Videographers are obsessed with video cameras, which is understandable since their job when taking videos depends on video cameras. But it’s not enough to get obsessed with a video camera. You have to know more about a video camera.
This is why we have chosen to discuss ‘4k video cameras’. If you have heard about 4k video cameras, but have no idea what they mean, this guide will be helpful to you then.
All camera manufacturers are now marketing their 4K, 6K, and 8K devices, including phones.
What Is A Video-Camera?
An electronic device that captures and records motion pictures one frame at a time. Each frame is captured as a series of horizontal lines, the number of which determines the fundamental visual quality of the images.
A video camera captures moving images and converts them into electronic signals so that they can be saved on a storage device, such as videotape or a hard drive, or viewed on a monitor.
For example, North American analog TV (NTSC) has 525 lines of “standard definition” (SD) resolution, 480 of which are the image. Analog TV was superseded by digital TV, which provides 480 lines of SD resolution along with 720 and 1080 lines of “high-definition” (HD) resolution. See video format, camcorder, SD formats, HD formats, NTSC, DTV, and video/TV history.
What is 4K?
4k is a video resolution, or in simple terms, it is the size of your picture. When it comes to displays and screens, the resolution is the number of pixels the image shows. It translates into the level of detail the picture has.
4K videos have actually been around since the invention of the movie camera. Although 4K has generated a lot of buzzes, consider these caveats 4K video files are much larger than their HD counterparts. That’s why uploading and streaming 4K videos can create a bottleneck effect for home viewers.
However, YouTube has provided support for 4k videos. These videos are unnaturally sharp because smaller space pixels get less light and absorb less color.
How 4K is different from 1080p?
The minimum standard for your footage is 1280 on 720 pixels, which is HD. By comparison, 4K has twice the resolution of a standard HDTV, which is 1920 by 1080 pixels. Ultra HD or 4K gives you 3840 by 2160 pixels resolution. That means you can put 4 HD images into one 4K image.
4K refers to how many vertical lines there are in the resolution of an image. The term comes from 35mm film, which has roughly 4000 vertical lines. These legacy terms have been applied to 16mm film, which is 2K, and IMAX film, which is a little over 8k.
While 4K had been around for over a decade in the film industry, it became affordable for consumers only now.
In the past, when 4K was getting popular in cameras, people would argue that you don’t need to shoot in 4K because no one even has anything to watch it on. But now there are tons of TVs and monitors that can display 4K videos. Besides, 4K would even look sharper on smaller screens that are not compatible with 4K.
Megapixels vs. K’s
First off, some basics. A “megapixel” is a term used mainly for still cameras. It means how a million pixels there are in the output file. An 18-megapixel camera is a camera that delivers files with approximately 18 million pixels. An example is an image with dimensions 5184 by 3456 pixels.
Although “megapixels” can be used for video camera files, manufacturers prefer to use another notation. This is probably due to the fact the video frame is in “landscape” orientation, meaning the width is greater than the height. Manufacturers prefer to name just the size of the longer side.
A 2K digital camera is one that delivers a file with about 2000 pixels on the longer side of the frame. A 4K camera produces video footage whose longer side is about 4000 pixels in width. The Full HD format is with 1920 pixels on the longer side. It’s relatively safe to call it 2K.
What does it mean for video shooters?
If you shoot HD video, should you upgrade your camera to a 4K-capable model? The obvious reason to make the switch to 4K is to future-proof your work.
Consumers may not demand 4K content today, but at some point, they will, and if history is any guide this will probably happen soon. Just imagine if you had continued to shoot in standard definition up until the moment that everyone finally had an HD television. Who would want to watch that crunchy, mushy low-resolution content today? As a content creator, you’re always better off getting ahead of the curve.
However, even if you don’t need (or want) to create 4K content yet, there are a number of huge benefits to adopting a 4K workflow now.
4K In Video Cameras
So what does all that mean for you and your camera? Well, when you shoot 4K video, you’re capturing 8,294,400 pixels – and this produces footage that’s four times more detailed than 1080p, with more leeway for post-production. Bear in mind, though, that shooting 4K will eat up batteries much faster and will cause cameras to run warm, as it requires a lot of processing power.
It also means that you can view your footage on much larger displays than 1080p video without losing any quality. It also means that you can crop into your 4K footage to create close-ups and cutaways, without having to reposition your camera to record separate shots.
The benefits of 4K aren’t limited to videography, though. If you’ve spent thousands of pounds on a full-frame or even medium format camera that takes enormous, pixel-rich photographs, they will look absolutely stunning when viewed on a 4K monitor or TV, since every minute detail will be visible and razor-sharp.
