Every digital video you watch or create has a specific set dimension, typically measured in the number of pixels. For example, if your video is detailed as 1280x720, it refers to the dimensions of the picture, which are 1280 pixels wide and 720 pixels high. The number of pixels contained in each frame is known as the resolution. A video with a high resolution has an increased number of pixels, while a video with a low resolution has a low number of pixels.

A video resolution determines how clear or detailed the video appears. The common type of video resolutions and their pixel sizes include Standard Definition/SD (640x480), High Definition/ HD (1280x720), Full HD (1920x1080), Quad HD (2560x1440), 2K (2048x1080), and 4k (3840x2160). This article will focus on everything you need to know about 4k videos and what you need to edit 4k videos.

What is a 4k video?

A 4k video is a high-definition video with more than four times the resolution of a 1080p HD video. Typically, 4k signifies videos with a horizontal resolution close to 4000 pixels and a vertical resolution close to 2000 pixels. 4K videos are classified into two pixels sizes: UHD (3820x2160), which is supported by TVs/ monitors, and DCI (4096x2160) pixels, mainly used in the film and video production industry.

Comparing the above 4k pixel sizes to the HD pixel sizes (1920x1080), you will see that 4k resolution is around four times horizontally and two times vertically that of HD. This also means 4k videos are four times horizontally and two times sharper and more detailed than HD videos.

Benefits of 4k videos

Quadruple the resolution of HD means superb video, but that's not all. There are multiple benefits of 4k videos over other low-resolutions, especially when editing. 4k videos offer the following exciting possibilities when editing:

Down-conversion to lower resolutions

If you down-convert a video in 4k resolution, it will still be of higher quality than videos recorded in HD or other lower resolutions. Down-converting videos recorded in HD means that you will be getting videos with lower resolutions.

Print quality images

You can print 8-megapixel equivalent pictures from your 4k videos. A 4k video gives you a sequence of frames, and all you have to do is find the most visually arresting moments and screengrab a high-quality picture. You are more likely to print blur images from an HD video as it lacks a lot of detail.

4k video mode is easy to use

When using 4k video mode, video settings such as the brightness level are automatically adjusted according to the shooting parameters.

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4k videos are easy to stabilize

Video post stabilization helps analyze motion in footage and eliminate erratic movement when your camera is subjected to bumps or knocks. This helps retain the clarity of your video. In 4k videos, the extra eight margins of pixel help prevent quality degradation during stabilization. The more details the video has, the more materials the stabilizer has to work on.

A 4k video has more colors than other lower-resolutions

4k cameras have more options for bit rates and bit depth, allowing them to collect over a billion possible colors while filming. Having a video rich in colors makes a 4k video look great even after down-converting to a lower resolution.

Drawbacks of 4k videos

Below are some of the main disadvantages of 4k videos:

4k video requires a large storage capacity

4k videos are large due to the high resolution and great depth of color. This means you must have a storage device with ample space to save 4k videos. You might be forced to purchase extra hard drives or memory cards which are expensive.

4k video requires high-speed internet to stream

To view most 4k videos, you must have a minimum bandwidth of at least 25 Mbps. This kind of bandwidth is not available in most places, limiting some people from streaming 4k videos.

4k TVs and gadgets are expensive

To fully enjoy a 4k video, you must have a gadget with a UHD monitor. These types of devices are priced more than those with low-resolution displays.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) defines the color range between the lightest and the darkest tones in a video. The main difference between 4k and HDR is that HDR is more visually impactful than 4k, while 4k delivers more detailed and sharper videos.

When should you film in 4k vs. 1080p

With 4k delivering sharper and more detailed videos, there are still some reasons to shoot in 1080p. The main limitation of having 4k videos is that they require a large storage capacity. Therefore, you can opt to record in 1080p if your memory card is limited in space. Filming in 1080p also proves better for slow motion as you can only shoot at 30 frames per second in 4k.

What to know for uploading 4k videos to YouTube

YouTube ranks as one of the best platforms to share your recorded videos, especially if you are a content creator. It's also not a secret that most viewers enjoy watching a high-quality video on their computer, phone, or TV screen. Poorly shot and edited videos may alienate your viewers, as there are multiple videos on YouTube to choose from.

Therefore, to remain at the top of the game, you must know how to create and upload high-quality 4k videos. Although not all viewers might have a 4k display or have substantial bandwidth to stream 4k videos, having UHD videos ensures that your audience enjoy the best possible experience.

Uploading a 4k video is not challenging, and it involves the following steps.

