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Sony Alpha Mirrorless and DSLR
Sony Alpha a7s: Full HD Recording in XAVC and 4:2:2 UHD 4K Output via HDMI.


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Old February 5th, 2016, 02:12 PM   #16
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Re: 4k vs HD

The reason you bought a 4K camera isn't necessarily for now. Its because, if you're going to buy a camear now, you want a camera that will meet standards in 2-5 years, when 4K IS the standard.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 02:50 PM   #17
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Re: 4k vs HD

Thanks Robert, and your comment reminds me that in my over-ripe old age I don't even buy green bananas anymore. Yes, an old over-done joke but you get my point.

Actually, since the advent of digital imaging, photo and video, the advancement in the technology couple with the reduction in price has resulted in my replacement of camera bodies certainly more frequently than 5 years and almost annually. I simply have not purchased a camera body on the basis of what it will do in the future, and certainly did not do so with my latest purchases. And I'm not even a working professional!

I'm not sure I entirely agree that 4k will be the standard in 2 to 5 years. With the way global economies look and the technology forecasts as they are countries such as New Zealand where I live are most unlikely to enable 4k to the point of being the new 'Standard' for broadcast for sure and not even for Internet publishing in the foreseeable future.

Whatever, that's another huge discussion altogether.

My key point is that I purchase kit for the here and now mainly because today's state-of-the-art gear is obsolete the day after tomorrow. And having said that I do agree that shooting 4k today makes more sense than shooting HD. After all I do have 2x4k capable cameras and a 4k monitor on the way.

My family and friends, not into digital imagery other than cell phone snaps, think I'm crazy.
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Old February 13th, 2016, 10:16 AM   #18
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Re: 4k vs HD

I have a 40" 4k monitor and a 23" 1920x1200 and the difference side by side is quite noticeable to me. 4k on a HD monitor looks like a jagged mess with all the aliasing that's created when watching 4k video on a low rez monitor and 1080p looks really soft by comparison because 4k just has so much more detail. As others have mentioned the difference is significant, an ~8mp image vs a ~2mp image.

When I tested 4k/1080p on the A7rII I decided unless I need 60p, everything I shoot will be in 4k - even if the delivery is HD because down sampled looks better.

I have some landscape test shots that I loop when people come over and everyone has been really impressed, in some cases people are surprised when they see movement because they thought it was just a really nice photo. Pretty cool, even for the non-gearheads like my wife.
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Old February 13th, 2016, 12:40 PM   #19
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Re: 4k vs HD

Thanks for your comments Chris, I too am now a believer I can say with unbridled enthusiasm.

My new Dell P2715Q arrived a couple of days ago (I don't have the real estate for a monster such as your 40"). I can report, as many folks here already know, 4k video on this beast looks just gorgeous - really knocked my socks off. But here's the kicker: so does HD. And as for photographs, especially recent shots from the A7RII: totally sumptuous.

(My old Dell 24" monitor is history, waiting until I find someone to whom I can off-load it.)

Yes, 4k video looks better quality than HD most often, granted, but not by that much I have to say. And yes, I shall shoot 4k almost exclusively hence forth.

So in summary two happy bottom line surprises; the first just how good 4k looks on this new 4k monitor, and secondly just how good HD, shot with the A7RII, looks on it too.

Cheers.
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Old February 13th, 2016, 01:52 PM   #20
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Re: 4k vs HD

Faces are what really sets apart hd and uhd on a uhd monitor
I'm hitting the road when I get to be old and gray as well (only 67 today) in an antique 27" Dodge travco and the seiki 39 in my stick home will have to be downsized to fit in the mh unfortunately. I Should find a boat as well to live on in the summer along the coast. May be shoot some yacht racing (is there money in that?)
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Old February 13th, 2016, 04:57 PM   #21
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Re: 4k vs HD

As mentioned here already ... I can only see an advantage of 4K at this current stage for post production / editing flexibility purposes. That's it. Otherwise I would rather spend my money on a solid, high end 1080p camera.
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Old February 13th, 2016, 08:44 PM   #22
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Re: 4k vs HD

But if you can buy a camera with 4K AND good HD 1080p for a little more, and get much more in many respects, why wouldn't you?

Now John has got a 4K display, he sees what is there, as many of us have. Yes, flexibility in post is ONE benefit, and yes, delivering 4K may be a bit problematic for at least a little while, but as many have discovered, down rezzing 4K source material yields as good or in many cases better HD results...

I do think that HD is going to be around as the de facto delivery format for a while, but 4K is coming fast... The TV's are on the walls at every big box store, and not much more than an HD set... would you rather be creating content for those, or the ones that will likely be a small percentage of what is being sold in a year or two?
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Old February 14th, 2016, 01:09 AM   #23
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Re: 4k vs HD

I do agree with Dave - why wouldn't you? Having said that there is one watch out I must emphasize at the risk of being boring however it is a 'when you wouldn't' shoot 4k. Both 4k cams I have, the Sony A7RII and the AX100 suffer from a less than stellar EVF (I don't use the LCD) when shooting 4k. Shooting HD no problem but shooting 4k the EVF dims and I not infrequently have a serious problem. In very bright sunlight it is a guess and by god exercise. Today I was following a slow swimming Sting Ray along the edge of the marina and with the intense sunlight it was well nigh impossible to see the fish in the water using the EVF. Fortunately most of the footage was of remarkably good quality, the Sting Ray lovely and clear in 4k even if the EVF view was almost useless. Switch to HD and the view in the EVF is as good as it gets; excellent.

