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2K and beyond

April 26, 2012

I while back I waxed poetic about the move to upgrade from SD to HD and my reluctance to make the switch. After all everything changes: camera equipment, editing workstation and workflow. My main reason for not making the switch was cost but a major reason for hesitation was distribution; requests from my clients for DVD outnumber requests for Blu-ray 50 to 1. Vimeo and Youtube have completely leveled that playing field. Now there is enough storage and bandwidth available for clients to receive their videos in HD format.  Of course since people are starting to get comfortable again the market must press forward, technology marches on.

I am in the market for a new camera to fully upgrade beyond SD and when I am researching new equipment I check Adorama, B&H, Photographyblog.com, and 1001NoisyCameras.com for information as well as carefully read HDVideoPro and Videomaker magazines. So imagine my surprise when I came across a camera that not only records at 1080p but will do 4k and will do it in price range I can afford! There are three that will be hitting the market soon. 2 will be interchangeable lens models from Sony and will but future upgradeable to 4k (on release they will only do 1080p). The model that caught my attention is the JVC GY-HMQ10.

The specs on this model look amazing. The ability to capture to 4 separate streams to 4 individual SDHC cards in the camera for a resolution of 3840×2160 at 36Mbps. From 24p to 60p frames per second for recording options. MPEG-4/H.264 recording format which I can natively edit using Sony Vegas Pro. 2 XLR inputs for audio with Phantom power. That is a lot for a $5000 camera. Yes, my wife laughs at the idea that $5000 is affordable but that is a lot of camera for $5k. Shooting 4K for $5k seems like a good trade off to me.

I’m a bit surprised that there is only 1 4k sensor in the GY-HMQ10 especially with the recording of 4 separate streams. I would have thought there would be a need for additional sensors since there is more data being collected at one time. I’m still looking for data to clarify their position on the sensor size.

After hedging my bets against the importance of HD I’m certain someone is asking, Why the interest in moving to 4K? Since I bought my Canon 60D and started recording video with it I see why having MORE detail helps in editing. Have to crop video using digital zoom on 480p footage looks like garbage, that same digital zoom on 1080p is more than acceptable but what about using 4K footage? And since most (all) stabilization techniques for video require some use of digital zooming I can see the benefit of utilizing more detail even though I will be re-compressing the final product for DVD or Blu-ray.

I will be contacted a few outlets and once the product is available I will get my hands on it to do a write up. Stay tuned for more information.

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