What's New And Exciting In Video?
Over the past few years there have been a few jumps in video technology but the exciting part has really started to happen for the video production companies and corporate videographers who work on HD video but can see 4K as the near target and want to get there but not sure how they can to do it without having to get a huge loan.
The answer has come with the technology of micro 4/3 cameras. There have been many who have talked about the DSLR as the new video cameras for low budget high quality productions.The problem is that most and possibly all DSLR cameras can only deliver video in HD and not in 4K. Some people might say that this does not matter because everything is in HD anyway.
That is about as short sited as saying you could stick with VHS video because that lasted more than two decades and was a leader in domestic video. The truth is that all things technology have moved on and more importantly, technology improves along with the public and corporate desire for it. Too many videographers hold onto their old technology until its very much not sellable.
How many SD digital video cameras have lined the shelves of second hand electronics stores with no buyers in sight to dish out for equipment nobody wants.
The fact is that there is completely no use whatsoever for an SD video camera yet it was only a few years ago that HD wasn’t really an option either because everything went to DVD anyway and video was being done as interlaced and not progressive as well because of the broadcast formats.
So it’s time to let go of the past technology and look to 4k and beyond. But how can you take advantage of this technology at a price that’s not too out of reach. Firstly because 4k video is quite new, the price is higher than it will be in the near future so you shouldn’t expect cheap cameras soon but there are already 4K cameras that are at an affordable price range such as the action camera GoPro Black Hero 4 but this is not broadcast 4K by any stretch of the imagination.
It is however a great “cheaper” way to start with 4k video.
If you want to get into high quality 4K right away then there are only a few options. The two main contenders are Panasonic with their new GH4 and the Black Magic range of cameras but not all Black magic cameras are 4K.Many models are still HD only. Another contender is Sony with their “pro-sumer” DV cam.
This is a 4K camera or UHD camera but the specifications might not allow it to be considered “broadcast” 4K.
With digital satellite and terrestrial HD broadcast in South Africa requiring at least 150 mb/s the only real contender is the Panasonic GH4.It looks to be the only 4K UHD camera in the “affordable” price range which delivers 4K at 100 Mb/s and HD at 200 Mb/s which is pretty much broadcast all round. What the Johannesburg video production companies need to keep in mind is that the standard GH4 does 4K UHD but is heavily compressed. For true high end video quality Panasonic also provides an extra module (at an extra cost) which then clips on the under side of the GH4 camera that turns it into a high end broadcast camera which is able to deliver movie quality (pro res) 4K which at the price range of a decent HD DV Cam is just absolutely amazing.
Video production companies in Gauteng, who are closely associated with broadcast TV, know that just because its in HD or 4K UHD does not make the footage usable. Less than 150 MB/s HD is probably good enough for the corporate video production companies but the problem can come in when a corporate client loves the work done and asks if the video can be changed to broadcast HD for TV.
You can always step down quality of video but stepping up can only really ever be a format change or bit rate change but with the same low quality image. Some video companies get away with converting the video but it will never have the image quality of an original 150 MB/s and above video.
There are also some small corporate video production companies in Johannesburg who believe that “broadcast” quality is only for broadcast TV. This couldn’t be further from the truth as we all know the TVs in many residential homes have higher specifications than the broadcast signals that they receive. As an example there are many 4K UHD model TVs but hardly any 4K broadcasters. In South Africa there are no 4K broadcasts at all but there are 4K TVs in stores and in many homes.
So in fact “broadcast” should be considered as the minimum requirement for video.
Although sound hire companies in Johannesburg might not need this kind of video quality for live feed video to projectors and big screens, the problem is that many of the audio visual clients are asking for the live feed video to be made into corporate videos after the event.
The standard feed camera on a tripod now needs to become broadcast quality so this also applies for audio visual companies in Johannesburg. The 4K UHD and high bit rate cant be overlooked anymore as just an option but potentially may become the industry standard .