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Old Tuesday 5th January 2016, 02:32   #1
SanAngelo
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4K Video and Computer Requirements

I'm posting this in the Panasonic thread because these issues deal with the Photo Fun Studio (PFS) that accompanied the Pana FZ1000. However, I imagine this post may be better suited somewhere else.

I'd appreciate it if someone could decipher my writings and let me know if I need a video card, a new computer, or if I'm good with what I got. This, of course, is notwithstanding the ability of my computer to upgraded.

My computer does not meet the system requirement to view 4K video, my processor is too small. As for understanding the video requirements, my video card is also inadequate for 4K.

Here's what I can do:

Convert 4K to MP4 FHD
Convert 4K to MOV FHD
I can play both videos
I can grab stills from both videos

I do no post-processing, I'm only grabbing stills from the video.

Here's the 1st question:

Are the quality of the stills from the 4K video noticeably superior to the MOV/MP4 FHD stills? Enough so that I would appreciate whatever computer upgrades it would take?

Okay....that aside, my computer doesn't meet the system requirements for playing MOV and editing MOV/MP4 FHD 50p/60p. It also does not meet the video requirements for viewing the MOV/MP4 FHD. However, I am able to view the MOV/MP4 FHD video when shot with a frame rate at 30fps.

Here's the 2nd question:

Is it possible that I am only in need of a video card, meeting the 4K requirements, and not both; a video card and processor with a faster chip set?

I'm asking this question because I am only trying to view the video and pull stills....not edit the video. Also, my processor is too slow per the PFS requirements at 50p/60p frame rate but I can view at 30p frame rate.

All this leads me to believe the processor is needed more for editing than viewing but my thinking may be wrong as it doesn't seem to be a logical progression?

Has anybody else been dealing with 4K computer issues?

Just for info, pulled from PFS “Read Me” text........

Computer processor requirements:

Recommended environment for playing and editing MOV motion pictures/AVCHD Progressive/MP4 (FHD 50p/60p) motion pictures Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 2.8 GHz or higher.

Recommended environment for playing and editing 4K motion pictures Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 3.5 GHz or higher.

Video requirements:

Video memory of 256 MB or more recommended

When playing 4K motion pictures, a video card that is compatible with 4K motion picture hardware decoding is necessary. When playing or editing 4K motion pictures, 2 GB or more video memory is necessary. When playing at 4K resolution, a monitor and video card that are compatible with 4K are necessary.

Okay....the bottom lines is: do I need a video card, a new computer, or is the difference in stills between 4k and MOV/MP4 FHD not worth all this trouble?

As for the photo, it is a grab from a 4K conversion to MP4 FHD. I really don't know how good the still is, I have nothing I shot to compare it to. I have 64Gigs or 80 4K videos to go through, all shot in Arizona over my Christmas Holiday trip.

Anyway, I'm throwing it up here with the hopes of someone telling me if a 4K still would be better or worst than this MP4 FHD grab.

Thanks for taking the time to read all this.
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Old Tuesday 12th January 2016, 20:16   #2
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This thread never got legs so let me wrap it up and pull the plug.

Backtracking, I omitted from the OP my video card also does not meet memory requirements.

Here's what I learned:

Not having the minimum computer PFS requirements does not keep you from playing and editing: AVCHD/AVCHD LITE/MP4/MOV/AVCHD Progressive/MP4 FHD 50p/60p. However, it does keep you from playing and editing 4K video.

When performing functions other than 4K video, there are unknown losses or degradation which may or may not be noticeable i.e. loss or shifting of frames.

Even with the PFS recommended computer environment, per "Read Me" text, when editing in AVCHD/MP4; scenes may not be generated completely and some parts of frames may be shifted or omitted.

How did this effect playing and editing? My discerning eye could only detect jerky or skipping when playing pre & post edited videos; the videos were not smooth. That's not to say I dropped or lost frames, I just couldn't detected it.

However, when playing videos with the VLC movie player there was no skipping or jerky movements. Therefore, I'm guessing there was no loss or dropping of frames.

