Editing is the most complicated part of creating a video. It requires knowledge of:

  1. software (Adobe Premiere, Final Cut, Davinci Resolve) which, believe me, is much harder to learn than a camera
  2. the stylistic rules of editing

The latter are not dependant on the computer on which you are working, as they are not very different now from what they were many years ago when, in order to edit films and tapes, people used:

  • moviolas, splicers and projectors
  • video recorders (along with mixers, editing units, TBCs, etc.)

equipment which, today, is only good for museums and collectors.

Stock footage and 4K editing

Stock footage is a kind of video made from single segments, so you don't need to put more clips together and the editing is very easy.

Stock footage is the main topic of this website, where I teach how to make it a source of income which allows video makers, even amateur ones, to make money by selling what they love to produce.

I teach how to sell videos of subjects like:

  1. landmarks of major cities in Europe
  2. lifestyle situations (families walking on a beach, couples kissing, guys looking at smartphones)
  3. animals

Clips usually are 5 to 15 seconds long.

Shutterstock results for searching for footage 4K of Milan

Above, for example, you can see the page that appears to buyers looking for footage of Milan on Shutterstock, one of the main microstocks. (Read the complete guide I wrote about the agency.)

They are all 4K videos.

If you’re interested in this business, you too can try to make money; any reflex or mirrorless camera is okay to shoot with, and everything is technically easy, because even a basic knowledge of editing is enough to prepare your footage for sale.

In microstock (the market selling stock footage and the static version of stock footage: stock images), shifting from raw footage to the exported file is simple, because you only have to cut the beginning and the end of each segment.

The problem for people like me who teach how to sell videos online is that photographers are sometimes scared to start shooting footage.

When they understand that they have to move from Photoshop and Lightroom to editing software like Premiere or Davinci, they simply stop, even though it's only a psychological hurdle and there is no technical reason for it to happen.

As a result, they lose lots of opportunities.

Earning money selling 4K videos online

Creating stock footage (and not only photos) is essential to making more money with microstock. Selling stock footage and stock images is not just a good way to earn, it is also the best starting point for anyone who wants to create an online business using their passion for shooting.

I know my words can convince only a few of those who are reading. What usually convinces sceptics is the screenshot below, taken from my user area on Pond5 (read my guide about the agency), one of the sites where I sell my videos:

Pond5 earnings for a contributor

The $3,019 at the top is related to the earnings of a time-lapse I shot in Frankfurt. Duration of the video: less than 10 seconds.

Anyone who has a business related to producing videos knows that, today, those figures are often not even earned with a week’s worth of work (and sometimes not even a month’s worth) because of the low-cost competition that there is in this business.

Shooting in 4K is the most profitable thing to do today for two reasons:

  • It pays more ($199 on Shutterstock and Adobe Stock, while Full HD is makes $79).
  • There is less competition.

So, dear friends of mine who love video making, if you're frustrated by unbearable customers, instead of wasting time with:

  • music videos
  • industrial movies
  • shooting ceremonies
  • YouTube partnerships

you should consider uploading stock footages on microstock agencies.

Everything is free. It only takes a little time. (Don't worry, you waste a lot more time on Facebook liking photos of people that you don't even say hello to if you meet them on the street.)

You start by logging in on websites like:

  • Pond5
  • Shutterstock (read my guide on that agency)

It is not a magic formula. If you do not study what kinds of subjects the market wants, you won't earn anything but loose change.

To overcome this, I suggest you watch the video at the bottom of the page.

The importance of making 4K videos to earn money

By the way, my name is Daniele Carrer, and one of the people who bought my course is Alex Di Martino. He earned 230 dollars during his first week of stock footage production. If you don't believe it, here’s his story.

Another, Domenico Fornas, after a couple of years of part time production and despite not being a professional video maker, just an enthusiast, today earns 1100 euros a month, a figure which is rising continuously. This is his story.

A third person who has a completely different job, Pier Paolo Mansueto (read his story), earns 300 dollars per month producing for only a few hours each month, thanks to my advice.

All these people prove that, if you study and work hard, the internet can be a great tool to earn money with your passions, even when these passions are video shooting and editing 4K videos.

Daniele Carrer while shooting a video in 1998

I started editing videos in the mid-1990's. In the summer of 1995, between the fourth and fifth year of high school, I worked in a factory. At the time, at least where I lived, this was quite usual among students.

