COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43959.41

Combating boredom. Yesterday was fairly boring, no questions asked. I’ve been accumulating a few video clips, so today you get to see a brief excerpt.

Happy thought inventory. Feeling better today after fighting off the last bout of kidney stones. I’m looking forward to staying on the sunny side of life, if those darn kidneys will allow it.

Trudy made a cake last night. I’m not supposed to eat too much sugar, but sometimes you just gotta say “screw that.” It’s hard to turn down a fresh slice of warm cake. I’ll try not to pig out on it.

Supply status. Trudy made a run to Sam’s Club yesterday. No crowd, everyone behaving themselves. Fresh batch of Nacho supplies are in the cupboard. Munch munch.

Weed inventory. Still fine.

Laundry status. I had to wait my turn yesterday. That falls under the you snooze, you loose rule. Laundry is running as I type this.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

More on 4k Video

Expanding upon yesterday’s blog entry, I combined two different 4k video clips into one clip for comparison. This tests the 4k fps rate, first half being 60 fps and the second half being 30 fps.  Kinda boring stuff, but the idea was to see if creating 4k video using budget video editing software was viable.

Short answer, yes it is.

What I’ve noticed is that when using Corel Video Studio 2019, the preview video in the editor runs a little herky-jerky. The software is barely able to keep up when editing. Editing the same video clips in OpenShot video editor, there is a bit of improvement in the viewing panel, noticeably less choppiness, but still a little. This leads me to wonder if a full blown high end editing solution is going to improve the editing experience. Something like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premier Elements, Filmora, or something like that. Hard to say at this point, as I don’t have the software and I’m not going to drop hundreds of dollars on it to find out.

Another consideration of course is the actual PC hardware. I’m not really state of the art here at the moment. Running a 4th generation Intel based i7 on a 5 year old motherboard with a budget graphics card could quite well be a limiting factor for the smoothness of the editing experience. But, that’s why I’m testing it. Does 4k video require the latest-greatest hardware and software to be a usable proposition for an average Joe out there trying to achieve a 4k video creating solution.

Everything starts with the camera though. If one wishes to delve into 4k, one must have a camera capable of 4k recording.  Which leads to the thought about current DSLR’s vs Camcorders vs Action Cameras.

Another consideration is the frame rate of the 4k video capture.

With most cameras on the market being capable of capturing HD video, shooting high definition with 60 fps capability seems to be commonplace. The most common frame rates are 24, 30 and 60 fps. 24 fps being the cinema video standard, 30 fps being standard consumer grade HD video and 60 fps being more suitable for those wanting to capture moving objects and creating smoother slow motion. High Def 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps is about where the state of the art is for consumer level electronics, but as you can tell from all the marketing hype, 4k is now becoming more common.

Resolution is doubled with 4k, at a base of 3840 x 2160 pixels.  The associated files sizes are growing as well, with a 60 fps clip being twice the size of a 30 fps clip. As with all things in the technical specs of consumer electronics, you can be certain that within the next few years, 4k video is creeping in as that new standard and for it to be a solid standard, we’ll have to see 60 fps as a minimum capability. If you’re buying a camera or camcorder that doesn’t support 4k at 60 fps, you’re buying into an already obsolete standard and to move up, you’ll have to replace it.

I found an article on “Camera Jabber” that lists the top consumer grade cameras for shooting 4k at 60 fps, so if you’re looking to get this deep into the 4k craze, this is pretty much where you should be starting. Anything less and you’ll be buying into obsolescence.

Here’s the link to that article.

I At Least Have A Starting Point For 4k

I’ve been toying with 4k video editing and discovered, to my amazement, that my iPhone 8 is capable of doing 4k video at either 30 fps or 60 fps.

My video recording options are improving. Both of my Nikon’s, the D750 and D810 are capable of recording HD video up to 60 fps, plus I have a Sony RX-100 II which actually makes a mean HD video at 60 fps. Plus, I have a Sony HD camcorder that records HD video at 30 fps, but it’s kind of obsolete as it was purchased 12 years ago when HD was first coming out.

The question though; is 4k video that important that I need to invest in a good 4k video camera? I haven’t reached the point where I want to drop money on that option, as most of my video is HD and plays quite well on the computer or on my HD televisions. I do have a Sharp 4k television, but it’s limited to 30 fps playback. I haven’t even tried playing a 4k video on it yet.

In all honesty, 4k has outstanding resolution but the need for it is limited. I know that 4k stock video is more in demand than HD stock video, but I’m not at the point where I’m going to augment my stock sales with video.

Here’s a clip I took at 4k, 30 fps and uploaded to YouTube. YouTube seems to handle it okay. It gives you an idea of the video quality from an iPhone 8, which is actually quite good from my view of the road. As I move forward into doing more video, which I’m definitely going to be doing, I at least have a starting point for 4k.


I’ve Always Been In To It.

Black Friday.  The winter storm has moved on to the East, but it is still cold and snowy here in Denver. The final total for our place was 13.5 inches, as I measured in multiple locations around the yard. Not the heaviest snow we’ve ever had, but for November it’s a little unusual.

We made it through Turkey Day, not without challenge. I got little sleep the night before and spent the day dealing with some type of stomach virus. Ended up spending most of the day taking care of that and lying in bed. It was bad enough that I didn’t go to the Thanksgiving dinner with the rest of the family. Trudy’s daughter-in-law was kind enough to send a plate of food home for me.

I did manage to get a few more of Trudy’s home video tapes converted to digital. I’m about 1/3 of the way through that process. Images from her life before knowing me. An interesting retrospective. Myself, I have very few photos and virtually no video from my life before Trudy. What little I do have were gifts from family members, photos taken by others in a time long ago and far away.

Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays kinda get in to me that way. I start thinking about the old days, the good times, the not so good times, and if I haven’t reconciled everything that’s passed by now, well, life is about living and having learned something in the process. With my 62nd birthday approaching, I realize that most of my living has been done. It’s fun to delve into Trudy’s past and it helps keep things in perspective to realize that our lives have many things in common.

As for the video editing. I’m finding this to be mildly precarious, all this video capture and different software. I never know when the software is going to crash and it does from time to time. Not enough hassle to keep me from getting it done, but video editing on a PC isn’t always pretty. What really strikes me is the difference in quality between a VHS video tape and a modern HD video camera. Even more striking are the old Super 8 home movies I do have on VHS. I did a lot of Super 8 film back in the 70’s, which has somehow managed to survive the efforts of others to relieve me of them. I’ll get a clip or two up soon to share. Me and my childhood friends doing goofy stuff on film. Takes me back to the beginning of my learning photography.

I’ve always been in to it.