What is 4k Photos and 5 Best 4k Cameras in 2022

Last Updated on December 8, 2021 by Peter Wood


If you have been shopping for a television, a smartphone, or a camera recently, you will probably have heard of 4k video. Is there a 4k photo as well? The answer is yes. 4k means resolution, so there are both 4k videos and 4k images. But the new problem is what the 4k picture is. I believe that not many people could answer this question accurately, although someone has taken 4k photos by themselves. To help you understand this new concept, we will share some basic knowledge about 4k images. Whether you are a tech-savvy or ordinary user, you can learn something important about the 4k photos below.

What is 4k Photos

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Part 1. What is 4K Photo

4k is a video specification, which gets its name from the approximately 4,000 pixels of the width of the footage. And when we talk about 4k photos, they are usually extracted from 4k videos in ultra-high resolution. Colloquially, a 4k photo is a super high-quality photo. As I said, 4k means resolution refers to a horizontal resolution in the order of 4,000 pixels.

To help you understand 4k photos tangibly, we have compared them with the resolutions of HD pictures and ordinary pictures. The standard pictures resolution is 480p. HD photos are usually in 720p or 1080p resolution. And the resolution of 4k photos is 4 times of the 1080p images.

But what does ultra-high quality mean? It means you can see more details in a 4k photo. When you zoom in on an HD image, it will become blurry. On the contrary, Ultra HD photo makes it possible to take advantage of editing techniques that are impossible with HD pictures. Extra pixels allow you to zoom in or pan across the picture while maintaining high quality.

Besides ultra-high quality, the way to capture a 4k photo is different. When taking a 4k picture, you record a 4k video. But the result is a photo in 4k resolutions. 4k photography offers faster capture at 30 frames a second, which is impressive and records fast-moving action, like water flow.

4k Photo Definition

Part 2. 5 Best 4K Cameras in 2022

To capture 4k photos, you have to purchase a dedicated camera. We have compared and tested the popular 4k cameras. And the list below is the 5 best 4k cameras in 2022.

1. Panasonic Lumix GH5

Lumix GH5 is the successor of GH4. It uses the entire width of the chip when shooting 4k photos. Its key features include:

1. Shoot 4k pictures at 60p with a bit rate of 150Mbps.

2. Record full HD videos up to 180p.

3. Provide color subsampling at 4:2:2 and great color information.

4. Support live output to Apple ProRes via HDMI while recording.

Pros

1. Panasonic introduces some firmware updates to enhance the performance and capacities of GH5 regularly.

2. GH5 has a great fully articulating screen.

3. Its price is affordable than other 4k cameras.

Cons

1. The ISO range is limited.

Panasonic Lumix GH5

2. Sony Alpha A7S II

Sony Alpha A7S II is one of the best 4k and video-shooting cameras. It equips with a full-frame CMOS sensor. Its main features include:

1. Record 4k photos without extra hardware.

2. Capture videos using the whole sensor width.

3. Output 4:2:2 footage from the memory card to an HDMI recorder while shooting internal.

4. Autofocus is fast and able to establish image stabilization.

Pros

1. It has superb dynamic range and lower noise.

2. Sony Alpha A7S II is also a compelling option for videographers.

Cons

1. It only supports recording videos at an 8-bit rate rather than 10 or 12-bit video.

2. The price is higher compared to configurations.

Sony Alpha A7S II

3. Canon XC10

Canon XC10 is huger than other 4k cameras and the less conventional model on our best 4k camera list, but it is worth using. It has a 12MP 1-inch CMOS sensor and supports a 24.1-241mm lens. Its main selling points include:

1. Record 4k photos at 8-bit 4:2:2 footage.

2. Built-in Canon Log option can capture up to 12EV stops of dynamic range.

3. Clean HDMI output using an ND filter.

4. Equip an LCD touchscreen to offer better user experiences.

Pros

1. It supports a wide range of the lens.

2. The price is affordable as a professional-level camera.

Cons

1. The body is too large to hold for a long time.

2. It does not have a native viewfinder.

Canon XC10

4. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is the best Micro Four Thirds camera. Its basic features include:

1. Capture 4k photos, including DCI 4k and UHD 4k.

2. Get clean output through HDMI at 4:2:2 footage.

3. Select the subject with the touchscreen.

4. Built-in image stabilization system is impressive, no matter shoot stills or videos.

Pros

1. Compared to configurations, its cost-effectiveness is high.

2. It supports both DCI 4K and UHD 4K.

Cons

1. The sensor is smaller than other best 4k cameras.

2. The menu is dense and not user-friendly.

Olympus OM-D EM1

5. Nikon D500

Nikon D500 equipped with an APS-C-format CMOS sensor is the successor of D300S. Its benefits include:

1. Support 10fps shooting for up to 200 frames.

2. Integrate a touchscreen and a suite of connectivity options.

3. Capture 4k UHD at 30p/25p/24p.

4. Offer ports for a wide range of extra hardware, like microphones and headphones.

Pros

1. It can crop 4k photos.

2. Nikon D500 is an affordable pro-level camera.

Cons

1. It does not have focus peaking.

Nikon D500

Part 3. Best 4K Photo Viewer on Windows and Mac

WidsMob Viewer Pro is the best 4K photo viewer that enables you to browse the 4K media files from Camcorder, iPhone, or other devices. It is the all-in-one media viewer to browse the photos and videos, including 4K, JPEG, PNG, RAW, HEIC, MP4, MOV, GIF, and more other video and image formats.

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1. Browse and view 4K, JPEG, HEIC, RAW files, and the video formats.

2. View, group, convert, edit and manage the media files with an easy process.

3. Provide different viewing modes browse the files in different scenarios.

4. Create slideshows with your favorite photos and media files with ease.

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Conclusion

In this post, we have discussed what a 4k photo is. It is an Ultra HD photo, so you can discover that the advantage of 4k pictures is superb quality. That makes further editing possible. On the other hand, 4k images are more suitable to record the movement of a subject since it uses a different technique to capture footage. So, we shared the 5 best 4k cameras to help you get 4k captures. These cameras are excellent at recording 4k photos, though they are more expensive than customer-level digital cameras.