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Old February 14th, 2008, 02:28 PM   #1
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Thinking of going Mac / FCP

Yes im looking at a mac setup an would like some info from users here before i make my decision.
Is an IMac good enough?
Is a Mac pro better?
Is there any hardware that i should need extra for both?

Which version of FCP? 5,6,or studio.
Studio in Sydney is $1600 thats outragous.

I have been using Vegas for the last couple years
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Old February 14th, 2008, 02:52 PM   #2
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Simon,

> Is an IMac good enough?

Yes.

> Is a Mac pro better?

Yes.

> Is there any hardware that i should need extra for both?

A second hard drive, large and fast, as a scratchdisk for capture and render files. On the MacPro, this can be an internal drive, while with the iMac, obviously an external drive is needed - FireWire is the obvious choice.

What you need depends a lot on what you plan to do. Uncompressed HD? Forget the iMac. MultiCam editing with lots of angles? That hard drive needs to be a lot faster all of a sudden. For standard DV and HDV, the current iMacs are great machines, though.

> Studio in Sydney is $1600 thats outragous.

Not sure what to tell you. It's not exactly cheap software in the US either. Only you can tell if it's worth it. An alternative may be the Adobe Production Suite (Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, etc.). I have Final Cut Studio, and I love it.

- Martin
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Old February 14th, 2008, 03:21 PM   #3
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By uncompressed Hd, do you mean the Appel Intermediate?
Does an Imac function better with native HDV or AIC?
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Old February 14th, 2008, 03:31 PM   #4
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Do a search in this furom and you'll find more specific info on iMac and Mac Pro set ups. But the short answers to you questions are...

1) The top of the line iMac is good enough for low-level HD as long as you have some sort of external video drive configuration. I have a friend in Melbourne who makes a living doing commercials on one.
2) Mac Pro is a better machine and a better investment for the long term.
3) I recommend getting as much RAM as you can afford (but don't buy it from Apple.) Otherwise, the Apple Tech Specs Page is pretty concise: http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/...pro/specs.html

Vegas is a pretty good editor, what's turning you off it?
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Old February 14th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #5
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Whats putting me off,
I'm getting a bit frustrated with color correction and i'm thinking that maybe FCP will do a better job, and also it seems the grass is always greener on the otherside?
Vegas is a great editor but why with everyone i speak to they say that FCP is better. what am i missing? or are all theses NLE the same but with slight changes in what they can do.
At the end of the day i need to capture, edit,CC, compress to mpeg or whatever. I'm still wondering whether FCP is better at doing this or am i living in a dream world thinking that if i dont have FCP i wont be proffesional? Vegas has all the things that i need but is the next step FCP.
This is what im wondering.

Phew
Cheers
Simon
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Old February 14th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #6
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Same problem

I am actually faced with the same problem.
I will be upgrading from an ibook G4, and will be pursuing filming/editing full time. I'm currently working in imovie, and want to learn the best possible program so I can be versatile and well.... professional.
Most of the things in this discussion are way over my head.

I am curious as to why FCP is better than Vegas, or for that matter any other program?
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Last edited by Mary Angelini; February 14th, 2008 at 04:52 PM. Reason: I though tit was posted in July not today.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:02 AM   #7
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Mary:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Angelini View Post
I am curious as to why FCP is better than Vegas, or for that matter any other program?
Hard to say - I don't believe there is a clear winner that beats the other in every category. Fact is, though, that they both have a happy and productive user community, and that good video is produced every day with either one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Angelini View Post
I [...] will be pursuing filming/editing full time. I'm currently working in imovie, and want to learn the best possible program so I can be versatile and well.... professional.
If you want to join the professional film editors, then maybe Avid is worth a look. I have no experience with it myself - can't afford it - but apparently it's the tool of choice for the highest-end edit suites. So with regard to your career options, Avid training may be a good investment. On the other hand, if you are going to run your own projects more or less independently (as opposed to being employed as an editor), both Vegas and Final Cut will allow you to achieve professional results.

- Martin
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Old February 15th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
Studio in Sydney is $1600 thats outragous.
I'm surprised anyone would think the price of Final Cut Studio is "outragous"... Honestly, I know we all want cheap or free stuff, but there is no need to be stupid. I applaud Apple for what I consider to be very reasonable pricing for that software-package, would you prefer having to buy comparable software in the "pre-FCP" era? THAT was outrageous..
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Old February 15th, 2008, 02:35 PM   #9
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Simon, if one of your main reasons for moving to FCS is enhanced color correction, you may want to specifically look at the Tech Specs that are specific to Color. Color is a strange beast, as I'll explain. I would consider it a version 1 software. It will just get better with subsequent releases, but it will still require a ton of power, both in RAM and especially in your graphics card:

http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/color/specs.html

Just to put your $1600 investment in perspective, the application Color was called Final Touch and made by a company called Silicon Color before Apple purchased it in 2006.

