Nikons and 4K Video

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by 25asa, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Im wanting to get into 4K video and wanting to stick with DSLRs to do that. It saves on bringing extra cameras on a trip. Anyway can anyone speculate on when they think we might start seeing 4K show up in Nikon DSLRs?
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    We can speculate all day long if we want, but similar to the following thread about the D610's successor from a few days ago:, the only thing I can absolutely guarantee is that you will never get any useful information from this kind of threads about future, not-yet-announced products.
  3. You can do pseudo-4k video now with some of the Nikon 1 System cameras. As long as you don't mind editing together 1/2 to 1 second bursts of stills at maximum framerates. And dealing with audio separately - but that's what real cinematographers do anyway, so it won't be much of a burden to folks seriously interested in putting 4k to good use. There were some articles published last year about this technique with the V1, and a few online samples, although the example videos themselves online aren't actually at 4k if I'm recalling correctly. But one of the HD videos was impressive.
    No telling how many cameras you'd burn through with that technique - using a V1 at maximum still framerates - to make a 30 minute or longer feature. The V1 already runs pretty warm in extended use or with standard video. If I planned to make a 30 minute 4k video with a V1 I'd want to buy several backups. In which case it isn't really cost effective compared with the upcoming Blackmagic 4k video camera priced at around $3,000 or less.
    Frankly I think we're years away from 4k video becoming mainstream for amateur photographers/videographers comparable to HD video. Especially with the trend away from desktops - the old style upgradable/customizable big box is going the way of film, an expensive boutique item available mostly to specialists. It will take a shift toward much more powerful machines to cope with the editing task. Desktops are going to become either much smaller, with power and cost comparable to a largish laptop and little or no upgradability; or specialty items with larger customizable boxes being much more expensive due to curtailed manufacturing. Although Adobe's cloud subscription service will help make pro video editing software more affordable.
  4. "the old style upgradable/customizable big box is going the way of film, an expensive boutique item available mostly to specialists."
    Know any serious gamers? They don't use laptops.
  5. What res is the HDMI output from the D800? I have a vague recollection it was simply HUGE?
  6. Most laptops are ill suited for many tasks, including writing (the keyboard ergonomics are poor), photography (laptop displays are not designed for graphic arts or photography, they show contrast and brightness variation as function of viewing angle, and certainly there are no side blinds in laptops) computationally intensive tasks (relatively slow compared to high end desktops), the internal drive options are limited etc. In terms of work work, I can't think of anything that I'd rather do on a laptop than on a desktop, except presentations in conferences. Some people like to work while they are commuting; that's what laptops are good for. In the office, desktops are better.
    I'm no video guy, but quite frankly I don't think the world is 4K ready. If you want to do serious editing of 2K video, it takes a lot of computing and storage to do it properly, to make a really high quality 2K video. 4K displays are unusual and very expensive. There is no practical medium to distribute 4K content on, apart from hard drives. Video and television are moving to the internet and streaming is ridiculously low quality and nowhere near what might be called decent 2K let alone 4K, in fact standard definition displayed on cable or from DVD is far superior at least from what I have seen. To be honest I don't even see much point to 2K apart from certain applications such as large field sports. Movies used to watch at home do fine even on standard DVD resolution. Making it 4K does not automatically mean it is high quality. It'll be hugely expensive since the production cost goes up with the amount of data that needs to be processed, the additional attention to makeup and detail that is needed when shooting etc.
    Now, television and digital displays may eventually be 4K and 8K and this is great for displaying stills, but I can't see the point of high resolution video. Moving images change so quickly there is no time to study details; the individual frames and their fine details just pass through. The meaningful content is elsewhere in the video than in fine details (the content, the plot, vantage points, quality of audio etc.).
  7. I shoot some in 2K. But only so I have some room to stabilize and crop in post. And so far pretty much everything that matters is just fine at 1080p. For final results, in the real world, that's still pretty damn great looking.

