Adobe Premiere Pro is very good at handling 4K footage natively. In our tests the performance was as good as with Grass Valley EDIUS, if not slightly better when trying to play 2 or 3 layers of video. This is because, when making a "picture in picture" effect, the Adobe Mercury playback engine will be scaling the footage whilst the computers processor will be doing the hard work of playing the footage back. With EDIUS all the work is done by the CPU.
Premiere did have slight problems with the MP4 4K files produced by the Panasonic GH4, so we recommend that you film in MOV format if you intend to use Premiere Pro. Premiere is not the only program to have problems with the MP4 GH4 files, in fact EDIUS is the only program which seems to edit these happily. However this is not a major problem as the quality between MOV and MP4 is exactly the same with the GH4, and there are no disadvantages to use MOV of which we are aware.
Adobe Premiere Pro CC is a better option for editing 4K, compared to CS6, as Adobe have been adding support for new formats recently and new export options, which will not be included in CS6 since this was last updated approximately 2 years ago. However, CS6 did load all the 4K sample clips we had and would let us edit them and combine them with other footage. We have not tested earlier versions but we suspect there will be problems simply because the formats are very new.
We have successfully output 4K with Premiere Pro and the Blackmagic 4K cards, the Decklink Studio 4K and UltraStudio 4K.
Editing 4K video in Premiere Pro CC and CS6
This chapter is taken from our series comparing Premiere Pro CS6 (the last version you could buy) and Premiere Pro CC2015. The video compares editing 4K video in both versions and explains why CC has better options than CS6 for editing 4K, although it is possible to edit 4K video at 4K in Premiere Pro CS6.
You can see the full playlist showing all of Premiere Pro CC's new features here:What's new in Premiere Pro CC.