The past few years have all been about 4K resolutions. From television sets, smartphones, drones, and cameras, everybody seems to be now getting into the hype. For creating media suitable for these devices, recording high-resolution 4K video has now become even more popular. There are of course a lot of advantages when recording in 4K. For one, it does give videographers the ability to take high-resolution 8-megapixel still images from the footage. There is also now a wide adoption of the new technology, which means that creators cannot afford to miss out.
Fortunately, the technology is now built into different camera within a wide price range. This means that content creators can now purchase their own 4K camera within their budget. From just a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, there is a myriad of options to choose from. In this article, we look at the latest and greatest 4K resolution cameras in the market. Ranging from compact and portable models to the ultra high-end professional units. Each model offers its own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, it will be up to the buyer and his or her intended use to find the best camera that will suit the specific need.
There are currently two types of resolution-capabilities we will be looking at. Specifically, Cine-4K and UHD. Cine-4K or DCI-4K is a resolution primarily reserved for cinema movie recording. It is primarily used for media with a 17:9 aspect ratio. Meanwhile, UHD or QHD is ideally for televisions or mediums with a 16:9 aspect ratio. UHD has a resolution of 3840×2160, while Cine-4K has a resolution of 4096×2160.
The list of products below includes DSLR camera, mirrorless cameras, and compact models. This means that there should be a camera for most budgets. Different factors were closely looked at in compiling this list. Factors such as performance, price, and features.
The Professional’s All-Around 4K Camera Companion
Panasonic Lumix GH5
- 3MP Micro Four Thirds Sensor
- 4K Video at 60Fps, Full HD at 180Fps
- Durable Magnesium Alloy Body
- 5-Axis In-body Stabilization
- 3680k-dot OLED Viewfinder
- Full-size HDMI Terminal
- 2-inch RGBW Touchscreen Display
- 5mm Microphone and Headphone Socket
Why We Like It:
This reasonably priced professional video camera will definitely get the job done. With a wide array of video options, the Panasonic Lumix GH5 is the ultimate tool for professional videographers.
Panasonic is currently a big player in the 4K camera market. Their recent addition, the Lumix GH5, is one of the best products in its roster. The camera itself takes things a bit farther by providing users with the option to record 6K videos up to 30fps. This essentially allows users to grab 18-megapixel still photos from their footage.
In terms of its other video capabilities, the Panasonic Lumix GH5 is able to record 4K video at a buttery smooth 60fps. 4K 4:2:2 10bit video is also available at 30fps, while full HD 1080p video up to 180fps. The 100-bit video proves better tonality, resulting is highly editable images similar to shooting raw video. 4K-Cine resolution video is available at 24fps. All of the video modes gets support from the camera’s built-in 5-axis sensor-based image stabilization system.
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is capable of withstanding minor scrapes and bumps. This is partly thanks to its weather-sealed magnesium alloy build. The body itself is also dust, freeze, and splash-proof, which means that it can probably take the rigors of outdoor photography. The GH5 also features a 3.2-inch RGBW touchscreen. It also has a 3.6million dot Electronic Viewfinder (EVG) with 0.76x magnification. The built-in stereo microphone is decent as it does have a Wind Noise Cancellation feature. Professionals may want to consider getting a high-resolution audio recording accessory. The camera does have a microphone and headphone socket, which is compatible with a wide array of accessories. The GH5 also supports full-size HDMI connections.
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is a quality professional video camera that offers quite a lot for its price. Its professional video resolution options and its high-resolution display make it a bargain. Professionals and Amateurs will definitely find all the basic tools they need to get the job done.
A Mirrorless Top-Tier APS-C 4K Video Monster
Sony Alpha A6500
- 24-Megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor
- Built-in 5-Axis Image Stabilization
- 3-inch Touchscreen Display
- 63 million-dot OLED Viewfinder
- 1/4000 sec maximum shutter speed
- 4K UHD Video (30, 25, 24 fps)
- Full HD Video up to 120 fps
Why We Like It:
This mirrorless powerhouse is a great camera for both photo and video applications. Those who liked the A6300 will definitely love the A6500. The newer model features an in-body 5-axis image stabilization and other added features.
The Sony a6500 is a slight upgrade from the already magnificent a6300. It sits right below the company’s full-frame A7 lineup. This relatively new flagship mirrorless APS-C model features a slew of improvements over its sibling. This includes an in-body 5-axis image stabilization system and touchscreen controls. The camera also sports better grips and a faster processor. The upgrades essentially make it a little more expensive than the a6300, but the difference in price is money well spent.
The camera’s 24-Megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor allows users to get 24-megapixel stills and a slew of video resolution options. The A6500 offers users an option to record 4K UHD videos (3840×2160) at different frame rates. Opting to use 24 or 25fps will result in the camera using its full sensor width. This results in extremely sharp and detailed 4K footage. Meanwhile, full HD 1080p video is available up to 120 fps NTC and 100fps PAL. Focus performance is very fast and accurate, mainly due to the 425 phase-detection AF points on the sensor.