I've upload 2 videos to BF TV. The Costa's video was edited after the conversion to remove the noise from a plane flying by. An interesting fact; prior to removing the audio the file was approx 200MB, after which it shrunk to 27MB. The video is approx 1:20 minutes long. Considering these facts, if the audio is removed from the video theoretically a 15 or 20 minute video can be uploaded to BF TV.

The Anna's video is a straight 4k to MP4 FHD conversion. Something happen after it was uploaded, the ending was cut off, the part where the bird flies off.

About my computer requirement questions;

I don't believe I need anything other than a video card to view 4K. Grabbing stills should be no problem, editing may be an issue.

As for the quality of 4K still grabs compared to MP4 FHD....I have nothing definitive. I looked at 4K stills on the net, they very greatly. It seems to depend on the guy behind the camera. If anyone has an opinion on this I would love to hear it.

As for MOV FHD compared MP4 FHD, I could find no difference. It appears it's nothing other than the envelope or codec the video can be play in.

Took me a while to get back here....it's no easy task viewing 64 Gigs of 80 4K videos at 30fps.

If you read this far, thanks for your time.

Last edited by SanAngelo : Tuesday 12th January 2016 at 21:12. Reason: Punctuation
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Old Tuesday 12th January 2016, 20:24   #3
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SanAngelo,
I hope someone comes by with some insight. I have never tried 4k video yet, even though it will be on the radar when I purchase my next camera.

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Old Tuesday 12th January 2016, 21:40   #4
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Niels, as you know I have very little experience and not much time behind the lens. This was my one and only endeavor into 4K as well as video itself. Other than conquering my computer's limitations, I still have no personal experience with 4K videos and still grabs. I continue to wonder how good stills will be.

As for the Pani video, I really like it. The fps recording offers up an amazing array of potential stills depicting aerial feats as well as typical bird movements. However, my limited skills of shooting stills compared to my video grabs seem to be of the same quality in sharpness and definition.

I'd like to hear how good 4K still grabs can be and what's noticeably different between 30/50/60 fps.

Thanks for the reply....I think the thread has merit and can be useful to others.
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Old Sunday 17th January 2016, 13:49   #5
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As someone sniffing around the 4K market, I too sure hope that this thread gets more traction.

It might help to know the computer configuration that was used, to compare to the suggested specs. The spec incidentally differ so little one from the other that I doubt there could be a functional impact.
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Old Sunday 17th January 2016, 17:21   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
As someone sniffing around the 4K market.....It might help to know the computer configuration that was used, to compare to the suggested specs.......
I'm new to the hobby, my first camera is barely 3 months old. I have no experience with post processing other than the PFS software that ccompanied the camera. That said, I imagine the operating environments being similiar for other 4K software.

Again, here's the PFS suggested operating environments

Display: High Color (16 bits) or more
Desktop resolution of 1024x768 pixels or more
(1920x1080 or higher recommended)
Direct3D Acceleration: Enabled - To check the
Direct3D(R) acceleration settings, enter "dxdiag" in
the text field in the [Start] menu.

When playing 4K motion pictures, a video card that is compatible with 4K motion picture hardware decoding is necessary.

When playing or editing 4K motion pictures, 2 GB or more video memory is necessary.

When playing at 4K resolution, a monitor and video card that are compatible
with 4K are necessary.

Recommended environment for using the short movie story creation function and the video retouch function: Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Quad 2.6 GHz or higher.

Video memory of 256 MB or more. Depending on your PC environment, the pictures to be played back, or the transition effects, frame loss or color loss may occur during playback, or videos may not be played back smoothly.

Recommended environment for AVCHD/AVCHD Lite/MP4 motion picture function.

For playing motion pictures: Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo 2.16 GHz/Pentium(R) D 3.2 GHz or higher.
For editing motion pictures: Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Quad 2.6 GHz or higher

Minimum environment for AVCHD/AVCHD Lite/MP4 motion picture function (environment which can be played back for 2 frames/seconds): Intel(R) Pentium(R) III 1 GHz or higher.

Recommended environment for playing and editing MOV motion pictures/AVCHD Progressive/MP4 (FHD 50p/60p) motion pictures: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 2.8 GHz or higher.

Recommended environment for playing and editing 4K motion pictures: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 3.5 GHz or higher

Here's my computer.