With my salary, I bought a VHS-c camera, and I spent the afternoons of the last year of school editing videos with my home video recorder.

I bought my first computer in 1998 and discovered editing software called Adobe Premiere, version 4.2. Many years later, I became a professional editor.

I gave up working for television in 2013. Today, I do not regret that choice because television was already an obsolete form of media and I focused on making videos for the internet.

I'm good with editing software, but concerning the hardware you need to use I'm not as qualified as I would need to be to give you advice. So, I’ll let my student Domenico Fornas tell you how to assemble a computer able to edit 4K videos spending less than 500 euros.

From being a computer enthusiast to becoming a stock footage producer

My name is Domenico Fornas, I'm 25 and I dropped out my Economics and Business studies because I understood that it wasn't for me and because I wanted to dedicate myself to my true passion: photography.

The computer hardware expert Domenico Fornas

How I discovered stock images and stock footage

After buying my first digital reflex camera, I realized that producing stock footage was the only way for me to make money online.

So, I decided to dedicate myself completely to the microstock business. This was also thanks to the discovery of Daniele Carrer's Italian blog, which was one of the few websites with quality content on how to earn money with stock images and stock footage.

Daniele’s free material offered me a basic knowledge of where to start from, which I built upon considerably by buying his course.

Today, the pieces of software I use for editing are:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe After Effects (which, like Premiere Pro, is part of Adobe Creative Cloud)
  • LRTimelapse.

A video editing computer (spending a little)

Desktop computer motherboard

I have also been hugely passionate about computer hardware for years.

I built myself the computer that, today, I use to edit 4K videos with no problems, and I managed to spend very little on it.

I had a budget of only 370 euros to buy the components. However, thanks to the experience I’ve gained over years, I created what has become my perfect 4K editing station.

Why you need high-performance hardware for 4K

Editing video at 4K resolution requires high-performance computers.

If your hardware is not fast enough, you will:

  • have continuous crashes
  • lose hours on rendering

For example, to stabilize a 10-second 4K video with Adobe Premiere and export it with these settings:

  • codec H.264
  • 30 fps
  • bitrate: 40mb/s

it only takes me 4-5 minutes, and I have never had a single crash while editing on my computer. Often, while the video is rendering, I can also play another 4K video, keeping the browser open, without it slowing down.

My hardware

My computer was assembled with these components:

  • Intel Pentium G4560 (Unbeatable CPU and value for money: It’s like an i3 7100 and consumes very little.)
  • 8GB of DDR4 RAM (Equivalent to 16GB of DDR3 – enough to handle 4K videos. RAM amount is important, but not as important as the CPU and the graphics card)
  • An SSD hard disk (If possible, use a PCI express or a m2.) This is the most important piece because it speeds up any operation.
  • Geforce GTX 1050 TI 4GB graphics card (Simply fantastic. Thanks to the CPU, it can render a 4K video while playing another video).

Remember: In order to allow the computer to make calculations as fast as possible when using Adobe software, you have to select the correct setting, otherwise it will use other components to render and slow down the entire operation.

CPUs

If I had to create a workstation from scratch today, I would start with:

  1. A large SSD hard disk
  2. Intel 8th Gen CPUs

Because, after years and years of limited improvements, they have finally increased the cores number for:

  • i3
  • i5
  • i7

This means that the 8th Generation i3, like the i3 8100, has the same performance as a 7th generation i5 (i5 7400) as it has the same cores and the same technology.

This allows you to save a lot of money on the purchase.

In order to use these CPUs you need an Intel 300 series motherboard like the z370, which costs around 100 euros. And you need a good power supply – reliable and the right price – like the 400 watt Corsair. (It is fine for CPUs from i3 to i7, given that they consume the same amount of energy despite having different levels of performance).

Three suggestions for three price ranges

I'm showing you three different 4K video editing stations according to your budget.

Economic (less than 500 euros):

Mid-Range (500 euros to 800 euros):

  • i5 8th Gen (It has 6 cores instead of the 4 of the i3 8100. This allows you to have significantly better performance.)
  • 8 GB DDR4
  • Nvidia GTX 1050 TI 4GB

High End (more than 800 euros):

  • i7 8th generation (You need it for very advanced rendering.)
  • 16 GB DDR4 (Only in this case does it make sense to increase the RAM because it allows you to take full advantage of the i7 power.)
  • Nvidia GTX 1050 TI 4GB (If you don't use at least 2 Full HD monitors, it doesn't make any sense spending more on the graphics card).

