November 8, 2016 at 3:49AM


5d3 do u need 4k

Thinking of upgrading to a camera with good photos and videos under 2000 (2nd hand) with EF lense options. So is the 5d3 good enough for docs events and maybe 1 or 2 narrative. Do I need a 4k camera for future proofing. Will 4k become a prominent standard(everybody with 4k phone screens) within two years.


My standard answer for this question is that the majority of major Hollywood productions are produced at 2K or HD. The few that are truly produced in 4K are generally only projected at 2K. If 2K is fine for the majority of 10M high theater screens...
In order to take advantage of UHD, (4K is a theatrical format only) you not only need 4x as many pixels, you need 4x as much processing post and storage. Optics that can actually resolve the extra detail are needed and since your budget is $2,000, you probably won't get it. I tested about a dozen prime lenses in my arsenal and only two of them could resolve more than 1,000 lines. The zooms were around 800. Most people's EYES can't resolve full HD at normal viewing distances. Those who have UHD phone screens would have to sit with their face less than 8" from it to see the difference, if they can even focus that closely.
More pixels means smaller pixels per given sensor size, which means lower native sensitivity and dynamic range. Cheap UHD cameras usually have WORSE image quality than HD cameras, not just because of noise but because there's 4x as much data to read off of the sensor and thus worse rolling shutter.
UHD TVs might be standard in a few years, but most TV stations are 480i or 720p. A few are 1080i but not many. Cinema is still predominantly 2K and the powers that be in that arena greatly prefer better dynamic range over resolution. There's an official UHD TV standard en route but I can tell you as an industry professional that NOBODY cares. They won't be replacing hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment per station for the second time within a decade. Your only outlet would be services like Netflix, where data is restricted to 3.8mbps, about 1/5th HD Blu-Ray, so are you really gaining anything?

In short, no. There's far more important factors in the quality of a movie than how many pixels it has.

November 8, 2016 at 5:06AM


It should also be noted that unless you flash the firmware with Magic Lantern software (enabling the full resolution and dynamic range of the 5D3 sensor), you will be stuck with Canon's very low quality image scaling algorithm (based on line-skipping rather than filtering), very limited dynamic range (8 bits instead of 12+), and very compromised chroma sampling (4:2:0 instead of 4:4:4). It's true that the 5D3 can now express 4:2:2 chroma sampling via HDMI, but that requires adding an external recorder, which increases costs and rigging complexities.

Bottom line: not a terrible idea to pick a good 1080p camera for cost reasons, but not a great idea to think that all 1080p cameras are created equal when it comes to creating a high-quality product.

November 8, 2016 at 6:47AM


1080p is enough. Only problem is, customers are going to start asking for 4K

November 11, 2016 at 12:31AM

Adrian Maurud

Customers, maybe, but if you are producing a film, a narrative, it doesn't matter, then go with the BMPCC.

November 15, 2016 at 4:36AM


I just started working a new job in the video team of a big advertising company, and their most used camera (and only in house) is the 5D3. With proper lighting, exposure and so on you can still get a great image from it.

November 16, 2016 at 10:22AM

Sebastian Kammonen

Seen more cinematic footage coming out of a 5D3 than some way more expensive cameras. Depends how you light and color

November 16, 2016 at 9:12PM


1080p Canon 5d3 raw using Magic Lantern is still beautiful to behold. Possibly the best 1080p choice for narrative now in terms of image, especially with the price going down after the 5d4 hit the market.

November 17, 2016 at 4:06AM

Ezi Seel

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