However, when it comes to educating your client, it is always smart to avoid the appearance of “we want you to pay for us to play with the newest shiny thing."
Reason #1 – Cost for your Clients
Most companies worried about the bottom line and making decisions about the best way to video may come to regret shooting their next video in 2K versus 4K. The cost difference may be worth thousands of dollars. When the next generation of viewing devices (Oculus/ Samsung/ and any next generation phone) starts showing the video in 4K, there will not be a reason to watch “crappy” 2K videos. Your customers will then complain that their video is not as crisp as the competition. How you communicate, “I told you so” is up to you, but if you counseled them to shoot in less than 4K, your customer should make you pay for the reshoot since you were too shortsighted in not shooting in 4K.
Reason #2 – Your Cost
If your infrastructure is based on anything less, then you will be in for a rude (and costly) awakening. Speaking in terms of GoPro prices, the difference between a 2K camera and 4K is around $100, or $600 for 360 applications (6 cameras). The industry is quickly evolving where 4K will be the de-facto standard for all video. Instead of paying the extra $600 now, you will be paying for all new cameras later ($3,000 +).
Depending on what kind of camera rig and accompanied accessories you have, by the time you switch to 4K (even GoPro change designs every few years), you may be looking at another $1,000 on top of $3,000 in new camera equipment.
Reason #3 – Field of View and Math
One of the first things that potential customers have asked us is, if no one can see anything in 4K on their phones or will for another year, what’s the point?
Math. Geometry specifically.
(WARNING: The following portion may involve that part of your brain long since dormant since 8th grade math)
Let us start with some basics. First, resolution is measured by the amount of pixels that the camera has captured from the scene. For the point of this discussion, 4K is really a capture of 4,096 pixels wide by 2,160 pixels tall. However, for simplicity’s sake (and so you will not have to do math in your head to keep up... your welcome) it is called 4K.
Shooting with the camera at 4K does not mean the same as the viewer actually seeing it in 4K. If the viewer can only see a part of the whole picture, then by definition they are actually not seeing 4K (all 4,096 pixels by 2,160 pixels). They are seeing WhateverTheyAreSeeingK. This phenomenon is called Field of View (FOV).
A typical VR viewer sees anywhere from 90° to 120°. This specification is called the VR Goggles FOV.
Bottom line: When the customer asks why bother with 4K, remind them that the viewer is not looking at a nice pretty square picture of tightly packed pixels in front of them. They are looking at a picture with pixels stretched out 360° around them. And this oversight will cost them.