8K resolution is the highest ultra high definition television (UHDTV) resolution to exist in digital television and digital cinematography. 8K refers to the horizontal resolution of these formats, which all are on the order of 8,000 pixels, forming the total image dimensions (7680×4320). 8K is a display resolution that may eventually be the successor to 4K resolution. 1080p is the current mainstream HD standard, with TV manufacturers pushing for 4K to become a new standard by 2017, although the feasibility of such a fast transition as well as the practical necessity of a new standard is questionable One advantage of high-resolution displays such as 8K is to have each pixel be indistinguishable from another to the human eye from a much closer distance. On an 8K screen sized 52 inches, this effect would be achieved in a distance of 50.8 cm (20 inches) from the screen, and on a 92 in screen at 91.44 cm (3 feet) away. Another practical purpose of this resolution is in combination with a cropping technique used in film editing. This allows filmmakers to film in a high resolution such as 8K, with a wide lens, or at a farther distance from a potentially dangerous subject, intending to zoom and crop digitally in post-production, a portion of the original image to match a smaller resolution such as the current industry standard for High-definition televisions (1080p, 720p & 480p). Few video cameras have the capability to film in 8K, with NHK being one of the only companies to have created a small broadcasting camera with an 8K image sensor. Sony and Red Digital Cinema Camera Company are both working to bring larger 8K sensors in more of their cameras in the coming years. Although 8K will not be a mainstream resolution anytime soon, a major reason filmmakers are pushing for 8K cameras is to get better 4K footage. Through a process called downsampling, using a higher resolution 8K image downsampled to 4K could create a sharper picture with richer colors than a 4K camera would be able to achieve on its own with a lower resolution sensor.

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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