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Forums Cinematography Impossible 4K cameras; what's the deal on these?

  • Impossible 4K cameras; what's the deal on these?

  • Mark Suszko

    August 24, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    I was shopping for a 4k camera for my music-video-making hobby, and there’s just an incredible raft of this one particular model all over Amazon and eBay which comes with at least a dozen different brand names on it, but they all look identical; a removable cage-like lens hood that imitates a matte box, a detachable grip system that also mounts a mini shotgun mic. Fold-out touch screen on the side instead of a viewfinder. Specs mention a CMOS sensor but not a lot of tech detail about it. They look like the attached picture, and are priced between $150 and $300. Which is insane, when “real” prosumer 4k camcorders are generally over a grand and more like 2 to 3 grand.

    I’m not a camera expert, so I’m looking for someone who -is- an expert to look some of these over on Amazon and give me an impression of what you’re actually getting for your money. My sense of it is, these are basically knockoff go-pro-like action cam guts and imaging chips, stuck into a camcorder form factor. Nothing you would put up against a name-brand 4k camera from Canon, Sony, Panasonic…. not for $150, obviously.

    But here’s the thing: they are priced right for my hobby needs. I have shot some of my music vids on knockoff 4K action cameras and they have been “good enough” for the casual fun stuff I do on the side. I have 2K camcorders I use for the stuff that I want to make a little better. But I want to move up to 4K acquisition, affordably. Been looking at used prosumer gear and that’s probably how I’ll end up going, but…. These camcorder-form-factor 4k’s *might* fit a niche I need for the hobby stuff. I’m tempted to get one just for ***ts and giggles, to evaluate. At the low price point that’s practically disposable, anyway. But before I do… anybody else have some observations about them?

  • Mark Suszko

    August 25, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    I did some further research and found some reviews; they’re not kind. I thought maybe these were go-pro knockoffs in a different form factor; they are not even that good. They’re just older model webcams, in a camcorder form factor. The 4k aspect is also a bit of a marketing stretch, as you can only get it in 24P. (sigh). Back to looking at used name-brand gear. Which I don’t mind. But you get what you pay for.

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