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Help me on an eBay hunt for 4K under $200 - Is it possible?


Andrew Reid
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Do GoPros count...

gopro 4k | eBay
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2334524.m570.l1313&_nkw=gopro+4k&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=0&_odkw=gopro

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1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

I wish Olympus had gotten rid of recording limits. That was always the deal breaker for me 😞

Yeah, the thing about Olympus is that it ALWAYS falls short of providing top-notch specs...but then the sum of the parts, even if they're not the best (although in a few cases some are), really has appealed to me for an undefined reason.

Luckily, I just don't do things that require uninterrupted filming for an hour.

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I actually managed to get a Z Cam E1 for the $200 camera challenge in 2019, but they prices have come back up on them.

I will say for what the camera is, it's pretty amazing and I've used it a bunch/rigged it into different spots. 

The control via app is huge and the camera has been really a pleasure to own. It's crazy how small it is.

Not sure where I'll go with this challenge, but grabbing the e1 last time around was great.

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I had a few excellent deals last year because "m43 sucks"

gx800 for 150 euros, had 170 clicks
gx80 for 200 euros, had 800 clicks
em1x for 900 euros + macro adapter, had 5000 clicks
em1 mk2 for 450 euros, had 7000 clicks
gh3 with pl 25mm 1.4 for 350 euro
epm1 mini with kit lens for 25 euros (had to pay 15 extra to get the sensor cleaned though)

so I keep tell everyone... sell your m43 gear for cheap, to me
 

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9 hours ago, Gandulf said:

I had a few excellent deals last year because "m43 sucks"

gx800 for 150 euros, had 170 clicks
gx80 for 200 euros, had 800 clicks
em1x for 900 euros + macro adapter, had 5000 clicks
em1 mk2 for 450 euros, had 7000 clicks
gh3 with pl 25mm 1.4 for 350 euro
epm1 mini with kit lens for 25 euros (had to pay 15 extra to get the sensor cleaned though)

so I keep tell everyone... sell your m43 gear for cheap, to me
 

I've had similar luck finding some good deals, but I've also seen price increases in Olympus gear recently ...no idea why. Now, Panasonic stuff is super-inexpensive. The only exception is the e-m1 ii, which is still a super-killer deal right now. I just love those guys who keep spewing "sensor size is everything". Let's keep that going for as long as possible!

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39 minutes ago, John Matthews said:

I've had similar luck finding some good deals, but I've also seen price increases in Olympus gear recently ...no idea why. Now, Panasonic stuff is super-inexpensive. The only exception is the e-m1 ii, which is still a super-killer deal right now. I just love those guys who keep spewing "sensor size is everything". Let's keep that going for as long as possible!

I'm guessing with the Olympus sale users are trying to grab up Olympus gear out of fear it won't be around much longer. I know a lot of M43 users that have exclusively Olympus glass even though they shoot Panasonic. 

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I know it's probably not in the spirit of the thread, but with the passage of time there are some good quality and now cheap FHD cameras from the past that can make an organic-looking UHD enlargement during post. Some subtle sharpening can help if required, though the impression I get was native UHD can sometimes look too sharp for cinematic video. You can shoot in 2K and deliver in 4K - maybe that keeps you under $200.

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2 hours ago, TrueIndigo said:

I know it's probably not in the spirit of the thread, but with the passage of time there are some good quality and now cheap FHD cameras from the past that can make an organic-looking UHD enlargement during post. Some subtle sharpening can help if required, though the impression I get was native UHD can sometimes look too sharp for cinematic video. You can shoot in 2K and deliver in 4K - maybe that keeps you under $200.

I've previously celebrated the benefits of FHD shooting, but a very large caveat to that is that the codecs really have to support those modes, and unfortunately on newer cameras this often doesn't seem to be the case.  It doesn't matter how many pixels there are, if you're projecting / viewing the total image on a screen the same size regardless of the resolution, then having a FHD mode with dramatically less bitrate than a 4K mode will just look inferior.
For example, comparing a 100Mbps 4K codec with a 35Mbps FHD technically has more bits per pixel in the FHD mode, but it actually just has a third the bits over the whole screen, plus any artefacting on the 4K one at the pixel level will also be smaller.

If anyone is considering trying to get the best results from cheaper cameras that can shoot 4K then the strategy is probably better to shoot in 4K, even if you're putting that footage onto a 2K / FHD timeline.  Plus, with the computers and storage we have in recent years, most cameras that only shoot FHD probably have such a low bitrate that a more recent 4K image downscaled would be a better bet anyway.  

Of course, unless you're looking at a camera that really stood out and optimised it's FHD modes.

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Yes, I was thinking of the older cameras which only shoot FHD as their native resolution. I remember years ago doing an UHD upscale of some FHD footage from the old Nikon D5200 which looked quite pastel and smooth with some careful noise reduction. I think that camera used a Toshiba sensor and had a nice cyan tint to it which I liked. Later I bought the D5500 to pair with it, but it was quite different from the earlier camera, looked more generic, more modern I suppose.

