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Is 4K in your future? If you plan to attend the Content & Communications World (CCW), it should be. The annual conference will feature a number of related technology demonstrations, technical sessions and a keynote panel discussion, all designed to shed new light on this quickly emerging image format.

In an effort to improve sales, virtually every camera manufacturer these days is talking about the perceived need to improve image quality by acquiring in 4K (3840 x 2160 or 4096 x 2160 pixels, depending upon who you are talking to), or four times the resolution of the highest resolution high-definition format (1080P). This bump up in sharpness and color rendition looks to greatly improve the quality of independent feature and documentary production. Indeed, new advances in full-frame CMOS sensor technology, allowing shooters to take advantage of RAW data recording to capture the most image information, have changed the landscape significantly.

“The new generation of CMOS chip technology and 4K displays are really having an impact on how cinematographers are approaching their projects and has really freed them to do things they couldn’t before,” said David Leitner, an independent cinematographer and producers who has worked with carious 4K cameras.

Leitner will participate in a panel discussion at the CCW Show (Wednesday, November 14; 9:00 - 10:00 AM) entitled “When will it be a 4K world?”

“I think there are a number of new camera models that have embraced this new CMOS technology and shooters have benefitted as a result,” Leitner said. “There are still a number of storage and file management issues that have to be addressed to accommodate the increased data file sizes, but the industry has always shown it can meet the challenges.”

The panel will also feature Hugo Gaggioni, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Sony Electronics, Inc.; Jerry Steinberg, Senior VP/Field Operations & Engineering, Fox Sports; and Laurence J. Thorpe, Senior Fellow, Professional Engineering & Solutions Division, Canon U.S.A. Inc, They will look at deploying a comprehensive ecosystem that also encompasses various related elements that make up a 4K workflow; such as distribution into consumers’ homes and compatible display screens.

Other topics of discussion: How cinematographers might consider shooting in 4K as a high-quality master that can be distributed in a myriad of ways (and lower resolutions).

“I can extract the best looking HD pictures from a 4K master, so the opportunities that shooting in 4K today brings are very varied and can be beneficial in the future. I think there’s a lot of advantages to acquiring in the highest possible resolution and a lot to be learned from this panel.”