How to upload a 4k video on YouTube

  1. Visit YouTube's official website on your browser
  2. Log in to your account or create a new account if you have not signed up
  3. Click Create icon that is located at the right corner of the bar menu
  4. Choose Upload video from the drop menu
  5. Import your video by either dragging and dropping the footage file into the upload box or by clicking Select from the menu, and then Open. YouTube will start to process your video. You can add the Title and the Description while processing your video. You can also add a link to your description.
  6. Add a thumbnail. YouTube will generate three thumbnails that best represent your video. You can add a custom thumbnail if your account is verified.
  7. Add your video to a playlist you have created, or you can create a new one
  8. Select your Audience by either clicking Yes, it's made for kids, or No, it's not made for kids
  9. Select More options. You can add more information like Paid Promotion, including searchable keywords, manage subtitles and comments, etc.
  10. Add Tags to let the YouTube algorithm understand what your video is about. Some of the tags can add in this case include 4k, 4k video, or 4k resolution to indicate that this is a 4k video.
  11. Click Next to access the video elements tab
  12. Add an end screen. This allows you to promote related videos at the end of your video.
  13. Click Visibility to select when to publish or who can view your video. Select unlisted as it might take a while for YouTube to process a 4k video.
  14. Click Save. YouTube will generate a video link that you can use to share your video
  15. Navigate to your YouTube account dashboard and select Videos on the menu. This will allow you to view your uploaded videos or live videos. Select your 4k video and see if it has been processed. Please note that YouTube may take a while to process a 4k video successfully. Once the process is completed, click on your video to see if it has a 4k option (2160p).
  16. Click Visibility and select public to allow your followers to see the video.

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Challenges you might encounter while uploading a 4k YouTube video

YouTube might indeed take several hours, to upload a 4k video or a video with higher frame rates. A 60-minute 4k video with a frame rate of 60 fps will take longer to be processed than a 60 minutes 4k video with a frame rate of 30 fps.

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to speed up the processing time if you need quality 4k videos. You can consider additional processing time in your schedule for longer 4k videos with higher frame rates.

Before uploading your video on YouTube, it is essential to ensure that your video meets the recommended settings on YouTube. If you encounter problems or need software to change your video settings, Pinnacle Studio has got you covered. Pinnacle Studio will help you create a YouTube-friendly 4k video that will take less time to be processed when uploading.

What to know for uploading 4k videos to Vimeo

Vimeo is another video-sharing platform that allows users to upload 4k videos. Uploading a 4k video on Vimeo is pretty straightforward. All you are required to do is:


  1. Record a 4k video using your smartphone or camera
  2. Save it on the device that you are going to use for uploading
  3. Visit Vimeo's official website using your browser
  4. Log in or create a new account if you have not signed up
  5. Select Upload on the menu bar
  6. Drag and drop your 4k video or click Choose files and select your 4k video
  7. Click Privacy to select your audience

Vimeo will process your 4k video and upload them when complete. Your Vimeo audience will be able to view your 4k videos as long as they have the required bandwidth and a display that supports 4k videos.

It is vital to check whether your video meets all the Vimeo-supported video parameters for smooth uploading. If you encounter problems adjusting your 4k video settings, you can use Pinnacle Studio, a professional 4k video converter, and perfect video editing software.

What you need to edit 4k videos

One of the main advantages of having 4k videos is that they give more options when editing. You can adjust or crop the shots as needed without tampering with the quality of your video. To edit your 4k video, you should have 4k video editing software. A good video editing software should:

  • Have all the tools that will make editing easy
  • Affordable or free
  • Easy to use

Some of the top video editing software includes Pinnacle Studio. Pinnacle Studio has an easy-to-use interface and has a free trial making it most appropriate for pro editors and amateurs.

Edit your 4k videos like a pro using Pinnacle Studio

Editing your 4k videos using Pinnacle Studio is not only easy but also gives you access to multiple creative video effects. You will also enjoy test-driving the pro-caliber audio and editing features while using Pinnacle Studio.

Below are the simple steps to follow when editing a 4k video using Pinnacle Studio.

  1. Down and install Pinnacle Studio on your PC
  2. Open Pinnacle Studio
  3. Drag and drop your 4K video to add it to Pinnacle Studio
  4. Trim and adjust the position of your video
  5. Select Create Title to add and set your titles
  6. Add Effects by selecting Editors and then Effects
  7. Add transitions by selecting Editor and then Transition In/ Transition Out
  8. Add Music
  9. Open Exporter to export your video after you have completed editing your video.


With 4k videos becoming popular, it is essential to know how to work on them, especially if you are a content creator. You need video editing software compatible with 4k videos if you will make changes to a video after recording. You can always count on Pinnacle Studio's powerful video editing features to take your 4k videos to the next level. Check out our product page to Learn more about how Pinnacle Studio can help you with your 4k video editing needs.

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