OS: Windows Vista Home Basic
Processor: Intel Pentium Dual CPU E2220 @ 2.4GHz (2 CPUS) ~ 2.4GHz
Memory: 3 GB of RAM
Display Video: Intel G33/G31 Express Chipset Family
Chip Type: Intel GMA 3100
DAC Type: Internal
Total Available Graphics Memory: 286 MB
Dedicated Video Memory: 0 MG
System Video Memory: 128 MB
Shared System Memory: 158 MB

I have half the video memory suggested by the PFS. I don't have an external video/graphic card; video is processed on the motherboard, although I do have a card slot.

My monitor is an LCD HD 32 bit, Direct3D Acceleration Enabled

Although my system doesn't meet the suggested "operating environments" for 4K, under somewhat labored conditions it can perform most everything else.

I'll be purchasing a graphics card unless you know or convince me that it would be pointless to do so.

Thanks for your interest.
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Old Sunday 17th January 2016, 21:08   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanAngelo View Post
Here's my computer.

OS: Windows Vista Home Basic
Processor: Intel Pentium Dual CPU E2220 @ 2.4GHz (2 CPUS) ~ 2.4GHz
Memory: 3 GB of RAM
Display Video: Intel G33/G31 Express Chipset Family
Chip Type: Intel GMA 3100
DAC Type: Internal
Total Available Graphics Memory: 286 MB
Dedicated Video Memory: 0 MG
System Video Memory: 128 MB
Shared System Memory: 158 MB

I have half the video memory suggested by the PFS. I don't have an external video/graphic card; video is processed on the motherboard, although I do have a card slot.

My monitor is an LCD HD 32 bit, Direct3D Acceleration Enabled

Although my system doesn't meet the suggested "operating environments" for 4K, under somewhat labored conditions it can perform most everything else.

I'll be purchasing a graphics card unless you know or convince me that it would be pointless to do so.

Thanks for your interest.
A graphics card should greatly improve (more likely transform ) your computers ability to process video. Your processor has built in graphics capability, but it is rudimentary by comparison.
It would be good and not expensive to upgrade your system memory as well, 3 Gigs is snug, 4 is better, 8 is good, 16 is currently optimal.
Do note that few monitors can handle 4k, the usual current standard is full HD, a 1920x1080 resolution. Four K is twice that in both dimensions, so four times as much data. Older video ports can't pump out data fast enough to support video at that quality. However, for processing individual stills, even an abacus would work, it would just take longer.
Displaying 4k however without a 4k monitor means showing a fraction of the picture or cutting the resolution.
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Old Sunday 17th January 2016, 23:47   #8
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This is not my only computer, I use it for my books and correspondence and now for photo viewing with the onset of my new hobby. The monitor doesn't meet specs, 1280 x 1024. I use an old Sony Bravia KDL-46S5100 with FHD, 1920x1080, on my main viewing/streaming computer. On an older computer, I run Linux for Tivo configuring.

As for the hobby photo computer, it has all the memory it's going to get and there's no plans to purchase a Ultra HD 4K TV. I will purchase a video card if the still grabs from 4K are superior from the MP4 FHD still grabs, which is the initial question from the OP.

For some reason I can't think through this, which is giving me reason to believe my thinking is wrong.

Is it safe to assume without an Ultra HD 4K TV/Monitor you will never be able to tell if a still grab is from 4K or MP4 FHD?

Maybe it is as simple as an abacus, I'm just making the question difficult.....or, no matter what, I can't take pictures worth a damn...!!

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Old Monday 18th January 2016, 01:17   #9
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Afaik, you can display appropriately cropped 4k images at full resolution on a lower resolution screen. Doing so should allow you to see the difference between 4K and FHD. There should not be a video card requirement to do this.
However, I don't know whether the issued software will allow the needed cropping.

