From fun short videos on video sharing platforms like TikTok and Snapchat to recently released movies on streaming services like Netflix and HBO, ultra-high definition 4K videos have become the new normal. Consumer cameras and smartphones rushed to add support for 4K video recording. The 8 million active pixels of each frame of 4K video brings us sharper and more realistic picture quality. However, it also presents challenges for many video makers. They complain that the 4K video editing process is supposed to be jerky and slow, unless you have the cash to build a dumb computer. However, is this really the case?
What do you need to edit 4K?
There are many video editors available for Windows and Mac. The system requirements of different software vary a lot. So first of all, let’s take a look at the minimum system requirements of several popular video editing software.
- Premiere Pro 15.4: MacOS 10.15 or later; Microsoft Windows 7-10 or later; 32 GB of RAM, 4 GB of GPU VRAM, 6th Generation Intel, AMD Ryzen 1000 Series or newer processor, and 8 GB of free hard drive space for installation.
- VideoProc Vlogger: Mac OS X 10.11 or later; Microsoft Windows 7-10 or later; 8 GB of RAM, 2 GB of GPU VRAM, 2 GHz Intel or AMD processor and 600 MB of free hard disk space for installation.
- HitFilm Express: macOS 11.0 Big Sur, macOS 10.15 Catalina, or macOS 10.14 Mojave; Microsoft Windows 7-10 or later; 16 GB of RAM, 2 GB of GPU VRAM, a 4th generation Intel Core processor or AMD equivalent (4 cores) and 1.2 GB of free hard drive space for installation.
- Cutoff: MacOS 10.10 – 10.15; Microsoft Windows 7-10; 16 GB of RAM, 4 GB of VRAM GPU, Intel or AMD x86-64 processor (8 cores).
Sometimes you come across high CPU usage or slow performance when using only one video editor and don’t have the budget to upgrade your computer. Switching to other software with lower system requirements like VideoProc Vlogger can make your life easier. If you need to buy a MAC computer for 4K video editing, then a macOS 10.15.6 or later machine with 8 GB of RAM, 1 GB of VRAM, and 3.8 GB of free disk space is the right solution. Of course, you can also take the setup below as a reference to make your own PC capable of 4K editing.
CPU (Computer processor unit)
Suggested processors: Multicore processors (at least 6 cores) at high frequencies, such as Intel Core-i7 8700K, Intel Core i9-9900K, AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, and AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X.
A multi-core processor with and multi-threaded can speed up the preview process. Frequency measures the speed of the processor. The higher number of cores and threads usually indicates better parallel computing capacity which determines the number of tasks you can handle at any given time.
GPU (GPU unit)
Suggested GPUs: Asus AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, GeForce GTX 1050, and other GPUs that support VCE / VCN or Quick Sync. (All computers running macOS 10.6 or later have included GPU acceleration).
The graphics card (GPU) is one of the most underrated hardware for speeding up your computer for 4K video editing, especially when you need to apply a lot of filters, transitions, and color corrections. When you use video editing software that supports full GPU acceleration technology like VideoProc Vlogger, you can get the most out of your dedicated GPU. This way, you can enjoy a fast and smooth import, render, and output experience, even on a less rugged computer. A good GPU is also beneficial for GPU-hungry video editors like DaVinci Resolve.
Suggested RAM configuration: 8G or 16G high frequency RAM.
Adding more RAM to your computer is an inexpensive but effective way to get a less powerful PC up and running quickly, but that doesn’t mean high RAM is necessary for everyone. If you’re using a lightweight video editor like VideoProc Vlogger or Shotcut and sticking to simple edits, then 8GB of RAM is fine. Granted, if you are using industrial grade video editing or visual effects software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Sony Vegas Pro, then 24GB of RAM is the minimum required to apply basic edits to 4K videos.
HD (Pilot disk)
Suggested hard drivers: Corsair MP600 CORE 1TB M.2, Seagate Firecuda 520 1TB and Crucial P2 500GB.
400MB / s transfer rate is required for editing 4K videos. The read / write speed of a common hard drive is around 100MB / s. Ordinary SSD can offer read / write speed of 400-500MB / s. So, we advise you to go with the SSD. As for capacity, 256GB should be enough, but larger storage should be better. Suppose you have 1TB SSD, you can store editing software, cache and raw videos on dedicated SSD, which can greatly improve editing efficiency.
