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Monday, 05 May 2014


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Oh great. MORE stress!

4K looks wonderful on my computer monitor, which doesn't upscale lower resolution video so well. My Samsung flatscreen tv, however, makes even 480p look great at 42 inches across. It is a master at making the most of limited pixels. I'm not sure if 4K will matter much with the TV (on my end, but in production, sure).

As a "cord cutter" I wonder if watching 4K video will even be possible with our current ISP overlords manning the pipes. As it is, renting a video in Vudu's HDX format(blue-ray quality) taxes the limit of my 7mbps line (the fastest I can get).

"handwriting on the wall" written all over it

Mike, you might have a little Yogi Berra thing goin' on there...

[Thank you! --Mike]

There are a million problems with this video comparison. It is basically meaningless. The appropriate question should be, what is the best result one could get out of either camera? That means that each camera would have to be set up in its own optimal way and post processing would have to be done to optimize the image. All this test does is compare the cameras by trying to conform both to the settings on the phone camera. Canon images MUST be sharpened in post, for example. We don't know what color settings or sharpening settings etc. were set on the Canon. The Canon does not even look like it was properly focused in the test videos.

However, I do agree that 4K is already the next big thing for acquisition even if not for distribution. And I suspect 8K is not far behind. I am shooting 4K now, and it is like getting thirty 8 mp images a second, all of which can be made into a still. As I have said before, videography may be the future of still photography as well.

4k in anything affordable uses some very aggressive compression; it's expensive to buy a device that can absorb the data rate otherwise.

And in fact that's how the phone stands out in some of the tests in the video, like the first one -- nasty artifacting (on the road surface in that case).

Still, I'm sure the hard drive manufacturers really appreciate this effort to keep them running at capacity.

It's definitely interesting to see them side by side and to see that the phone is performing amazingly well against the Canon. The thing that pops out to me is that the Canon is set to f2.8 and makes everything look out of focus (and therefore worse). I would be curious to see this test at a more equivalent DOF.

I can't say I like either.

The Note 3 has very odd edges, over sharpening and/or ??. They give it an immediate sense of clarity, but won't wear well.

The 5DIII looks awfully soft. I've seen much better video from the lowlier 7D/60D.

I'm no videographer, and know not if the following are possible on videos. If they were still shots, I'd say that some deconvolution, as Focus Magic, would vastly improve the 5DIII image. A blur layer masked with Find Edges would help the Note 3.

Based solely on these clips, I wouldn't want to spent any time and effort doing video with either of them.

I do occasional short video clips, and would say I've had better IQ, clearer, more natural images, from Canon S100 & 60D, Oly E-M5 and Panny GX7.

Question. I know next to nothing about this, hence my question: Does this "4K" stuff mean anything whatsoever for still photography? My understanding is that 4K is the latest iteration of "high definition" wizardry for use in recording and/or viewing video/movies, etc., all of which require a current display device (TV, computer) that can utilize the higher resolution shot with the 4K device.


Interesting test. I agree with your write up in that the Note 3 had better sharpness and color but I found the jerkiness in the videos distracting. I'm a Nikon shooter and iPhone user so I don't have a horse in this race, as they say, but especially in the video with smooth movement like the intersection the Note 3 seemed to speed up and slow down cyclically. It's not something you'd notice in all videos but I could see the effect in the movement of the cars.

Thanks for the fun test!

Personally, I would use the POS-86. Obviously far superior to anything Canon or Samsung have to offer.

“WALLEY POS-86 Promo Video” by Walley Films: http://vimeo.com/93325163

What that comparison really tells us is that 1080p FullHD video from Canon 5D3 is nowhere near actual 1080p quality. It's the same thing with every camera I've seen: Nikon D800, Sony cameras, HD video cameras etc. The resolution they are capable of is really closer to good quality 720p.

For me, the real reason to want 4k is to finally get good looking 1080p footage.

And you thought that you had it bad, Mike. Alec Weinstein lives in a cave where they pipe in "jazzy" drum beats!

Provocative, somewhat surprising, but ultimately invalid comparison, as its comparing yesterday's technology with today's. Let's wait until Canon comes with a 4k video DSLR and re-do the comparison before we make any conclusions on the demise of dedicated cameras.

