4K video shooting

Robc8 Website User Posts: 1

Hi everyone, for the past two weeks I have been trying to figure out what type of true 4k camera or camcorder to purchase. I have a budget of up to 4000 for a camera (or camcorder). I currently have a Sony HXR-NX30U camcorder and want to find a true 4k device.  My questions are the following:

  1. Are there advantages to a camcorder over a DSLR camera (or vice versa) for 4k video shooting?

  2. Can you make any suggestions on which true 4K camcorder or camera you would consider the best in that price range?

  3. Would the device (camera or camcorder) fit into the gimbal? https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1330088-REG/letus35_lt_hxjralec_letus_helix_jr_hh.html

 I would really like to make a purchase soon, but the more I research the more questions I have.


  • DrHash
    DrHash Website User Posts: 13 Just Starting Out

    Well I'm no expert on these matters, but I have been investigating 4k cameras for a while in anticipation of getting a 4k camera. These days there should be no reason not to use a 4k camera, due to the fact a) the price has fallen and b) somewhat future proofing your work for distribution. Then there is also the fact that there isn't a great deal of 4k content available...you're getting in front so to speak from the rest of the pack. 8k is a long way off of being affordable, and native - as well as you would need Crapple's 90,000 dollar top of the line machine (I would find a windows equivalent myself...ugh Crapple and the PC would be half that price) sorry I digressed. 

    Now to answer your question, with a budget of 4 grand...gosh you can get a top of the line DSLR or Mirrorless DSLR. I would buy a DSLR myself, due to greater options for both photography and cinematography. Sure, you might be able to get a cheaper 4k digital film camera...but I think for 4 grand you won't get something that has all the bells and whistles like a DSLR. Digital film or video cameras tend to look a bit video is one of the reasons I prefer a DSLR, but this has more to do with frame rate and the sensor. Then there is the lack of interchangeable lenses. The DSLR is really like a film movie camera of old in that way. 

    For me, what you are looking for is a DSLR that can shoot raw or 10-bit or even 12-bit - so 4:2:2 using the HDMI out into a hard drive recorder like the ninja series. This is where it gets complicated...I think only the top Nikon can do this. I just checked, and not even the d850 can do 10-bit raw out. Do some research though, for me Nikon are the best DSLR cameras for video IMO. The Nikon mirrorless Z series does do 10-bit raw 4k though. Since you already have a Sony...there are a number of mirrorless DSLR's with 4k 10-bit raw that I would look at myself. This is where I was heading. I can't quite remember the difference between a proper mirror based DSLR and a mirrorless one off the top of my head. I think though that the difference in quality has been overcome. This was one of the arguments against mirrorless DSLRs off the top of my head. 

    Most cameras have the same connectors...so the gimble should work with your new camera.

    Hope this helps. 


  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Website User Posts: 924 Enthusiast

    There are not many dSLRs that can record any flavor of raw whatsoever. The Sigma fp, Nikon Z6 (and soon Z7), and Panasonic SH1 are about it, and all three require some form of external recording device. The Sigma fp can record CinemaDNG at up to 12-bits on an external SSD, the other two require Atomos (or eventually Black Magic) monitor/recorders.

    BTW, "Mirrorless dSLR" is a contradiction. 

    A top end dSLR will be out of the $4K budget.

    If your focus is filmmaking, you shouldn't be looking at a high end dSLR; you'd end up blowing most of your budget on an SH1 body, and not have enough left over for lenses and Atomos recorder.

    The more economical way is to go for a Z-Cam or Black Magic cinema camera; the only hybrids that are close to professional grade cinema cameras are the fp and the SH1, and they both require external recorders to do it, and the fp has some limitations that aren't ideal but will hopefully get addressed in firmware. The log encoding part is coming soon(ish), at least.

    And just FYI... the machine I use for 8K post is a $3300 laptop (by Asus). :)