The sensor sizes and resolution for digital video and film increase, but what displays for editing can be used when exceeding the full HD (1920x1080) resolution? Here are some opinions and examples.
1920x1080 Full HD (comparable to 2K)
For the penny saver: you could use a Full-HD LCD Television (LED) with HDMI to monitor your edits. You can get them starting at $600 via Amazon US (starting at around 500€ in Europe). Since you might produce for TV or youtube anyway, this might be the best way to go, since it is also a cheap solution.
If you need to have a higher resolution (~2.5K 2560 x 1440) the Dell UltraSharp U2711 27-inch might be the Monitor you are searching for.
3K Footage (e.g. from the RED Scarlet-X)
There is a 22.2" LCD Monitor with the resolution of 3480 x 2400 pixels - the Viewsonic VP2290B-2 22.2" and it's twin: the IBM T221. That's 9.2 Megapixels (!). The Viewsonic VP2290B-2 is available as Refurbished for $3.500 on Amazon, the IBM T221 is available used for $1.675.
You might still be lucky and get a bargain via eBay, though:
4K Footage (e.g. from RED Scarlet, RED Epic, Arri Alexa, etc.)
The EIZO DuraVision FDH3601 with a 4096 x 2160 resolution (2160p) sells for around 36.000$. You might be cheaper off with a 4K Beamer (Projector).
While the Sony VW1000ES 4K Beamer sells for around 28.000USD, the Christie Mirage S+4K 3D DLP Projector with 5000 Lumen sells used for $5,980.00 on Amazon. Still, the question is if you care about a second hand beamer: if you own 4K production equipment, you most likely have the moolah to get yourself a brand spanking new 4K projector as well.
5K Footage and above, up to 8K (e.g. from 5K RED Epic or 2x RED Epic)
If you want to go all way up to next-level 8K, you can get the recently announced 85 inch 8K Monitor. Make sure to already start saving some bucks, though.
Strangely, the trend of the past years seems to be in decreasing the pixel resolution on the displays (since there are mostly mobile screens deployed). We can expect a pixel bump in 2012 though, since the upcoming iPad 3 (and it is said also MacBook Air and MacBook Pro) will most possibly have Retina Screens with 2880x1800 pixel resolution (source: ArsTechnica).
Recommended Reading: make sure to read "The Truth About 2K, 4K and The Future of Pixels" for some background information on pixels and sensors.
Just as Canon announced the C300 DSLR Video Camera - RED, the company behind the legendary RED EPIC camera, announces the RED SCARLET-X with Canon EF or Arri PL mount: a 4K camera with a price starting below 10.000US$. While the Canon C300 is a 1080p camera that uses 4:2:2 sampling, (50 Mbps MPEG2) and captures a total of 3840x2160 pixels with its Super 35mm image sensor, the RED has other specs: 440Mbps RED REDCODE RAW format at 444 , 12fps at 5K, 25fps at true 4K, 30fps in 3K and 60fps in 2K.
Canon also announced a real 4k Camera to be available somewhere in the next year. So 2012 could become the real year of DSLR Video.
Here is the original press release from RED.COM
RED STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD, Hollywood, Calif., November 3, 2011 – RED Digital Cinema has officially released its third industry-changing camera, the Scarlet-X. With burst modes up to 12 fps at full 5K resolution alongside 4K motion capture from 1-30 fps, the camera allows professional photographers and cinematographers to simultaneously capture motion footage and still content. Never miss a shot. Ever. Scarlet-X’s compact design, endless modularity and advanced feature set provide a future-proof solution catering to every shooter’s needs, leaving one-dimensional DSLRs and 1080p camcorders in its wake. Priced at under $10,000, Scarlet-X advances RED’s vision to democratize superlative cinema and professional photography.
Scarlet-X comes standard with a Canon EF or PL mount, which can be swapped easily using Scarlet-X’s interchangeable lens mount system. Panavision, Anamorphic, and Nikon lenses are also compatible with the camera, providing ultimate freedom when it comes to creative decision-making. The addition of HDRx reaches up to 18 stops of dynamic range, bringing digital images closer than ever to the natural perception of the human eye.
With the innate ability to capture 5K REDCODE RAW stills and true 4K motion footage, Scarlet-X produces visually lossless files that can easily be graded and finished. Combining all of the finest qualities of cinema and photography into one camera, Scarlet-X allows the customer to have the best of both worlds. Compromise nothing. Shoot everything.
“The future is dependent on those who push… not those who react,” said Jim Jannard, founder of RED Digital Cinema.
RED is now taking orders on RED.com for Scarlet-X.
Since delivering their first camera – the RED ONE – in 2007, RED Digital Cinema has jumped ahead of the pack over camera companies that had dominated the market for decades. Feature films shot with RED cameras such as the Academy Award-winning movie “The Social Network” and the more recent “Contagion” have contributed to a lineage of cinematic success. Since the 2011 introduction of DSMC (Digital Still & Motion Camera) technology, photography icons like Bruce Weber, Greg Williams and Inez + Vinoodh have used RED cameras to shoot covers and spreads for the some of the most influential fashion magazines in the world.
Follow the announcement at REDUSER.net/SCARLET.
[Update 20.11.2011] Philip Bloom posted a balanced take on the Scarlet. Worth a read.
Recommended reading on this topic: The Truth About 2K, 4K and The Future of Pixels