What is 4K?
4K video has four times the resolution of Full HD video
- 4K video dimensions are 3840 x 2160
- For comparison 1080p (Full HD) is 1920 x 1080
- 720p (HD) is 1280 x 720 pixels
4K video is Ultra High Quality. Some people may not need that much quality, however shooting in 4K gives you more options than Full HD which I will explain further.
Plus, Lumix Custom 4K Photo modes have many advantages for capturing the right moment in action and sports photography.
So what’s the difference between 4K video and 4K photo?
Here’s a little background about video shutter speeds.
If you shoot video it’s recommend that you shoot at a shutter speed of 1/50s, 1/60s 1/100s or 1/125s. Using those slow shutter speeds ensures that video with a lot of fast motion in it, isn’t choppy looking. [insert video].
Generally when you use a slow shutter speed in video, the frames are slightly blurred, giving you a smoother looking result. This is standard across the video (and motion picture) industry.
You can certainly extract a frame from your 4K video (shot at the standard shutter speeds), but if there was a lot of motion in the shot, it will probably look a bit blurry like this [insert example photo].
In 4K photo mode the camera captures 30 fps at any f-stop and shutter speed that you set up. So if you are trying to freeze motion, like I do with my skateboard photos, then you can use a super fast shutter speed. In my case that was 1/1000s.
And that’s where 4K photo is most useful.
Capturing 30 fps in 4K is much faster than the burst modes of many cameras. In the Lumix GX8 the [H] high speed burst mode is 8 fps when shooting full size jpgs.
Advantages to shooting in 4K Photo mode
If you are beginner, shooting fast action subjects, and you haven’t quite mastered the art of the decisive moment, or in the case of sports, not sure what moment the athletes think is best, then 4K is a great way to start.
Another advantage to shooting in 4K photo mode rather than extracting frame grabs from 4K video, is that you are not limited to the 16:9 aspect ratio. You can choose any of the presets. [Make a chart from these]
- [4:3]: 3328×2496 = 8.3 MP
- [3:2]: 3504×2336 = 8.19 MP
- [16:9]: 3840×2160 = 8.3 MP
- [1:1]: 2880×2880 = 8.3 MP
Disadvantages of 4K Photo mode
There are a couple of disadvantages to shooting in 4K Photo mode.
– 4K photo mode uses the electronic shutter. When a moving subject is recorded with the electronic shutter, the subject may appear distorted in the picture. In some cases that won’t be a problem, but it’s something to watch for.
– In 4K photo mode, there is a slight time lag between shots, as all those photos need to be dumped into your memory card. So make sure you buy a high quality, high speed memory card.
– So if you are shooting a sports event where different competitors are coming at you very quickly, then you may prefer the high speed burst mode.
If capturing the moment is the most important thing, and you are new to action photography, then use 4K Photo mode.
If you need the largest file sizes of fast moving subjects, and you have a bit more experience with action photography, then use the [H] high speed burst setting.