    Shooting at 4k isn't "going on a trip" sort of stuff. It's for very large scale cinema projection, or something like major trade show display show-off stuff. Simply not practical or even remotely necessary unless you're getting into very high-end work. And producing work which, at that resolution, remains sharp and free of movement/jitters means hauling around a lot of extra gear (big tripods, big expensive lenses, etc). I don't see that as compatible with your hitting-the-road scenario, really. Can you provide some more insight into what you'll be shooting, and - more importantly - how the output will actually be used?
  8. The BlackMagic 4K is now $3,000.00
  9. The Panasonic GH4 will shoot 4k videos, as well as acting as a very good still camera. The price is estimated to be around $1,500. See below:
  10. "Know any serious gamers? They don't use laptops."​
    That's what I meant by "specialists". Hardcore gamers, video editors and some still photographers will still prefer big box customizable desktops. Ditto some fans of alternative OS's and underground currency miners. But the PC industry is rapidly moving away from the desktop paradigm, whether we like it or not. Personally I still prefer at least a mini-tower with at least some room for upgrades or customizing. For now you can still get more horsepower for the money with a desktop than a laptop. But as manufacturing winds down we'll lose economy of scale and won't see many cost effective towers.
  11. Yup, there are some modestly priced 4K-capable cameras. But that doesn't change the reasons one wouldn't use them.
  12. "But as manufacturing winds down we'll lose economy of scale and won't see many cost effective towers."
    Nothing like a firm grasp of the obvious, though they're still ubiquitous, cheap, durable, and adaptable--qualities that I suspect will keep them on the market for just a bit longer.
  13. The GH4 looks like a promising contender in 4K video. Very. And it would take your Nikon lenses.
  14. But the PC industry is rapidly moving away from the desktop paradigm, whether we like it or not.
    Do you have statistics to prove that desktop sales are falling rapidly? Market share is not enough since by including smartphones and tablets in the statistics we can easily show that laptops are losing market share too.
    At work we have a desktop for everyone; laptops for maybe one in ten employees, many of which are their own property. The desktops form a cluster which can be used for more powerful computations if needed. This isn't state of the art by any means. All the places I've worked at have had the same: desktop is provided by employer, laptop is not unless you're way up the ladder. The display, keyboard, ergonomics and cost effectiveness of desktops are much better. Laptops have been around for 30 years; they have always sacrificed ergonomics for portability. What I suspect will happen is that tablets will eat a good part of the laptop market since laptops are not ideally portable nor are they ideal for working; they're a compromise.
    I got a new laptop for teaching in the fall; it is a higher end HP intended for image processing. The keyboard is awful to type with; with a proper keyboard I never have to look at keys or my fingers when I'm typing; with laptops and tablets my typing goes back to the level it was when I was 12 years old. If I connect it to an ungrounded mains socket I can feel electricity in the top plate, it seems to be poorly designed for an expensive device. In my home there are still many ungrounded wall outlets. It feels strange that a company as well known as HP would make such an elementary mistake. Its use is very uncomfortable if connected to the ungrounded wall, it's as it zapped me. This basically suggests to me that no longer do the manufacturers design laptops properly. It also bluescreened in the beginning and failed to boot after that. Thankfully my home desktop has a wireless keyboard and I'm not connected to the electrical network just by touching it, also it's been running fluidly for almost 3 years now, which is nice considering the use I put it to. There is no possibility that I would ever replace it with a laptop. Nor do I think I'll have to; there are always people who want good cost performance and ergonomics. People who use computers for work, for example.
    Modularity also opens doors for competition; as laptops are made by selected few manufacturers, they choose the components and there is little room for competition. As (PC) desktops can be built in a garage shop down the block from parts that the user can select from all available parts, there is a lot more room for competition, and this keeps prices at a lower level for a given performance. Without desktops no doubt the name brand makers would increase prices since they no longer have to be subject to competition from all kinds of card, motherboard, display chip etc. manufacturers that make compatible parts.
