
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SydneyMark
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give a good cameraman the Phantom standard, then give that footage to a good editor and it will sh!t all over anything most of us can film on a P3 pro etc. you won't be counting the pixels you will just go wow
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alexm42 Posted at 2016-1-20 18:27
Do you disagree that the 4k and 1080p footage from Phantom 3 Pros looks demonstrably different? Be ...

Typical of the same type of response you get with the audiophile argument.

I do believe my position is correct and helpful just as a point of comparison. People often want to talk themselves into seeing or hearing a difference when the facts show otherwise.

There may even be a discernible difference under the right circumstances like watching an uncompressed video directly to a 4K monitor. Once it is exported, uploaded and compressed to show on YouTube, I doubt that the difference can be very noticeable if at all. It seems to me that videos look better on Vimeo, but again maybe I am just talking myself into it since I prefer Vimeo to YouTube.

I welcome your screenshot comparisons. I am open to seeing the proof.
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aopisa Posted at 2016-1-21 05:35
Typical of the same type of response you get with the audiophile argument.

I do believe my positi ...

Here is a video that actually explains why 4k footage is better (sharper / more vivid colors) than 1080p footage in detail, even when being viewed on a 1080p monitor.

Does this help people understand? Please look at the video quality of the different resolutions (1080p vs 4k downconverted) being compared in the video, they are clearly different. And no, it isn't Youtube that's making it look different.
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alexm42 Posted at 2016-1-21 13:14
Here is a video that actually explains why 4k footage is better (sharper / more vivid colors) than ...

I'm not sure what this is saying that everyone else is not. Chroma subsampling is a known metric for anyone doing video editing since 480p was in use. And once again, I specifically said that editing and archiving 4k with an output at 1080p is one of the reasons for using 4k.

What 4k is not useful for, and as you seem to keep missing, is that as a raw resolution output format it's pretty much pointless for most viewers. Also note that 2.7k, which the P3 Standard and Advance support, should be using 4:4:4 CS as well.
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lido_bmt Posted at 2016-1-21 12:21
I'm not sure what this is saying that everyone else is not. Chroma subsampling is a known metric fo ...

The question at the top of the thread is "Can you really see a difference between a video shot in 1080p and 4k or not." The video I provided explained that you can see a difference between a video shot in 4k, even on a 1080p monitor.

What exactly are you claiming at this point? That shooting 4k on the pro is not better than 1080p? That there is no difference between the two? That the viewers won't notice the difference?

The entire context of this discussion is which shooting mode on the Phantom 3 drone to use, right? Do you feel comfortable offering any suggestions like "If you have a pro, you should probably shoot in 4k" or are we not there yet?

The video I provided explained why footage recorded in 4k will look better than 1080p footage, even on a 1080p display. That answers the original question posed in the thread.
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alexm42 Posted at 2016-1-21 14:14
Here is a video that actually explains why 4k footage is better (sharper / more vivid colors) than ...

I have an Advanced, but I will play around with 2.7K converted to 1080p (once it warms up) to see if I can tell the difference.
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alexm42 Posted at 2016-1-21 14:28
The question at the top of the thread is "Can you really see a difference between a video shot in  ...

I'm saying the same thing I've always been saying: 4k resolution is pointless for most users and they will see no improvement by outputting video in it. Nothing you've said has changed that, and nothing you've said has affected my original position. You're confusing what I'm saying by conflating raw resolution with changing standards and footage aquisition.

*Editing* in 4k is a different matter as it takes into account details like CS; I said that in my original post (there are a ton more changes than 4:4:4 in 4k standards, but most are completely irrelevant). However that doesn't make 4k resolution useful or different. In other words, I answered a question more completely versus just saying yes or no.

Finally, didn't we move off the 1080p versus 4k generalized debate? Weren't we talking specifically about the P3 cameras? Do the P3 cameras do 4:4:4 CS? Because although it's common in the 4k world, it's not exactly a given that something will aquire 4:4:4 (and even less that a display will output it, even at 1080p).


On a completely subjective note, I'm going to venture to say that  at the resolutions people are watching, 4:4:4 CS will not make a difference. Even at 200% crops on that video at full screen, you really have to be pixel peeping to pull out compression artifacts (at 200%!). Extrapolate that back out to the eye resolution chart, and you run into the same 1080p vs 4k resolution issue (here is an article that explains how CS resolution is derived - it only discusses up to 4:2:2, but the details are what's important at 1080p and higher).  This isn't a comparison of moving from one color space standard to the next; this is almost exactly the same as 48 khz versus 96 khz quantization; basically by the time you're comparing such miniscule specs, you should've already improved everything else you possibly could've, as those will make much, much, MUCH bigger differences: better cinemtography, better lenses, better sound acquisition, etc. etc. And while I think 4:4:4 should always be the way CS should work going forward, its practical applicability is tiny and at typical web viewed formats up to about 50" displays at coach viewing distances - negligble, beause your eye has already failed to resolve it (if this was a jump from 4:1:1 or 4:2:0 it would make a huge difference, but that's not the case).

So to answer the question even further:  the original poster should watch that video, and if the CS makes a significant difference, they should edit in 4k (or 2.7k). But they should still output in 1080p (or lower, depending on application). And if they want to do that on a P3 camera, they should verify that it actually does shoot in 4:4:4 CS.



2016-1-21
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