In addition, many cameras feature a 4K frame grab technology. This enables you to film a 4K video and then extract a still image from your footage in UltraHD – which can be a great way to capture frames from family videos, shots of wildlife, or other decisive moments from moving footage.
In short, 4K video is here to stay – and if you’re looking at buying a new camera or display, it’s definitely something to keep a sharp eye on.
Advantages of 4K Shooting
- Higher Image Quality
The 4K matrix creates a three-dimensional image that can be well viewed from all angles. You don’t need 3D glasses to view a high-quality three-dimensional picture. Moreover, most cameras record 4K at a higher bit rate, and color quality loss is minimal.
- Stabilize Footage in Post
No matter how hard you may try not to move during shooting, 4K video could still be unstabilized. Partially, video editors can fix these disadvantages. But this kind of processing will require cropping the frame, and you will lose at least 20% of the material.
4K shooting will give you enough pixels to experiment with these effects, as they won’t have any noticeable impact on the final video quality.
- More Editing Options
A huge resolution of 4K video gives you a much better source to work with as it allows scaling. It is a perfect format to crop videos for close-ups. You can add panning and zooming effect to any frame you want without losing image quality.
- More Attractive Presentation on a Bigger Screen
A high number of pixels provides a high definition. Ultra HD transmits more colors and more details in the lightest and darkest tones. Taken together, all this gives you a picture that is as close to reality as possible. 4K benefits are displayed the best on large screens, but the image quality will be much better than HD, even on smaller screens.
Key Factors You Should Consider When Getting Video Cameras.
- Sensor Size
As far as picture quality and exposure flexibility are concerned – and these are the main reasons people buy SLR cameras – the most important criteria are the size of the sensor and the size of each photosite on it. The larger the photosite’s surface area, the more light it can capture and the more information it can record.
The more information that goes to the camera’s image processor, the greater the dynamic (tonal) range in the resulting image – and the better the picture quality.
The differences are most obvious in shots taken in bright, contrasty conditions and in dim lighting. In bright lighting, the small sensors of compact digicams cannot record details in the brightest and darkest areas. The resulting pictures have blocked-up shadows and blown-out highlights and, when no detail is recorded, there is no way to tweak the image to improve the situation.
- Megapixel Resolution
Although most advertising material and much of the media hype focuses on the number of megapixels the camera supports, the megapixel count is relatively unimportant when buying a digital SLR. In theory, the number of megapixels in an image file should dictate the size to which it can be printed at ‘photo’ quality.
However, you can produce excellent A3-sized prints from a 5- or 6-megapixel DSLR camera – provided the original shot was correctly exposed and edited.
Furthermore, an 8-megapixel sensor has only 30% more photosites than a 6-megapixel sensor. At the correct viewing distance for A3 prints, this difference will be negligible. Few photo enthusiasts are likely to want prints bigger than A3+ size, which is well within the capabilities of all current models.
- Brand Loyalty
Photographers who already own a film SLR plus a suite of interchangeable lenses will be lured towards digital cameras from the same manufacturer. It makes both logical and financial sense to buy a body that will accept the lenses you have. However, it’s not necessarily the best option for the following reasons:
Most DSLR bodies change the effective focal length of a 35mm lens by a lens multiplier factor (LMF) of 1.5x to 2x. This means the 24mm lens that gave you a great wide-angle view will have the same angle of view as a 36mm lens on a 35mm camera. You gain a bit at the tele end; a 200mm lens becomes equivalent to a 300mm lens on a 1.5x LMF DSLR.
The 35mm lens is designed for imaging onto film, which has a different structure from an image sensor. It may not produce such good image quality on the DSLR body.
35mm lenses are often heavier and bulkier than digital lenses.
Olympus DSLR bodies cannot accept the lenses designed for Olympus film SLR cameras.
Most entry-level DSLRs are sold with at least one medium-range zoom lens but an increasing number are being offered with two lenses. The additional lens is usually a tele zoom with a focal length range equivalent to about 70-200mm in 35mm format. Twin lens kits represent great value so don’t be put off by comments about “cheap optics”.
While the optics are usually housed in plastic (to minimize weight), the main compromise is lens speed (maximum aperture) rather than actual performance. The plastic bodies may not be quite as tough as metal bodies, but they’re rugged enough for normal handling and a lot lighter to carry around and use.
In the same way, as 4K video requires a lot of space to physically store, it also requires a lot more processing power to handle it when it comes to editing the footage. Knowing what a 4k video camera is, you can easily make the decisions on what you want.