The Sony A6500 sports a full HDMI output and microphone socket, but it, unfortunately, does not have an audio socket. The camera has a 3-inch 921k fully tilting touchscreen display. It also has an OLED viewfinder with 2.34 million dots. The camera’s body is fully sealed and is moisture and dust resistant.
While it is much more expensive than the A6300, forking out the additional cash will be worth it. The A6500’s built-in image stabilization and added features make it well worth the upgrade.
The Top-of-the-line Heavy Hitter from Nikon
- 8MP FX-Format CMOS Sensor
- 4K UHD Video up to 30 fps
- Full HD Video up to 60 fps
- 20K 153-Point AF System
- 102400 to 3280000 ISO Range
- 2-inch 2.36m-Dot Touchscreen LCD
- 12 fps Shooting Mode with AE/AF
The Nikon D5 has earned the reputation of being the most powerful Digital SLR camera in Nikon’s lineup. The all-around camera sports a number of features that allows users to take all types of photos in any kind of shooting condition. The camera’s claim to fame is its amazing ISO sensitivity range, which starts at ISO 102,400 natively and up to ISO 3,280,000 when boosted. The camera’s 20K 153-Point AF System is also amazingly accurate and produces very sharp and detailed images with accurate colors.
Aside from its superb photography features, the D5 also now comes with the ability to shoot 4K UHD (3840×2160) video. The video options are quite substantial and include various resolution and FPS options. Built-in picture controls also allow users to utilize a flat profile, which they can then edit during processing. 4K video recording uses a cropped area of the sensor, which produces a clean video output. Meanwhile, Full HD video does make use of the entire full frame of the sensor. Professionals will appreciate the camera’s microphone and headphone sockets. Various third-party accessories are compatible to produce higher quality audio recordings. These can also be useful for monitoring purposes. On the back of the camera is a high-resolution 2,359K dot touchscreen display. The viewfinder is also a joy to use with its 100 percent coverage and 0.72x magnification.
The Nikon D5 is currently one of the heaviest DSLRs in the market. The camera is operable with just one hand, but that is not really advisable for prolonged video recordings. If the occasion calls for no tripods, it is advisable to use a lens with optical image stabilization. Additional video options include flicker reduction, frequency response, and noise reduction. Picture control and a time-lapse mode are also available. There are also some limitations to the lengths of the video recordings that are dependent on the resolutions used. 4K UHD video at 30/25/24fps is only limited to just 3 minutes. Meanwhile, Full HD 1080p video at 30/25/24fps is only possible up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds.
The Nikon D5 is a powerful DSLR camera with amazing photography features and 4K video capabilities. It can shoot any photo in any type of condition, making it one of the best cameras to get for professional photographers.
A Capable and Compact Photo and 4K Video Shooter
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark V
- 1-Megapixel 1.0-inch Exmor CMOS Sensor
- Fast 0.05-second Hybrid 315-point AF system
- 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 Zoom Lens
- Retractable Tru-Finder EVF
- 24fps Burst Shooting
- 220-shot Battery Life
- Advanced 4K Video
Why We Like It:
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark V is a high-end and premium product with impressive features. Its performance rivals that of other bigger DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. With its excellent viewfinder and 4K video capabilities, the Marv V is definitely a good buy.
Photographers and videographers looking for something more compact may want to check out the Sony RX100 Mark V Cyber-shot. As evident in its name, the Mark V is the fifth iteration of Sony’s famous RX100 line. There has of course been quite a lot of improvements since the first version. The new model now includes a revamped 20-megapixel stacked Exmor CMOS sensor. Sony claims that it has tweaked the chip to deliver faster readout speeds. This allows the Mark V to shoot at 24fps at full resolution with Auto Focus and Auto Exposure.
The Cyber-shot RX100 Mark V is also now capable of recording 4K video at 25fps with stereo sound and optical zoom. High-speed video is also possible at varying resolutions. Namely 1824×1026 at 250fps, 1676×566 at 500fps, and 1136×384 at 1,000fps. Video compression is a pro-grade XAVC S codec at 100mbps. Various video functions are also available. This includes Log2 gamma profile, zebra patterning, and focus peaking. The Mark V sports both a mechanical shutter and an electronic shutter, with the latter activating at speeds above 1/2000 seconds.
The newer model sports the same 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens as its predecessor. While it isn’t as fast as some of its competitors, the Zeiss-branded zoom lens is still quite zippy. The Mark V has a Retractable Tru-Finder Electronic View Finder on top, which features a 2.36-million dot resolution. The retractable 3-inch display on the back is unfortunately not touch enabled. The Mark V also doesn’t have a microphone or headphone port, which may annoy some users.
