The megapixel battle is almost done for digital photography cameras. But the same thing can’t be said about digital video cameras. All manufacturers of camcorders are marketing their newer products as 4k and even 8k. So what do you need to know about 4K camcorders? Here’s a beginner’s guide below.
The Basics Of Megapixels and K’s
A megapixel refers mostly to still cameras. It indicates the number of pixels produced in the output file. A 16-megapixel camera produces files with about 16 million pixels.
Another way to describe the video camera files is through the width or the size of the longer side i.e resolution. A 2K digital video camera gives an output file with approximately 2,000 pixels in width. A 4K camcorder, on the other hand, delivers a video file of 4,000 wide and 3840×2160 pixels.
Benefits Of A 4K Video
A higher video resolution means more file size, hence you need more storage. You can do well with a 2K camcorder but more benefits are expected if you use 4K camcorders. Here are some of them:
Better Crop And Zoom Results
One of the great things about 4K camcorders is that you can recrop your videos without affecting the quality. Let’s say you try to crop 1920 pixels to 1800 pixels, the change in quality would be hardly noticeable. With all those extra pixels, you can zoom in and out while keeping its HD resolution.
Saves Time In Recording Cut-Ins
Higher resolution videos, like 4K, saves you time in shooting a scene several times for close-up shots. You can simply grab a function of the frame and make more cut-ins with big picture dimensions.
Larger video frames are great for putting visual effects. For example, you want to make a human head bigger on the original footage. Simply resize the original footage and you have a fascinating video.
Better HD Quality
Compared to a 1080p HD footage, a 4k footage is more detailed in results. The footage is also significantly sharper than 1080p. Additionally, the color is also better and crisper.
An out of focus video isn’t as bad as for a still photograph. However, sharpness is still important. If you’ve been sloppy in taking a video on a 4K camcorder, you can fix it easily by downsizing the resolution.
Longer Recording Time
Compared to cameras and smartphones, video recorders tend to shoot longer. Camera manufacturers typically offer a maximum of 30 minutes in their products. More than 30 minutes is already considered a video recorder and entails a different tariff.
Extracts High-Quality Pictures
Forget to take pictures when shooting a video? Don’t worry. A 4K video footage allows you to extract an 8-megapixel picture. That’s sufficient for a good-sized print.
Things To Look For When Buying A 4K Camcorder
Optical And Digital Zoom
Optical zoom allows you to capture far-away objects while maintaining a high-quality resolution. Bigger zoom factors enable you to capture more details. Unless the camcorder is from Sony, some camcorders offer digital zoom options that lead to a significant downgrade in quality.
A 4K camcorder can give about 8 megapixels in video output results so having a bigger sensor isn’t necessary. However, bigger sensors can help gather more light and record a stunning video even in low light conditions. Bigger lenses simply mean higher quality videos and pictures.
If you have shaky hands, you’ll want a camcorder that offers an image stabilization feature. As its name suggests, this feature stabilizes your footage.
The LCD is where you can preview the pictures and videos of your camcorder. That’s why you need it to be sufficiently bright and detailed even in bright sun. Touchscreens can be useful but they’re not as important as a good button location.
If you’re a serious videographer, you might want to look for extra features, like microphone input and headphone jack. Stereo mics are better than mono mics, but a multi-channel offers a surround sound and often found in advanced camcorders.
What Are The Best Brands of 4K Camcorders?
Sony rules the camcorder market, providing different models for all current consumer formats. Other good brands are GoPro, Canon, and Panasonic. Samsung and Vivitar are also starting to get hold of the competition.