Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Professional Camcorders › If I primarily plan to produce online content is 4k worth it?
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June 18, 2014 at 10:22 AM #78891AnonymousInactive
Most of the video content I plan to produce is for online viewing. Is buying a 4k worth the extra money? Video quality is very important to me, Will 4k capabilities come through without viewing on a 4k TV?
June 18, 2014 at 1:24 PM #210653EddieValiantParticipant
4K video requires a computer with a lot of processing horsepower for editing. It also requires far more disc storage than you probably have now.
Unless you're involved in indie filmmaking or maybe commercial videography, spending money on 4K is probably not the best investment right now. That statement may become inoperative in 18 months, but, as one fellow said to me, when Wal-mart says they're going to sell 4K TVs that's when you want to get into 4K.
By the way, there is no broadcast spec for 4K and no plans for one either, so 4K will be an online or recorded medium for the foreseeable future.
June 19, 2014 at 9:38 AM #210665wavcastcomParticipant
Ed's comments above are right on.
The only reason that I might consider going to 4K sooner would be because of a particular way that I sometimes shoot using multiple cameras which obviously are static and set up to cover a field of view instead of a subject.
What shooting in 4K would allow you in that circumstance is the ability for a lossless crop to 1080 … I.e. the ability to zoom into the 4k frame and by a zoom factor of four with the results being based on a full native 1080 frame.
I'm aware of this because I record things like speeches and the like where there is a podium and stage and action may take place anywhere on the stage. Because these tend to be long events – 10-30 minutes, I use at least two static cameras (and a third for B-roll). If I frame a shot that is too tightly cropped on the lecturn, I risk losing important action if the speaker abandons the spot even by a foot or two. Also, some speakers talk to the left of the podium while others favor the right. So when framing the shots, I actually go a bit wider in 1080p than I want and then routinely crop the shot to the ideal in post.
4K capture would obviously result in a better, more detailed final cut at 1080 if you're cropping your original in post.
June 20, 2014 at 6:02 AM #210675brunerwwMember
Hi theyouproductions – here is why you might want to consider getting 4K now:
– Build a 4K reel now, while everyone else is still working in 1080p
– Crop to 1080p for stabilization or to avoid jump cuts
– Pan and scan at 1080p for a simulated "multi camera" look from a single camera
Here are some examples:
These examples were shot with the $1697.99 Panasonic GH4. Despite what you may have heard, internal 100mbps 4K recorded with this camera doesn't require "a computer with a lot of processing horsepower for editing" or "far more disc storage than you probably have now."
I've recorded GH4 4K to an ordinary U1 card and edited 4K footage on an old Gateway Windows 7 laptop without any challenges.
File sizes are also very manageable. Archiving GH4 4K footage is no more of a storage problem than the 72mbps 1080/60p from my GH3.
With this camera, because of Panasonic's elegant file compression, you probably won't need to upgrade your computer or storage beyond what you are currently using for 1080p.
Hope this is helpful!
June 20, 2014 at 1:04 PM #210682Jackson WongInactive
Great input so far, and it will come down to what you’ll accept as your final presentations. There’s long term value to creating video in the highest quality possible. There’s also satisfaction to be had in video that is easily sharable. Keep in mind that many online viewers are watching at 720p or less. To answer part of your question, CURRENTLY, few people will see the quality of a 4K production online.
Also consider how long you want your content to be relevant, is it a narrative story that might stand the test of time? Or a current piece that is best enjoyed within a few years?
Hopefully, whatever you decide to do, will help you enjoy the video production process.
June 20, 2014 at 5:31 PM #210684EddieValiantParticipant
Let me reply to Bill's statements about storage and computing horsepower. If you are content to work with compressed files as you'll get with an SD card, then yes, storage is not going to be a significant problem, nor is processing power. Compression of a 100mb data stream will toss out a lot of data to get it to fit on a 64GB card. That being the case, what's the point of shooting in 4K?
Using the Panasonic HPX370, I shoot uncompressed video on an Atomos Ninja2 and can fill a 240GB SSD with about two hours of video. I capture the same video to a 64GB SD card and it leaves room to spare on the card. The SD card is a backup only and the difference is picture quality is noticeable.