Final Touch was essentially a software DaVinci color grading system. Since DaVincis have dedicated hardware and control surfaces, and can easily run into a quarter of a million dollars, Final Touch's pricing was very reasonable: $1,000 for standard-def only, $5,000 for HD and $25,000 for 2K. Twenty five thousand dollars.

Now it comes bundled with Final Cut Studio. No extra charge.

These days, you can edit and professionally color grade a huge variety of SD and HD content in a variety of codecs, and even up to 4K if you use the Red camera. Plus, in addition to Color, you get a world-class editing system (FCP), a title app that used to cost hundreds (LiveType), an surround sound audio app that is very versatile (Soundtrack Pro), a motion graphics powerhouse (Motion), a full-featured compression tool (Compressor), and a world-class DVD authoring tool (DVDSP).

I hardly think Final Cut Studio is overpriced.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 02:46 PM   #10
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Mary, if most of this conversation goes over your head (your words), you may find that the whole Final Cut Studio is overkill. You can see in what I said comes with the Studio package why people might compare it very favorably to Sony's Vegas bundles. Final Cut Studio is a very complete package of high-end tools.

I wouldn't even consider trying to move from iMovie to Avid, even if your main desire is "to be professional". Yes, many, many pros use Avid. But many other pros use Final Cut, and the list is growing all the time.

If I were you, I'd dip my toes into the Final Cut waters with Final Cut Express. The interface is practically identical to Final Cut Pro, so anything you learn in Express will transfer pretty seamlessly. And unless you plan on working in some very high-end, pro HD formats, Final Cut Express will allow you to do practically anything that Final Cut Pro can do. At your level of experience, I doubt you'd notice you're missing anything.

And, for $200, you're not even taking much of a risk by trying it out:

http://www.apple.com/finalcutexpress/
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Old February 15th, 2008, 02:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Pauly View Post
If you want to join the professional film editors, then maybe Avid is worth a look. I have no experience with it myself - can't afford it - but apparently it's the tool of choice for the highest-end edit suites. So with regard to your career options, Avid training may be a good investment. On the other hand, if you are going to run your own projects more or less independently (as opposed to being employed as an editor), both Vegas and Final Cut will allow you to achieve professional results.

- Martin
Actually, Avid is no longer the "only" choice for professional film editors. Oscar-winning editor Walter Murch cut Francis Ford Coppola's last film, Youth Without Youth entirely in Final Cut Pro, and if I'm not mistaken he cut Cold Mountain with it as well.

As far as other comments about FCP being "outrageously" priced, well, it's not. If you look at older and less-robust editing systems you'd see them costing $10,000 - $25,000. By these standards, FCP is a bargain. I have found it to be worth every penny and then some!
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Old February 15th, 2008, 04:29 PM   #12
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Lots of great information! you guys sure do know a lot.
Some of the terminology I am unaware of, that is what I was referring to as going over my head.
Is there a resource or place I can find basic terminology, definitions, ect.?

I do appreciate the input; I think I will start with FCE and work my way up.
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Last edited by Mary Angelini; February 15th, 2008 at 04:30 PM. Reason: cant spell
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Old February 15th, 2008, 05:19 PM   #13
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Thanks guys for all your input.
Yeah i know $1600 is not much but when i bundle that with a mac pro etc its starting to get beyond my back pocket.

Cheers
Simon
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Old February 15th, 2008, 09:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
Thanks guys for all your input.
Yeah i know $1600 is not much but when i bundle that with a mac pro etc its starting to get beyond my back pocket.
This industry isn't cheap, not by a long shot. The right tools are more expensive than your average Jane/Joe can afford, but that's because they are not for your average Jane/Joe. Pro tools never come at consumer prices (and beware the marketing term "prosumer", it's usually a bunch of B.S.)

I'm looking to upgrade my dinosaur DV suite -- a Dual-G4 PowerMac with FCS1 -- in order to do (true) HD editing. Minus a calibrated broadcast monitor, I am looking at ~$10,000 CAN for the set-up I am looking at. I'm unemployed -- or should I say, under self-employed ;-}p -- so it's going to be a long time before I can do that (my plan is to work it into my film's budget, but funding is taking a while to secure).

So, I feel your pain, but truth is, when talking dollar:power, things are better now than five years ago.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
Thanks guys for all your input.
Yeah i know $1600 is not much but when i bundle that with a mac pro etc its starting to get beyond my back pocket.

Cheers
Simon

Simon, I'm not sure what your budget is but you may want to check out the package that Videocraft (Sydney & Melbourne) have on offer. I was thinking about getting it late last year but opted instead to buy a new high end mountain bike.(BTW, I don't work for them but found the package to be reasonably priced).

Last edited by Andrew Farrell; February 17th, 2008 at 11:51 PM. Reason: spelling
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