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Old July 24th, 2009, 08:34 PM   #1
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Mac for FCP editing 5DM2 1080p

I'm looking to get a new Mac for editing Canon 5D Mark II 1080p footage smoothly with or without using ProRes. I was looking at this:

Apple | 24" iMac Desktop Computer (Early 2009) | MB418LL/A

My budget is $1500 max but would love to know if I can get something for cheaper.

I wanted to get an iMac because I have another monitor that I can use as a dual monitor setup and get an external hard drive connected by Firewire 800. Plus it would take up less space since I already have a big PC tower.

Would this setup be good? Or should I get something else, like a used Mac Pro and get another external monitor?
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Old July 25th, 2009, 10:56 AM   #2
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Video files from the Canon are not high-bitrate nor high-quality color requiring lots of processing power. You'll be fine with any Mac you choose, even a MacBook Pro will handle it fine. Pick whichever fits your budget.

Cheaper than your first choice? A PC.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 12:56 PM   #3
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The 5d bit-rate is pretty big compared to other prosumer cameras. Around 30-40 mbps. HDV is 25mbps and the Lumix comes in at only 17. A macbook pro will handle the files fine, but something more powerful obviously means shorter render times. Don't go the PC route though... The support isn't the greatest for the 5D.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #4
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5D native footage barely plays smoothly on my 17" HD MBP (2.5Ghz core 2 duo), and is hard to work with in FCP. Once converted to ProRes it's no problem to edit or view at full quality... I would expect similar results on the iMac. The conversion process runs 2-3x real time though, so depending on the type of work you do that could be a concern.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 04:02 PM   #5
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If all you want to do is video for web or maybe DVD's, an Imac would be fine. You can play the mkII files fine on it or a MacBookPro.

But if you are planning on doing anything for broadcast, you would probably want to go with a MacPro (I know it is over your budget), because you really need better monitoring, to do accurate grading. This can be done with an AJA or Matrox interface (and a few others), fast drives (RAID level 5) also really help.

I am not trying to discourage you, but a real editing suite still runs in the tens of thousands by the time you are all set up.
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Old July 29th, 2009, 01:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Evan Donn View Post
5D native footage barely plays smoothly on my 17" HD MBP (2.5Ghz core 2 duo), and is hard to work with in FCP. Once converted to ProRes it's no problem to edit or view at full quality... I would expect similar results on the iMac. The conversion process runs 2-3x real time though, so depending on the type of work you do that could be a concern.
5D native footage plays perfectly smoothly on my MBP which is a 2.6GHz C2D. I can't believe that that extra 0.1GHz helps much but I do have a 7200rpm hard disk. Perhaps that is the difference?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:03 AM   #7
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Mac Pro vs. MacBook Pro

This is the kind of thread and information I've been looking for. I'm trying to decide where to go with my very first Mac purchase, Mac Pro or MacBook Pro.

I'm not doing any video, right now, for broadcast, only my own personal home videos and dvd creative creations. I might soon help out a friend who is a wedding photographer, and try to do some experiments with shooting video for some weddings to maybe add to his list of services one day. So it would be for web and dvd there.

So with that being said I keep jumping back and forth on which one of these Macs I want for my first machine. Laptop or Workstation. I plan to buy the newest technology on either, with a min of 8GB of RAM and like Nigel, a 7200 RPM HDD.

So it sounds like a MBP would serve me fine for what I want to do with my 5DMKII footage?
I had started lean towards the Mac Pro a day ago, but now, the more I hear working with a MBP and 5DMKII files is smooth, I am leaning back towards the MBP. I will get an external monitor for either choice; 24" LED or 30" LCD.

Another question is should I spend $1000 more and upgrade from 4GB RAM to 8GB RAM?

Again, not a broadcast video guy at this moment in time.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:29 AM   #8
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The Mac Pro & MBP are two very different beasts. I happen to own both a 17" MBP & a 8-core Mac Pro 2008 & would find it difficult to decide between them if I could only choose one. On balance if pushed it would have to be the MBP. I have lugged around a variety of good business quality Windows laptops over the past 15 years & none of them comes near to my MBP in terms of usability, reliability or just plain ease of use. Shut the lid & it switches goes to sleep. Open the lid & it wakes up - instantly. Battery life is great. The screen is beautiful. Using the trackpad with mult-finger gestures is super intuitive. I think that it's the single nicest piece of computer equipment that I have ever owned. Stating the obvious it is portable so you can look at the rushes when out on a shoot.

I think that you were involved in a discussion of Hackintosh on another thread & while one can create a pretty decent budget fake desktop/deskside Mac it is impossible to find a non-Apple laptop that will work like a MacBook Pro. So if I were only allowed one genuine Mac I would take the MBP & build a Hackintosh to use until I could afford a Mac Pro.

BTW I love my Mac Pro too & am glad that I don't have to give it up. It is beautifully engineered & a bargain for a dual-Xeon workstation. If you need something of this power for video editing then there is nothing better.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:35 AM   #9
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Thanks Nigel

I plan to own both as well and will one day, so let me ask you this instead, if you were going to buy only ONE right now, as your first choice, which would you go with the Mac Pro or MBP? (Knowing you'll get the other one later.)

I have a feeling a MBP is the answer...and one I've felt all along for a while but haven't had any real discussions with anyone yet. Till now.

I think buying the MBP makes sense for the reasons you've stated, and I can do all the work I plan on it. On down the line, if my video work is becoming more and more intense, the Mac Pro will be purchased to help with that. I think you've helped me make my decision.

Now the question is on RAM of the MBP. Do I need to spend an extra $1000 on 8GB of RAM or will 4GB be good for what I'm going to do with it?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:30 AM   #10
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A laptop is convenient as your personal computer that you can carry around with you everywhere that you need it & using it for general purpose computing. If you want a dedicated video edit station then the Mac Pro with a couple of screens is great. My wife does most of our editing in FCP & she uses a 30" HP LP3065 & a couple of 24" HP LP2465 screens. You can have too much screen real estate so I prefer the 17" 1920x1200 MBP.

You can never have too much RAM but until the latest 17" model you couldn't even put 8GB into a MBP. The maximum RAM for the MBP model I have is 4GB as it is for most other MBP users. 4GB is fine.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 02:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher McCord View Post
Now the question is on RAM of the MBP. Do I need to spend an extra $1000 on 8GB of RAM or will 4GB be good for what I'm going to do with it?
The more RAM the better...most of the time.

A suggestion would be to try this store for your RAM needs: Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro DDR3 Memory Upgrades and Hard Drive Upgrades - Up to 8.0GB of DDR3 and 500GB SATA Hard Drives for new Unibody models

I bought memory from them just recently for my 2009 MacPro; and they'll even give you money/rebate for your original memory.

Apple seems to charge a bit much for RAM...just my view on it. Whatever route you go, have fun with it!!
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