Can You See the Difference Between 8K and 1080p Video?

Many are excited for shooting in 8K with Canon’s new mirrorless, but how noticeable is it in real terms? Can you even tell the difference between footage shot in 8K and 1080p?

First and foremost, before you watch this video, it’s worth changing the video quality to 8K, but even then there’s a lot of factors to note. Firstly, YouTube uses compression. Secondly, most devices don’t have 8K resolution available. The problem is, that’s an argument in and of itself. If most people can’t view 8K natively, how will 1080p look when exported in 8K? The use of the video you’re creating will typically dictate what’s needed from your resolution and 8K will unquestionably have more detail than 1080p and even 4K, but for the viewer to tell, it’ll have to be under specific circumstances.

Video is more complicated that it might first appear. It wasn’t until this year I even realized that many YouTubers are exporting 1080p videos in 4K for the platform, and almost no one can tell. By extension, 8K will likely be further overkill. That isn’t to say that shooting in 8K doesn’t have its perks. For example, being able to crop footage in and still retain fantastic resolution is valuable. There are of course other technical benefits, but for almost every modern use of video, can you tell the difference between video filmed in 8K and exported in 8K, and video filmed in 1080p and exported in 8K? On most online video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, the answer is almost certainly no asides from some very cultured eyes and careful pixel peeping. With the right screen for viewing 8K, it’ll clearly win, but that just isn’t currently very common.

What do you make of the difference? Can you spot it? Do you not care as the other perks of 8K are the selling point for you? Is it about futureproofing? Share your thoughts in the comments.


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