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Old September 9th, 2007, 07:29 PM   #1
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MacBook Pro vs. MacPro vs. IMac

I've never owned a Mac before, but am considering switching. If I want to edit documentary style stuff in HD on FCP, which would you recommend? I don't think I'll ever delve into any sort of 3D animation or heavy graphical stuff if that helps.
Thanks for any advice.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 07:52 PM   #2
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All of them work fine for HDV work.

But if you want to work with uncompressed HD I'd go with the Mac Pro. Also the MacPro gives you the most upgrade and customization options. So you could buy a modest MacPro and upgrade to it as you need.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #3
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Mac Pro

I agree with Theodore, having just made this decision myself. If portability is a concern, than a laptop is the way to go. I don't do a lot of editing on the road, so the expandability offered by the MacPro tipped the scales in favor of a tower. A few tips, that you can find in other threads here:

Buy memory and hard drive upgrades elsewhere. Apple overcharges. Crucial and Other World Computing sell RAM and drives at a great savings. I configured my MacPro with 1 gig of RAM and only 1 HD. I'll add the rest myself and save the money. Although I did not research this in depth, I think the same pertains to their RAID card; overpriced. Get an education discount if you can.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 08:34 AM   #4
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clarification

I'm not sure I quite understand the difference in working with HDV vs. working with "uncompressed HD".

I'm using a Sony FX-7 shooting at 1080i. What constitutes "uncompressed HD"?
Maybe I need to visit a new thread to understand this more since I've never edited anything in HD. Sorry for the newbie questions.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 09:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Donovan View Post
I'm not sure I quite understand the difference in working with HDV vs. working with "uncompressed HD".

I'm using a Sony FX-7 shooting at 1080i. What constitutes "uncompressed HD"?
Your FX-7 writes the 1080i video (and audio) to tape in HDV format, which uses compression in order to fit the huge amount of information on the available space on the tape. When you transfer the video into your computer (using FireWire), this same HDV format is used. The compression used by HDV is MPEG-2, not unlike what video DVDs use, which helps keep the requirements for bandwidth and storage space low. Unfortunately, it also means that the quality goes down, because this type of compression leaves visible artifacts behind.

"Uncompressed" means that you use a video capture card connected to your camera (for example, connected to the component out) instead of recording to tape and capture via FireWire, and that all images are stores on the computer's hard drive without any compression. This brings way more data for the same images into the computer, but gives you superior image quality. This is especially helpful if you plan to pull a key (green screen or blue screen) on the images, because the compression artifacts can be quite nasty there. The downside is the added expense for the capture card, and of course the fact that you'll have to have the computer connected to the camera as you record - HDV tape isn't any good for uncompressed recording.

Hope this explained it!

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