2017 is right around the corner and there is no better time to upgrade the kind of camera you have. It is time to ditch that old outdated video camera and buy an amazing 4K video camera. The problem many people have is finding the right one for their needs and their budget. There are a lot of great video cameras out there that record in crisp 4K but obviously some are better than others.
You should feel happy since you found this article though, since we did the hard work for you. We compiled a helpful guide to buying a 4K video camera and a list of the best ones in the market and roughly how much they will cost you so that you can find the perfect one for yourself. Just in time for the holidays!
How do I pick the best 4K video camera?
As I stated above, it all depends on what you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend. If you are looking for a camera that shoots professional looking videos, you will obviously have to shell out more money for a high-end professional 4K camera.
For those who are looking for a camera for more casual use, you can look at the lower end cheaper 4K video cameras. This also applies to technology enthusiasts who are just looking to try out the new technology. What’s great about these lower priced 4K video cameras is that the quality of the videos they produce are leaps and bounds ahead some of the top lower technology cameras in the market and won’t cost you much more than those cameras.
While you might have a certain price range in mind, there are still many other factors to consider to help you narrow down your search.
When you are snapping pictures or recording videos, the last thing you want is a slow camera. Especially when you are working with 4K technology – a slow camera is a no-go. Luckily, most 4K video cameras on the market have adequate processing power to avoid any slowdowns. Even so, you should look for a 4K video camera that comes with two or more processors. This will ensure that your camera has plenty of speed.
The resolution of a picture or video is determined by counting the amount of vertical and horizontal pixels in the shot. 4K resolution, also known as ultra-high definition, is used to describe a range of resolutions that are roughly quadruple the resolution of what is generally considered high definition. And this super high resolution means that the pictures and videos you shoot will be far clearer than any picture or video shot with a camera of a lesser resolution. If you want to be able to shoot videos at the maximum resolution offered by 4K video cameras (4608 x 3456p), you will need to make sure the camera you buy has multiple strong processors. Most 4K video cameras will give you the option to shoot at maximum resolution, but if the camera you choose has weaker processing power, you may face slowdown. Therefore, desired resolution and processing power are tightly linked. The 4K video cameras will of course allow you to shoot at lower resolutions as well. But again, processing power is key.
The camera lens
It is a no-brainer that the lens is a very important part of any camera and should of course be considered when choosing the right 4K video camera. Something you should know before buying is that most 4K video cameras do not come with their own lens. So make sure that the lens you plan on purchasing are compatible for the 4K video camera that you choose or else you are going to have a bad time.
Light sensitivity is another important feature to consider when purchasing your 4K video camera. If you are planning on doing a lot of shots at night, you will want a camera with broad light sensitivity. To check your camera’s light sensitivity, all you have to do is check out the ISO settings. Many 4K video cameras will give you a range of sensitivity to pick from. You will want to set it to the highest sensitivity if you are going to be doing shots at night so that your picture will be crisp and clear.
The specifications of the videos you can shoot with the 4K camera are an important factor to consider. Some things you should definitely keep in mind is that a desirable 4K camera should be able to shoot videos in maximum resolution at 60 frames per second. Plenty of 4K cameras in the market can only shoot in maximum resolution at 30 frames per second, so stay away from those and find one that shoots at 60 frames per second for the best quality.
Also, as it pertains to the video file format, try to find a camera that saves the video as a RAW file. This ensures that your video will not have its quality stripped by a lesser video format. If you are unable to find a 4K video camera that records the videos in RAW format, some other formats to be on the lookout for are MP4, ACVHD, and H.264. Any of those will do.
Versatility & compatibility
When looking for the right 4D camera, you will want one that offers multiple methods of connecting to external devices. Whether that be through Wi-Fi, HDMI cables, Bluetooth, or standard audio and video connectors. Figure out what devices you have right now that you would like your camera to connect to and then find a 4K video camera that accommodates your connectivity desires. An ideal camera would have some or all of the aforementioned connectivity methods. Versatility is key.
