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Old October 15th, 2012, 02:31 PM   #1
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2010 MacBook Pro, Core i7, 8GB RAM: should I transcode to Cineform?

Basic question here---hopefully someone can provide a quick answer.

I need to edit Canon DSLR footage (720p 60fps) in Premiere Pro CS6...on a 2010 Apple MacBook Pro, with a 2.33Ghz Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of 1333mhz DDR3 RAM, 7200 RPM internal HDD...and a 7200RPM external G-Drive via Firewire 800.

I've heard many places that Premiere CS6 has no difficulty playing back/editing HDSLR footage natively. But I've also heard equally many times that Cineform is GREAT for editing.

So my question is...will I gain significant performance in editing footage transcoded to Cineform? Or is it really not necessary on the MacBook I have?

Thanks!
Scott
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Old October 15th, 2012, 06:33 PM   #2
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Re: 2010 MacBook Pro, Core i7, 8GB RAM: should I transcode to Cineform?

Wow...41 views and no responses. (Not said critically!) So perhaps a better question might be: does anyone else here edit in Premiere Pro/CS6 on a MacBook Pro? If so, do you have no issues working natively? Or do you transcode your footage to anything else?

Scott
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Old October 15th, 2012, 06:45 PM   #3
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Re: 2010 MacBook Pro, Core i7, 8GB RAM: should I transcode to Cineform?

Okay...some more scouring the web, it led me right back here. :-) To this thread:
Cineform/Premiere CS5.5

So I'm going to wade through it and see what I can learn...
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Old October 15th, 2012, 08:44 PM   #4
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Re: 2010 MacBook Pro, Core i7, 8GB RAM: should I transcode to Cineform?

Scott-
I don't use a MBP, but I do edit both in native formats and Cineform with CS6.
For me, the deciding factor is how long or complex the project is.
For a short project that does not involve multiple layers, intensive use of effects, etc., in my experience an i7 system with 8 GB RAM will have no real problem using native formats (AVCHD, etc.)
At the other end of the spectrum: a one hour travel doc I did recently had 2,500+ clips, lots of color correction, motion stabilization, graphics, etc. I did it in Cineform without even thinking twice about it, and the editing experience was absolutely smooth from start to final renders.
My own experience with these type projects is that the editing starts out fine using native formats, but as the project slowly gets longer and longer, the system gets slower. Errors, freezes, lockups, and crashes become more common. Frustration builds, then finally fear sets in- am I going to be able to finish this thing??
Using the CF codec greatly reduces the demand on your system.
One potential bottleneck: the CF codec has a much higher data rate, so if your HDDs are not fast enough (I use RAID media only drives) you will have slowdowns and errors.
IMO, with an i7 and 8 GB RAM, you can do a lot, but not everything.
Good luck
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Old October 16th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #5
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Re: 2010 MacBook Pro, Core i7, 8GB RAM: should I transcode to Cineform?

Scott, I have the exact same MBP (15"). I have edited mostly AVCHD footage (shot on a HMC150) as well as some Canon T2i footage. In terms of editing the machine handles the footage just fine. However, once you start adding on layers and effects it bogs down pretty quickly. I notice this especially in AE (which is understandable). But I've successfully edited some short videos (10 minutes or less) with mostly color correction and basic transitions. In AE I've done some motion tracking and 2.5D work...if you are not a patient person you may end up getting too frustrated, but it can work. I never transcode my footage and I have worked in both CS5 and now CS6 (I skipped CS5.5). The down side to this laptop is that the NVIDIA card is not CUDA capable nor is there an express card slot (for a Matrox MX box or similar device). One thing I've done is to keep my footage and my cache files on the external HDD via FW800. Seems to me it runs smoother when you get all those cache folders off the main C drive. In fact there's another discussion currently on going here regarding that issue. CS6 Premiere Pro choking on mundane stuff
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Old October 16th, 2012, 11:41 AM   #6
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Re: 2010 MacBook Pro, Core i7, 8GB RAM: should I transcode to Cineform?

Thanks Robert and Kenyon for the replies---I appreciate it! I know Cineform (as a subject of conversation) has been beat to death everywhere...and after some digging around I gathered exactly what you said: it eases processor load a lot...but requires a lot more storage space (and fast drives).

A couple of points: first, our production team recently got (supposedly) state-of-the-art PC's for editing with Premiere. I don't know the specs off the top of my head, but I know they got the most screaming-fast processors and video cards money can buy and have at least 16-32GB of RAM (Windows 7). And even with this, I've sat by my editors and watched as Premiere bogged down on mundane operations (so I'll definitely browse that thread!). And I kept thinking "Waitaminit, I thought these were the fastest PC's money can buy---and they're STILL bogging down???"

My MacBook Pro is a 17" and does have an express card slot...which makes me want to look into the Matrox MX boxes (or similar) if that actually helps.

I'm curious to know how much more disk space ___minutes of Cineform-transcoded footage takes versus H.264 footage. (Is it twice as much? 3x as much? I'll research this too...)

And finally, I know there are two options with Cineform: the free version now offered on the GoPro site...and Neoscene, which I could also buy. I just want to better understand the differences. And then of course there is Avid's DNxHD which many people seem to use...not sure which is better between that and Cineform? I can say with certainty that we are not worried about pixel-level quality differences. As long as everything looks good at a glance by the average user (and looks fine on YouTube!) then I'm good with it (even though that might make some quality-junkies grimace, LOL).

Scott
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Old October 16th, 2012, 05:50 PM   #7
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Re: 2010 MacBook Pro, Core i7, 8GB RAM: should I transcode to Cineform?

Scott
The main digital intermediate codecs are Avid DNxHD, Apple ProResHD, and Cineform.
Apple guys who are accustomed to .mov files and FCP slant towards ProRes.
I've never used the Avid codec, but it is popular.
Cineform Studio version is a 4:2:2, 12 bit codec that is pretty near "lossless".
I have always found it to be easy and fast to work with, and it certainly integrates well with the Adobe Production Suite.
Conversion of AVCHD files to CF are near real time. You can designate an entire folder of files to convert & it runs automatically while you do something else.
The Cineform data rate and storage requirements are around 4 times that of high quality AVCHD (around 100 mbs for CF vs. 24 mbs for AVCHD)
I use a Win7, i7 machine with nVidea Quadro CUDA GPU, and 24 GB RAM and I still use the same rule of thumb: short & simple- native format is fine; long or "complex"- Cineform is the most dependably trouble free solution in my experience.
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Last edited by Robert Young; October 16th, 2012 at 06:46 PM.
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Old October 18th, 2012, 06:03 AM   #8
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Re: 2010 MacBook Pro, Core i7, 8GB RAM: should I transcode to Cineform?

Cineform? Why would you want Cineform when you can use ProRes? Just buy Motion on the app store for a few pounds and you have that codec for the fraction of the price of Cineform.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 01:09 PM   #9
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Re: 2010 MacBook Pro, Core i7, 8GB RAM: should I transcode to Cineform?

does anyone have response to marcus' question?

i ask because i'm thinking of moving to cs6 from being a fcp7 user.

yet there seems to be so many threads about machines not being able to handle "simple" tasks.

as a total cs6 newbie, where do i start?

thanks in advance.

be well.

rob
smalltalk productions
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