If I was shooting mission critical footage and I really needed a clear normal view in the EVF as offered in the HD mode then I would shoot in HD, not 4k. I do find the A7RII HD footage excellent, not so much the HD out of the AX100.

I'm not the only one to experience this serious limitation. A search on the Internet revealed others experiencing this problem and in one instance, there may well be more, the shooter returned the camera to the supplier due to this issue.

I don't believe this is an eyesight problem but rather the issue arises when shooting in very bright outdoor light. Because of the quality of the 4k footage I, like many others, work around this with the A7RII by framing, focusing and setting other parameters while in photography mode then at the last minute switching to movie mode and keeping the fingers crossed. A serious limitation for sure.

Sony have done well with both the AX100 and the A7RII but I trust they are aware that when the competition solves this problem, if before they do, then they will loose customers, no doubt about that.

Other than that it's 4k all the way.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 02:20 AM   #24
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Re: 4k vs HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
would you rather be creating content for those, or the ones that will likely be a small percentage of what is being sold in a year or two?
I"d create content for both but I would not let the tv resolution dictate in what format I would be shooting in unless I want it or the clients asks for it. As John said, HD can look good on a 4K tv too. Much depends who you are shooting for, I actually would prefer to shoot a wedding in HD if the result would be viewed on a very big 4K screen, no bride wants to see every pimple on her face, why do you think the softer 5d's are still so popular for weddingvideography? Because they smooth out imperfections and make the bride look even more glamorous. As long as the contrast and colors are there only a very small percentage is going to request a 4K master even if they have a 4k tv. If I would be shooting for myself and if I want the best IQ then 4K is an obvious choice but there can be other reasons why I wouldn't do that, one of them being a limitation of my camera's not being able to shoot in 50p at 4K. It can also depend on which camera you use, my sony cx730 is a wonderful little camera yet side by side with my jvc ls300 the difference in HD between both camera's is quite obvious, the ls300 produces some very good and detailled HD with excellent detail from edge to edge, the cx730 however is softer and the detail is not uniform across the screen. I"d have no issue showcasing my ls300 footage on a 4K screen but would have some doubt with my cx730. There certainly is good and not so good hd these days, something that John is seeing with his A7RII.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 07:45 AM   #25
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Re: 4k vs HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McCully View Post
Thanks for your comments Chris, I too am now a believer I can say with unbridled enthusiasm.

My new Dell P2715Q arrived a couple of days ago (I don't have the real estate for a monster such as your 40"). I can report, as many folks here already know, 4k video on this beast looks just gorgeous - really knocked my socks off. But here's the kicker: so does HD. And as for photographs, especially recent shots from the A7RII: totally sumptuous.

(My old Dell 24" monitor is history, waiting until I find someone to whom I can off-load it.)

Yes, 4k video looks better quality than HD most often, granted, but not by that much I have to say. And yes, I shall shoot 4k almost exclusively hence forth.

So in summary two happy bottom line surprises; the first just how good 4k looks on this new 4k monitor, and secondly just how good HD, shot with the A7RII, looks on it too.

Cheers.
At 100% HD a small window on my panel, anything more and you start to see pixels. I now check my projects on a 42" TV.

HD is pretty good with the A7rII, but IMO unless you want more than 30fps, 4k chopped down looks even better. I do like the versatility though, its nice to have options.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 08:06 AM   #26
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Re: 4k vs HD

The EVF dimming in 4k is definitely annoying and something Sony needs to address. Its sunny pretty much everyday where I live, so I use a Z-finder on the LCD.

It will be interesting to see if the new EVF with the mega refresh rate in the a6300 has the same issue. I have one on order, so as soon as it ships I'll be able to do side-by-sides.

As to the usefulness of 4k, I have a bunch of beauty shots of landscapes, cityscapes, sports, food, jewelry and so on that I show off to potential clients on my 4k monitor, most are impressed by the footage. Honestly, it looks like the goofy demo loops you see in Costco or Best Buy, but its effective. That alone has made moving to 4k worthwhile for me. I still shoot a lot of HD with the A7s and downscaled 4k looks much better. Of course we have framing/stabilizing options with the extra pixels too, I find that valuable as a one-man-band.

I shoot ~30,000 stills a year too, not having to lug two camera systems for video and stills is a godsend for me. I love the A7rII despite its shortcomings.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 08:20 AM   #27
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Re: 4k vs HD

Quote:
The EVF dimming in 4k is definitely annoying and something Sony needs to address.
Might be because 4K recording introduces more heat and that by dimming the evf they try to prevent overheating?
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Old February 14th, 2016, 08:29 AM   #28
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Re: 4k vs HD

That's why I was thinking too, heat management is something they're still getting a handle on with the small cameras. They solved the recording overheat issue with the A7rII, I'm holding out a slight hope they get the EVF sorted before the A7r3.

We'll see if they've made progress with the a6300.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 02:06 PM   #29
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Re: 4k vs HD

Chris, I note you use a Z-finder on the A7RII. May I ask what model number to go with please? I may go that route too.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 06:49 PM   #30
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Re: 4k vs HD

Forget all about the camera stuff. A BIG +1 on Pirsig's book 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.' Little did it have to do with either but being a rider / one time racer I bought the book thinking it might help me understand motorcycles says he grinning :))

Classic and romantic that book has stayed with me since the early '70s. Broadened my vision improved my understanding and changed my outlook on life and is still an influence on how I accept the march of time.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney

P.S.
Agree with the other comments, yes you do need a much bigger screen to get any real benefit from 4K.
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