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Old August 7th, 2007, 04:56 AM   #1
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What's a reasonable Mac/Config/App for this project?

Hello All,

I'm new to video, and I'd like to be able to shoot and edit some nice "interview" type footage and edit it in 1080x1920 HD video. I'd love to get footage that looked kind of like the "interview" footage contained in segments of the video at:

http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/action/?movie=red

[This reminds of crisp, warm footage in PBS documentaries where there's a narrow DOF focused on a well-lit scholar speaking in a darker, out of focus chapel.]

Anyway, I know that HD video is much more demanding on computer hardware. I'd like to be able to
* import video to the computer in real time or faster
* save to standard def for web / DVD applications
* create DVDs (eventually Blu-Ray or HD-DVDs???)
* edit sound / add soundtrack

Any thoughts on:
1) Macs that are up to the task (what's the most basic setup that will do the job well?);
2) Best / most intuitive yet powerful software for a newbie;
3) Tips on cameras that do/don't work well with Macs?

Many thanks,
-Hans.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #2
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Are we talking uncompressed HD, HDV, etc?

That will determine the level of machine you need.

On your individual needs:

* import video to the computer in real time or faster
---Most importing is real time, consumer to low end broadcast equipment can capture through firewire (built in to all mac systems). When you get into higher end formats you will be dealing with capture cards or breakout systems- additional purchases (HD-SDI).

* save to standard def for web / DVD applications
---Why shoot in HD if you're only going to down res? If you are buying a new camera, by all means, buy HD- SD is on the wane, but dont upgrade if you intend to downres. WMV, Quicktime, FLV- they all support 16x9 (HD) or 4:3(SD) frame orientations. FCP, Compressor, Motion, sorenson, etc all support export at the various sizes and orientations.

* create DVDs (eventually Blu-Ray or HD-DVDs???)
---Final Cut Studio includes DVD Studio Pro- does not currently support HD-DVD or BR. I think Adobe CS3 does......?

* edit sound / add soundtrack
---Many apps available for this- just be aware that many require outboard hardware. The big suites (Final Cut Studio, Adobe CS3) incorporate a sound editor, multitrack system. You'll probably want to go that route at this stage.



Any thoughts on:
1) Macs that are up to the task (what's the most basic setup that will do the job well?)
---Any MacBook Pro or Mac Pro will be fine. Dont skimp on RAM. The Black Macbook is a pretty capable machine as well......it's just a little soft on Motion capabilities.
2) Best / most intuitive yet powerful software for a newbie;
---The one you are willing to take a week or two and learn. They all have their quirks and strengths. Final Cut Studio is very powerful, I enjoy using it. The integration between the programs is wonderful. It can be a real PITA if the updates screw something up though.
3) Tips on cameras that do/don't work well with Macs?
---I have HEARD (this is heresay!) that the JVC HD-100 and 200 series can be real monsters with Final Cut Studio- lots of capture issues, etc. I have also HEARD that Canon cameras have some sync issues on long captures (greater than 30 minutes). Hopefully other users can chime in on this.


Hope this helps.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 08:31 PM   #3
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Kevin,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin James View Post
Are we talking uncompressed HD, HDV, etc?That will determine the level of machine you need.
I'd like to have that ability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin James View Post
Why shoot in HD if you're only going to down res? If you are buying a new camera, by all means, buy HD- SD is on the wane, but dont upgrade if you intend to downres. WMV, Quicktime, FLV- they all support 16x9 (HD) or 4:3(SD) frame orientations.
I will be buying my first camera, and I'd like to have the ability to display in HD resolutions but also to "downres" for other purposes. Is this a problem? Is it time consuming or problematic to downres? Alternatively, do HD cameras typically have the capacity to capture at SD resolution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin James View Post
Hope this helps.
Very much so! Thank you!

Best wishes,
-Hans.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #4
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Kevin,

What kind of mac system / configuration is required to record uncompressed 1920x1080 video (say from an HV20)? Can a Macbook Pro handle this? How many MB/min is used? (I'm assuming an external Firewire drive or the like would be necessary?)

Thanks,
-Hans.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #5
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Hans, HV20 would be HDV, in it's least compressed state a MBP should handle it no problem.
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