Just Landed: BizonBOX External Graphics Power to Take Your Photo and Video Editing to 4K and Beyond

Is editing slow on your Mac Book Pro or iMac? Add an external Graphics Processing Unit (eGPU)! Movie and television workstation maker Bizon has introduced the very first external Graphics Processing Unit card solution for Mac computers including current and older Mac Book Pro and iMac.

No, this is not an old Mac Pro tower. The BizonBOX 3 eGPU measures 36cm x 8cm x 20.5cm and travels comfortably with your Mac Book Pro.

The BizonBOX eGPU is available in two versions depending on the age of your Apple computer, BizonBOX 2S for machines made between 2011 and 2015, and BizonBOX 3, compatible with the Mac Book Pro 2016 and, hopefully, the Mac Book Pro 2017 when the overdue big beef-up MBP upgrade is finally here sometime later this year.

Apple, please give us 32GB RAM maximum in the next Mac Book Pro. A total of 16GB RAM just does not cut it and, frankly, I don’t care so much about the battery when I am editing video or big, fat stills. For that I will always plug into mains power in the studio or on location.

The relentless march of technology

When editing software developers discovered that graphics processing units’ floating point calculation capabilities could be used to radically speed up image and video editing, the writing was on the wall for dependence on non-upgradeable internal GPUs.

The inevitable occurred. Digital filmmaking and photography’s relentless march of press quickly led to 4K video, three-to-seven-bracket HDR photography, massive multi-stitch panoramas, immersive 360-degree VR video, 20MP to 50MP enthusiast through prosumer to professional stills cameras, and democratized Hollywood quality movie grading and editing with the free version of Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve.

Our computers’ CPUs and especially their graphics processing units are taking a beating and it is only going to get worse. For example, Panasonic’s Lumix DC-GH5 will soon be introducing consumer-accessible anamorphic 6K HEVC video recording via its 6K Photo feature, as UK Lumix Luminary Nick Driftwood has demonstrated.

Bigger, better, more demand on processing power

Moviemakers at all levels of the industry are acquiring, editing, storing and increasingly outputting at UHD 4K and DCI 4K. Editing proxies from 4K footage is becoming a standard practice but it is not the be-all and end-all.

Fujifilm’s GFX 50S camera has arrived, bringing more affordable medium format photography to a proportion of the masses, as it were, and with it 50MP files weighing in at almost 120MB with TIFFs exported from raw processors averaging a weight of over 300MB before heavy image editing begins.

Imagine merging three to seven of those into an HDR image via Macphun Aurora HDR 2017 and the size of the consequent .mpaur file and exported TIFF. Open the TIFF in sister photo editor Macphun Luminar and watch file size blow out yet again. Imagine what will happen when the Fujifilm GFX 100S arrives with a 100MP sensor and 200MB raw files.

ON1, Inc.’s ON1 Photo Raw 2017’s developer team has wisely chosen to send in-edit image display to the GPU instead of relying on the CPU, a trend I would like to see in more image editors, NLEs and color grading suites, but that bumps potential overload from CPUs over to GPUs.

Some photographers earning a livelihood from big sensor images and big blow-ups are in a snit about Apple’s current generation USB-C Mac Book Pro portable computers and have moved over to the dark side or have dipped their toes in and found WindowsWorld wanting.

A few multi-NLE video editors have expressed reservations about the way that Apple’s latest Mac Book pro seems to play so well with Final Cut Pro X but not with other non-linear editing suites. Has Apple been up to something nefarious, given how old the latest iMacs and Mac Pro computers are now, they ask.

Meanwhile professional users have been wondering whether and how much Apple is committed to its pro customers especially those of us working in video and photography, as reported by TechCrunch late December last year.

Investigating a modern editing set-up and workflow

I have had to suspend much-needed new hardware acquisitions at the moment, not by choice but circumstance given how bureaucracy, lawyers and soon-to-be-gone nasty neighbours have thrown several kinks in our plans to finance Untitled: Stories of Creativity Innovation, Success ourselves. Consequently, Untitled’s soft launch date has been extended indefinitely despite my desire to begin producing those stories in photo essay and short documentary form.

Meanwhile, I remain optimistic and continue to investigate my options for upgrading our current machines as well as essential future new purchases.

I am still making sense of the latest and coming I/O, USB-C, storage, workflow, Thunderbolt 3 and, with macOS Sierra supporting external GPUs like the BizonBOX as reported in a Frame.io blog entry on FCPX, how to support shortcomings in computers and their hardware with third party solutions.

In the light of all that and the uncertainty as to what Apple will be coming out with this year, knowing that a solution like BizonBOX 3 exists is a relief.

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Image Credits:

Header image concept and design by Carmel D. Morris.

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