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3 hours ago, kye said:

the best results from cheaper cameras...shoot in 4K, even if you're putting that footage onto a 2K / FHD timeline...a more recent 4K image downscaled would be a better bet anyway.  

...unless you're looking at a camera that really stood out and optimised it's FHD modes.

This is what I do and it's been a very productive way for me to do my work.

As for that last bit you mentioned, I'm still amazed at the IQ I got from my modest GX7 all those years ago.  Something special about that one, even though it only did 1080.

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4 hours ago, kye said:

It doesn't matter how many pixels there are, if you're projecting / viewing the total image on a screen the same size regardless of the resolution, then having a FHD mode with dramatically less bitrate than a 4K mode will just look inferior.
...

If anyone is considering trying to get the best results from cheaper cameras that can shoot 4K then the strategy is probably better to shoot in 4K, even if you're putting that footage onto a 2K / FHD timeline.  Plus, with the computers and storage we have in recent years, most cameras that only shoot FHD probably have such a low bitrate that a more recent 4K image downscaled would be a better bet anyway.

4K has 4 times the color depth (and 4 times the bit rate) of full HD, all other variables being equal and barring compression or any artificial effects.

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4 hours ago, tupp said:

4K has 4 times the color depth (and 4 times the bit rate) of full HD, all other variables being equal and barring compression or any artificial effects.

Actually, the entire point of my post is that there are complexities to the equation that your statement does not acknowledge.  Sure, you added a "all other variables" disclaimer, but the point is that those "other variables" are actually the ones that matter and the resolution makes almost no difference at all, so much so that I'd say it's sufficient to render your statement so overly simplified that it is basically wrong, but regardless, it's misleading and distinctly unhelpful.

Unless you're just trolling?

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37 minutes ago, kye said:

Actually, the entire point of my post is that there are complexities to the equation that your statement does not acknowledge.  Sure, you added a "all other variables" disclaimer...

I acknowledged your single "complexity" (bit rate), and even other variables, including compression and unnamed natural and "artificial" influences such as A/D conversion methods, resolution/codec conversion methods, post image processing effects, etc.

 

By the way, greater bit rate doesn't always mean superior images, even with all other variables (including compression) being the same.  A file can have greater bit rate with a lot of the bandwidth unused and/or empty.

 

 

 

49 minutes ago, kye said:

... but the point is that those "other variables" are actually the ones that matter and the resolution makes almost no difference at all, so much so that I'd say it's sufficient to render your statement so overly simplified that it is basically wrong,...

One is entitled to one's opinion, but the fact is that resolution is integral to digital color depth.  Furthermore, resolution has equal weighting to bit depth when one considers a single color channel -- that is a fundamental fact of digital imaging.  Here is the formula:   COLOR DEPTH = RESOLUTION X BITDEPTH^n   (where "n" is the number of color channels and all where pixel groups can be discerned individually).

 

Most don't realize it, but a 1-bit image can produce zillions of colors.  We witness this fact whenever we see images screen printed in a magazine, on a poster or on a billboard.  Almost all screen printed photos are 1-bit images made up of dots of ink.  The ink dot is either there or it is not there (showing the white base) -- there are no "in-between" shades.  To increase the color depth in such 1-bit images, one must increase the resolution by using a finer printing screen.

 

That resolution/color-depth relationship of screen printing also applies to digital imaging (and also to analog imaging), even if the image has greater bit depth.

 

 

58 minutes ago, kye said:

... but regardless, it's misleading and distinctly unhelpful.

Unless you're just trolling?

I simply state fact, and the fact is that 4k has 4 times the color depth and 4 times the bit rate of full HD (all other variables being equal and barring compression, of course).

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26 minutes ago, tupp said:

I acknowledged your single "complexity" (bit rate), and even other variables, including compression and unnamed natural and "artificial" influences such as A/D conversion methods, resolution/codec conversion methods, post image processing effects, etc.

 

By the way, greater bit rate doesn't always mean superior images, even with all other variables (including compression) being the same.  A file can have greater bit rate with a lot of the bandwidth unused and/or empty.

 

 

 

One is entitled to one's opinion, but the fact is that resolution is integral to digital color depth.  Furthermore, resolution has equal weighting to bit depth when one considers a single color channel -- that is a fundamental fact of digital imaging.  Here is the formula:   COLOR DEPTH = RESOLUTION X BITDEPTH^n   (where "n" is the number of color channels and all where pixel groups can be discerned individually).

 

Most don't realize it, but a 1-bit image can produce zillions of colors.  We witness this fact whenever we see images screen printed in a magazine, on a poster or on a billboard.  Almost all screen printed photos are 1-bit images made up of dots of ink.  The ink dot is either there or it is not there (showing the white base) -- there are no "in-between" shades.  To increase the color depth in such 1-bit images, one must increase the resolution by using a finer printing screen.

 

That resolution/color-depth relationship of screen printing also applies to digital imaging (and also to analog imaging), even if the image has greater bit depth.