The Cyber-shot RX100 Mark V is an advanced compact shooter that can put some mirrorless and DSLR camera to shame. The pocket camera offers photographers and videographers all of the tools they need to capture the best photo and video on the go. The Mark V certainly showcases some of Sony’s best camera tech to date.
The Best Waterproof 4K Video Camera in the Market
Olympus Tough TG-5
- 12-megapixel High-speed Image Sensor
- Dual Quad Core TruePic VIII Image Processor
- 3-inch 460k-Dot LCD Monitor
- GPS, Manometer, Compass, and Temperature Sensors
- Waterproof to 50 feet
- Ant-Fog Lens, Dust/Shock/Freeze Proof
- 4K Video Recording
Why We Like It:The Olympus Tough TG-5 definitely not a replacement for DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras. However, it is still a great tool for users who want better quality videos and photos during their outdoor adventures. It is definitely a step up compared to any action camera in the market, in terms of its picture and video quality.
The Olympus Tough TG-5 is a product built specifically for outdoor photographers and videographers. The camera itself can withstand quite a lot of abuse as evident in its rugged design. This camera can handle depths of up to 15 meters underwater. Adding a dive case will extend its waterproofing up to 45 meters. The camera is also fully shockproof and can survive drops from 2.1 meters. It is also crushproof up to 100 kilograms and freezeproof up to -10 Celsius. The TG-5 also sports an Anti-Fog Lens on top.
Aside from its ruggedness, the Olympus Tough TG-5 is quite a capable shooter. Users can use it to shoot 4K UHD (3840×2160) video at either 30fps or 25fps. Full HD video recording is also available with varying compression options. The camera features a fast 25-100mm lens with a f/2.0 max aperture. What sets it apart from action cameras and other outdoor shooters is its ability to shoot 20fps bursts. Users concerned with getting the best stills will appreciate this feature. Users also have the option to shoot raw files, which will give them more choices in post editing.
The TG-5 can also record high speed video at different resolutions, namely 360p at 480fps, 720p at 240fps, and Full HD 1080p at 120fps. All video resolutions use the camera’s image stabilization system. This makes the unit perfect for handheld recordings and video logs. Full HD and 4K videos are unfortunately limited to 29 minutes with the TG-5. However, this should be more than enough time to record epic jumps and dives for that perfect holiday video.
First of all, the Olympus Tough TG-5 isn’t a DSLR killer. Instead, it is a tool created for a specific purpose. The TG-5 is a camera built for the outdoors. However, it is a cut above any other “Tough” shooters and action cameras out in the market today. With 4K Video shooting, high-speed video, and 20fps Burst, the TG-5 is the best rugged-camera that money can buy.
Cheapest Quality 4K Video Bridge Camera in 2018
Panasonic Lumix FZ82
- 1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Sensor
- Built-in 60x f/2.8-5.9 Zoom Lens
- 3-inch 1040k LCD Touchscreen
- 1,170k Live View Finder
- 4K Video Recording
- Integrated Wi-Fi Connectivity
- 10fps Burst Shooting
Sitting right in the middle of DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras are bridge cameras. There is quite a big market for these mid-tier shooters. The Panasonic Lumix FZ82 is one of the cheapest bridge cameras available that is capable of shooting 4K videos. The reasonably priced bridge camera provides a lot of high tech features. All of which should prove to be useful for prosumers and professionals alike. The FZ82’s built-in 60x Optical Zoom lens is certainly one of its highlights as it is basically equivalent to an ultra-wide angle 20-1200mm lens. The built-in zoom lens is capable of shooting both wide-angle shots and extreme telephoto. Since the lens isn’t removable, users won’t have to carry any additional lenses with them during their shoots.
The 18-1-megapixel 1/2.3-inch High Sensitivity MOS sensor is capable of recording different video resolutions. This includes Full HD 1080p video with stereo sound at 30fps, 50fps, and 60fps. 4K Video is available at both 30fps and 25fps. Other resolutions that are available include 720p at 100fps and VGA video at 200fps. Video and photo quality are excellent, thanks partly to the camera’s hybrid Power Optical Image Stabilizer with Active Mode. The Panasonic Lumix FZ82 also sports a built-in 1,170k-dot Electronic View Finder and a high-resolution 3-inch LCD touchscreen at the back. The camera also sports a relatively fast maximum aperture of f/2.8 and up to f/5.9 during extreme telephoto shots.
The built-in tech has crammed inside the camera has resulted in a rather large body, at least for a bridge camera. Its heft and size are manageable and at least users will at least fell that they are getting their money’s worth. The camera sports a rather large handgrip, which is likely necessary to support the camera at 1200mm maximum zoom.
The Panasonic Lumix FZ82 offers quite a lot of features for a bridge camera. Its 20-1200mm focal range and 4K video capabilities make it quite a compelling case for both amateurs and professionals. The camera itself is also very easy to use, making it an ideal starter unit for beginners.