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BBC starts shooting in 4K

06 Nov 2013 | Rasmus Larsen |

UK’s BBC has started shooting in 4K resolution with a new six-part wildlife series. BBC says that “any high-end project will be shot in 4K from now on” using Red Epic cameras that can also shoot at high frame rates.

BBC starts shooting in 4K

BBC has produced captivating wildlife and adventure documentaries over the years, and we should expect them to continue to do so in the future. 4K resolution could take BBC’s work to the next level, which is exactly why BBC has started the transition to 4K, according to the company.

BBC’s Natural History Unit (NHU) has already started shooting in 4K with a new six-part wildlife series. BBC says that they may still be some years away from broadcasting in 4K on its TV channels, but that is not stopping them.

BBC Africa
BBC has started shooting wildlife documentaries in 4K

BBC is using Red Epic cameras, which is a bit surprising as BBC has used a lot of Sony equipment in the past. BBC says that the Red cameras can satisfy many of their needs for different speeds, locations, and activities, except for special effects shots. The Red Epic cameras can also shoot between 60 and 150 frames per second, which could result in an even bigger improvement in picture quality than going from Full HD to 4K pixel resolution.

- “I cannot see us going back. Any high-end project will be shot in 4K from now on. There are lots of interesting commercial elements to this too as we’re starting to do theatrical and giant-screen presentations. Plus, if you’ve shot in 4K, you’re future-proofing to some degree. I am sure it won’t be that long before people start broadcasting in 4K.” said NHU creative director Mike Gunton to Broadcast.

Regarding costs he says,
- “We will shoot 1,500 to 2,000 hours to generate six. The storage and post you need for that is going to be more expensive so you have to factor that in. Overall, I would say it’s more expensive - but not outrageously so.”

With more and more movies, TV series, and now documentaries being shot in 4K there should be plenty of 4K content available to watch in the coming years. FlatpanelsHD recently visited Sony’s Hollywood studios to hear more about their 4K work. You can also read our update on 4K TV channels here.

- Source: BBC, quotes from Broadcast

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