But yes, the writing is definitely on the wall for some applications. Good thing I backed the New55 instant film project on Kickstarter, so I don't have to be worried about how my digital camera is out-gunned by a phone which happens to have a camera embedded in it.

The end of the big, bulky and heavy is very near!

I must be missing something very basic. I fully expect a 4K video, with more than 4 times the pixel count, to be superior to a 1080 video. My 5mp Samsung phones still shots are far better than my 1.3 MP Olympus D-360L camera stills ever were.

While I've mostly used my Note 3 for still photos, I have found the camera to be excellent. Samsung has put serious resources into this camera and it shows.

Either camera (the phone or the dSLR)renders motion much better than the 8mm movie camera dad used in the 1960s.

Start packing the bulky dead weights!
Ever noticed how many smartphones pop-up in any type of public event?
Ever saw the counts of photos taken on smartphones and shared on social media?
(Hint: they FAR exceed anything ever taken by film and dslr, added up!)

By all means: keep spending a lot of moolah on bulky dead weights. We all need that to be invested by the camera makers in developing the next generation of down-sized, manageable, quality gear!

Me? I've been film most of the digital era, and am now heavily into m4/3: there is nothing more practical or better anywhere. But like everything else, it'll evolve.
Dunno if 4K is the final limit, certainly appears so now.

Sure a fair comparison, not.

The 5DIII had a soft flat image that would be suitable for grading and would produce a good image. Grading the 4K out of the phone while possible would be hard work and I wonder how soon the image would fall apart.

I would have liked to see this compared with the Panasonic GH4 a camera that for video, to my mind, leaves the Canon for dust. Canon were the initial innovator with the HDSLR, but since the initial flurry of activity, 5dII, 7d, 550d, have really sat back on their laurels and have tried to push everyone to the Cinema line rather than develop the EOS cameras.

The GH4 has shown us that it is possible to build an affordable high specced 4k camera. Canon want $11K AUD for their effort.

Do remember we started our 35mm from video film stock.

I thought 24 MB is enough for still and if there is 24 MB 4K, it might be true that we are once again waiting for the advance of video to come down to still ...

"... resolution of 3840 pixels × 2160 lines (8.3 megapixels, aspect ratio 16:9) and is one of the two resolutions of ultra high definition television targeted towards consumer television, the other being FUHD (Full Ultra HD) which is 7680 pixels × 4320 lines (33.2 megapixels)" from Wiki on 4K !! 33.2 MB per frame !!!

But I do not think I have enough hard drive and CPU power for that though.

Time to exit the digital photography and let the young do it I think. Get back to film and it is easier to manage as a hobby.

Maybe my next phone won't be from Apple.

Think about 4k motion capture. At 24fps, exposure time is 1/48th sec. Almost every frame has substantial motion blur. Want that hollywood DoF? Rarely does the focus nail the eyeball, or the correct eyeball.

Still think 4k delivery is going to look different?

Think I agree with cfw - Does this "4K" stuff mean anything whatsoever for still photography? Do you buy a toaster to make scrambled eggs? If I want to make scrambled eggs I'll buy a saucepan.

I bought my camera to take pictures - not video. In fact, I would prefer that ALL my hard-earned money was invested in the taking of the best quality pictures for the pound. I don't like that the manufacturer siphons off some of the money to install a feature I do not want.

(Yeah, I know.. it's what manufacturers do - add features, not benefits.)


In order to "market 4K" to the masses, one has to realize that the holy grail of 1920 lines of HDTV (a.k.a Retina Display) resolution can only be discerned when one is closer than twice as far as the width of the screen...Why this viewing distance? See below.

The downside to getting too close or closer than the above magic number can be found in guidelines (page 9) defined by Expert Groups such as MPEG: 4K will cause a physiological tradeoff (i.e. too wide a field of view) of the ideal viewing angle of 30 degrees.

You will only see the advantages of 4K when your nose is closer than the width of the screen. Hands up those out there who watch their 40" LCD TV from 3 feet...oops...I forgot there are pixel peepers reading this blog :)

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