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Old April 15th, 2005, 11:21 AM   #16
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Yes, fair enough that PCs don't currently come with software which can attempt to capture and edit HDV, and there isn't currently a low-priced PC software package with HDV capability. So for the absolutely lowest-priced option to play around with HDV I guess the Mac Mini takes the prize, but I gather from user reports that this wouldn't give you a very effective workflow.

To do any serious HDV work you'd want at least the base-model iMac for $1299. For that price I could buy a 3 GHz Dell (<$799) and add Edius Pro 3 ($499) to get real-time HDV capture and editing. But neither of these setups is really what you'd want for professional HDV editing, for which the correct question is how much can you afford to spend, not what's the cheapest approach.

Kudos to Apple for incorporating HDV support into their entry-level editing software. It'll be interesting to see what they offer for professional HDV work next week, about a year and a half after there were good HDV solutions for PCs.

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Old April 17th, 2005, 11:53 PM   #17
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Hi,
Is a 1.8 Ghz Dual G5 ($1999) powerful enough for HDV editing (captured from a Sony Z1)? Also, would I need any additional hardware cards for real-time capture/editing?

I read at a different thread that Apple doesn't support HDV. Does this mean that I won't be able to edit HDV content from a Sony Z1 on a Mac?

Are the Canopus Edius cards only for PCs? Or are they required for the Apples as well?

ritesh
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Old April 18th, 2005, 12:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritesh Krishnamurthy
Hi,
Is a 1.8 Ghz Dual G5 ($1999) powerful enough for HDV editing (captured from a Sony Z1)? Also, would I need any additional hardware cards for real-time capture/editing?

I read at a different thread that Apple doesn't support HDV. Does this mean that I won't be able to edit HDV content from a Sony Z1 on a Mac?

Are the Canopus Edius cards only for PCs? Or are they required for the Apples as well?

ritesh
A 1.8GHz dual processor G5 is powerful enough for HDV editing captured from a Sony Z1. You won't need any additional hardware cards for realtime capture. You should add as much RAM as you can, however. Buy the RAM from newegg, Crucial or whoever's the cheapest at ramseeker.com . . . don't pay Apple's RAM prices, and don't fall for the warranty scare tactic. RAM will carry its own warranty and third party RAM won't void your Apple warranty.

For editing, it would be nice (but not absolutely essential) to add a Blackmagic Design card so that you could connect to an HD capable broadcast monitor. Fortunately for you, FCP has a feature that lets you use your computer monitor as a broadcast monitor. It's not the same thing (it'd be better to work with a broadcast monitor) but if you don't have the money in your budget for a $2000 PCI-X card and a $1500-3500 HD broadcast monitor, well it's a decent (and cheap) solution.

Please take a look at Apple's site. They've added native HDV support to FCP, among other features.
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Old April 18th, 2005, 01:16 AM   #19
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Murad, Thanks for assuring me that the Macs will support HDV. I presume this is a recent development.

The Blackmagic card & HD monitor are way beyond our budget right now.
We want to start with a Sony Z1 ($5k) & a 1.8G Dual G5 ($2k), with a 17/19" monitor. Will Add-on later.

Software: FC Express HD ($300)
Hopefully, both the FC Express & Z1 can work in DV & HDV modes, depending on our requirement.

What other software can I use to work on HDV on a Mac? Preferably cheaper than the FCP.

Pinnacle LE??

