Camcorders, false advertising claims of proper, genuine 4K capability

Vernon Cope

Novice Member
I am really fed up of seeing adverts for camcorders, on the likes of Amazon, that claim 4K capability that clearly is not there. Furthermore there are people making YouTube videos about camcorders that are cheap and supposedly have 4K capability. Beneath such a YouTube video I recently placed this in the comments section :-

' This is "very affordable". Nearly all "very affordable" camcorders are illegitimately described in their adverts or very important information is left out or consigned to near the end of a long advert.

For me 4K resolution has to be 3,840 pixels * 2,160 pixels which is a ratio of 16:9. Manufacturers are getting away with calling 2,888 * 2,160 4K. It is a ratio of 4:3 which is clearly unsuitable for computer screens, television screens and cinema screens. It is going back to screens of a long while ago. They know that when we see "4K" we assume 3,840 * 2,160.

Another "4K" trick is that nearly all "very affordable" camcoders thus advertised do not give genuine 4K. What they do is interpolate (software enhance) 1080p and call that 4K. The result of that is dismal. You have only the pixels of 1080p and thus nothing can make that 4K, the data is simply not there.

So, in this case I ask any purchasers of this "4K" camera to conclusively state where we can discover the truth. Has it a resolution of 3,840 * 2,160 and is such resolution the source resolution and not merely software enhanced 1080p?

Here is a reasonable way of seeking out genuine 4k. If the camcorder has a resolution of 3,840 * 2,160 AND it can process 1080p at 120 frames per second then it is almost certainly genuinely 4K. Otherwise it is almost certainly not genuinely 4K '.

It seems that whatever is keyed into either an Amazon or Google search regarding 'Camcorder 4K 1080p 120fps' does not produce satisfactory results. Can anyone supply a list of the lower end of the market genuine 3,840 * 2,160 camcorders that create genuine (not interpolated) 4K?
 
Last edited:

chrishull3

Well-known Member
Well i dont know the answer but i have been happy with the 4K resolution of all the cameras and cams i have owned,it is surprisingly good the performance of 4K video from even phones like mine now,
This is from an HD camera in 2013
This on my phone this year,to be fair the phone is better on less bright days than on the day that was.
 

Gordon Streeter

Active Member
I have been into making films and videos for way over 50 years and have been using camcorders since they were first on the market.
You only get what you pay for in life and unless you stick with "genuine named" brands it is a complete minefield. I have stuck with Panasonic camcorders since they first came out with the 700 and then the 900 series that were both 1080p but were (and still are) very good cameras. I still have 3 of the 900s that I use for multi cam shots in my films and I also have a 4K GoPro along with a Panasonic HC VXF990 4K that are definitely genuine 4K resolution .
As most of my films go onto YouTube the resolution is normally downgraded so I render them into 1080p for a quicker upload also the majority of people watch videos on a small screen phone or tablet so there is not a lot of point in having 4k resolution that takes longer to render.
What is more important to me is the way that the video is actually made.
This is a short video that I made in 4k that I loaded in 1080p on my site some while back
 
Last edited:

chrishull3

Well-known Member
It even holds its own with the much larger sensored Pana G9
Things have moved on a lot since these days


2

Wildlife loves 4K video
 
Last edited:

Gordon Streeter

Active Member
It even holds its own with the much larger sensored Pana G9
Things have moved on a lot since these days
Wildlife loves 4k video
Yes it always amazes me on the actual quality of the equipment we can get for silly money in comparison to 30/40 years ago, even cameras used on general release feature films are within reach of the amateur film maker these days although the dedicated lenses bump the price up, and some have even been made with an iPhone just to prove how good they are but obviously edited in house.
 
Last edited:

12harry

Distinguished Member
Are we reaching the notion that 4K is not needed? +++ Therefore advertisers won't be "found-out". IMHO the difference between HD and 4K is marginal and presupposes the screened image is being studied closely.
+ A decent tripod is needed as the quality-level rises . . . but not all film-makers appear to know this... I've seen footage that looked hand-held but was told a tripod was used... difficult to believe, I thought.
Buyer Beware with cheapo-models.

Probably better to use a good smart-phone that appears to do all one needs - is this the death-knell of Camcorders, excepting Pro-usage/wildlife/Safari . . . ?
 

Gordon Streeter

Active Member
Are we reaching the notion that 4K is not needed? +++ Therefore advertisers won't be "found-out". IMHO the difference between HD and 4K is marginal and presupposes the screened image is being studied closely.
+ A decent tripod is needed as the quality-level rises . . . but not all film-makers appear to know this... I've seen footage that looked hand-held but was told a tripod was used... difficult to believe, I thought.
Buyer Beware with cheapo-models.

Probably better to use a good smart-phone that appears to do all one needs - is this the death-knell of Camcorders, excepting Pro-usage/wildlife/Safari . . . ?
The good thing about "genuine" 4k is that we can cut smaller sections out of a scene and render and edit it into a 1080 video without loosing quality. As for using an iPhone for video yes they are very good as has been shown on various films on the internet and obviously they are to hand all the time, however you haven't got full control of what you are filming with focus /exposure etc. Ok a lot can be done in post but there is nothing like getting it correct in the first place.
The main thing with making any film/video or whatever we now call them is thinking how it should be made with a start a middle and an end that can be understood, it doesn't really matter how much it cost or what the recording device is as expensive equipment doesn't necessarily make you a brilliant film maker.
 

Gordon Streeter

Active Member
The FZ82 has a few big downsides Gordon,like noisy AF/manual AF s not on the lens only the LCD/no external mic input.
On most of my movie films I record the sound on a separate audio recorder and only use the camcorder soundtrack to sync it on the timeline, I am fortunate in that a part of my family repairs cameras and I can get inside info on what is good and what is mediocre or bad.
Having been into photography and making films for over 60 years, all a half decent stills/movie camera had back then was a focusing lens with F stops and an adjustable shutter .
Cameras now have really gone over the top with loads of things that most people will never use and a good majority will leave them on automatic.
I often say to people that to get the best results from an automatic camera you should understand how a manual camera works.
Saying all that we can now buy amazing cameras with stunning results for peanuts compared to years ago as I remember buying a 35mm reflex for £500 in 1972 . I would dread to think how much that equates to in todays money !!!
 

The latest video from AVForums

Sony Bravia XR A80J OLED TV Review
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom