The issue with DJI 4k, is the very intense demands that the DJI Used codec places on the playback hardware. There is very limited hardware able to play the DJI 4k footage directly. The data rate of the DJI files is low (60MBS/sec) so you get a lot of footage on a small memory card, which is obviously a good thing. However, it comes at a fairly high cost, needing very high performance cpu/gpu hardware to decode the footage in real time.
This leads to 2 choices for resolving the problem. The first is new, high performance hardware, either PC or Mac. For now, that is neither cheap or compact. The other is to transcode the video into a format which is less hardware demanding. The cost is much larger files, but fine playback on even modest devices.
I have gone through this morass, and decided that rather than junking my MacPro 2008 with lots of expensive hardware, I would take the path of big files. I shoot 4k exclusively, and generally long takes, as it is very easy to not having the camera running when something breathtakingly beautiful starts. When finished shooting, I offload the microSD card into the computer using software to transcode the H.264 encoded material into ProRes files for use in the Apple ecosystem (Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve, After Effects, Motion etc.) All play 4k ProRes without difficulty. The tradeoff is in file size as mentioned before. The bit rate of the DJI files is about 60 mb/sec. The ProRes files are around 560 mb/sec. This is essentially a 10 x increase in file size. This tradeoff also makes the editing result much higher quality, as the ProRes codec contains complete, full frames to edit with. H.264 provides only partial frames which require the editing software to rebuild on the fly these incomplete frames.
"There is no free lunch"
I Didn't realize the I Mac could go this high with Ram. I have the same system ...HmmmmTime to go find more ram.
5k iMac, Late 2015 with 4GHz Intel Core i7
- 48GB RAM (2x8GB, 2x16GB)
- 500GB internal SSD, 256GB Thunderbolt External SSD
- 18TB Raid 5 Array (USB 3)
The best part of having a 5k screen is that 4k content can be edited fullscreen as 4k content without the need for transcoding. Another good alternative for 4k editing would be to have dual monitors at least one of which is 4k (for the same reason - not having to transcode the video during editing). I've been using iMovie for now. After using it for about 8 months I've discovered that it's a lot more powerful than people think. Many of it's options are hidden away in non-intuitive places. After reading this thread, I'm going to give DaVinci a look.
NEGATIVE. Davinci cant output MORE than UHD but it definitely can render 3840x2160 (which is a res that DJI refers to as 4K although its not true...) First you dont need 4K screen but its better with it. Second all you need is Davinci Resolve and a good GPU thats it...If you want to output to 4K with DaVinci Resolve you will need to have a studio lic. which is cost $1000.
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