Will Smartphones Push Forward 4K Ultra HD Video?

by on July 15, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – June 15th, 2014

The smart phones that surround us in our daily lives may also be just the technology that pushes forward 4K video at an accelerated pace.

Ultra-high definition TV sporting a 4K resolution of at least 3,840 x 2,160 pixels may barely be starting to really sell on the U.S market but this hasn’t been a hindrance to many mobile device makers whose higher end phones have been advertised as being able to shoot 4K video clips since 2013.

And this is a powerful rend, because it could spark a wider revolution in consumer driven video and entertainment technology. Why? Because by offering 4K video shooting in their phones, major name brands are laying the foundations for a wide user base of people whose video content is being generated on a massive scale in UHD.

This means user generated 4K content and lots of it, and with this content, there will be a greater need for web platforms such as YouTube and technology platforms such as displays and transmission systems that can show that content itself.

While studios, professional content makers such as Netflix and major broadcasters slowly ramp up their collections of Hollywood quality 4K entertainment, the user generated version of the same will gain ground much faster thanks to its organic nature.

The sales figures of the two major technologies involved underscore this potential outcome: Only 2% of all TVs sold in the U.S in 2014 to date boast full UHD 4K screens, at least 160 million high end smart phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2 have 4K capable video and photo shooting ability built into their tiny bodies.

Another interesting result of this surge in 4K ready phone cameras is also the decimation of the market for conventional point and shoot video/photo cameras. While the 4K professional Vide production camera and DSLR/Hybrid market certainly has its niche of professional users and feature hungry amateur enthusiasts, millions of regular consumers will happily settle for sticking to the extraordinary 4K video and photo capacities of the little cameras in their smart phones. This in turn will lead to a rapidly growing user generated 4K content base that will seek outlets where it can be fully appreciated for its augmented resolution.

And in contrast to more superficial upgrades to the latest smart phones, these improvements to their cameras are in fact generating an enormous amount of growing consumer interest, especially when one considers that the seemingly lower end cameras of the phones can create the kind of photo and video results that nearly rival much more expensive and feature rich professional DSLRs and shooting cameras.

Comparison tests conducted by some professional reviewers have even found that 4K cameras such as the one found on the Samsung Galaxy Note provide even better image quality than full DSLR 4K cameras such as the Canon 5D Mark III. However, the professional cameras still do win in terms of specific controls for zoom, lighting ISO and other professionally important features. They’re also still obviously much better at shooting high quality video and photos under complex lighting and scenery conditions. 

The end result of this remarkable innovation is the ability to create an enormous amount of next generation video content in a device that almost anybody can own at a reasonable price. This will drive users into 4K shooting and as a result it will further push the development of mediums and screens in which that kind of Ultra HD content can be enjoyed to its fullest power.

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