  15. "Do you have statistics to prove that desktop sales are falling rapidly?"​
    I didn't say sales are falling rapidly. I said "the PC industry is rapidly moving away from the desktop paradigm". No statistics needed. It's a prediction shared by many industry observers. You can find dozens of articles on tech sites during the past year all making the same prediction.
    I don't necessarily agree with those predictions, possibly because I don't like the idea of a functional and flexible device like the traditional desktop box being eliminated. But the trend appears to be heading that direction whether I like it or not. As a touch typist with a heavy touch I tend to burn through keyboards fairly often - I wear the markings off most keys within a few months. Once I find a keyboard I like I want to keep it. I've had to adapt to the Lenovo laptop keyboard I'm using at this moment, and while it has a pretty good feel I do find myself making more corrections than usual.
    Like film, the tower won't disappear suddenly. But it will become a more expensive boutique item used primarily by demanding specialists. The paradigm changing technology hasn't happened yet. But there have been many efforts to miniaturize the non-laptop type PC, ranging from mini-towers like mine with only a single accessory card slot, room for a single hard drive and minimal RAM upgradability; to mini media boxes designed to share duties as a home computer and media server. So far the mini media boxes have been hobbled more by underpowered processors than by lack of upgradability.
    Getting back to the 4k video question...
    The paradigm changer will be when PC makers can build mini-systems equivalent to the new Mac Pro for a fraction of the price with powerful enough GPUs to handle any video tasks thrown at 'em, enough RAM and fast enough SSDs, and completely wireless peripherals and external backup to make enough consumers say "Heck, I won't need to upgrade anything, this will be good enough for several years."
    And it won't necessarily be consumer or amateur demand for 4k video. It's more likely to be three other paradigm shifts that coincide with broader acceptance of powerful mini-media boxes with all wireless peripherals, including displays:
    • More practical and affordable wearable cameras, improving on the Google Glass concept. It's coming and no amount of objections or privacy laws can stop technology. These will eventually eliminate most consumer demand for still photography devices.
    • Pulling high resolution stills from video will virtually eliminate still photography cameras for journalism, events, candids, etc. Anything other than photos of inanimate objects, landscapes, etc. All it needs is the right combination of powerful hardware packed into small enough devices and, most importantly, a user interface to make it practical. We're almost there. Ultimately every moment will be recorded, with devices offering on-the-fly playback and shot selection - assisted by smart shot selection tech - without interrupting continuous recording.
    • The FCC and other broadcast regulatory agencies worldwide will finally admit that broadcast radio and television are dead and wastes of resources needed by new technology. And I hate to admit this because I grew up in a radio family. But the entire concept of "online" is hobbling the future of communication. Higher resolution video needs broadcast capabilities, and the world needs wireless access everywhere in the same way we have been accustomed to simply turning on a portable radio almost anywhere and being able to pick up at least an international shortwave station or regional mediumwave station. The only thing holding us back is our increasingly misguided loyalty to dead broadcast media.
    Personally I'm looking forward to these shifts, even though I'll miss radio. I haven't felt like customizing and upgrading components in a typical tower since I used Windows XP. My two older towers have been sitting unused for two years. The only reason I plan to keep one is for compatibility with my old SCSI film scanner, at least until I've finished a backlog of slide and negative scans. After that I'll be happy to declutter my small apartment of oversized machines.
    The towers and components will still be around for those who want and need them, at an increasing price. But you won't find 'em at any big box store, at Walmart, etc. That shift has been going on for awhile now, with consumers generally preferring smaller and portable devices.
  16. Just google "desktop sales decline" and you will see hundreds of articles with actual numbers, charts, and graphs. Most of these lump in laptops and desktops and are talking about PC sales declines.
    The major reasons are many people are buying tablets and smartphones running Apple's iOS or Android. These are more portable and to many easier to use. The other big reason is that if you have a working desktop/laptop why buy a new one? Unless you are playing games (or editing huge RAW files) most computers made in the last 3 years are fast enough for 90% of the people out there.
