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Noise really smaller with higher resolution ? (2 replies)

6 months ago
Nicolas.P 6 months ago

Hello Sir,

I was talking about the footage I had shot with my cinema teacher ; I shot with the Sony A7s II in 4K, and my teacher told me more resolution didn't mean less noise, so it was useless to shoot it that way.

I always read about people saying shooting 4K make the noise smaller; and I've done tests, it is less noticeable.


So is it true ? Does filming in 4K makes the noise less noticeable ?


Thank you !

Roger Deakins
6 months ago
Roger Deakins 6 months ago

Depends on the kind of noise you are talking about. Shooting in 4K doesn't mean you will automatically get rid of noise.

6 months ago
Coollok100 6 months ago

In the case of the A7s II shooting 4K does help with noise performance simply because you're working with more of the data off the sensor (50Mbps vs 100). The extra detail will also help you if you apply any denoising to the image in post.

Still, simply because the footage is 4K does not necessarily mean the image will be cleaner, especially if you're, say, comparing a 4K camera to a 2K camera - it just happens to be the best option in this case.

That being said I'd seriously question your cinema teacher telling you that shooting in 4K is useless - the extra resolution can help with many things in post such as keying, reframing, tracking etc., and with 4K distribution becoming the standard it's making more and more sense. That's not to say there aren't disadvantages (slower overall turnaround time, less data per pixel, larger files) - it's all about choosing the right tool for the job. 

The rule of thumb I'd always use is test it out in the real world for yourself - if it looks and works better for you chances are it's the right option. Numbers are handy at a glance but they rarely tell the whole story.

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