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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old June 15th, 2014, 06:04 PM   #76
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

My computer upgrade was overdue (yep, well over 3 years...), so it came down to how much of a boost I could get without killing the piggy... the main "hitch" was the "monitor", no $2-3K+ "budget" for THAT item!! I've described my cheap solution... the rest (CPU/MB/Memory) was not terribly bad, and when I sell off the old and still decently zippy core, it will be even closer to painless.

As far as cameras go, let's take a quick look - 6-9 months ago, the "price of entry" for a 4K capable cam was around $4K, IIRC... 3-6 months ago, that dropped to $2K... a few weeks from now the just announced FZ1000 will drop that to $900... By CES, there will no doubt be a flurry of cameras (such as they may be, consumer grade stuff to be sure!) breaking the $500 price point...

I don't factor in tablets and cell phones, those should be sub $500 too... but look at that price "curve" (actually looks like jumping off a cliff with a good run and no parachute!). Do you think 4K will be in the consumer mindset by this time next year? ALL that is really needed is a simple and relatively reasonably priced delivery format/media, and CONTENT (which may well be provided more by "unknown producers" than in the past?). The ability to CREATE 4K content is ALREADY pretty much there, and when 4K TV's drop... and they will... it will happen fast - consumers already expect resolutions above "HD" on their teeny tiny screens!!

I do have some doubts whether the "big boys" learned anything from the HDDVD v. BluRay debacle where NO ONE "won", and BR still suffers low adoption... it is possible to kill any good thing with greed and stupidity. But presuming that 4K content is available, one way or another, it should catch on fairly quickly.
Even if big screens at high prices aren't the "path", phones and tablets with ultra high resolution screens can easily be the demand "pull" in the market.

Jeff correctly observes that once you get 4K working, you definitely DO NOT want "good old HD" as much... it's nice having the additional sharpness and pixels to work with.

THAT SAID... similar to how you "could" play back SD on and HD screen, usually badly (and probably in the wrong aspect ratio), and have "acceptable" results, it is quite possible to play back HD on a 4K screen! AND IT LOOKS PRETTY GOOD. Not as good as native 4K, but "good enough" - 4K on a 1080 screen seems to also look better than 1080 footage...

Yes, "HD" can now appear a bit "soft" (I'm finding the 50Mbps XAVCS 1080 60p mode in the AX100 to be better in this respect), but certainly "acceptable" for MOST situations. There are also going to be different qualities of "4K" I suspect - the samples from the FZ1000 don't measure up to the AX100 from what I've seen, despite similar or "better" specs. But it's pretty obvious the feature is going to be the next push.

With tech, it's always a challenge of "when to jump". It's hard to gauge when exactly the "old tech" is sufficiently slower or lower quality than the "new tech". SOMETIMES the "new" is nothing more than hype, but other times there is a very real quantifiable difference. I'm with Noa on usually trying to wait a bit, but cameras like the RX10 and AX100 replaced other aging cameras in ways that made them make sense to grab "open box" deals as soon as they popped up. They are proving to be good buys, as they are better "tools" than what they replace, just as with the computer upgrade.

So too with the "early adoption" bugs - yep, there are a "few"... I think I've stumbled over them all for the last 2-3 weeks, but am happy with the results. The sharper screen and images I'm working with now are very satisfying - and yes, older and lower resolution video and stills very much "show their age" by comparison.

I guess having managed to pull off 4K capability on the cheap with VERY easily seen improvements and a number of unexpected side benefits, I'm scratching my head a bit at how it could NOT be "practical"... the AX100 is proving to be the first video camera in quite a while that actually is fun and makes me want to shoot with it. It IS more of a challenge as 4K is not terribly forgiving to "bad camera technique", but that's OK...

Then again, I still have a number of "HD" cameras and still will shoot them when they best suit the situation, at least until upgrades with 4K are available!

SO -
Practical = YES!
Need = maybe?
Should you = depends!

I would suggest that 4K is inevitable, and if you're still shooting SD, maybe it's time...
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Old August 14th, 2014, 01:05 PM   #77
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

For weddings, today - right now - 4K is, without question, practical. You may have a different question, but for me: 1 4K camera = 2 HD cameras. Just do the math and use the tools that help you deliver a better product.

I'm replacing 2 JVC HM100s in a ceremony situation with 1 Lumix GH4. I'm so stoked about that math. In fact, when I rented a second one for the reverse angle they threw in the "reframing options package" for free.

***REFRAMING and wide/tight options are key here and why "practical" is a no brainer. In fact, just because there's a balcony, I rented a 3rd Lumix as well.

It's about options and the ability to do things in post to deliver your product. 4K has overwhelmingly more options when cutting to an HD timeline. If you don't care and your clients don't care and 4K won't "make your job easier" and "your product better" then don't shoot it.

But 4K is practical and doable today for weddings - and for me it's because of the GH4. I would not be shooting a RED wedding. That flavor of 4K is not practical for me. And for most of the wedding, at this point and because I just picked up a C100, I won't be shooting 4K the entire time. Just using it when it's "practical" (or awesome, or useful, or very helpful).

For those interested, I'll be shooting 3xGH4s and 1xC100. The C100 is primary; the GH4s will be relegated to the ceremony. And delivery is HD files as well as DVD.
Jeff Butler
Butler Films
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Old August 14th, 2014, 01:47 PM   #78
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

I recently posted a thread with some example images of the cop advantage here: advantages of cropping 4K

I"m 6 weddings behind in my editing and only recently started to edit the footage I shot some time ago with my gh4 and in about 3 wedding edits my ax100 will be joining the edit party. Fun times :)
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