March 3, 2017 at 11:07AM


Does shooting at lower res than the full sensor size lower quality?

This may seem like a dumb question, but I'm hoping I can find an answer to this because my research has been unclear. Say I buy a Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6k. I decide I don't want to be bothered with "ingesting" or building proxies. If I just shoot at a lower res, does it diminish the quality of the footage? I mean, will it condense all the pixels and information into a smaller res, which in my mind, sounds like it would it produce higher quality images at lower resolutions? Or does camera downscale the integrity of the footage and turn a 4.6k sensor'd camera into, say, a 2.5k or something like that - depending on what res I decide to shoot at?


It all depends on the bit rate, and sub-sampling. Many cameras will offer the same resolution, but different bit rates (1080p 50mbps or 1080p 100mbps) That final number determines how much data is being captured. Sub sampling (4:2:2, 4:4:4, 4:2:0) describes how many pixels include actual color data (the higher the numbers, the better) I don't know the ursa mini well, but if you can record at the same bit rate, and sub sampling, at a lower quality than 4.6k, then it's the same as scaling it down in post (same quality level) Most likely, you can record at the highest level, at the resolution you need, and you'll be fine (remember that 1080p video on youtube is compressed to 8mbps, so you'll have plenty of headroom.) So, no. Image quality isn't reduced, or determined by the sensor resolution. Bit rate, and sub-sampling determine if you'll lose quality.

March 6, 2017 at 5:55PM

Craig Douglas
Editor/ Videographer

This was really helpful - Thank you!

Axel Roldos

August 15, 2017 at 8:29AM

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