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Old October 26th, 2007, 02:03 PM   #1
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what advantages/disadvantages moving from mac(FC) to pc(sony vegas)

alright fellas, i really need your guidance.

i'm the only video producer/editor in the company. i edit on a beast of a machine: mac pro 2 x 2.66ghz dual-core intel Xeon; 5GB memory; NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT (would like to upgrade that), 3 internal hard drives = 1.5TB of space. suffice to say, it's good. =) i also have a mac book pro for when i have to edit out of the office. weird thing is, we have yet to upgrade from final cut express to final cut studio. hope to do that soon.

here's my problem; my boss is an idiot. he wants to try to fix something that isn't broken... he's thinking of switching all my equipment to PC and start using sony vegas, siting that he doesn't think that macs are compatible enough with the PCs(that aren't used for editing) in the office and would like to "standardize things"...

so my main query is... what kinda money would it cost to get a PC desktop and laptop with comparable power, RAM, graphics to the macs i have now, including software and any hardware you think is necessary, ie capture cards, sorenson squeeze, etc... also if there are any disadvantages/advantages you'd like to share, that'd be appreciative.

ps, i mainly edit SD footage shot with a HVR-Z1U. rarely do any HD, but every now and then an HD project will come up.

-sorry for the long post, bear with me, thanks in advance,

-edward
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Old October 26th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #2
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I can't really help you with your questions exept that you should just check the websites of some well respected computer shops where you can buy different components, and look at the specs of your mac, and see at which price you land if you put it together... non-Apple RAM is much cheaper than the RAM from Apple, but I've heard that their computers are actually pretty good price/quality in comparison with other PC vendors, if you want the same specs.

I would REALLY advice your boss not to fix anything that isn't broken, as you said it... Does he know you can run windows on a mac now too?
I've heard people using a mac in a network with connected PC's, and saying the mac recognised the PC without a problem...

And then you also should have to learn a new editing program...
And on a Mac, you most of the times, don't have much problems with drivers etcetera. There are much less things supported on a mac (min) but the things that ARE supported, should work pretty flawlessly without problems (plus).

I really think the 'windows on a mac' argument should be enough, but I don't know your boss, so I wish you the best.
Ow and if your boss wants to work with Vista... advice him not too, there are MANY bugs, and especially for video editing there are MANY reported problems, one of the biggest being that Vista uses soo much RAM memory, the programs and workprocess slow down.

I do think, by the way, that Premiere Pro, of all the editing program's for PC, has the least differences in comparison with Final Cut Pro, because they both originate from the same designer, and I've worked with both.
I prefer Final Cut Pro, although I work completely on Premiere Pro (don't have any money to upgrade to mac at this point), but both will do the job, in a pretty same-way. Only minor differences.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #3
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no problems with learning new apps, but timing isnt right...

one of the main reason i want to stay on the mac is because the machine has been good to me. also, if i convince my boss that we should stay with mac, it's almost certain that we would upgrade to FCS2; giving me a multitude of other apps to learn. i'd like to learn those before i have to start learning sony vegas. and, all those crashes that everyone talks about that happen in vegas makes me shudder. SCARY!

-edward
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Old October 26th, 2007, 08:22 PM   #4
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The smart thing to do - and one that would offer a "try it before you make the switch" compromise is to use Boot Camp, and install WinXP along with a copy of Vegas and then you'll have the best of both worlds, preventing having to purchase a completely different machine.

Suffice it to say, that FCP's capabilities outshine Vegas in every aspect however, Vegas is a very clean and easy-to-use interface with a fairly solid customer base. In fact, one of the other Panny consultants, Barry Green, is a big fan of Vegas and has many workflows he's created for P2HD around Vegas/Raylight etc.

While there's no such thing as the "best" machine or software because not everyone's needs or budget is the same, I can't for the life of me find any benefit to migrate away from a Mac-based platform. If you were starting out from scratch and were already PC-based, then Vegas would make more sense.

Personally, you'd be making a major step backwards by going the PC/Vegas route but, if the boss is the one paying for everything then ultimately it's his decision.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 10:04 PM   #5
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Fight this tooth and nail. I can understand not wanting to upgrade to a Mac, but Macs render MUCH faster than equivalent Windows programs. It has nothing to do with capabilities - I'm getting FCP on my brand-new mac I just bought for the pure speed of the thing.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 10:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
Personally, you'd be making a major step backwards by going the PC/Vegas route but, if the boss is the one paying for everything then ultimately it's his decision.
definitely he's the one paying the company bills, including all the broadcast equipment, but i want to make sure that by staying with the mac, i'd be saving him butt loads of money also since we have already bought the mac pro and mac book pro. i would think that a PC comparable to the mac pro would be an unwanted expense. evenso, if money were not a problem, i would still want to stay with a mac just because i'm familiar with it and still have a lot to learn in final cut.

