Video: Butterfly Watching in South Sulawesi 2014

Sulawesi is an island in Indonesia.  It is the world’s 11th largest island.  There are about 560 known species of butterflies.  239 of them (>40%) are endemic to the region.  We visited the place around end September.  The weather had been dry since March.  It was definitely not the peak season for butterflies.  Still, we were able to find quite a number of butterflies.

First Field Test of Panasonic GH4

Previously, I created some high quality 4K video clips with Nikon V2 camera.  While the buffer depth of Nikon V2 was 60 frames regardless of frame rate, it could not be used for shooting continuous 4K video.

Now, with Panasonic GH4, I can shoot 4K video directly and continuously.  The workflow is clearly more convenient than shooting with Nikon V2.  Quality-wise, the RAW photo based video from Nikon V2 was unbeatable.  However, the compressed video format of GH4 offers a clear advantage in lower consumption of storage space.

GH4 records 4K video in the consumer grade YUV420 format.  That mean, the video contains full 4K monochrome video with color information in full HD quality.  It may not match those broadcast grade 4K products, but the quality is respectable.  The bottomline is, you will get nearly flawless video and significant improvement over GH2/GH3 on full HD monitor.

Here is a demo clip I recorded:

4K Video Editing with Sony Movie Studio Platinum 13

4K video camera is going to be popular soon.  Now, more and more entry level video editors are supporting 4K.   Although I used to use Edius Pro series that was fast, reliable, and beautiful, I decided to try my luck with Sony Movie Studio 13 Suite.  Basically, it’s Sony Movie Studio Platinum 13 with a number of extra add-ons.


4K Import

Unlike Sony Vegas 13 for the professionals, Movie Studio Platinum 13 does not support “professional” file formats from “professional” video camera.  The bottom line is, it does support the major formats from consumer grade video camera, including the latest XAVC S HD and XAVC S 4K formats.

The software allows users to import photo sequence to produce 4K video.  If you have time-lapse sequences, you can import them to create 4K video very easily.  Here is an example of 4K video produced from Nikon 1 V2 high speed continuous RAW photos.

4K-compatible GPU Accelerated Stablizer

It was a bit surprising to see that the GPU accelerated software stabilizer bundled with Movie Studio Platinum 13 is compatible to 4K video.  Considering the fact that Movie Studio Platinum 13 is cheaper than the ProDAD Mercalli 2.0 stabilizer software, it’s one of the best value-added feature.

In terms of actual use, the UI for the stabilizer is a bit confusion.  While the stabilizer is listed as an option for video event FX, the option was disabled at all.  To use the feature, I have to enable it through media FX.

4K Output

Import is just the first half, output is the second half.  This is very true for some video editors.  They let you import virtually any format, but the output format may not be as flexible.  Movie Studio Platinum 13 allows users to export video in the more modern XAVC S HD/4K formats.

sonymsp13 output


The US$49.95 entry level Movie Studio 13 does not support 4K.  If you want a 4K capable video editor, you need at least Movie Studio 13 Platinum at US$79.95.  If you need a 4K capable editor, I would recommend this software over other choices such as Corel Video Studio X7.  However, the Sony software did not include the handy SmartSound generated music.  Like many consumer software, the software is not perfectly stable in handling excessively huge projects so it cannot be the software for very serious work.  Overall, the software is recommended for amateurs who need to edit 4K video.

For more information about Sony Movie Studio Platinum 13 and Sony Movie Studio 13 Suite, please check the official web site:

Note:  GoPro user should take note that GoPro Studio 2.01 is incompatible to Sony Movie Studio 13.  After GoPro Studio 2.01 is installed, rendering movie in Sony Movie Studio 13 will always crash.  Uninstalling the GoPro software will immediately solve the problem

Tasting 4K RAW Video

4K video has been a hot topic this year. People may argue that they are still using full HD (1920×1080) monitors and TV. However, video processing is a bit more complicated than most of the people know.  In brief, if your camera records video at 4K, you get excellent full HD.

Before the consumer 4K camera such as Sony AX100 and Panasonic GH4 arrive, I decided to use my Nikon 1 V2 to create a short 4K video clip.  V2 itself does not record video in 4K format.  Instead, it can shoot 40 consecutive RAW photos  at 15, 30, or 60 fps.  The photos are converted into video through Sony Vegas editing software.  Although there are many limitations, the video quality turn out to be very good.