4k Hype! What you should consider before buying a 4K video camera.

When it comes to purchasing a camera we as Camera Buyers are all challenged by the same intriguing questions this year. “ Should I opt for a camera with the 4K feature ? “ Is 4k really necessary ?

After all 4K is the latest and baddest technology in the video camera world. This feature is continuously preying on the minds of video maker enthusiasts around the globe. Moreover, companies manufacturing digital cameras are promoting the 4K as if it was the Holy grail of video technology.

Personally I’ve been shooting with my ride to die Canon EOS 70D since his release in 2013, and people ask me quite often if the 70D is still a good buy even if it’s only shoots in 1080p .

Too that I say, “Hell yes”. But first let’s take look at a few key aspects that might help us to solve that conundrum.

4K pros and the cons

The Martian

4k gets a lot of hype, but here are some quick facts for you to consider. The Martian movie starring Matt Damon was actually mastered in 2K but shot in 6k. Theater goers were watching a version of the movie (if they purchased standard tickets and not 3D) that actually comes in at just the tiniest bit higher in resolution than 1080p. Similarly, The Wolfpack was shot on a Canon C100 and was a celebrated hit at Sundance — and all in 1080p resolution, as this cinema camera could only shoot up to that.

This isn’t to say that 1080p is better than 4K. They each have their own set of advantages. 4k is good for cinematic landscapes, which will deliver better detail retention and gives you decent post-production latitude and editing ability like re-framing a shot but still maintaining resolution. It can also make sure that any footage is future proof and it gives you a certain leeway in the post-production process.

However as the great political philosopher Thomas Sowell once said “There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs” and that’s certainly the case here. 4K means undoubtedly a great quality of images but it also equates to a need of more memory storage and more processing power — meaning you’re going to work longer. As you already guessed it the files are heavier. Heavier file means slow editing and rendering process. Of course it all depends on the computer you are using but nonetheless if you don’t have a computer with more than 16RAM it will slow down your computer and you will feel the lagging when you edit.

4K Propaganda

As you already witnessed, 4k is being publicize too much. Saying that a camera is 4K helps to drive sales. Flashy new features are always been used in a way to brand a product and compel the undiscerning consumers to buy.

The truth is 4k display isn’t wide spread. You are probably reading that article in a display that doesn’t enable 4K. Even some television shows are being shot in 1080p still because many screens are still have 1080p display. Unless you are watching a 3D movie, your TV display is probably slightly better than a 1080p screen. Without forgetting that most computer owned are 1080p or lower.

While 4k isn’t going anywhere in terms of usefulness, I have to admit that it may become necessary in the future, but is still an alternative right now. Perhaps 8k or more will be the norm in the future and 4K won’t even be that in demand — who knows?

The camera or the videographer ?

The main problem with that 4K debate is that people think that newer equipment equates in better video and it’s not necessarily true. The equipment you use is not going to help your creativity. 4k is not going to give the story you want to tell through your video more impact. Just watch the funny video trending on Instagram … One of my favorite Facebook page is from a young French film maker named Will Aime. He’s creating mobile content and at the beginning it was shot from his phone and now I’ll assume he is using DSLR. The Camera and his equipment isn’t the most high tech but his story telling is on point. I dare you to watch one of his videos and not get hooked till the end (sorry it’s in French). Will Aime certainly don’t rely on the feature of his camera to catch the attention of his audience and so should you. Camera feature shouldn’t be a crutch it should be a tool.

Should I Still Buy a Canon 70D-80D ?

The truth is that 1080p does get the job done. With the Canon EOS 70D camera (or Canon 80D), it delivers such amazing image quality and is extremely affordable; both compelling points. With the right lens and the creativity and determination of a videographer, you can shoot just about anything and it will look great. As you already may know I still shoot with this camera all kinda of video: interviews, events, nightclub promo, live concerts … and I’m more than satisfied with it and the result I have. If it works for me and Sundance, it can work for you. On that note I wishing you well in your video-making journey and I hope you create amazing video content.