-edward
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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:19 PM   #7
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FCP's capabilities outshine Vegas in every aspect ...
I'm a big big fan of FCP myself, its certainly my own NLE of choice, but this simply isn't true.
Vegas runs circles round FCP in audio handling, and hardly surprising considering that Vegas as a video editor evolved from its early beginnings as a DAW.
Vegas's ability to work with Sony's XDCAM devices is also far in advance of anything possible in FCP.

All that said and done, if I were you Edward, I would fight like hell to prevent this "standardization". FCP's audio handling is excellent (just not at the same level as Vegas) and you are not using XDCAM anyway (and FCP handles XDCAM perfectly well, just not as well as Vegas).

But don't take my word for it. Do as already suggested. Install Windows XP on your tower and laptop and install the freely available Vegas demo on both. Who knows, you might like it, and at the very least you get to keep the hardware you alreday have.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 03:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Edward Pahati View Post
definitely he's the one paying the company bills, including all the broadcast equipment, but i want to make sure that by staying with the mac, i'd be saving him butt loads of money also since we have already bought the mac pro and mac book pro. i would think that a PC comparable to the mac pro would be an unwanted expense. evenso, if money were not a problem, i would still want to stay with a mac just because i'm familiar with it and still have a lot to learn in final cut.

-edward
I think you may be forgetting that the Mac Pro and Macbook Pro you have already ARE the comparable PCs. Just run bootcamp and install Windows XP or Vista and there you have it. Same RAM, same processor, same video card, same interfaces. Why buy something new when what you have isn't broken?

If I were you I'd install Bootcamp, partition a drive, install Windows, download a trial of Vegas or Premiere Pro or whatever and then test the Windows workflow against the Mac workflow without spending any money (except for a license of Windows of course!)
Compare your downtime (including sorting out driver issues, patches, etc.), rendering time, cost of software, productivity, etc.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 05:15 PM   #9
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your boss does not give any opinion on the performance of your equipement. He is just telling that in a PC world , your mac is just a pain, and he his probably right.
if he choose a brand for all PCs, he probably need to standardize to get proper support, or even discount price.
Getting only one mac, needing everything special for it is a good reason for him to switch.
I got the same situation at my work, more than 600 PC and 1 mac.
and the girl is running stuff like macromedia products that are all available on PC with exactly same feature.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #10
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You'll have to weigh training cost in for him to get him to see the situation from something either than a mac/pc stance or a standardization stance. Lost productivity + training cost due to switching from a familiar platform to an unfamiliar one.

If you need to illuminate the situation for him, have him switch to appleworks on the mac and tell him it's just as good...technically, it'll fulfill all of the same requirements, but he's unfamiliar with it and it'll take 6 months to a year for the familiarity to get to the point where it's not losing money anymore.

Change is bad if your job is to produce rather than to create!

At HP.com, I'm already at 3K without adding firewire (cheap) or a service plan with same processors, 64bit OS, 1Tb HD, single 24" screen and only 4Gb RAM...haven't touched software replacement, backup incase of virii/worm infection, higher maintenance costs, training...run with it...

I am a mac user, but if you were on a PC, I'd be making the same argument...change is bad if you need to produce. If he's cool with you being down for half a year, tell him to go for it...how much revenue would he lose then?
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Old October 27th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #11
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To those that are saying don't switch, I would like to hear what FCP can do that Vegas or Premiere can't. We often hear people say that FCP is better, or Vegas is better, etc. But no one seems to say why it is so. I think it is pretty much what you are used to. I edited with Premiere for years, which, as I understand it is close to FC in design and layout. When I started using Vegas, my mind fought it. It was foreign. Finally, I decided to force myself to use it for two months, and now, I go to it first for anything. It seems to me if the company has 95% of its systems in Windows, the boss makes sense in wanting so. So what good reason, supported by evidence and fact, and not emotion, would there be against doing so.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 08:39 AM   #12
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To those that are saying don't switch, I would like to hear what FCP can do that Vegas or Premiere can't. We often hear people say that FCP is better, or Vegas is better, etc. But no one seems to say why it is so. I think it is pretty much what you are used to. I edited with Premiere for years, which, as I understand it is close to FC in design and layout. When I started using Vegas, my mind fought it. It was foreign. Finally, I decided to force myself to use it for two months, and now, I go to it first for anything. It seems to me if the company has 95% of its systems in Windows, the boss makes sense in wanting so. So what good reason, supported by evidence and fact, and not emotion, would there be against doing so.
Hi Chis,
ony very simple thing in FCP (don't know about Vegas) makes editing MUCH faster then editing in Premiere Pro, is that you can with one button, unlink all the audio and video on a timeline. With Premiere Pro you have to do it clip by clip, which is a real pain, and I REALLY don't get why Adobe still doesn't get this. Don't they try to edit with their own software to test? (And I'm a Premiere Pro user!).