 

 

I simply state fact, and the fact is that 4k has 4 times the color depth and 4 times the bit rate of full HD (all other variables being equal and barring compression, of course).

Actually, no.

You've managed to build half of an understanding of how these things work.

Answer me this - if I take a camera and shoot it in 8-bit 800x600 and I shoot the sky and get banding, then I set the same camera to 8K 8-bit and shoot the same sky, why do I still get banding?

Your newspaper example is technically correct, but completely irrelevant to digital sensors as the method of rendering shades of colour is completely different.

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2 hours ago, kye said:

Answer me this - if I take a camera and shoot it in 8-bit 800x600 and I shoot the sky and get banding, then I set the same camera to 8K 8-bit and shoot the same sky, why do I still get banding?

Well, this scenario is somewhat problematic because one is using the same camera with the same sensor.  So, automatically there is a binning and/or line-skipping variable.

 

However, barring such issues and given that all other variables are identical in both instances, it is very possible that the 8K camera will exhibit a banding/posterization artifact just like the SD camera.

 

Nevertheless, the 8K camera will have a ton more color depth than the SD camera, and, likewise, the 8K camera will have a lot more color depth than a 10-bit, 800x600 camera that doesn't exhibit the banding artifact.

 

 

2 hours ago, kye said:

Your newspaper example is technically correct, but completely irrelevant to digital sensors as the method of rendering shades of colour is completely different.

Of course, it is not practical to have 1-bit camera sensors (but it certainly is possible).

 

Nonetheless, resolution and bit depth are equally weighted factors in regards to color depth in digital imaging, and, again, a 4k sensor has 4 times the color depth of an otherwise equivalent Full HD sensor.

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7 minutes ago, tupp said:

Nevertheless, the 8K camera will have a ton more color depth than the SD camera, and, likewise, the 8K camera will have a lot more color depth than a 10-bit, 800x600 camera that doesn't exhibit the banding artifact.

No.  Colour depth is bit-depth.

The wikipedia entry begins with:

Quote

Color depth or colour depth (see spelling differences), also known as bit depth, is either the number of bits used to indicate the color of a single pixel, in a bitmapped image or video framebuffer, or the number of bits used for each color component of a single pixel.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_depth

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2 hours ago, kye said:

No.  Colour depth is bit-depth.

Nope.  Color depth is the number of different colors that can be produced in a given area.  A given area has to be considered, because imaging necessarily involves area... which area necessarily involves resolution.

 

Obviously, if a 1-bit imaging system produces more differing colors as the resolution is increased, then resolution is an important factor to color depth -- it is not just bit depth that determines color depth.

 

The above example of a common screen printing is just such an imaging system that produces a greater number of differing colors as the resolution increases, while the bit depth remains at 1-bit.

 

 

2 hours ago, kye said:

The wikipedia entry begins with:

Quote

Color depth or colour depth (see spelling differences), also known as bit depth, is either the number of bits used to indicate the color of a single pixel, in a bitmapped image or video framebuffer, or the number of bits used for each color component of a single pixel.

The Wikipedia definition of color depth is severely flawed in at least two ways:

  1. it doesn't account for resolution;
  2. and it doesn't account for color depth in analog imaging systems -- which possess absolutely no bit depth nor pixels.

 

Now, let us consider the wording of the Wikipedia definition of color depth that you quoted.   This definition actually gives two image areas for consideration

  1. "a single pixel" -- meaning an RGB pixel group;
  2. and "the number of bits used for each color component of a single pixel" -- meaning a single pixel site of one of the color channels.

 

For simplicity's sake, let's just work with Wikipedia's area #2 -- a single channel pixel site of a given bit depth of "N."  We will call the area of that pixel site "A."

 

If we double the resolution, the number of pixel sites in "A" increases to two.  Suddenly, we can produce more tones inside "A."  In fact, area "A" can now produce "N²" number of tones -- much more than "N" tones.

 

Likewise, if we quadruple the resolution, "A" suddenly contains four times the pixel sites that it did originally, with the number of possible tones within "A" now increasing to "N⁴."

 

Now, one might say, "that's not how it actually works in digital images -- two or four adjacent pixels are not designed to render a single tone."  Well, the fact is that there are some sensors and monitors that use more pixels within a pixel group than those found within the typical Bayer pixel group or found withing a striped RGB pixel group.  Furthermore (and probably most importantly), image detail can feather off within one or two or three pixel groups, and such tiny transitions might be where higher tone/color depth is most utilized.

 

By the way, I didn't come up with the idea that resolution is "half" of color depth.  It is a fact that I learned when I studied color depth in analog photography in school -- back when there was no such thing as bit depth in imaging.

 

In addition, experts have more recently shown that higher resolutions give more color information (color depth), allowing for conversions from 4k, 4:2:0, 8-bit to Full HD, 4:4:4, 10-bit -- using the full, true 10-bit gamut of tones.  Here is Andrew Ried's article on the conversion and here is the corresponding EOSHD thread.

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