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jnorman34

My puter can't handle 4k. Now what?

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thanks to you all for the excellent replies.

 

quirky - my work is archival footage of architecture for the state historic society.  I spent my career shooting architecture with a 4x5 for the library of congress, and all these little cameras seem like toys to me, so I don't think it is just GAS...  I wanted to shoot this new archival footage at the highest possible resolution to achieve the best possible quality for long-term documentation purposes - I am not trying to shoot "cinema". 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

It's still bewildering that 1/4 actually = 1080p!

These 4K files are not an easy task to edit in realtime.

You don't need a mac pro either. Like i said, no problems on my desktop that was slightly high end 3 years ago.

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thanks to you all for the excellent replies.

 

quirky - my work is archival footage of architecture for the state historic society.  I spent my career shooting architecture with a 4x5 for the library of congress, and all these little cameras seem like toys to me, so I don't think it is just GAS...  I wanted to shoot this new archival footage at the highest possible resolution to achieve the best possible quality for long-term documentation purposes - I am not trying to shoot "cinema". 

 

Well, that little piece of info would have been useful background data to know, and it might have had an impact on the replies - or at least to the tone of them - you received. 

Nevertheless, I think that what I replied is still more or less valid, with the GAS and other less serious remarks put aside; it all depends on what you are getting the new camera for, and in this case, that wasn't known.

 

But even if it was for an archival purposes, wouldn't it still be good to be able to see (and edit right away if necessary) the footage that's going into the archives? My point being the notion of either shooting in 1080p until the computer hardware is up to the job of editing 4K, or waiting until both the camera and the computer are on the same level. So that there won't be any unedited footage left for a later date. Provided that the footage does need editing. And, as mentioned before, fortunately the GH4 can do pretty good 1080p, too, if one's computer is not 4K-ready, yet.

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@Quirky I love finding out what the people here are planning to do with their equipment... While everyone else is offering advice, I'm wracking my brains why they've chosen to purchase this or that... It kind of reminds me of the television show 'What's My Line?' from my youth. Speaking of which, back then there were several places to go for young photographers with little money for suppliies: you could rent darkrooms by the hour (this was in the Detroit area); or, if you were a student or recent graduate, you could use the school's labs for free. There must be facilities like that in larger cities now for digital work; but I've been living in Asia for 7 years, so I'm out of touch with what's going on... Even so, they'd probably be out of reach unless you were getting amply paid for your time.

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so, can someone suggest an appropriate laptop that can handle editing and rendering 4k footage?  I really do not want to get any larger than a 14" display, and I would prefer to stay with PC rather than mac.  I am not seeing a lot of choices.  the razer blade looks pretty good at $1499 (quad core i7-4702hq, GTX 765, 8ram, but the display is only 1600x900).  the alienware are all too chunky looking.  Lenovo, sony, dell have nothing comparable unless you go to a 15.6" screen.  even mac doesn't get there until the 15.6" MBP at well over $2000.

 

I don't think any of the intel on-board graphics would suffice, except perhaps the new Iris graphics on the 13" MBP retina? 

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so, can someone suggest an appropriate laptop that can handle editing and rendering 4k footage? I really do not want to get any larger than a 14" display, and I would prefer to stay with PC rather than mac. I am not seeing a lot of choices. the razer blade looks pretty good at $1499 (quad core i7-4702hq, GTX 765, 8ram, but the display is only 1600x900). the alienware are all too chunky looking. Lenovo, sony, dell have nothing comparable unless you go to a 15.6" screen. even mac doesn't get there until the 15.6" MBP at well over $2000.

I don't think any of the intel on-board graphics would suffice, except perhaps the new Iris graphics on the 13" MBP retina?

 

No laptop under $2,000 is adequate for editing 4K. Period. You will have to work with proxies. The 13" rMBP is underspec even for HD editing. If you were going Mac, you'd be better off with the 15" rMBP with NVIDIA graphics. Even so, for the same money, a 27" iMac is MUCH better value. For serious editing, you need to go with a minimum of 16GB RAM, not 8. Is there a reason you must go laptop? Are you editing in the field?

/edit/ I already anticipate some disagreement here, so let me clarify: you CAN put your media in the timeline using almost any machine on the market today, edit, do dissolves, etc. But performance will not necessarily be optimal. Even working with 1080p, 8GB is insufficient for DaVinci and FCPX, and a good graphics card is a must.

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thanks jon - how about this: what if I buy a desktop box with adequate specs (like dell 8700, i7-4770 quad core, gtx645, 12ram - $750)

 

 and remote into the box using my current thinkpad laptop for video editing?

 

and btw, what was inadequate about the Razer Blade specs except for needing 8gb more ram?

