What are 2k & 4k?

I have found a great article by John Galt defining what 2k and 4k resolution are. As a evaluation I have pasted the first part below. The rest of article is here (http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/the-truth-about-2k-4k-the-future-of-pixels) It goes into great detail describing what a pixel is, going through to the complexity of 4k resolution.

 


 

Historically, 2K and 4K referred to the output of a line array scanner scanning film, so that for each frame scanned at 4K, you wind up with four thousand red pixels, four thousand green and four thousand blue.

For motion picture camera sensors, the word “pixel” is kind of complicated. In the old days, there was a one-to-one relationship between photosites and pixels. Any of the high-end high definition video cameras, they had 3 sensors: one 1 red, a green and a blue photosite to create 1 RGB pixel.

But what we have seen particularly with these Bayer pattern cameras is that they are basically sub-sampled chroma cameras. In other words they have half the number of color pixels as they do luminance And the luminance is what they call green typically. So what happens is you have two green photo sites for every red and blue.

So how do get RGB out of that? What do you have to do is, you have to interpolate the red and the blues to match the greens. So you are basically creating, interpolating, what wasn’t there, you’re imagining what it is, what its going to be. Thats essentially what it is. You can do this extremely well, particularly if the green response is very broad.

Well 4K in the world of the professionals who do this, and you say “4K,” it means you have 4096 red, 4096 green and 4096 blue photo sites. In other words…

4000 OF EACH

 

 

Note that there are twice as many green pixels as red or blue on this representation of a Bayer pattern sensor. To create a single RGB pixel, there must be an equal number of each color, so the choice is whether to discard green pixels and lose luminance detail, or to use interpolated, aliased red and blue pixels.

 

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