Also (but I don't know how this stacks up in comparison with Premiere CS3, I have 2.0), FCP seems to have support for much more formats then Premiere.
And exporting seems to have much more options then in Premiere also.
I also noticed editing once with FCP, that it just went smoother and felt faster then with Premiere (pretty subjective, I know)
but the first thing I mentioned (the audio-video-timeline thing) is for me already alone a reason to upgrade to FCP, how stupid that may sound.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 02:12 PM   #13
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I'm not arguing not switching on a platform or software basis, I'm doing it on a lost productivity/wholesale change for the sake of change is bad in a production environment. I've installed the technology for wholesale changes and watched the productivity flounder...always based on bean-counting front end cost without ever considering the back-end impact on profits.

Platforms wars be damned, they drive administrators to change things that work for the sake of "saving money"...the ROI simply doesn't pay off in the first year...they'll end up spending more to replace the workstation due to the fact that they're only looking at the workstation cost, than if they had left the workflow in place that is currently producing results.

Not thinking through the consequences of these actions is common, but ends up being a bad business decision in the short to mid term while all of the staff tries to adapt to a seemingly arbitrary decision that doesn't factor in all of the issues.

A cheaper solution would be to send one of the PC techs (presumably, support is the main motivator for this move) to get apple certified to support the system and pro apps...it'll cost the same as replacing the machine alone, and won't need to pay for the retraining and software switchover + lost productivity in the short to mid term.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 04:10 PM   #14
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I'm not arguing not switching on a platform or software basis, I'm doing it on a lost productivity/wholesale change for the sake of change is bad in a production environment. I've installed the technology for wholesale changes and watched the productivity flounder...always based on bean-counting front end cost without ever considering the back-end impact on profits.

Platforms wars be damned, they drive administrators to change things that work for the sake of "saving money"...the ROI simply doesn't pay off in the first year...they'll end up spending more to replace the workstation due to the fact that they're only looking at the workstation cost, than if they had left the workflow in place that is currently producing results.

Not thinking through the consequences of these actions is common, but ends up being a bad business decision in the short to mid term while all of the staff tries to adapt to a seemingly arbitrary decision that doesn't factor in all of the issues.

A cheaper solution would be to send one of the PC techs (presumably, support is the main motivator for this move) to get apple certified to support the system and pro apps...it'll cost the same as replacing the machine alone, and won't need to pay for the retraining and software switchover + lost productivity in the short to mid term.
i totally agree with Cole. in a production setting, the production itself will suffer in the first few months of a switch in platforms, and that's not acceptable, to me or my boss (i would think). the worst part for me is that the production falls solely on myself. when i first started this job in may, i had a couple weeks to get familiar with macs as i have never used one before and i would say that not until august that i was totally comfortable with final cut. and believe me, i still go back and take a look at my work in the first two months, and it was really bad.

i assume it would take a few months, at least, to get familiar with vegas. you might even say that it might be a little bit more difficult. when i was training with final cut, i had so many resources such as forums, my brother (who uses final cut), workshops, and online tutorials like lynda.com. i still go back to online tutorials for reference, but i don't see many resources for vegas pro 8 training. on lynda.com, i only see vegas 7 training, but they have already came out with numerous final cut 6 tutorials.

that's just my observation so far.

btw, all the info and input so far has really helped. there are a number of ways i can attack this now. keep it coming, i can never have too much information. thanks.

-edward
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Old October 28th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #15
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I'm a long time Vegas user, and have now added FCP to my set of tools to enable more coorperative work (and I like OS X FAR better than Windows).

While I have had to get used to FCP (or rather I am in the process of getting used to it) I think that both have their advantages and drawbacks. That might sound like a cop out, but it depends what you want from an Editor.

Actually I have always called Vegas FCP for the PC.

Using the two programs, both seem to have some simularities, such as the way one action can be performed a variety of different ways.

Regarding the splitting and independent adjusting of Video and audio, yes, Vegas can do this very easily. In fact until I found out how to do it, I thought FCP lacked this ability! But using both, they are similar in this regard.

Vegas doesn't work with a source/record style of editing. If you have used FCP a lot, Editing with Vegas is like editing with FCP if you drag clips to the timeline and adjust in and out point by dragging the beginning and end of the clips (holding down certain keys allows fine adjustments in Vegas to assist with this style of editing). Tools such as slip, roll etc all work in a similar way to FCP, but they are called by different names.

Why not just dual boot the Mac with Vegas in Windows when needed? That's exactly what I'll be doing once all the issues with Leopard are sorted out.

What Vegas lacks is other toolsets such as Color (although the latest version of Vegas works with 32-bit colour), Motion etc.

Vegas will take some getting used to if you are using the 3-point editing style though.
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