The best laptop for video editing

Of course, laptops, at the same price, have worse performance than desktop computers, although the difference has flattened out over time.

An interesting choice, in the 1000 euro range, is the Asus Vivobook.

With notebooks equipped with:

  • i7 CPU (HQ is the best for laptops)
  • GTX 1050 graphics cards

you can edit 4K videos without any problems.

If you want to upgrade to something with better performance the price doubles, significantly reducing the value for money and without providing noticeable benefits for those who don’t make ''extreme'' edits.

Actually, with the Asus laptop just mentioned, there is something that might make you consider upgrading; the monitor doesn't have perfect colors, so it's not the best for color grading if you're interested in that part of video editing.

If you need realistic colors, my choice would be another computer: the DELL XPS 15, with

  • i7 CPU,
  • GTX 1050 graphics card,

but with a 4K IPS monitor so colors don’t vary when the viewing angle is changed and it can be used even in a room with of a lot of light.

A doubt about desktop PCs for 4K editing

A desktop computer

This is an email from a visitor to my blog who asked me to forward it to Domenico. It concerns the desktop computer he wants to buy for 4K editing:

I'm replacing my current PC with a more powerful one to easily edit 4K videos.

My current PC has the following features:

  • Operating system: Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
  • CPU: Intel i7-3930K 3.20GHz
  • Motherboard: Asus P9X79
  • RAM: 16GB DDR3
  • Graphics card: Gigabyte with AMD Radeon HD 7750 2GB DDR3 processor
  • Monitor ASUS MX 259 25inch IPS (1920x1080)
  • HDD 1 (Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB) for software and the operating system
  • HDD 2 (ST2000DM006-2DM164 2TB) for data
  • HDD 3 (PLEXTOR PX-256M5S 256GB SSD) for rendering
  • HDD 4 (SSD PLEXTOR PX-128M5S 128GB) unused
  • Editing software: Adobe Premiere Pro CC

My budget is around 3000 euros.

I have always bought high performance computers that, through the years, have continued to perform well into the next hardware and software generation, a choice which has always paid me back.

Having said that, on the internet I have found much information and I would like to ask you some questions about the hardware I’m interested in.

  • CPU

Intel i9-7920X or i9-7940X? Are they good for 4K editing?

A i9-99xx series has been released. I don’t understand the value or whether it is more convenient than the two previously mentioned.

  • Motherboard

Of course, this has to be chosen according to the CPU. I've always preferred the ASUS brand.

What would you recommend in order to make the most of the hardware?

  • RAM

I’ve thought about upgrading to 64GB, obviously DDR4. I wanted to know if you think this is too much.

Is 32GB enough? What model do you recommend getting?

Graphics Card

I would like to use the PNY Nvidia Quadro P4000 8 GB Graphics Card, 1792 Cuda Core, as I’ve read these cards are the best for video editing. What do you think about it?

What do you think about it?

Monitor

I am going to buy a 4K IPS monitor. Among the models I've seen there are the:

I really like the latter, with its 31 inches, but it might be a bit too big. Which one would you recommend?

Hard disk

I would use a couple of my old hard disks:

  • Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB for the software and operating system.
  • ST2000DM006-2DM164 2TB for data.

I should buy another high-performance SSD for rendering. Is 256GB enough or is 512GB better for 4K editing? Which model would you recommend?

Editing software

Adobe Premiere Pro CC (I will always use this.)

Domenico's answer

It’s a good time to change your PC.

The third generation Intel series is dated now, and a today's i3 (eighth generation) performs like an i7 of that time.

You have to consider that CPU is the most important part of the hardware, then comes the RAM and then the graphics card.

I consider the SSD hard disks fundamental. However, it all depends on the type of editing you do.

I would just keep the SSDs among the components you have. I would sell the rest to get the money to buy the new components. Or you could keep your computer as a second editing station if you think it could be useful, given that it is still excellent for a basic use.

The power required by software

The performance required by software, in recent years, has not grown much, especially compared to the speed of growth years ago.

Buying an i9 CPU just to be ready for the future does not make any sense, simply because it costs too much for the performance gain.

With an 8th Gen i7 CPU, you can relax for at least 6-8 years. When it won’t be enough anymore, the i9 will do the same. They are useful products just for those few people editing with 4 4K monitors.

Do you want to sell your videos online?

Watch my 4 free videos that explain what to do.

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