It does appear that PCs (P4 3.0G+, 512GB RAM...) offer cheaper options, along with the variety of software available. Yet, I am inclined towards Macs due to their stability. My P4 PC crashes often with basic applications and interrupt conflicts. Or are there any alternate OS for PCs other than Win?

ritesh
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Old April 18th, 2005, 01:31 AM   #20
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I know it's not what the original poster asked for, but to be honest many PC people won't be buying a whole new machine to edit HDV. My friend this month upgraded his DV-editing machine by simply adding a Pentium 4 3.2 processor ($215 at Newegg), an extra 120GB drive ($39 at Microcenter) and Premiere's free 1.5.1 plugin - and he's away laughing with some HD-1 footage I gave him to try out!
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Old April 18th, 2005, 10:45 AM   #21
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> What other software can I use to work on HDV
> on a Mac? Preferably cheaper than the FCP.

iMovie. It's free and comes included with every new Mac.
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Old April 18th, 2005, 11:34 PM   #22
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I realise that it doesn't appear to be a smart decision to invest in a whole new system for HDV editing, when cheaper options like upgrading my P4 are available. Our plan is to setup an audio-video studio, which can handle inputs from the Z1 as well as a Korg Triton (with Mixer), and handle relevant software. Also, I'd like to keep the virus away (thanks to my internet connection) and work on a rock stable system (unlike the W2000 on my PC which crashes often). Hence the desire for a separate system.

Thanks for the info on the RAM for the Apple. I suppose a 1.8Ghz Dual G5 with 2 GB RAM is preferable to a 2Ghz Dual G5 with 1GB RAM.

Is the standard 80GB (standard with the 1.8 Dual) HDD (partitioned appropriately) suffficient, or should I invest in additional HDD?
SATA/RAID drives??

ritesh
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Old April 19th, 2005, 10:51 AM   #23
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Hi Ritesh,

Your last post seems somewhat difficult for me to understand. If you will go dor a Mac you have the low-end inexpensive option of the mini, which does not have dual processors and only has a single FireWire bus. Because of that, you should try to get it with as large a hard disk as possible because you con't want to use the Firewire bus for video and a hard disk at the asme time. It CAN be done but it will slow you down a bit. With the G5 towers, you can do well with the 80GB and when they run out you can add external FW800 drives. Still, it makes sense to get as much disk space as you can afford when you are to be working with video anyhow.

Still, we are getting quite off-topic. You can buy a mini and edit HDV with it out of the box, it's probably the least expensive HDV editing solution available, and then you can add FCP, RAM and change the internal hard disk as your needs grow.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 09:17 PM   #24
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Ritesh, you can never have enough money, RAM or hard drive space. Also, it's good advice to always keep your media / capture scratch on a separate drive from your OS. Partitioning does not count. Partitioning on Macs does not give you any advantage.

As for the dual 2 with 1GB RAM or dual 1.8 with 2GB RAM, go for the former because you can add RAM later but you'll be stuck with those CPUs.

I agree with Ignacio's comment about the Mac mini. Connecting a FW hard drive and using it as your media drive (leaving the internal drive for the OS) is a good idea. You'll need 1GB RAM in the mini to handle HDV editing, however. The minimum requirements for HD editing in FCP 5 are a single or dual 1GHz processor(s) and 1GB RAM. Of course for iMovie 5, you don't have to get 1GB RAM in your mini, but it wouldn't hurt.

I suppose iMovie 5 and Final Cut Express will be fine for editing HDV material that ultimately goes out on standard def. PAL, but if you want to maintain absolute sharpness / clarity / resolution (which matters when you save your HD masters) you'll want to avoid the Apple Intermediate Codec and instead stay in HDV (in other words, go for FCP 5).

I (potentially) have a similar production plan in mind as far as shooting HDV using the Sony Z1 and outputting PAL (for broadcast in India). It's not solid yet so we'll see if the deal works out.

How about a refurb dual 1.8GHz (around $1600-1700) as your starting point?

Take a look at this (highly compressed) clip from something I shot (for fun) this past Saturday:
http://homepage.mac.com/tvwriter/.Mo...bla_HD_720.mov
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Old April 20th, 2005, 01:19 PM   #25
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> I agree with Ignacio's comment about the Mac
> mini. Connecting a FW hard drive and using it
> as your media drive (leaving the internal drive
> for the OS) is a good idea.

