You’ve heard this line before. People are always telling you about things you “need”. But 4k photo could genuinely change your life… or at least the way you capture it on camera.
But what is 4k photo? Ever since I started my partnership with Panasonic Lumix and began posting images tagged #4kPhoto on my social media, I’ve had many of you ask that question. So let me answer it once and for all…
What is 4k photo?
You’ve probably heard of 4k video – a step above HD and a new league of unprecedented quality. It’s so advanced that many devices can’t even display it properly yet!
But 4k photography is a different concept altogether. It lets you extract frames from 4k video – and not just any frames. Beautiful high-quality still images, like the ones in this post all of which I’ve taken during my travels using this method.
Why? On the 4k photo setting, the camera captures video at 30 frames per second as it would with any 4k video with almost no motion blur. In practice it means that if you shoot for 5 seconds, you will have 150 different frames to choose from. That’s 150 different photos! This means getting much more than just blurry screenshots – lovely 8 megapixel images.
What is 4k photo good for?
In a nutshell, 4k photo is ideal for documenting any kind of motion. Things falling, spilling, exploding or being squished… you’ll never miss the moment. No more group shots with half the people blinking! Below are just a few examples of the things you can capture:
- your dog playing with a frisbee
- a child blowing soap bubbles
- an athlete crossing the finish line
- a butterfly circling around a flower
- hair blowing in the wind
- those pesky group jumping shots
How to take a 4k photo
Taking a 4k photo is very simple – all you need is a camera with that function. Unfortunately, not all of them do. Panasonic Lumix is spearheading the movement with some of their cameras like the GH4, G7 or tiny CM1 – you can find more info here. Don’t forget an SD card that can handle 4k photo, ideally UHS Speed Class 3.
This short tutorial will teach you how to take a 4k photo with my Lumix DMC-LX100, but the process is similar for other Panasonic Lumix cameras:
1. Go to Menu, select Motion Picture, then choose 4k Photo and say Yes.
2. Once it’s set up, just aim the camera at your desired object and press the shutter. Pressing the shutter will start a video recording, which you can end by pressing the shutter again, as you would with a photo.
3. Set your aperture, shutter speed and aspect ratio. If you’re photographing a moving object, it’s recommended to set [Shutter-Priority] Mode and the shutter speed to at least 1/1000 seconds (1/2000 for quick movement) to minimize subject blur.
4. Go to your gallery and play the video back. You can either see it frame by frame (good for shorter videos) or watch at normal speed and just press the arrow up to pause at any point. You can also extract frames on your computer using programmes like Lightroom or Photoshop.
5. To save a frame you like as a photo, press the middle button and… that’s it! You can save as many frames from one video as you’d like and go back to it whenever you please.
Note: While filming, you can press the Fn2 button. This adds a marker to the video which will allow you to quickly find that specific point – you can do this up to 40 times in one take.
Do you have any questions? Just let me know what they are in the comments below
and I’ll get to them in my next photo-related post – or just answer them here.