4K. You may have heard this term when searching for a new TV, computer or camera. It is on everyone’s lips because it has been one of the biggest buzzwords in entertainment and tech for quite some time. So it’s completely natural for you to be tempted to get an action 4K camera when planning your outdoor trip. But people fall in love with the glitz and glamour of 4K that they forget to ask themselves this question: Do I need a 4K camera, especially an action camera with 4K? In this blog post, we are going to explore how 4K cameras work, along with their pros and cons.
Is the experience different for users?
4K offers incredibly detailed pictures because its pixel count is four times more than 1080p resolution. The larger pixel count delivers any video you film or image you capture at twice the resolution and will look incredibly sharp, compared to 1080p. So even if you were to capture an image or a video in 4K and downsize the resolution, the image comes out detailed and crystal clear. Most cameras with 4K give you the option to capture images from video stills. Photographers can capture those small, transient moments that are otherwise impossible to capture with normal cameras. 4K cameras capture videos at 30FPS, which means photographers do not have to switch between capturing images and videos, they can record a video and select the most appropriate frame.
Pros and cons of an action camera with 4K
There are significant advantages to choosing an action camera with 4K resolution over cameras with standard HD footage. The first advantage is a richer, more detailed picture. As mentioned before, the oversampling of pixels leads to sharper and better images. There is also the benefit of stabilisation. Many advanced editing programs come with options that allow users to stabilise images and videos in the editing process.
But, there is a drawback in these programs - they stabilise footage by peeling away pixels and cropping frames. The result is clearer images, but at a lower quality than before. Action cameras with 4K give you extra pixels to play with, so you are still able to retain high-quality images and videos, even after editing the image. If you use an action camera from Drift Innovation, you will also have the option of getting camera mounts (which can be obtained separately from the camera).
However, there are some significant drawbacks to action cameras in 4K, and we would be remiss not to mention them. First, is the price. Cameras with 4K resolution come at higher prices compared to 1080p cameras. Then, there are the memory demands to address given that 4K footage takes up more memory capacity than 1080p footage, so you will need to pack a lot of memory cards for your trips. You will also need a battery charger or at least several spare batteries as 4K cameras tend to eat through power in comparison to their 1080p offerings. There are also hardware demands to consider, if you want to enjoy the real benefits of 4K, then you will need more than a new camera.
You will need to switch to a new TV - one that supports 4K resolution - because it can only be enjoyed on TV’s built especially for 4K. While 4K TV prices are coming down each year, you still need to fork out a significant amount of cash to get one. Furthermore, if you wish to edit the footage, you will need brand new editing software. Processing and editing a 4K video requires some powerful hardware because rendering a 4K video requires a lot of processing power. Therefore, if you are getting a new 4K camera, you may also need to get a new laptop or computer that can render 4K images and videos. Post-production processes like VFX, Motion Graphics, Digital Compositing and 3D Rendering are resource-intensive. It is impossible to get the best out of images and videos without some editing involved, so this might be an issue.
Do you need an action camera with 4K?
The short answer is that it depends. The long answer is that it depends on your aspirations. If you are just planning a casual trip, a one-off adventure or just starting up a vlog, then a 4K camera is not necessary. An action camera with a 1080p still gives you stunning resolution, but at a fraction of the cost - making it the perfect entry point for anyone for causal adventures or even beginners.
On the other hand, if you are hardcore camper or if you want to vlog about your adventures on YouTube, then you need an action camera with 4K capabilities. After all, 4K is the future, and in the next couple of years will replace 1080p as the standard HD resolution. So, if investing in 4K might be a little pricey now, it’s safe to say that doing so would mean future-proofing your content and your channel.
If you are in the market for a 4K camera, then take a look at the Ghost 4K. With its slim, modular design, the Ghost 4K is built for capturing outdoor adventures in the highest quality. In addition to 4K resolution, you can film in six different resolutions, including 1080p at 30FPS, so you have different options to choose from if 4K is not an option. The action camera is compatible with Micro SD cards of up to 128GB capacity (perfect for recording over 6 hours of 4K footage), along with a massive 2000mAH battery capacity. Want to fix your camera to your helmet or motorcycle? There is a variety of complementary accessories for you to choose from, including suction and cup mounts. The combination of high resolution, massive memory capacity and long battery life make the Ghost camera 4K the best action camera with 4K in the market.
However, if you feel that a 4K camera is not for you, then consider one of our 1080p offerings, the Ghost XL, the camera captures over 10 hours of stunning, high-resolution footage from a single 128GB MicroSD card. Editing is also much easier because the file sizes are more manageable, so you don’t have to get special hardware to edit the 4K footage.