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I'm not familiar at all with computer networking. So maybe someone else here can answer the first question. It looks like the Razer is a speed demon (the SSD's write speeds aren't spectacular, but the read speeds - the ones I'm given to understand are the important ones for editing - are perfectly respectable). The sluggish write speeds will, however, impact import and rendering times. My points of reference are a Samsung 840 SSD that I installed in my last Mac, which cost $250 and had more than double the write speeds of the Razer; and my current rMBP, which has write speeds of 650MB/s and read speeds of 725MB/s. Again, I don't know whether the RAM is upgradeable - perhaps someone here who is familiar with Razer can chime in. The Premiere Elements software you've been working with only requires 2GB RAM, but it doesn't support 4K, which you are already aware of, so you'll have to decide on an NLE as well. Adobe Premiere Pro, which does support 4K, recommends 8GB RAM. Concerning RAM, I just checked my remaining memory - and all I've been doing is using the internet this morning - and according to my MemoryFree2 app, I've only got around 3GB of free memory remaining out of 8GB on my rMBP. Just opening Final Cut reduces it to 2.5GB. So obviously, if you have more than one app open at a time, you'll need more memory than the minimum system requirements listed in the NLE's spec sheet. And if later on you see someone's work you just love and decide to try out some plug-ins they used to achieve those looks, you'll need still more. So whatever you purchase, don't skimp out on the RAM unless you can upgrade later on.

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I ordered the GH4 too, but I don't plan on editing in 4K. 
 

I'll probably shoot most of the stuff I do (documentary and weddings) in 1080, since that's the delivery format (still mostly DVD, web or broadcast).

When I have time to prepare and plan the shoot and where I want the best image quality, I'll probably shoot in 4K and then convert that to 1080 before editing (or work with proxies).

But none of my clients can play back 4K today, so I don't see the benefits (today).

 

I would've ordered the GH4 anyway, even without 4K.  The low light performance and high frame rates are what made me order this camera.

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More re: editing 4K from Andrew's production diary,

 

The good news is a Macbook Pro 15 Retina and iMac 27″ will edit the GH4′s 4K material at full resolution if you just have the clip on the timeline and no effects. If you add effects and multiple tracks then you need to drop the playback resolution to 1/2 or 1/4.

 

 

The soon-to-be released LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is capable of reaching read speeds of 880MB/s over the iMac's first gen Thunderbolt interface, which is faster than the iMac's internal drive, and would certainly yield an increase in performance. A drawback of using the computer's internal drive for editing is that, as Larry Jordan has written,

 

The boot drive is actively used by the OS and applications and all background processes, which take priority over any data playback. This means that data needs to wait until the OS is done with the disk before playback can occur. This tends to lead to choppy playback.

 

 

 

When the new iMacs come equipped with Thunderbolt 2, they will be able to take full advantage of LaCie's stupendous read speeds of 1,300MB/s: double that of Apple's current 1TB Fusion Drive; and it should churn through 4K files like nobody's business. The downside is that the LaCie only holds 1TB (remember, 1 hour of GH4 4K footage takes up 45GB of space, and that's with no transcoding to ProRes) and will retail for a whopping $1,299, or half the cost of a configured 27" iMac. Just the same, at the moment, it's the only DAS I would consider for desktop 4K editing.

 

Which brings up another point: that of machines whose fastest interface is USB 3. At the moment, to the best of my knowledge, no spinning disk drives can saturate Thunderbolt, let alone USB 3, for that matter. As costs drop, SSDs, or hybrid drives like Apple's Fusion Drive, could be the way of the future. The way I see it, the only way to future-proof your investment is to go with a Thunderbolt equipped machine that can handle the bandwidth required by 4K. 

 

Meanwhile, USB 3.1, which is said to match 1st gen Thunderbolt speeds, is expected to hit the streets toward the end of the year.

 

http://jonpais.wordpress.com

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Talk about putting the cart before the horse - even here in Vietnam, where no national networks broadcast HD (to the best of my knowledge, since I don't watch television here) and where Blu Rays are all but unheard of (and where all DVDs are pirated editions), 4K TV sets are heavily advertised, especially by Sony. I think I even saw one of their ads gracing a box of beer at a convenience store this evening. Yet projections had it that nationwide HD wouldn't be available here for another 20 years! As for content, Sony has made numerous titles in their vast catalogue available in 4K (though probably not in Southeastern Asia); YouTube (say what you will - I don't love them either!) has already enabled 4K uploads; and Netflix's popular House of Cards is going to stream in 4K. Apparently online distribution faces fewer hurdles than TV networks - but many here watch programming on their iPads and laptops, not on flatscreen TVs. It's my opinion that 4K will take off much sooner than expected. And while we would have preferred to see improvements in dynamic range and bit-depth first, 4K seems to be an easier sell to the general public. At the same time, NONE of my Western colleagues has ever heard of 4K - I have to explain it to them - after which they respond that HD is good enough for them. 

 

http://jonpais.wordpress.com

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I ordered the GH4 too, but I don't plan on editing in 4K. 
 