My impression is that the industry really would prefer to use 4k as a vehicle to reset the digital image infrastructure, get rid of a lot of legacy hardware and software in order to move out with a much more capable set of standards. So managing the combination of older hardware and 4k photo software will not be easy
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Old Monday 18th January 2016, 01:25   #10
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Quote:
Is it safe to assume without an Ultra HD 4K TV/Monitor you will never be able to tell if a still grab is from 4K or MP4 FHD?
I think there are at least two good comments to this:
1 I have read somewhere that a 4k video reduced to HD in resolution (if done right) can very well look better than a video originally shot in HD.
2 If you view the still as is, probably not a great difference. However, at least an in camera still from a 4k video would be 8 mpix, meaning that you can zoom in on that image much more than you can zoom on the grab from a HD video. If, suppose, you ever were to print, the grab from 4k would also allow printing to a larger size.

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Old Monday 18th January 2016, 14:31   #11
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4K versus 1080

Hi SanAngelo,

The following is a general observation :

I have recently upgraded to a Lenovo laptop with a 15" 4K screen. Even on this relatively small 15" screen, the difference between viewing 4K and 1080 video or jpeg images is significant, in my opinion.

I have recently purchased a 36" Seiki 4K tv (200) to use as a monitor and this shows up the difference between 4K (UHD) and 1080 (HD) to an even greater degree. YOU DO NEED A PC/LAPTOP CAPABLE OF OUTPUTING a 4K HDMI SIGNAL.

I feel that photographers (up to now) have really concentrated on the hardware for CAPTURING the images ie cameras and lenses. To me the OUTPUT or viewing end is just as, if not more, important.

To view your results you can either produce colour prints (A4, A3 etc) OR you can view your pictures on a screen. The added pleasure of viewing my photos/video at 4K resolution has justified my investment in 4K. To view high quality images produced on a high quality camera/lens on a 1080 or worse 720 display seems a bit futile considering the advances in today's screen technology. A mid range camera jpeg image on a 4k display will give a superior viewing experince to a high end camera jpeg image on a 720 or 1080 display.I should think that 99% of image viewing is on screen rather than expensive, large prints. However....a high quality image from a top flight camera/lens, viewed on an ultra high definition display will undoubtedly give the best results overall......quality prevails !!

To your specific point on grabbing 4K images:

You can grab jpeg images using VLC player. Image grabs are not dependent on the screen resolution of the PC but on the resolution of the video file. For example if I grab an image from AVCHD footage taken on my Panasonic FZ72 the resulting jpeg will be 1920 by 1080 pixels. If I grab a jpeg from footage taken on my Panasonic G7, the jpeg resolution will be 3840X2160. Furthermore these images can be grabbed from a non 4K PC, provided it can play the footage.
HOWEVER, viewing the 1080 or 2160 image on a 1080 monitor will only display at 1080, whereas a 4K monitor will display the 1080 jpeg at 1080 or an "upscaled" jpeg and display the 2160 jpeg in true 4k (UHD) ultra high definition format (4 times the detail !!), a totally different viewing experience !

Sorry if you are already aware of this but I thought it was worthwhile describing the image grabbing process and viewing experience in simple terms.

Hope this helps and adds to the debate.

Scotview

Last edited by scotview : Monday 18th January 2016 at 23:42.
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Old Monday 18th January 2016, 22:13   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotview View Post
To me the OUTPUT or viewing end is just as, if not more, important.
This is the essence of my question although unspoken till now. I'm hard pressed to put into words the amount of enjoyment I get viewing my photos. Even the fleeting moment of a mystery bird, almost captured in my binos, nowhere compares to the joy I have at home viewing the overexposed, underexposed, out of range, unfocused, or maybe a possibly surprisingly excellent photo. The anticipation of what's on the SD card alone is exciting..!!

I don't know how many hikes, walks, birding outings I've been on since I've purchase the camera but I can tell you how many times I've brought my binos and used them.....not once.

