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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old March 17th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #1
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iMac spec for XHA1s

Hi all,

I'm taking the plunge and upgrading from PC/Premiere to iMac/FinalCut and hoped any iMac users out there might be able to offer a quick bit of advice, please?

I will be using the iMac to edit XHA1s footage, as well as some 1080p footage from a GoPro camera I also use.

I'm currently looking at the 27inch 3.1GHZ version over on the right of this page (iMac - Desktop iMac Computer - Apple Store (UK)).

1. Will this be good enough to do what I want without tweaking the standard spec?
2. If I could upgrade one component from the standard spec, should I go for the processor, memory or graphics card?

Thanks in advance guys!

Cheers :)
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Old March 17th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #2
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Re: iMac spec for XHA1s

In priority order:
1) Processor
2) Graphics
3) Memory

My rule is buy the fastest processor you can afford. Memory can be added later. I don't know for sure but I doubt the graphics card can be upgraded in an iMac. Double check the model you pick has a graphics card compatible with Final Cut X

The A1s produces easy to edit HDV. It's you Gopro that produces AVCHD that needs horespower to edit it natively. Most people up-rez it to the easy to edit prores.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 10:08 PM   #3
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Re: iMac spec for XHA1s

New iMac is Thunderbolt.
XHA1 is Firewire.
You will need one of the Thunderbolt to Firewire adaptors to input you video from the camera to the iMac.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 05:16 AM   #4
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Re: iMac spec for XHA1s

Les, Ed, many thanks for your help - really appreciate it.

Les that sounds good - I'm going to plump for the i7 and upgrade memory later on as you suggest. I've noticed that about the A1s footage - it's not bad at all on my PC, but the AVCHD slows up terrible.

Ed thanks for your note about this. I've had a read up on Thunderbolt as a new Apple input/output, however, it also looks like they're a normal FireWire input on the iMac too. See halfway down this page under 'Connections and Expansion': iMac - Desktop iMac Computer - Apple Store (UK)

Does that mean I wouldn't need the adapter?

Thanks again :)
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Old March 18th, 2012, 07:15 AM   #5
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Re: iMac spec for XHA1s

That is a Firewire 800 port and will work fine. You will need a 6-pin to 4-pin cable if you don't already have one.

As far as AVCHD goes, most using FCP transcode it to prores for editing. That takes time and much more space. You may want to see if FCP X will do what you need as it has AVCHD support built-in.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 01:01 PM   #6
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Re: iMac spec for XHA1s

Not to derail the original thread, but here is my situation

imac
2.8ghz i5 quad core
ATI Radeon HD 5750
12gig ram

canon xh-a1
4-9 pin firewire cable

Final cut express


Now, the computer can easily handle editing all the footage I throw at it from an xh-a1 and a xa10. However, my one gripe is I have to use Imovie to import my xh-a1 footage.

Not sure if this is an FCP vs FCE thing, but just something to be aware of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post

My rule is buy the fastest processor you can afford. Memory can be added later. I don't know for sure but I doubt the graphics card can be upgraded in an iMac. Double check the model you pick has a graphics card compatible with Final Cut X
agreed 100%

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
That is a Firewire 800 port and will work fine. You will need a 6-pin to 4-pin cable if you don't already have one.
please correct me if i'm wrong, but wouldn't James need a 6 to 9 pin cable for xh-a1s to imac?
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Old March 19th, 2012, 04:51 PM   #7
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Re: iMac spec for XHA1s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elertson View Post
...please correct me if i'm wrong, but wouldn't James need a 6 to 9 pin cable for xh-a1s to imac?
You are correct. I had an XH-A1. I see they improved on that in the A1s. Sorry.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 12:01 PM   #8
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Re: iMac spec for XHA1s

Thanks everyone, and the 6 to 9 pin FireWire cable did the job - I'm glad I checked back here to get your thoughts before heading to the store.

I have to admit FCP is a little fiddly sometimes getting the xha1s tape running before it detects no capture, but nothing major to worry about.

Cheers!
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