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Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE

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Old January 25th, 2005, 09:01 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Australia
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Help, going Apple?

This thread was taken from a HD Cinema Camera thread in Alternative imaging, and was about going to a Mac for our new Cinema Camera Standard. The new standard is really different from anything here so I will repost back there where people know about it. As this thread has been put in a more general forum and blown out with messages not to do with Cinema Camera MAC stuff, we might as well just open it to general PC->Mac information for everybody.

For those interested in the Cinema Camera standard we are developing, it is a cheap put together system for Cinema filming using high quality uncompressed/lossless, or visually lossless 4:4:4/Bayer 8-12bit+ HD/SHD. At the moment the PC is being used for convience and price as the basis of the camera, with seperate editing computer (though it would be possible tou use the camera for this). It requires new workflow (we can approximately do this on the PC at the moment) and capture software for the new format. The capture is through machine vision cameralnk standard based cards and Gige/USB2. Data rates start around 22.5MB's uncompressed single chip Bayer 720p 24fps (of which there are ATA Harddrives for the PC that will do over 50MB's sustained). Capture software is being custom written on the PC camera, Linux and Mac may follow.

My technical thread has links to most of the threads, except the newer Drake thread (a production camera based around our principles).
Wayne Morellini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2005, 09:51 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
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There's always the new Mac Mini for $500.

You could run FCP on that, albeit not very fast (compared to a dual G5), but it'll run.

The $600 model with the 1.42Ghz G4 should actually be pretty respectable in performance, meaning it can do some nice stuff with SD footage, like editing and captureing a single stream of 8-bit uncompressed off of a Firewire400 drive.

Also I would expect SheerVideo and/or DVCProHD to run very nicely on that system too since I can do it on my Powerbook, and that's only a 1.33Ghz G4 (minimum specs for DVCProHD is 1Ghz G4).

Of course the other good bet is to get a refurbished G5. You can get pretty decent prices on those ($1200 or more for a fairly decent model), and that can do Sheer, DVCProHD, etc.
Jason Rodriguez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2005, 11:30 AM   #3
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Of the brand new G5 power macs, what would you say is the least you could spend on one and still have a healthy, smooth, sane editing experience in HDV? (for a longform project without a lot of special effects)
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Old January 25th, 2005, 01:19 PM   #4
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What do you mean by RAW? Do you mean uncompressed?

If so, then you're talking about some serious bandwidth, much more than anything the M&M (Mac Mini) could give you over it's firewire400 ports.

Editing DVCProHD is fine if that's all you have money for. It's cheap, and while it is more compressed that I would like, it does work pretty good for professional purposes. In otherwords, this isn't HDV, DVCProHD is considered a "pro" compression format, and there is quite a bit you can do with it (at least for aquisition on the Varicam).

For an interesting example of DVCProHD, go over to and scroll down to the DVCProHD section and view the clip. As you can see, while it's not uncompressed, it's not that bad either, and definitely passable for professional use.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 03:13 AM   #5
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Wayne: I've split this thread of from the big other thread. No need
to discuss it there.

Rob Lohman,
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Old January 26th, 2005, 07:37 PM   #6
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Wayne, I'm sorry but I am at a complete loss trying to figure out what it is you want to know? Do you want to buy a Mac? Cool. Which one do you want? (there are about 20 models) You don't know which? What do you edit? What's your budget? The words Uncompressed HD.
And "cheap" do not even belong in the same paragraph. Buy the biggest baddest Dual Processor Macintosh you can possibly afford. This will give you the longest life out of your system. The computer isn't really the expensive part though. It's the massive amounts of high speed storage you're gonna need to handle the data. An Xserve RAID with dual 2Gig Fibre Channel and a couple of terabytes of storage. (UNcompressed HD starts somewhere in the neighborhood of 100-150MBps, DV is 3.6MBps)

I would recommend visiting the Apple web site and browsing the FCP section. They have tons of information and even have videos to walk you through the features and setups.

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