I spent a little time this morning pulling a 4K grab, zooming in, and cropping in camera to compare to my MP4 FHD grab. When it came time to do the same to the MP4 FHD grab I found I did not have the capabilities. The PFS does not have a cropping function, I have no other processing software. I tried loading the MP4 FHD grabs back on a card and into the camera but the Pani wouldn't recognized the file. I was left with a 4K grab and MP4 FHD grab with out zooming or cropping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
1 I have read somewhere that a 4k video reduced to HD in resolution (if done right) can very well look better than a video originally shot in HD.
2 If you view the still as is, probably not a great difference. However, at least an in camera still from a 4k video would be 8 mpix, meaning that you can zoom in on that image much more than you can zoom on the grab from a HD video.
I was trying to explore Niels comments but like he said, although I did not complete the zoom, side by side there was little noticeable difference. I've attached the two photos, for what it's worth. I picked this bird/frame because it came from the BF TV video I posted earlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotview View Post
Afaik, you can display appropriately cropped 4k images at full resolution on a lower resolution screen. Doing so should allow you to see the difference between 4K and FHD. There should not be a video card requirement to do this.
However, I don't know whether the issued software will allow the needed cropping.
I believe you and Niels are saying the same thing and you're right, as I wrote above, the PFS does not allow for cropping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotview View Post
My impression is that the industry really would prefer to use 4k as a vehicle to reset the digital image infrastructure, get rid of a lot of legacy hardware and software in order to move out with a much more capable set of standards. So managing the combination of older hardware and 4k photo software will not be easy
I agree, we're always behind the curve on technology. We can be updating and throwing money at everything....cameras, computers, monitors, software....the list goes on. Back to my initial OP, I was (am) trying to make due with what I have or spend the least amount that will allow me to view 4K grabs. I'm not interested in compiling and viewing videos, other than grabbing stills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotview View Post
Even on this relatively small 15" screen, the difference between viewing 4K and 1080 video or jpeg images is significant, in my opinion.

To your specific point on grabbing 4K images:

You can grab jpeg images using VLC player. Image grabs are not dependent on the screen resolution of the PC but on the resolution of the video file. For example if I grab an image from AVCHD footage taken on my Panasonic FZ72 the resulting jpeg will be 1920 by 1080 pixels. If I grab a jpeg from footage taken on my Panasonic G7, the jpeg resolution will be 3840X2160. Furthermore these images can be grabbed from a non 4K PC, provided it can play the footage.

HOWEVER, viewing the 1080 or 2160 image on a 1080 monitor will only display at 1080, whereas a 4K monitor will display the 1080 jpeg at 1080 or an "upscaled" jpeg and display the 2160 jpeg in true 4k (UHD) high definition format (4 times the detail !!), a totally different viewing experience !

Sorry if you are already aware of this but I thought it was worthwhile describing the image grabbing process and viewing experience in simple terms.
This is good news; testimonial to what will enhance the image as well as the viewing pleasure. No, I wasn't aware nor had the understanding of what I was viewing. It makes sense and seems very logical, I lacked the education till now to think it through. Thank you sir.

I believe I'm done with this thread, at least I have no other questions. In summation; I need a graphics card and a monitor.

Thanks everyone for all the help, I appreciate it.

/r

Bill
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Old Tuesday 19th January 2016, 00:29   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanAngelo View Post
I believe I'm done with this thread, at least I have no other questions. In summation; I need a graphics card and a monitor.

/r

Bill
A full 4k monitor costs $500+, a decent 4k video card a couple of hundred more, it really is a slippery slope.
That said, clearly you enjoy the photography, so this is a pretty wallet friendly avocation, especially given our world of $2000+ binoculars.
Just make sure that both your new card and monitor support at least 3840x2160 resolution, that is 4k. There are products labeled 'ultra HD' or similar that don't deliver the full 4k.
Note Apple sells an excellent 27" 5k monitor incorporated into an all in one iMac for a mere $2k which would resolve your issue very effectively...
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Old Tuesday 19th January 2016, 00:44   #14
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
...Apple sells an excellent 27" 5k monitor incorporated into an all in one iMac for a mere $2k which would resolve your issue very effectively...
Couldn't be simpler, I need to jump right on that...!!

I really do appreciate your help, thank you sir.
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Old Wednesday 5th October 2016, 18:42   #15
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Just wanted to update this thread on how I went forward and what I settled on.

My old computer was beyond upgrading, as outlined in the above posts; RAM was maxed out at 4G and the power supply couldn't handle an upgrade on the video card.

I'm not a laptop or an All-In-One desktop fan. I need(ed) a desktop tower, something I could get my hands into; making upgrades or repairs as needed.

