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4K and Beyond – Video Data Rates

On 27, Jun 2014 | No Comments | In Cinematography, Low Budget Filmmaking, Production | By vashi

Today, Apple released a new video codec into the filmmaking post production world. It’s called ProRes 4444 XQ and it’s a mother-scratching beast.
At 4K (4096 x 2160) it registers 1697 Mbps which equals 764 GB/hour of 4K video footage. A single camera large Hollywood production can often shoot 100 hours of footage. That’s 76 TB of 4K ProRes 4444 XQ footage.

The upcoming David Fincher film GONE GIRL crept up on 500 hours of raw footage during its multi camera 6K RED Dragon production. That equates to roughly 315 TB of RED 6K (4:1) footage. Shit just got real for data management and post production workflows. It’s time to embrace the madness!


list of all 4K and higher video formats and data rates

The most popular 4K and beyond video formats and data rates


There are over 22 video cameras that shoot 4K or higher as of June 27th, 2014. That number will only go up…as will the need to grapple all those bytes of data in a stable and safe manner. I’m about to start editing a RED 5K feature film entitled HEADLOCK. I plan on editing natively and in real time with 5K RED footage. I’ve narrowed down my storage solutions and will keep everyone updated with my final choice and the workflow we go with. It’s most definitely exciting times…and there’s no room, time or budget for clusterfucks or death spirals. I’ve done my due diligence and need the most ironclad pipeline possible. More to come…


20 4K cameras compared with all specs

Bryant Frazer breaks down 20 cameras that shoot 4K or more


The arguments for and against 4K and beyond rage everyday. Resolution versus latitude. Color space versus bit depth. If you chose to embrace 4K or not…you should at least be aware of the post productions requirements necessary to tackle such an endeavour. Knowledge is King and being familiar with the ever expanding components of our profession will only help us to be more intelligent and responsible filmmakers.


Phil Holland and his 6K comparison chart of video frame sizes

Phil Holland (@phfx) created this wonderful size comparison chart


To learn more about 4K and the subsequent workflows…please check out Andy Shipsides wonderful article that inspired me to expand and enhance on his research of this fluid subject matter. 4K and Beyond is not going away…so at least become familiar with it so you can have an informed opinion.



Resolution specifications from SD to 5K


Brad Allen’s Resolution and Pixel Ratio Cheat Sheet





Calculate your storage needs with theĀ 4K Video Bitrate Calculator


Until next time…

Vashi Nedomansky


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