How can you record 4K video
4K isn’t as class-leading as it used to be. An expensive consumer camera is no longer your only persistence in recording 4K videos. To make the result closer to what human eyes see, many devices even allow users to record 60FPS, HDR10, and 4: 2: 2 4K YUV videos. Which is your best choice among a number of devices capable of recording 4k videos?
Sony ZV-1, Fujifilm X-S10, Sony ZV-E10, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III, Panasonic Lumix S5, Canon EOS M6 Mark II or similar compact cameras capable of recording 4K 30FPS video are good options for video bloggers.
If you need to capture awesome aerial videos, take a look at DJI products. It offers the small DJI Mavic Air 2 drone for hobbyists recording 4K 60FPS videos and the DJI Inspire 2 professional drone for experts recording 4K and 6K video in lossless and lossless formats.
If you need a 4K action camera to record footage you encounter with fish and sharks while diving or the mind-blowing moments of extreme adventures, then the waterproof and anti-shake GoPro Hero 9 deserves a trial.
You can also rely on your smartphone to capture videos in 4K. Apple iPhone supports 4K video recording from iPhone 6S. New iPhone 13 Pro / Pro Max even lets you record 4K videos at 24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS and 60FPS. All high-end phones and the majority of mid-range phones from Huawei, Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, and other phone makers are also capable of shooting 4K videos.
Prepare to edit 4K videos
To polish your 4K video, your first step is to choose the right 4K video editing software for your needs. In our experience,
If you are a beginner, hobbyist, or video editing expert who has to deal with urgent projects, then VideoProc Vlogger might be your go-to option. It offers a wide range of editing features, ranging from the most common such as cropping, cropping, splitting and overlaying video to the more advanced such as color correction, green screen, keyframes, titles. animated and over 999 tracks.
Thanks to the self-explained interface, it seems like a natural and hassle-free process to find the right tools to edit your project, even if you have no prior knowledge of video editing options. A large number of presets (28 motion effects, 14 speed ramp effects, 85+ LUTs, 60+ transitions and 50 filtersâ¦) make producing professional looking videos as easy as breeze.
If you’re an expert in video editing or are a beginner who doesn’t mind the steep learning curve, then Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and Final Cut Pro are good options to turn to. These are all standard video editing programs, giving you similar advanced features like motion track and shape tool.
To note: Most video editors can only handle 4K videos encoded in certain specific codecs. However, 4K videos recorded by different cameras can be encoded with HEVC, H.264, R3D, ProRes, MPEG-2, AV1 or a number of other codecs. Unless you are using VideoProc Vlogger which featured a wide range of supported codecs, it is necessary to visit the official website of the program to determine whether the program supports the raw 4K video codec or not. Don’t worry if the target codec is not compatible with the software. You can use video converters like VideoProc Converter to easily transcode raw 4K video to another video editor compatible codec.
Speed ââup 4K video editing
4K editing is a resource intensive process, especially when using a less powerful computer. If you are experiencing stuttering, slow performance, 100% CPU usage caused by 4K UHD video process, here are some helpful tips to improve 4K video editing efficiency.
Try a different video editor: Serious video editors like Adobe Premiere Pro and open source video editors like Shotcut consume a lot of CPU resources. Luckily, we don’t have to worry about intimidating software because we have VideoProc Vlogger. This fast, feature-rich yet lightweight video editing software can take full advantage of the GPU, allowing you to smoothly edit 4K videos even on mid-level machines.
Create proxy media: When editing 4K videos with Davinci Resolve, Premiere Pro, and Lightworks, you can create proxy media – a lower resolution version of the raw footage and use it during the editing and rendering process. When you are ready to export the completed project, the software can replace the proxy media with the corresponding raw footage.
Quickly export finished 4K video
The last step in creating a 4K video is exporting. Usually, you have the option to record 4K video in H.264, HEVC and several other formats. If you need finished video that is playable and shareable on most portable devices, major video and social media platforms, then H.264 is for you.
If crisp image quality and small file size matter to you, then HEVC is the best choice. What’s worth noting is that if you are editing 4K videos with VideoProc Vlogger, choosing HEVC or H.264 codec as the output format can trigger GPU acceleration. It can speed up the export process 47x faster than real-time playback. In this way, exporting video is no longer a tedious process.