Out of curiosity, I solicited quotes for a build to the requirements of PhotoFunStudio (PFS); post # 6 above. They came in at a little under $4000.00, that's including a 4K monitor. To me, this was outrageous.

I started researching used computers, made a selection, started hunting them down, weeding them out on Craiglist and eBay. I was after a Dell Workstation Percision T5500. They're a workhorse, modular, and often refurbished and resold by reputable dealers.

I picked one up off of Craiglist; Dual 2.4G CPUs, Quad Core, 12G RAM, 1G Radeon HD6670 Video Card, Windows 10, 1T HDD, and a 875W Power Supply. It's solid as it stands; a refurbished machine purchased from Newegg less than a year ago. It's a tad slow but the dual CPUs and quad core led me to believe the allocation of the memory/processor would overcome the need for speed. As it is, I have no issues.

After hauling it home and powering it up I had no problem running PFS; viewing, editing/capturing stills from 4K videos shot by the FZ1000. However, the viewing output resolution was limited by the card's video ports and by the monitor. The card would only give me 1920x1200 with HDMI 1.4, 2048x1536 with VGA, 2560x1600 with DVI-D connectors, if the monitor could handle it. The best viewing resolution for my old Dell UltraSharp was 1280x1024 at 75Hz, regardless of the connectors used.

So I went shopping......picked up a new Dell 2715Q 4K monitor and a new Radeon RX460 4G Video Card, a nice low end entry level 4K card.

The RX460 puts out an easy 3840x2160 resolution with a DisplayPort cable. The card also supports an HDMI 2.0 and DVI-D connector. The DisplayPort is a DP 1.4, the only connection option for viewing 4K resolution. The other ports provide 2560x1440 and 1920x1080 resolution with the Dell 2715Q.

Connected the monitor, dropped the card in, downloaded and installed the drivers and I could not be happier. The viewing difference in resolution from 1920x1200 to 3840x2160 is amazing...!!

That's it......got in for under a 1000; 250 for the computer, 129 for the card, and 469 for the monitor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotview View Post
The following is a general observation :

........the difference between viewing 4K and 1080 video or jpeg images is significant, in my opinion.

To me the OUTPUT or viewing end is just as, if not more, important.

To view high quality images produced on a high quality camera/lens on a 1080 or worse 720 display seems a bit futile considering the advances in today's screen technology. A mid range camera jpeg image on a 4k display will give a superior viewing experince to a high end camera jpeg image on a 720 or 1080 display.I should think that 99% of image viewing is on screen rather than expensive, large prints. However....a high quality image from a top flight camera/lens, viewed on an ultra high definition display will undoubtedly give the best results overall......quality prevails !!

To your specific point on grabbing 4K images:

You can grab jpeg images using VLC player.

.....viewing the 1080 or 2160 image on a 1080 monitor will only display at 1080, whereas a 4K monitor will display the 1080 jpeg at 1080 or an "upscaled" jpeg and display the 2160 jpeg in true 4k (UHD) ultra high definition format (4 times the detail !!), a totally different viewing experience !

Sorry if you are already aware......

Scotview
Nicely said.....I was somewhat aware but I didn't fully comprehend the scale of the difference until I viewed it on my own screen with my own photos.

As for the VLC Player screen grab, I was aware of that ability but PFS step through of the fps can not be match by the VLC Player. Or if it can I am not familiar on how to do so.

Thanks everyone for helping me sort this out.
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Old Thursday 6th October 2016, 02:34   #16
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Thanks for the update.

Next year you can start thinking about how to handle output from a 6k camera

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Old Friday 7th October 2016, 18:44   #17
scotview
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Grampian
Posts: 85
Blog Entries: 5
Hi SanAngelo,

It looks like you have negotiated a real bargain to achieve 4K computing hardware...... well done! That appeals to my frugal Scottish character.

I'm pleased that you have indeed experienced the added enjoyment in seeing your favourite photos displayed at the higher resolution which 4K provides. This supports my own personal experience.

I am pleased with my investment in 4K and think this will keep me happy for a few years.

Thanks for the update of your experience on the 4K journey, we are so fortunate to live in these technological times !

Scotview
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