4K cameras are getting cheaper and it’s great for consumers and various 4K industries

by on October 6, 2015

Stephan Jukic – October 06, 2015

Just like 4K UHD TVs and just about any technology that goes mainstream on the consumer market, 4K UHD cameras, especially those at the consumer and prosumer level, are getting cheaper.

While these types of cameras, with the ability to shoot video in 4K ultra HD resolution of either 3840 x 2160 pixels or 4096 x 2160 pixels and usually at between 24 and 60 frames per second, have been around for several years, they have only recently begun to go truly mainstream and decline significantly in price.

However, as of very recently, some of the cheaper models can be bought for as little as just over $1000 without a lens and we’ve even seen a couple come out that are priced at well below the $1000 line. This is still well above the cost of more affordable Full HD cameras on the market but nonetheless a major shift in the direction of widespread consumer affordability.

We’re talking about not only DSLR cameras but also mirrorless cameras, camcorders and even some professional video production cameras that have reached more budget-friendly pricing points. Notable examples of these would be the more compact offerings from companies like RED and Blackmagic Design.

As for some other specific examples, we have the most recent effort from major camera maker Panasonic, with its new Lumix DMC-G7 4K micro four-thirds mirrorless camera, which is retailing for less than $1,000. The G7 is a far cry in price from the extremely well received professional Panasonic GH4 4K camera which costs at least $1000 more than its newer, more basic cousin but even with this we see how the market is evening out. The GH4 is definitely a superior device but the G7 still offers a wide range of superb specs while costing only half the price of its counterpart.

Sony has done the same with the 4K camcorder market. The company first released their excellent FDR AX100 camcorder for a price of just over $2000 but then also shortly afterwards revealed the also superb FDR X33 for a price of just under $1000. Yes, the latter camcorder is not quite as powerful as the former but it doesn’t offer such an inferior performance as to justify half the price of the original. The more crucial factor is simply one of prices in the general camera market sliding downwards. Furthermore, even the AX100 is now selling for $300 less than what it originally went on sale for.

The above are just two examples of the 4K camera affordability trend and In essence, we’re now seeing some truly superb 4K cameras go on sale for prices of a kind that are accessible to a majority of consumers. At the same time, these cameras are only sacrificing minor specs and a few peripheral design features for the sake of their lower costs. This is a wonderful trend for the whole market and a fantastic prospect for camera buyers who want to give 4K video technology a spin without breaking the bank.

Even more importantly, we’re seeing 4K cameras emerge with more robust general features that are necessary for the sake of handling ultra HD video data loads but which also benefit general camera usability. These accessory technologies include things like faster storage transfer speeds in memory cards, improved SD storage capacities and superior video editing systems.

Furthermore, these trends will be what make 4K resolution more popular for digital video content, amateur documentary and film making and for the production of even high-end feature films in ultra HD digital production cameras. In turn, this will help the development of the 4K content industry and the continuing price decreases in other 4K display technologies like TVs and PC monitors.

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