Amateur Photographer magazine shoots its latest cover on 4K video, putting to the test whether this format is truly the future for photographers


As video quality on DSLRs and other stills cameras gets better and better, the question rearing its head is whether this video could potentially replace stills photography.

It might sound ridiculous – and plenty of our die-hard readers would spit to hear you say it – but a frame of 4K video contains 8-million pixels, more than enough to create a nice print of an image, and certainly more than enough to use as editorial on a website.

Indeed, it’s not unheard of to see sports photographers shooting this way, especially in athletics events like the Olympics – taking a complete video of an event and then selecting a single still frame from it for their editorial shot.

With this in mind, we thought it high time we put 4K stills to the test in Amateur Photographer.

The cover for our September 20 issue, hitting newsstands and app stores on September 16, is a still taken from a 4K video shot using a Panasonic Lumix GH4.

This is, to our knowledge, the first photographic magazine cover of its kind ever to be published, and it trails a feature in which we test 4K video’s capabilities in a variety of scenarios, from studio portraits to outdoor wildlife.

As we say in the article, ‘If the format is capable of producing images that we’re happy to use to sell the magazine on a news-stand, we think photographers should take notice.’

Amateur Photographer
‘s Editor Nigel Atherton said, ‘Many AP readers are ambivalent about video, so the idea of 4K video modes being the Next Big Thing to appear on DSLRs and CSCs is probably less than thrilling, but this week we show why you should think again.’

  • KawikaNui

    Thanks for taking the plunge and doing this.

    It wasn’t so many years ago that 8mp was considered cutting edge in digital still cameras. (And of course you can find people like Ken Rockwell who say that 8mp is all anyone ever needs–as they run around shooting with 24mp+ cameras!) In fact, for many uses 8mp is adequate provided the sensor and the lens are good.

    In many cases, any drop in resolution is more than offset by the increased frame rate–even 12fps doesn’t always capture that precise best moment in action sports (ball coming off the bat, etc.). At 30fps, no buffer limit, you’re not going to miss anything.