Image showing some names of standard Resolutions and some video devices

When people are talking about high end video cameras, videos recording, TVs, and a high quality of a video, you must have definitely heard about the terms like 4K, FHD and HD. For some time FHD, HD and SD only were the familiar terms but nowadays, with the recent improvements of the technology, terms like 4K, UHD and QFHD came into people, because the gadgets with those terms bonded to them, are not very rare. Even though people talking about these terms, many of they don’t know what those terms really means. Therefore today we decided to take time some time on explaining what those terms really means and compare them with each other.


Image showing two professional video cameras and a UHDTV

All those terms means a different resolution of a video or a picture. When it comes to cameras what it says is, the resolution of the video or the photo, that the camera is capable of capturing; and nowadays almost every camera supports multiple resolutions for capturing photos and videos. When it comes to photo cameras they have different terms than 4K, UHD and FHD because they have very higher resolutions for capturing photos and those resolutions are usually measured by the Megapixels or capital ‘M‘. But we are not going to talk about them, as we are specifically talking about the terms we hear, when we talk about videos or video cameras.

What is Resolution ?

Resolution is the number of the total pixels or individual dots that a one frame of a video or a single photo is created with. When this number becomes higher, quality of the video becomes high and it creates a very sharp picture. So all the terms like 4K, UHD, QFHD are assigned for different number of total pixels or resolutions. Usually these resolution are written in a format of multiplication of the number of Horizontal pixels and Vertical pixels (Horizontal pixels x Vertical pixels). To get the actual number of pixels you need to multiply those two numbers. You can understand this theory by looking at the simple diagram below.Image describing what Resolution is

Standard Resolutions.

  • 4K (4096 x 2160) Ultra High Definition (UHD)
  • 4K (3840 x 2160) Quad Full High Definition (QFHD) (also known as UHDTV/UHD-1, resolution of Ultra High Definition TV)
  • 2K (2048 x 1080)
  • 1080p (1920 x 1080) Full High Definition (FHD)
  • 720p (1280 x 720) High Definition (HD)
  • 480p (720 x 480) Standard Definition (SD) (resolution of DVD video)
  • 480p (640 x 480) Standard Definition (SD)

You can easily compare those resolutions by using the diagram below.

Image showing a diagram which explains the different standards of resolutions


4K (4096 x 2160) Ultra High Definition (UHD).

Standard resolution of 4K or UHD is 4096 x 2160 pixels, but now for the resolution of QFHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) is also being called as 4K because of the confusion from lots of manufactures who are promoting their products with QFHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) resolution as 4K products. According to Sony, Consumer Electronics Association has recently launched the term “Ultra High Definition”  or the “UHD” to cover 4K consumer products.

  • Total Pixels = 4096 x 2160 pixels = 8,847,360 pixels = 8.85 million pixels


4K (3840 x 2160) Quad Full High Definition (QFHD).

The resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels is also often called 4K but it’s not 100% accurate as explained above. 100% accurate term for this resolution is Quad Full High Definition or QFHD, because it has a resolution equal to 4 times of Full High Definition or FHD resolution which is 1920 x 1080 pixels. Also if you buy a 4K TV or Ultra High Definition TV, then most of the times, this QFHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) will be the resolution of your TV which is obviously not the real 4K or Ultra High Definition. This due to the wrong usage of the term 4K and Ultra High definition as explained above.

  • Total Pixels = 3840 x 2160 pixels = 8,294,400 pixels = 8.29 million pixels
  • QFHD = 4 x FHD = 4 x (1920 x 1080 pixels) = 8,294,400 = 8.29 million pixels


2K (2048 x 1080).

Image explaining the difference between 4K and 2K

2K or 2048 x 1080 pixels is not a very much popular or known resolution. Term 2K came from the term 4K, because it has a half the pixel amounts of both horizontal and vertical pixel amounts of 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels) resolution. That means 2K is one fourth of total pixels of 4K.

  • Total Pixels = 2048 x 1080 pixels = 2,211,840 pixels = 2.21 million pixels
  • 2K = 4K / 4 = 4096 x 2160 pixels / 4 = 2,211,840 pixels = 2.21 million pixels


1080p (1920 x 1080) Full High Definition (FHD).

Image explaining the difference between 4K, 2K and FHD

1080p or Full High Definition (FHD) has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and it is one of the most popular resolutions for movie files. Usually Blu-Ray disks contain 1080p or FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels) video resolution. Total pixel amount is little bit lesser than 2K (2048 x 1080 pixels).

  • Total Pixels = 1920 x 1080 pixels = 2,073,600 pixels = 2.07 million pixels
  • FHD = QFHD / 4 = 3840 x 2160 pixels / 4 = 2,073,600 pixels = 2.07 million pixels


720p (1280 x 720) High Definition (HD)

720p or High Definition (HD) has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and it is another on of the most popular resolution for movie files. This also has very good quality but the file size is lesser than the size of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) movie files.

  • Total Pixels = 1280 x 720 pixels =  921,600 pixels = 0.92 million pixels


480p (720 x 480) Standard Definition (SD)

480p or Standard Definition (SD) with a resolution of 720 x 480 pixels, was a once very popular and widely used resolution, but nowadays due to the presence of very high resolutions like 4K, QFHD and FHD, 480p (720 x 480 pixels) is decreasing its popularity. This resolution was usually used in DVD videos.

  • Total Pixels = 720 x 480 pixels = 345,600 pixels = 0.35 million pixels


480p (640 x 480) Standard Definition (SD)

480p or Standard Definition (SD) with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels was also once very popular and it was one of the most common resolutions available in the past. Also this resolution was used to be called as VGA resolution and in those days, resolutions of most computer monitors were only 640 x 480 pixels. But nowadays due to the improvements of the technology, these resolutions are becoming rare.

  • Total Pixels = 640 x 480 pixels = 307,200 pixels = 0.31 million pixels


Image showing some professional video camera equipments

We hope this information will be help full for you when understanding different standards of resolutions. You will definitely going to need this information when you are going buy a new Ultra High Definition TV, Video Camera, SLR Camera, or any kind of device that supports very high amounts of resolution. Also if you are going to be in field like Video Production in future, then once again you are going need knowledge of these standards.

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