I'll probably shoot most of the stuff I do (documentary and weddings) in 1080, since that's the delivery format (still mostly DVD, web or broadcast).

When I have time to prepare and plan the shoot and where I want the best image quality, I'll probably shoot in 4K and then convert that to 1080 before editing (or work with proxies).

But none of my clients can play back 4K today, so I don't see the benefits (today).

 

I would've ordered the GH4 anyway, even without 4K.  The low light performance and high frame rates are what made me order this camera.

 

I've had buyer's remorse too many times in the past to cut corners now. I fail to understand why so many filmmakers would spend thousands of dollars for camera bodies, lenses and accessories, only to skimp on their computer and storage. I'm just a hobbyist, but these are professionals, whose very livelihood depends on a fast and efficient workflow. Only they know the answer to that question. As Lloyd Chambers writes in his Mac Performance Guide,

 

...a professional needs a computing system that takes into account current and future needs, reliability, backup and expansion.

The wrong choices can mean spending more money for less performance, inadequate storage capacity, confusing backup, or workflow configuration that does not utilize the best approach.

 

 

I was 100% certain that I would NEVER use the 3D ability that was built into my first camcorder, and I never did. But I could never purchase the GH4 and promise not to use the exceptional 4K resolution it is capable of. Especially since Andrew has already stated that downscaling from 4K to 1080p will yield better results than shooting in HD. Come to think of it, it seems like only yesterday that I SWORE I'd never shoot with anything but a film camera.

 

Note: Sorry for abusing the caps rule^^

 

http://jonpais.wordpress.com

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I think black-and-white, monophonic sound and a squarish 1.33:1 aspect ratio will be around for a long time. There's just no demand for color, stereo and 16:9. :)

 

Unlike Panasonic's camera division, Sony has a strong presence here in Vietnam. Unbelievably, they are selling RX1s, A7s and RX10s. They are also incidentally in the television business, and 4K figures prominently in their advertising, both in print and broadcast media - and this in a developing country, where most content is still in standard definition. Because SD televisions are no longer made, everyone watches their SD content on HD screens, preferably Samsung. And not a few homes in my neighborhood have 50" screens. Of course, cable stations offering HD are there, but I don't know how many subscribers they have: the amount and quality of HD programming they offer is meagre (80-90% of their content is still SD). As I sat in an air-conditioned Sony showroom this afternoon (temperatures reached 36 degrees Celsius today) watching a demonstration of 4K on one of their exquisite sets, I was of two minds: clearly, it had more resolution than HD: but the experience wasn't as dramatic as comparing say, a DVD to a Blu Ray movie on a home theater system. I turned to a sales representative, and in my poor Vietnamese, asked if many customers were buying these sets and he said yes. I asked what content they were watching, since obviously there isn't any 4K here in any form, let alone 1080p. He walked up to the set, opened a cabinet beneath the TV and showed me a box with the letters HDD on the front. Maybe the rich consumers here, who have to drive Mercedes automobiles and Hummers to flaunt their wealth, think that if they play 1080p content on their set, it will magically become 4K? Or, they could be mostly corporate clients who have to arrive to work in chauffeured BMWs.

 

http://jonpais.wordpress.com

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"I was 100% certain that I would NEVER use the 3D ability that was built into my first camcorder, and I never did. But I could never purchase the GH4 and promise not to use the exceptional 4K resolution it is capable of. Especially since Andrew has already stated that downscaling from 4K to 1080p will yield better results than shooting in HD. Come to think of it, it seems like only yesterday that I SWORE I'd never shoot with anything but a film camera."

 

@ jonpais : My point is that my current setup (4 year old MacPro) will still allow me to downscale 4K footage to HD before I start editing.  So my workflow wouldn't be too different from today : I convert all my AVCHD footage to ProRes before editing.  If Rarevision would decide to develop something like 5DtoRGB for 4K footage from the GH4, I would probably face longer conversion times, but I can live with that (I mostly do conversions during nighttime).

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I would check the harddisk specs on your laptop.  Many of them only have 5400 rpm drives.  The better ones have drives that run at 7200 rpm, the same a what you would find in a desktop computer.  They are easy and cheap to replace.

 

For workstation style laptops with NVidia Quadro chips, you are into about $1700 (at least with the HP models). 

 

Michael

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If Jnorman34 don't mind, I would like to use this topic for my own dilemma:

 

Since my current configuration has problems with editing 4K footage, I would like to switch to a better configuration.

I am thinking about buying the new Mac Pro (fast workflow, futureproof). The only thing is: i use Sony Vegas for my edits, and Sony Vegas is not available for Mac.

 

So I need to install Windows on my new Macbook. Questions:

 

  • Are there any downsides on installing Windows on my Mac Pro?
  • What is the best workflow (Bootcamp,Parallels?) for installing Windows on the Mac Pro?

Hope to hear from you! Thanks in advance.

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