    Of course I hate tablets and just got a new desktop with 4 cores, 32GB RAM, 8TB of hard drives but I know I'm out of the mainstream.
  17. Walt, I'm aware that people buy tablets and smartphones for what they used to buy general purpose computers for. However, most work cannot be done with tablets or smartphones, they're mostly good for communicating briefly, surfing, and playing some games. This may be that most people want to do. What I'm looking for is evidence to support Lex's claim that desktops are being replaced by laptops (not smartphones or tablets, but laptop computers) to such extent that what desktops are made in the future will be substantially more expensive having lost the advantage of mass production. I do know that desktops and laptops previously bought for personal use are being replaced by tablets and smartphones; however this doesn't really apply to the same extent to the computers used to create new content, in typical office workplace.
  18. "...Lex's claim that desktops are being replaced by laptops..."​
    Again, you're misinterpreting what I'm trying to communicate.
    First of all, I'm merely regurgitating - apparently clumsily - what other tech experts are predicting based on current trends in tech development and marketing.
    Second, I'm not claiming desktops are being replaced by laptops. I'm agreeing with tech experts that the trend is away from the traditional tower and reconfigurable components.
    Now, what the trend is toward is not entirely clear. For the moment consumers and average users are happy with mobile devices for most needs and laptops where mobile devices are inadequate.
    But mobile devices and laptops are not satisfactory replacements for all purposes, particularly for media intensive content delivery and certainly not for media editing. As one personal example, I can receive HD video via Amazon Prime only on our Kindle Fire HD. The bandwidth isn't adequate to support HD video on our PCs. For now media intensive content delivery remains hobbled by factors I mentioned earlier, including the "online" concept for media delivery.
    For various reasons the trend *appears* to be toward devices more comparable to the new Mac Pro. This is the most likely scenario for various reasons, including energy efficiency and environmental impact. I never thought we'd see incandescent lamps being phased out by regulation here in the U.S., but it's happened. Similarly CRTs disappeared quicker than I'd expected, coinciding with a rather sudden increase in availability of very affordable LCD and LED displays - aided by regulatory and tax incentives to manufacture more energy efficient, less waste-intensive products. It's logical to predict that other inefficient devices such as bulky, energy-expensive and wasteful devices including the traditional tower PC will follow. More than likely the phase out will be through government tax incentives, not regulatory bans.
    PC manufacturers have already tried mini-PCs. As I mentioned before, those have been limited because they're underpowered, often comparable to a low end or mid-tier laptop, and no cheaper than a much more powerful traditional desktop.
    But very few people actually like the tower. It's almost always been considered a necessary evil. When technology comparable to the new Mac Pro becomes more affordable it's inevitable that it will become the dominant paradigm for PCs, because the tech will finally be powerful enough to make upgradability irrelevant.
    This in turn will effect economy of scale for traditional tower type PCs. They will still be available but only for high end users, limited mainly to expensive and custom components, at greater cost. There will be no incentive to manufacture low end or mid-tier components.
  19. Users that require computational GRUNT will need a tower for some time to come. eg. Gamers, Video Editors and Big Image Manipulators to name but a few.
    I have 1 grunt machine with a fast Quad Core, 12 GB RAM and a couple of SSDs & HDDs and a large graphics card. It has all the connectors I'm ever lightly to need with eSATA, USB 3 etc etc.
    I have 2 portable machines. An early Sony XPS HD laptop (1 hr batt life and weighs 7lbs!) that has Office, CS6 and tethering software (I use it for teaching)....and a small Samsung netbook for email, surfing and working on the move, eg Word/Powerpoint creation.
    I may get a tablet to see how tablet tethering is in the field.
    They all have different jobs and I feel I need them all....complete convergence is not going to happen for years to come......eventually, YES, but I suspect not in my life time. (I'm 45!)
  20. For pro video, go with pro video cameras. You can get them that work with Nikon lenses if you want, but this is NOT a job, imho, for a DSLR, at all.

    4K on a vacation trip seems utterly ridiculous to me, but ymmv of course.

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