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How is my iphone 6s able to edit 4K but my 27" imac can't?

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alex ezorsky
How is my iphone 6s able to edit 4K but my 27" imac can't?
on Feb 18, 2018 at 1:26:54 am

Ok granted my imac is a 2011 but it's got:

3.4 GHz Intel Core i7
20 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1 GB

And it chokes on the 4k files my iphone 6s makes unless I convert them to prores. I'm talking about editing in Premiere but I find imovie on the imac is only slightly better (again unless converting to prores).

Yet I can take those same 4k videos play them back and scrub smoothly and even edit them in imovie all on my little handheld iphone 6s.

Does anyone else feel like there's something wrong with that?

I would love to know why this is, fixable or not.

Thanks!


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John Rofrano
Re: How is my iphone 6s able to edit 4K but my 27" imac can't?
on Feb 18, 2018 at 1:54:27 pm

[alex ezorsky] "Ok granted my imac is a 2011 but it's got:"
Well... you just answered your own question but you probably don't realize it. Here's why:
[alex ezorsky] "3.4 GHz Intel Core i7"
Yea, BUT... You have a 7 year old iMac that has a Sandy Bridge Core i7 which is several generations older than the Kaby Lake Core i7 that is in the currently shipping iMacs. (i.e., Sandy Bridge -> Ivy Bridge -> Haswell -> Broadwell -> Skylake -> Kaby Lake) So from the laymen perspective, you have a Core i7 and the new Macs have a Core i7 so they should be the same. NOT! The current Core i7 processors are way more powerful than what you have. You can't just look at the numbers. The architecture of the processor matters a great deal. Your processor is one of the first quad core processors and just isn't up to the task of editing native 4K.
[alex ezorsky] "And it chokes on the 4k files my iphone 6s makes unless I convert them to prores. I'm talking about editing in Premiere but I find imovie on the imac is only slightly better (again unless converting to prores)."
First Premiere is not the fastest NLE on a Mac... Final Cut Pro X is, (and I can provide links to benchmarks to prove it) which is why iMovie is faster (which you saw for yourself). So you would get better performance by switching to FCP X but I realize that's probably not an option for you. Second, what format are you shooting in? H.264 vs H.265 because H.265 is much, much harder to decode than H.264. I'm not sure what the iPhone 6S can shoot. Switching to H.264 may help.
[alex ezorsky] "Does anyone else feel like there's something wrong with that?"
I don't. Expecting to edit native 4K on a 7 year old computer is wishful thinking at best. You should be very happy that you can edit 4K ProRes. I'm guessing a 7 year old Windows PC can't begin to edit 4K at all! (I say that because I've only owned a Mac for 4 years so 7 years ago I was using a Sandy Bridge Quad Core i7 Windows PC and it had a hard time editing AVCHD never mind 4K!)
[alex ezorsky] "I would love to know why this is, fixable or not."
IMHO, not fixable. It's just a matter of not having enough processing power. You can't expect to switch to a format like 4K that has 4x the resolution of HD and expect to continue to use the same old computer to process it. Most people upgrade their workstations when moving to 4K. It may be time to buy a new Mac but since you can edit 4K ProRes why bother. Also, Final Cut Pro X has a nice proxy workflow that makes this whole thing rather painless. I don't know if Premiere has anything like it but you should look into that..

...and to answer your original question:
[alex ezorsky] "How is my iphone 6s able to edit 4K but my 27" imac can't?."
The fact that you iMac has a 27" display has no bearing on anything. The fact that it was manufactured in 2011 does. I would rephrase it like this:
"Why can my 3 year old iPhone 6S edit 4K video but my 7 year old iMac can't?"
Because the iPhone is newer and optimized to shoot and edit 4K, and your iMac over twice as old and made before 4K even existed. ;-)

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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greg janza
Re: How is my iphone 6s able to edit 4K but my 27" imac can't?
on Feb 18, 2018 at 5:07:33 pm

[John Rofrano] "what format are you shooting in? H.264 vs H.265 because H.265 is much, much harder to decode than H.264. I'm not sure what the iPhone 6S can shoot. Switching to H.264 may help."

All good info John. One warning though, editing with H264 files will cause your system performance to go down dramatically. Play back of H264 requires a lot of CPU processing so whenever possible, transcode H264 files to something much more edit friendly like pro res or DNxHD.


[John Rofrano] "Also, Final Cut Pro X has a nice proxy workflow that makes this whole thing rather painless. I don't know if Premiere has anything like it but you should look into that.."

yes, Premiere has the proxy workflow as well.

I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.
- Orson Welles


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John Rofrano
Re: How is my iphone 6s able to edit 4K but my 27" imac can't?
on Feb 19, 2018 at 2:59:20 pm

[greg janza] "One warning though, editing with H264 files will cause your system performance to go down dramatically. Play back of H264 requires a lot of CPU processing so whenever possible, transcode H264 files to something much more edit friendly like pro res or DNxHD"
Yea, I agree. I mean that fact that you can edit 4K ProRes on a 7 year old iMac is nothing short of outstanding. To expect to edit it 4K natively is asking a bit much. You really need to buy both a new camera, and new computer, to work in 4K (unless you already have a modern computer).

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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alex ezorsky
Re: How is my iphone 6s able to edit 4K but my 27" imac can't?
on Feb 20, 2018 at 9:39:22 am

Thanks y'all!

Makes me feel more comfortable with the switch to the new imac pro ;)!


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Al Bergstein
Re: How is my iphone 6s able to edit 4K but my 27" imac can't?
on Feb 28, 2018 at 5:56:35 am

What John said. From one who recently upgraded his iMac 2012 to a new 2017. 4k edits just fine.

Al


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