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4k Astrophotography – What You Need


There is a misconception that you need a “4k camera” to do a lot of 4k resolution video. And this is true in terms of video for the most part, but as we’ll show you here you can capture, compile and export a 4k video if you get a little creative. Here’s how.

First of all, the creative freedom must fall within the realms of time-lapse photography, or a series of images taken of a scene that when played back at 24 frames a second resembles a cohesive video. In this case it’s easy to get the 4k quality of the stars in a time-lapse.

You’ll need a DSLR that has at least 8.3 megapixels – which isn’t very much. This means a total resolution of at least 3840 pixels × 2160 lines. When you capture a still frame, you have all those pixels to use and may actually end up not using a lot of them. For this video we used a Canon 6D with 20.2 MP, 14mm Rokkinon lens, a tripod, and an intervolometer. 

We used Adobe Bridge to edit the RAW information and updated the metadata in Adobe Lightroom to finish the edits and finally importing to Final Cut Pro X to compile the images and export in 4k glory. Whew. That workflow is actually pretty streamlined for the results that you can achieve, and only takes a couple hours, mostly waiting for images to export and render.