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Old October 6th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #1
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Mac Book or Mac Book Pro for XDCAM EX?

I have a shoot that will require me to be in Florida (one location) for ten days to two weeks. I'm trying to work out how I can download and view my daily footage at the condo I'll be renting. I definitely don't want to haul my Mac Pro! I've also spent a lot on equipment this year and don't want to drop three thou on a MBP!

Sony technical support said I could get away with a basic Mac Book instead of a Mac Book Pro. Now Apple tells me that Final Cut Studio won't work on the basic Mac Book.

All I want is the ability to use XDCAM File Transfer and watch my daily footage. I don't need to edit--I'll do that when I get home.

I wanted to upgrade my trusty 2004 G5 2X2G but I can't load the latest FC Studio on it because Apple restricts me to a laptop.

(BTW, I'll definitely wait until the 14th to see what's happening with the new Mac laptops.)

Any ideas?
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Old October 6th, 2008, 09:19 AM   #2
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FC Pro will run on a MacBook. Color and Motion will not run. MacBook does not have Express34 slot, but you could always transfer the cards via USB.

Whatever you do, wait until the rumored October 12 intro of new MacBooks. The rumor mill holds that Apple will go to an nVidia chipset which will result in better graphics performance. This might (and I say only "might") let FCS run on a MacBook.

Meanwhile, I would strongly recommend against running FCS on a MacBook and opt for MacBook Pro.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:13 AM   #3
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Definitely get the MBP, that way you can watch your footage at full resolution, and won't have to worry about skipping, etc. The macbook has many issues playing back HD video in real time because of the integrated graphics card. I know this because i have both computers.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:39 AM   #4
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Thanks very much for the replies, I'll go for the MBP and wait until the new releases.

I'm assuming I can use my Matrox MXO/23" Cinema Display combo with the MBP for HD monitoring?
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
download and view my daily footage
Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you're only going to be there for two weeks, you could try looking into rentals.

Additionally, if you're just looking to download and view the daily footage, and can wait until you get back to your Mac Pro to edit it, why not look into a PC laptop solution which'll probably be cheaper. You shouldn't need an NLE just to view the footage...
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Old October 7th, 2008, 01:50 AM   #6
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if you download it to a pc you can't transfer the files to your mac afterwards as they are wrapped in a different way on a pc.
I think final cut works fine on macbook. I think alistar chapman use this aproach to view his footage on the road
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Old October 7th, 2008, 05:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joachim Hoge View Post
if you download it to a pc you can't transfer the files to your mac afterwards as they are wrapped in a different way on a pc.
I think final cut works fine on macbook. I think alistar chapman use this aproach to view his footage on the road
well, that is not true.

you can offload a card to a pc notebook equipped with expresscard slot. then use a sony clip browser software to view footage (bpav folders) on a PC and than import it to mac using sony xdcam transfer application. straight off the PC using network connection.

we actually use such workflow, with minor difference, using a el cheapo notebook (in case it gets damaged - it would be a shame to brake a MB or MBP) with express card for temporary on location storage (combined with a secondary external disk for safety).

then back in the office, the original footage (bpav folders) are transfered to the raid 5 server (for safety). and the FCP imports them using sony software, rewrapping it to the movs.

as for using MacBook for FCS - I found in my case, that Motion is actually working with my MB (it is the one with X3100 thingy inside). no Color though. Of course this is more of the "just in case you really need it somewhere out there" case, but still.

what I'd say is really against using MB instead of MBP is the fact that using expresscard slot is so much faster than the USB cable, not mentioning that you don't need to connect the camera (so no interuption during the shoot) or extra card reader (I don't even know if there is such, I would only assume that there should be).
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Old October 7th, 2008, 05:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Adam Plywaczewski View Post
well, that is not true.

you can offload a card to a pc notebook equipped with expresscard slot. then use a sony clip browser software to view footage (bpav folders) on a PC and than import it to mac using sony xdcam transfer application. straight off the PC using network connection.

we actually use such workflow, with minor difference, using a el cheapo notebook (in case it gets damaged - it would be a shame to brake a MB or MBP) with express card for temporary on location storage (combined with a secondary external disk for safety).

then back in the office, the original footage (bpav folders) are transfered to the raid 5 server (for safety). and the FCP imports them using sony software, rewrapping it to the movs.

as for using MacBook for FCS - I found in my case, that Motion is actually working with my MB (it is the one with X3100 thingy inside). no Color though. Of course this is more of the "just in case you really need it somewhere out there" case, but still.

what I'd say is really against using MB instead of MBP is the fact that using expresscard slot is so much faster than the USB cable, not mentioning that you don't need to connect the camera (so no interuption during the shoot) or extra card reader (I don't even know if there is such, I would only assume that there should be).
Hi Adam.
Thanks for clearing that up, I was obviously wrong (which is good news to me)
I assumed he would view the clips in Premier or similar on the PC (as we have done in the past and not been able to transfer the files to Mac afterwards)
I have never thought of using just the transfer software and clip browser as we have always started to do some editing in the field.

Thanks for posting and showing me a new workflow as well. Great.

Joachim
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Old October 7th, 2008, 01:37 PM   #9
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I appreciate the feedback!

If I don't need to install Final Cut shouldn't it be possible for me just to use my 2004 PowerMac G5 (2X2G; 2G RAM) if I upgrade to Leopard and install the XDCAM File Transfer software? Again, all I want to do is look at my footage at the end of each day. I have 2 16G and 2 8G SXS cards which will be plenty for the day's filming. Will this setup allow me to view my footage on my 23" Cinema Display? I'll be using an external drive for backup.

Sorry to be so dense but I'm really not very computer-savy past basic editing. I've already invested mucho bucks on equipment this year and really need to cut corners where possible!

Thanks again for the help!
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Old October 7th, 2008, 02:37 PM   #10
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I think the xdcam transfer software is intel only. Means it won't run on your G5 I'm afraid
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Old November 25th, 2008, 11:53 AM   #11
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FCS2 on Macbook

Just want to clarify. I, at the moment, run a Macbook (integrated graphics card:() with 2gb of ram, it handles DV and HDV fine (bit longer render times for HDV tho), I'm working in Final Cut Pro v.5.1.4.

Want to make the upgrade to FCS2 but according the Apple website u need:

An AGP or PCI Express Quartz Extreme graphics card (Final Cut Studio is not compatible with integrated Intel graphics processors)

Now I thought this was just reffering to Motion and Color, and that Final Cut, LiveType would still run fine, am I correct in assuming this??

Or should I just cut my losses and wait to upgrade to new MacBook Pro or Mac Pro (which won't be anytime soon..haha).
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Old November 25th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #12
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Iīm pretty sure thatīs the case.
Final Cut 6 should run without problems on a MB.
Motion and Color probably wonīt.
But since itīs an integrated package, Apple have to state the minimum requirements of the whole package
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Old November 28th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #13
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I use a MacBook with FCS 6.0.4. I have 4Gb of ram which really helps things along. FCP, motion, compressor and DVD studio all work fine as do the various XDCAM tools. My Macbook has the integrated Intel GMA950 graphics card.

I like the portability of the MacBook. I do the majority of my editing on a MacPro, but I still use the MB for location edits and it works just fine.

I do also a have a cheap Vaio with an express card slot that I was using on location as a viewer and for transferring rushes from SxS cards to USB drives. However now I have a bigger stock of SxS cards and am using SD cards in the kensington adapter more and more I now find that I no longer need to transfer data in the field.
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