It is time to look at the top 5 best 4K video cameras for 2017…
1. Panasonic HC-X1000 4K Ultra HD Professional Camcorder
This is an excellent 4K video camera that gives you the ability to shoot videos at the highest quality resolution possible with a 4K camera. In addition to that, the HC-X1000 has a handful of useful applications built-in to it, making your job as a recorder easier. Also, you can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi connection with this camera. This camera comes with two powerful processors that ensure that no slowdown will occur when recording your ultra-high definition pictures and videos. This is by far the best 4K video camera for the relatively low price that it is being sold at.
2. Sony PXWZ100 4K Handheld XDCAM
This is another superb 4K video camera that comes with a wide range of features. One thing that really stands out about this camera is that audio quality isn’t forgotten about. That’s right, your audio will be recorded in super high quality with this camera. When it comes to the lens, you get the fantastic Sony G Lens that allows you to record in wide-angle 20x zoom. As for connectivity methods, the Sony PXWZ100 comes with HDMI ports and 3G outputs, as well as being able to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi connection. The price might be a bit high for casual users and tech enthusiasts, but this camera is jam packed with professional level features, such as being able to shoot in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, and will cost you a bit less than a professional camera would, which makes it a highly considerable choice.
3. Blackmagic Design URSA Camera
This 4K video camera is not for those looking for a camera for casual use or those aforementioned tech enthusiasts wanting to try out new technology. This camera was built and priced specifically for those needing a 4K camera for professional usage. This is an incredibly well-made camera with a whole lot of professional tools built in to it. This is meant for people who are going to be shooting feature films, television shows, and music videos.
One thing that really makes this camera worth the hefty price tag is its ability to be upgraded to fit the latest technology whenever that technology comes out. Right now it is already on the cutting edge of technology, but we all know what a fast-paced world the world of technology is. This makes sure that your investment was well spent and you will always be ahead of the curve. The Blackmagic Design URSA is like having an entire production set all jam packed into one amazing device.
4. Canon EOS-1D 0931C002 20.2 Megapixel DSLR Camera
The Canon EOS-1D 0931C002 20. Megapixel 4K video camera is another camera that was specifically designed for professional usage. It is way out of the price range for casual camera users and tech enthusiasts and will be a favorite of film and television show production crews. It is the new flag-bearer of Canon’s 1D range of cameras and it is on the cutting edge of 4K technology. It is actually Canon’s first leap into the 4K scene and they really hit it out of the park with this amazing camera. Canon has jam packed this camera with their very own specially designed dual pixel autofocus system with their full frame 20.2-megapixel sensor. It also comes with a real handy LCD touchscreen that makes using this camera a breeze. It is only #4 on this list because the Blackmagic Design URSA slightly edges it and of course because of the price tag, but it is certainly worth the money if you have it.
5. Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K Video Camera
As you can tell by the single dollar sign next to price, this is the cheapest camera on this list. By far it is the cheapest, actually. But that does not mean it is a bad camera by any means. In fact, the Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K video camera measures up quite well to its more expensive state of the art competitors. And while it does not offer the same professional features that the URSA and EOS-1D have, it is still a very versatile little camera. One of the things that stand out about this camera is its size actually. It always used to be the case that bigger cameras shot better quality photos and videos and while that is certainly still the case, this is a tiny camera that can shoot in clear and crisp 4K. On top of that, this little engine that could offers 12x optical zoom and 24x clear image zoom with its lens. The other options offer better zoom but will cost you much more. What more can you really ask for at this super low price?
One potential drawback about this camera is that you can only shoot videos in 4K at 30 frames per second, but that should not be a big deal to casual users. Tech enthusiasts who want to witness full 4K technology may want to opt for one of the first two cameras on this list so they can shoot in 60 frames per second.
The FDR-AX100/B comes with a nice LCD screen to help you keep track of what you are doing and records your videos in a few different formats including MP4. It also allows you to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi connection just like the other cameras on this list. This is definitely the camera you should buy if your budget is too small for the others on this list.
4K Video Camera Review Conclusion
I hope this guide was helpful for those who are looking to purchase a 4K video camera in the new year of 2017. To get more information about the five top 4K video cameras for each price range on the market, do a simple Google search of the product (or click the provided links). You should be able to find all of the information that you will need about the cameras from there. Good luck!