Quick tutorial on how to take your 4k footage and downscale it to 1080

Quick tutorial on how to take your 4k footage and downscale it to 1080 which gives your images so much detail and makes your computer run faster during your edit/grading process.

I also talk about be accused of being paid by Panasonic to do this review – let me repeat, I do NOT take money, favors, trips, you name it from manufacturers. I have to buy my cameras for full price just like you do.

I also used the new Shure VP83 microphone on this tutorial.

If you would like to support me and you are buying some Panasonic equipment please use the following links:



  • I just watched your 4K to 1080 timeline video. What I am wondering is, what if you want to crop the 4K or use a ken burns effect or move the cropped area around a bit. Can you achieve this in the 1080 timeline the same as doing it in the 4K timeline. I use FCP X, but I’m pretty new to editing.

  • Hi Dave! Thank you so much for your amazing review on the GH4!
    I wanted to ask you the following:
    Assuming that a computer cannot handle 4k editting (4k timeline) but can handle 4k footage dowscaled to a 1080 timeline, do you think the computer will be able to handle a 1080 timeline using 4k footage at its original size to create a crop effect?
    I am really interested in 4k video not for exporting in 4k but for all the room the 4k image gives in order to zoom in/out and pan/scan when exporting in 1080..!

    I was considering buying a 4k camera only when I would have the money to build a beast pc because my current one will not handle 4k editting for sure. But if it can handle a 4k image on a 1080 timeline I will go for a GH4 as soon as I can 😉

  • Dave,
    Do you have experience using a GH4 with a YAGH interface and a Samurai Blade? I have not been able to successfully record to my Blade yet and I can;t figure out why. And to even get an image to show up on my Blade as a viewer monitor I have to set the record for on the GH4 to AVCHD which is the lowest quality available.

  • I own the GH4 and have what I would deem an aging IMAC. You can definitely work with the 4K footage in a 1080 timeline, but you’re going to have to use proxy media. Not a real big deal, just time consuming for the transcode. I’ve also encountered some rather bizarre things in FCPX with the 4K to 2K timeline edit, but none of it surprises me as I’m still running 10.0.9, which could explain some of it.

  • Hey Dave,

    Nice info and tutorial. In theory, I believe, the “Use Maximum Render Quality” box should be ticked when doing scaling like this.

    Can you possibly do a test between the 2….1 version with it ticked and 1 without…To see if it makes any difference.

    I think that would be worth a mention.


  • hey Dave,
    thanks for that tutorial.

    unfortunately i can not change the sequence settings. i’m working with CS6 (not CC) – is this something which does only work with the CC version of Premiere?

  • Oh my goodness – a month!!! 🙂

    Can I ask for a simple favor? Would you consider making a PRE-review video of GH4 vs A7s? Something simple where you explain the basic differences in files and lenses and maybe your expectations. Kind of like DP review does a “preview” to help you wait for the actual review. I think it would be a hit and make for good content.

    I am ready to sell my Canon gear and head to the GH4. BUT I am concerned about the lack of lenses. Does Sony offer more? Maybe but nothing like Canon and that has me concerned. Or am I missing something? Is the A7s not taking older sony lenses or do they just limit the functionality. These are the kind of questions I would like to know about the panasonic and sony platforms.


    And oh BTW – those trolls are just jealous. I am glad you defended yourself and explained how you really are beyond reproach.

  • @Shawn If you follow me on FB, twitter, Google+ and Flickr you will see me testing and some initial thoughts along the way.

    @Manuel I don’t have cs6 anymore but it should work, there are actaully two ways to do this, I might make another video showing the other way.

    @Rip yes I always use “Use Maximum Render Quality” I should have done that here but I was moving fast in this tutorial just to show the basic method.

    @Terry I have not tried the brick yet, I will try it in the fall.

    @Jimmy yes you can do this, all you need to to is scale the image back up and then pan and scan it around the frame.

  • Ok Dave I will follow you on Twitter. In my basic research it seems that the Sony takes special gear to get the 4K capture. That means more money and more gear. That along will make my go to the panasonic as my main reason is the whole “less is more” concept.

    I love the idea of a stealthy set up and less heavy bag for going biking and such.

  • Hey Dave! Thanks again for all the information you’ve share about the GH4 and 4K.

    I have a question for you about the GH4. In terms of low-light performance, my standard of measurement is the 5D Mark II, which is what we have at work right now. How does the GH4, in 4k, compare with the Mark II with low light?


  • “I don’t know what Canon is doing.”

    That’s for sure! Nikon the same. They are getting schooled by the other camera companies in this space.

  • Dave,

    Can you give some advice on Export settings? I seem to have issues preserving the video quality upon exporting, even while using higher bit rates.

  • Dave,

    Can you give some advice on Export settings? I seem to have issues preserving the video quality upon exporting, even while using higher bit rates.

  • Hi Dave

    I have one question. If you drop a 4K Video onto a 1080p Timeline, are the filters applied to the 4K Video or to the already downsampled 1080p video. This might be interesting for e.g. noise reduction

  • Hi Dave,

    I am confused between GH4 and A7s like many (I already have one GH4 which is back-ordered, so should I get a 2nd or an A7s is the question). I just
    sold my 5DMkIII and GH3.
    I like many will only be doing HD delivery and I was wondering if 4k acquisition in GH4 together with Neat Video (I hope you have used this) can make a decent low light camera.
    By low light I don’t mean “darkness” which is a fund demo for the A7s but practically I will not shoot something pitch black (and anyways if once in a month or 2 I need to shoot something like that can always rent the A7s).
    What are your initial thoughts?
    If GH4+Neat can not work then it has to be A7s and Shogun for me.