29 Mar, 2015

Why 4K recording for smartphone mobile filmmakers is important? Pros of 4K recording plus top smartphones that offer 4K video

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Stephen-Alvarez-Everest-11There’s no doubt that major cinema cameras and professional and other DSLRs are now gearing up to offer 4K video recording capabilities and already a handful of such devices are available for your instant attention, but for photographers and filmmakers on extreme tight budgets (the independent filmmakers) who are just eyeing to enter this vast industry of quality photographers and filmmakers, the cinema cameras and even the DSLRs with their lens kits are too much to ask for. The standard term of mobile/smartphone photography or mobile filmmakers isn’t just about the megapixels or the Full HD video recording and the amount of accessories for your mobiles/smartphones has further enhanced this experience.

Generally, it isn’t that hard to find a professional, experienced, pro from the industry showing off his skills with these smart devices and the trend of not carrying heavy equipment has been a huge hit for the last couple of years. I can name National Geographic’s photojournalist Stephen Alvarez who uses (Nokia) Microsoft Lumia 1020, Lumia 1520 and Lumia 930 to capture awesomely breathtaking images all around the world, there’s professional iPhone photographer Kevin Russ, Freelancer Brooks Kraft covered an assignment using his iPhone 6 Plus, there are many other professional photographers who use Lumia’s, iPhones, Samsung’s Galaxy series, HTC’s One series, Sony’s Xperia and various other devices. I have already covered a fair bit of information on making short films and even features using the power of your smartphones and you can read it here.

The Pros

800px-Digital_video_resolutions_(VCD_to_4K).svgHowever, with the 4K resolution or the Ultra High Definition on your smartphone, you as a photographer or a video maker, a filmmaker get extra space or in this case extra resolution in the editing process. With all the 4K footage, the editing offers a much better finished product than playing with the Full HD 1080p resolution and then going into the editing process. You have much better control over resizing, cropping and frames; plus it comes with insane amount of detail.

I don’t need to mention the better portability aspect you get with a smartphone and matched with perfectly working accessories/gears, the combination is to die for. The professional DSLRs and cinema cameras can cost you a fortune running into thousands of dollars, while your 4K capable smartphone should cost you less than $1000.

Having said that there’s one major downfall to the ultra supreme 4K recording and it has to do with the most important aspect of your smartphone, the storage. A standard 1080p HD video will take just over 1GB of your device’s storage for recording and saving a 10 minute video (around 650MB for 5 minutes), while 4K resolution will eat close to 7GB of the storage for saving 10 minute video (close to 3.50GB for 5 minutes) and that’s the biggest issue with all the modern devices. A typical modern smartphone will only offer 32GB of onboard storage or in rare cases 64GB. Yes, there’s an option for external microSD card to boost it further up to 128GB more, but it isn’t available on 4K capable smartphones. (No the iPhone isn’t on the list)

Here’s a 4K resolution video of Victoria Falls which is shot with the Lumia 930:

 

List of popular smartphones that offer 4K recording

So, what are the options then? Well, like I said, the 4K resolution has been here for some time now and likewise there are quite a few devices to choose from, but do remember to check their prices and their storage capabilities before you make a decision. Here’s a list of popular smartphones (more than 20) that offer 4K video recording.

Lumia 1520

Lumia 930

OnePlus One

Oppo Find 7 and Find 7a

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung Galaxy Round

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Panasonic Lumix CM1

Xiaomi Mi4

Sony Xperia Z2

Sony Xperia Z3

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

ZTE Nubia Z7 and Z7 Mini

Motorola Moto X

Motorola Google Nexus 6

LG G Pro 2

LG G3

Acer Liquid S2

Asus Padfone X and S

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Vivo Xshot

 

Featured Image: Lumia Conversations (Microsoft)

 

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