These days, HD content has become very easy to access for common consumers. Now you can observe how complex needs for video resolution are for professional videographers. For common daily use, any camera can shoot in full HD resolution. But for professional use, you need pro 4K video camcorders and cameras.
Pro 4K Video Camera Buyer’s Guide
Everyone can own a pro 4K video camera but it is always recommended for professionals as they are made for special purpose. So, you need to use it accordingly. A home user should only buy consumer cameras that come with basic features because professional camera should be used by a professional who uses it to produce top quality videos to generate income. So, they need videos in highest quality.
Professional camcorders may look better and bigger. Usually, they are larger in build with larger lenses and sensors. It also has wireless microphones, interchangeable lenses, and other features for best quality videos. Pro 4K video cameras are always expensive due to the most advanced technologies and features. There are wide ranges of cameras available from $2500 to $5000 for different production needs. In this range, cameras may have 1/3” CMOS sensor, image stabilization, 64GB internal memory, detachable handle, and fast and slow speed settings. Well, the price is not the only factor to look for. You need to consider other factors to choose the pro 4K camcorder.
Ease of Use
No matter you have decades of experience in filmmaking, there are still some gadgets that will surprise you with features and functionality. Even though you have all the technical know-how in camera work, look or pro 4K cameras they are easy to use to work out the menu and controls. Settings should be easier to understand and not buried somewhere inside the layers of menus. Sometimes, dial or button is totally useless. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to learn how to use it out of the box.
You may want to introduce yourself as a pro, but you may still have to cover long way from becoming the big names to buy the most advanced equipment. You really need to look for skill levels. Professional cameras are designed for users with specific skills. If you are just a beginner or intermediate user, look or a pro 4K camcorder which gives professional quality audio and produces great videos like Sony FDR-AX100.
It can capture 1920x1080p full HD video and 4K videos in AVCHD, XAVC-S, MP4 and other recording format. It also has Optical SteadyShot stabilization, in-built Wi-Fi, NFC, and 12x optical zoom to capture cinematic videos. For advanced skills, you may want camcorder which records in true 4K at 50 to 60fps.
4K Video Recording
Most professional 4K video camcorders are larger than consumer versions due to larger version of everything, i.e. from lenses to sensor. For example, they have bigger lenses to have better light gathering and low-light performance. It is best used for making full-length movies and documentaries. Image quality is another key feature of pro cameras. You need to know the adjustments you will want to make to get the best outputs.
Most pro 4K camcorders are very expensive. So, be sure to get the most of it. Along with great video quality and 4K resolution, your camera should be compatible to other tools. For example, you might want external microphone for better audio output, despite having in-built microphone. Hence, you may like XLR microphone.
You may also want to consider additional tools for playback, editing, and to convert 4K videos. You will want to use hardware to back up your 4K videos. You should have at least i7 PC or laptop with SSD and 8-core CPU due to extremely large file sizes. Choose the 4K video converter to process AVCHD and convert it into 720p or 1080p formats to be played in different mobile devices.
In terms of 4K video camcorder, you get what you pay for. For instance, camcorders that are priced around $1500 have few sacrifices but have some great features. So, be sure to pick the best product that can meet all your needs. Consider the right camera for you and budget you should look for. Check all the features in a camera that can give best returns in future.
Best 4K Video Cameras/Camcorders
If you don’t want to compromise on quality, here are our top picks –
1. Red One
Red One is the undisputed leader in 4K video making. This brand has been making the best 4K video cameras for professional videographers these days.
2. Sony NEX-FS700RH 4K Ready 35mm Super
It uses high-speed readout chip named “4K Exmor Super 35 CMOS” which is designed well to shoot high-quality videos. It adds low noise and minimal aliasing, along with great sensitivity.
It is capable to capture raw, 4K videos @100fps. But it can capture 2K raw videos at 100, 120,240 or 200 fps for recording consistently. It has got a 10x super slow motion for recording in full HD and it can record videos in lower resolutions with 40x.
3. Blackmagic Production 4K
It is built with 35 size sensor for Ultra HD 3840x2160p 4K resolution. The optimally sized sensor adds minimal crop factor to get great shots with wide angle lenses. It also adds great depth of field control due to Super 35 sensor in the camera. If you are looking for a hybrid camera, it is the best bet for you.
4. Canon Cinema EOS C500 4K Camera
With up to 120 of frame rate in both 2K and 4K, Canon Cinema EOS C500 4K provides great flexibility for both high speed and slow motion capture. It has Canon Log Gamma feature for providing quality output and wide aperture that is required by most cinematographers today.
5. BlackMagic Ursa 4K Camcorder
It is the latest 4K camera which has two 5” monitors and 10” monitor to ensure detailed feedback and great control with wide dynamic range.
6. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 4K Camera
It is the 4K Mirror-less Micro 4/3rds Digital Camera designed for both professional video and photo. It has 4-CPU Venus Engine to capture RAW and JPEG format stills in high resolution and 16.05-megapixel MOS Digital Live sensor.
7. Sony FDR-AX100
Sony FDR-AX100 is widely known as the first pro 4K video camcorder by Sony. It weighs no more than 900g and it is priced competitively, i.e. below $2000. It is designed to meet the needs of different types of videographers. XA100 is your best bet if you are not serious about DSLR and can even work with Ultra HD.
8. JVC GY-HMQ10U 4K Camcorder
This compact camcorder is well known for high-speed Falconbird processor for high quality video applications. Loaded with CMOS 4K sensor, this camcorder can capture 3840x2160p Ultra HD video. It works seamlessly in various lighting conditions with is one sensor sensitivity. It can record 4K images in 4/h.264 MPEG format @144mbps.
9. Sony PMW-F55
If you are looking for the best in 4K Sony can offer, look no further than Sony PMW-F55. It is the production video camera which can capture true 4K videos at 4096x2180p to produce broadcast quality footage. You can shoot up to 240fps for filming in 2K (with AXS-R5 Recorder) as well as 60fps at 4K.
10. JVC-HM-200 4K Camcorder
HM-200 is the latest 4K camcorder from JVC, released with HM-170. It features XLR outputs and various allied features. It is the best 4K camera priced lower than Sony with same features. Priced under $2000, it weighs just 915g and it meets all your video shooting needs.
11. Sony FDRAX1 4K Video Camera
It features 8.3MP Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor which can capture best videos with great quality which far exceeds HD video resolution. It features backlit structure with photodiode layers to provide great shooting experience with great low-light sensitivity. At 60fps, it can shoot raw 4K data at great recording time.
12. Sony PXW-Z150 XDCAM Camcorder
Whether professional or not, any filmmaker or videographer would love to have the PXW-Z150. Thanks to its powerful features and lightweight and compact design, it literally adds great value for money and helps you shoot best quality videos.
13. Sony PXW-Z100 Pro 4K Camcorder
Sony PXW-Z100 is the advanced pro 4K video camera which can record at 4096x2160p true 4K and 3840x2160p Ultra HD up to 60p. These quality resolutions far exceed the needs of advanced level videographers. It uses 10-bit XAVC 4:2:2 codec and gives output in MXF format.
14. Panasonic AG DVX200 4K Pro Camcorder
It is Panasonic’s latest 4K Pro camcorder which comes with 4/3 sensor, which is the major USP of this camcorder. It performs really very well in low light.
15. Panasonic HC-X1000 4K Camcorder
Panasonic HC-X1000 is the best choice for those making a move to 4K. With a lot of amazing features and ability to capture ultra HD 4K at 60p in SD card, it gives quality output and value for money.