I also have faith in the Videomaker staff that they have a good handle on things when they published this article:
I'm taking a serious look at the Panasonic GH4, but the camera without the add-on unit, it's just another consumer camera. By the way, B&H had a great webcast about the GH4 a few weeks ago which is now on Youtube – highly recommended: http://youtu.be/Z6mKJyhtCO0
What Panasonic has done is fire the opening shot in the 4K race and that's good. But, compressed 4K is not that much different from 1080p other than the frame size, and the GH4 is a marketing stroke of genius. It'll put Panasonic out in front of the camera wars for a while, but on the downside, it'll do what Canon did when they launched the 5D – the GH4 will make every Tom Dick and Harry think they are the next great videographer, and if you think the competition for work is tough now, wait until this thing has been on the market for a while.
June 26, 2014 at 11:16 AM #210720paulearsParticipant
I have two rules for video production, and my first time out was in 1976. Keep up to date with editors and production hardware, but don't attempt to keep up with cameras. I can burn BR, and have a box of blank disks, yet none of my clients have ever asked for Blue Ray, and everything is supplied on DVD, and a few projects as video files. I've been shooting only HD now for a couple of years, and although most of my kit can shoot in 1080, I still shoot and edit at 720p – and mix 1080 and SD material (archive stuff). I can't see me moving to 4K in the remote future. My cameras are between 6 and 2 years old, my camera supports all really nice, but 10 years old or more (lots more for some of them) I don't like being a pioneer. Most new kits goes through 3 or 4 morphs before something new comes along, and I quite like jumping in at morph 2 or 3, when the bugs have gone, and the features are settled.
I'm a bit confused by the comments on 4K not needing extra power? My older computers edited HD on the time line, but waved their legs in the air in submission when I tried multiple streams in multicam. My latest wizzy computer can manage multicam on 1080 if I need to do that, but 720 is a doddle. 4K rendering take longer than 1080, and that takes longer than 720 – just maths.
By the time I buy a new camera, the price point has dropped, the feature set gone up and the product is settled in. Buying new kit, upgrading the firmware as new features come along, and often seeing mega price kit lose it's value before the warranty is up make me reluctant.
I pay Adobe each month, I buy new odds and ends, and I spend money on software to do certain jobs. I have no interest in a camera that looks like a still camera – no good at all for what I do. I need zoom lenses, and chunky knobs that I can find without taking my eye from the VF. I need real sockets to plug monitors and audio into, and I need something that sits on a tripod properly.
I don't get kit lust any longer, and my kit is worn out by the time I get rid of it.
July 2, 2014 at 10:12 PM #210743scubajamParticipant
I'm hardly the expert, but I'd like to comment on your use of multiple cameras for speeches, etc. I shoot some high school band concerts, speeches, and other such, using 4 HD cameras. One is static wide shot, the other 3 are usually Sony with Lanc ports. Made 3 ea 50ft cables so each cable is multi-wire with 1 set for monitor, 1 set for remote of Bescor MP-101 motorized pan/tilt, and 1 cable for Lanc remote control. I wrap in spiral to make 1 cable assembly. I can pan/tilt, zoom, focus, start/stop and on/standby, and see what camera sees from up to 50 ft. I set up a portable Costco folking table and have a board with Velcro set for each camera's monitor, Bescor control, and Lanc controller. Works great to set up medium and close-up shots and pan through the band or choir. Works for weddings also. This is becoming obsolete with wi-fi enabled cameras linked to tablets, but still, the Bescor units work well for small cameras. I have all 3 cable assemblies, Bescor units, monitors, and a 12 v power supply mounted in self-made custom hard side luggage. Everything is battery powered, except monitors and I carry small 12 volt motorcycle or snowmobile gel-cell batteries with several pigtails to power everything if 120v isn't avail. Bescor sells 50 ft extension cables, the rest are DIY. I've streamed multi-camera feeds from the beach for underwater pumpkin carving contest and other scuba activities. Sending the underwater camera feed to the beach without a very long cable is grist for another post.
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