Ahh great that you agree but that's not what I meant. I think it's not a good idea to use storage on the same bus as capturing and monitoring, and the internal hard disk bus is much faster than Firewire. Thus I reckon it's a good idea to get the biggest built-in hard disk you can get for the mini and work off it. If you have a single drive --which most likely is the only way with the mini anyway-- there is little benefit in partitioning it. But it's quite ok to run the OS and video files on the same drive. Remember, this is HDV, not uncompressed. If you want to partition it and keep it tidy, go ahead.

It's a common practice to keep the OS and video files on seperate physical drives when possible. Some people use partitions because it gives the same feeling of security, but I don't think that makes much sense. The safe thing to do is to make a backup of your system that can be reinstalled. When I get my next mini or Powerbook, I plan to use a free tool (don't remember the name right now) to create a clone of the OS and apps, and update it whenever I run software update or install new software. Of course important files also need to be backed up regularly, for this I have an external FW HD. Thus, if the system goes wrong, I will be able to use the clone to reinstall the system in no time.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 02:48 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignacio Rodriguez
Ahh great that you agree but that's not what I meant. I think it's not a good idea to use storage on the same bus as capturing and monitoring, and the internal hard disk bus is much faster than Firewire. Thus I reckon it's a good idea to get the biggest built-in hard disk you can get for the mini and work off it.
I meant that I agree that a Mac mini is a great low-cost solution but I wanted to add my advice about using a FW drive for media storage. :)

I've had no trouble at all using the same FW bus for capture and storage, chained from camera to FW drive to Mac. I've had no data loss or dropped frames (with the rare exception of tape dropouts, which has to do with the tape and not the FW chaining).

I like your OS backup strategy. The application you're thinking of is probably Carbon Copy Cloner.

Anyway what do you think of the tabla clip? I want to tape that guy again in a controlled environment. I had no input on the lighting, for example, and I was stuck about 120 feet or 40 meters away from the stage, and that shot is zoomed all the way in (10x on my HD10) from where I had to put my tripod.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 04:22 PM   #27
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> I've had no trouble at all using the same
> FW bus for capture and storage, chained
> from camera to FW drive to Mac. I've had
> no data loss or dropped frames (with the
> rare exception of tape dropouts, which has
> to do with the tape and not the FW chaining).

Oh yes. It works. Been there, done that. However you can get a small performance increment by using a faster bus for the disk where your video, audio and project files live. This seems especially true when using a lot of additional audio files in an FCP project.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 05:12 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Ignacio Rodriguez
Oh yes. It works. Been there, done that. However you can get a small performance increment by using a faster bus for the disk where your video, audio and project files live. This seems especially true when using a lot of additional audio files in an FCP project.
I get what you're saying, but wouldn't it be even better, at that point, to have separate and dedicated FW drives for video and audio? I know from experience that it makes a big difference in DVD authoring to have one drive for video assets, another drive for audio assets and a third drive set as the destination for built projects (all, of course, distinct from the boot drive).

How about the tabla clip? I know the sound is bad and the video noise was amplified by the web compression. I mean, you don't have to like it.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 08:50 AM   #29
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"I suppose iMovie 5 and Final Cut Express will be fine for editing HDV material that ultimately goes out on standard def. PAL, but if you want to maintain absolute sharpness / clarity / resolution (which matters when you save your HD masters) you'll want to avoid the Apple Intermediate Codec and instead stay in HDV (in other words, go for FCP 5). "

I think we'd want to see some comparisons of quality results for those two options before leaping to that conclusion. If AIC is properly designed it should be better than native HDV for editing purposes, since HDV is an inherently lossy editing format. But I suppose if you're making relatively simple edits and outputting back to an HDV camera then staying in HDV makes some sense.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 06:34 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
I think we'd want to see some comparisons of quality results for those two options before leaping to that conclusion.
I agree about the need to run some tests, but I have my doubts about the efficacy of AIC. I've been using DVCProHD as my intermediate codec.
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