Best 4k Camera for Disney World

We are heading back to the Magic Kingdom! After being away for 4 years, 225 days, 14 hours, 43 mins, 34 secs , we are going back in late January, 2022.

The purpose of this page is for my notes on the cameras that I have and to see if I need to purchase anything new for the trip.

GoPro is expected to announce a new GoPro Hero 10 in September. I don't plan on upgrading to the latest and greatest version. I suspect that a new iPhone would be a better money spent than a new GoPro. I'll

Apple's iPhone 13

I have been following the new features of Apple's iPhone 13. There has been a few "leaks" as to what will be in the next generation of Apple's iPhone. While sometimes the leaks are accurate, things can change because of distribution issues. So what Apple intended to ship, may change before release day because of supply can't meet demand.

Here are some of the features that I'll be looking for in the new phones announced sometime this September:

  • Better Quality Photos - Obviously the camera in the iPhone 13 will be better. Apple is known for producing better quality photos/videos with each new version of the iPhone. I can't wait to see what Apple does with the iPhone 13.
  • Low Light Conditions - The quality of videos and photos in low light conditions. I saw that iPhone 12 does a pretty good job.
  • Not Always About the Camera - There's rumors that the display will have a better refresh rate, which means that the images will look so much better on the iPhone.

The smartphone has a lot of useful functions, it's not alway about the camera. If I was 100% on the camera, I might as well just get a new camera. Mirrorless DSLR cameras will produce better photo/videos than whatever Apple announces on September.

What's Rumored:

  • Better Refresh Rate - As mentioned earlier, the iPhone 13 is expected to have a better refresh rate, which means that all the images on the phone will be better.
  • Better Camera Sensor - Apple has once again improved the sensor size on the smart phone. The engineering team has once again shown that technology innovation is better than the physical innovation.
  • Cinematic Video - Users can blur out the background in videos.
  • Upgraded Ultra Wide Lens - Users can capture more of the view with the ultra wide lens. The lens will support f/1.8 aperture which means that it will take awesome night shots.
  • Huge Storage - There's rumor that Apple will ship the Pro version with 1TB drive. I have a 256 GB on my iPhone XS Max and will likely stay with that configuration.

iPhone XS Max

I have had the iPhone XS Max for 2 years, 355 days, 14 hours, 43 mins, 34 secs. Maybe its time to think about getting the 2021 iPhone. The iPhone XS Max is working perfectly fine, and there's critical reason for me to upgrade. Getting a new iPhone is nice to have not a must have.

I currently have 221 Application, 176 Songs, 256 videos and 7,856 videos. I'll have to do a lot of cleaning up before the trip. I probably only use about 40 applications on a regular bases.

Key things about the iPhone XS Max for this trip:

Portable Device - I'll have it whenever I need to take a quick photo/video.
Night Time Photos - The camera doesn't take great night time photos. I have some apps that make it work better, but it requires holding the camera still for about 25-seconds. This won't be a good solution when I want to take photos on a ride.
256 Storage Limit - I can't expand the storage so I'll be stuck with the 256gb limit for the whole week. It should be plenty of space, but I don't want to take too many 4k videos.
Old Camera - There has been at least 2 versions of the iPhone that has produced better quality videos and photos.

GoPro Hero 9 Black

The GoPro will be my go to video camera - at least for regular videos. I have plenty of GoPro mounts that I can bring to Disney. I'll go through my collection to figure out which mounts that I'll likely bring.

This camera takes great general videos in 4k videos, it's small enough to have available to use on some of the rides. There's not much zoom functionality. So it's a basically a point and shoot camera. So the positioning will be important. For example, if I want to take pictures of the castle from Main Street USA, I can't zoom in.

Small Camera - Easy to carry and have available whenever I need it.
5k Videos - High Quality videos available whenever I need it.
Low Light Videos - Night Time Videos hasn't been good. I find that the time-lapse is excellent for night time videos, but standard night time video hasn't been all that good. Probably won't use this much in low light conditions.
Sensor Size: 1/2.3 inch
Max ISO: 6,400. Some people have reported that the photos/videos are grainy. Still worth seeing how it does in some places - such as the Pirates of the Caribbean. So far this best night photo/video in my collection for 4k.

Panasonic LUMIX DC-FZ80

I requested this camera last December. At the time, I heard it was a great low budget camera. After using it for a while, that it works pretty good in well lit conditions. I have had issues getting good videos when the lighting isn't all that great. I still need to figure out using it in low light conditions.

I plan to bring this camera to the park. I still need to learn more about the features and functionality. This YouTube Video, might be a good starting point.

Night Time Photos - Apparently this camera can handle low light photos just fine.
Large SD Cards size: Max format 128 GB. I'll have a couple of cards available for the trip.
Quality of Photos/Videos - I see more noise in various videos and photos. I think some of it has to do with the settings, I'll have to play around with it more.
Sensor Size: 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm). It's interesting that the Panasonic LUMIX DC-FZ80 and GoPro Hero 9 have the same sensor size.
Max ISO: 3,200. That's pretty good for a "point and shoot" type of camera. This means that I can take fairly good photos in low light. (Check out the ISO/Aperture/Shutter Speed Cheat Sheet)

Olympus XZ-2

Oddly enough this still the best camera that I have for Low-Light conditions. I don't think I want to carry around multiple camera all day. So this may not make it to Florida on this trip.

Key Features of the Olympus XZ-2:

  • Super fast, bright i.ZUIKO f1.8 to f2.5 lens that uses high quality ZUIKO digital lenses
  • Pairs a powerful TruePic VI sensor with an SLR-quality image processor to dramatically improve image quality with spectacular low-light performance and blazing autofocus speed.
  • 3.0", 920K dot super high resolution Tilting Touch screen with FAST Touch Autofocus and shutter release just by touching the screen
  • Built in Accessory Port, Hybrid Control Ring and Function button and level for ultimate control
  • Special effects for your photos & HD Videos with Olympus' 11 in-camera Art Filters and Art Effects
  • Enjoy low light photography with the built-in pop up flash and increased ISO sensitivity to 12800
  • The camera supports UHS-I SD card formats. (SD/SDHC/SDXC) This means the camera should support up SD cards with at 2 TB of capacity.
Night Time Photos - This did really well with photos and videos during the 2015 trip.
Max video: 1080p, not bad but it's 2021 and most videos should be done in 4k.
Sensor Size: 1/1.72" (7.44 x 5.58 mm)
Released: November 2013 (7 years, 295 days, 14 hours, 43 mins, 34 secs)
Max ISO: 12,800. Honestly I don't think video gets the full 12,800, I think video max is around 9,000. You can see a difference in brightness in the LCD monitor when you hit record.

Considerations

These are the cameras that I would be consider, if I was in the market to buy another camera. Based on the various specs, the ideal camera would be something that handles low light really well.

You can see these together on the DPReview Camera Comparison page.

As stated earlier. I may just want to work with the inventory that I have and not purchase a new camera for one trip.

  • Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless camera - Cost about $898 and the 55-210mm lens would be $298 more.
  • Sony RX100 - One of the best "point and shoot" cameras. Also one of the most expensive around $1000.
  • Panasonic LUMIX GX85 - Cost about $597.99