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Old May 5th, 2005, 08:08 PM   #16
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If you're worried about the relative cost of Macs versus PCs, you'd better think carefully about your plans to buy the Panasonic HVX200 camera! To do any effective event work with it you'll need at least $15,000 or so to get started: $6000 for the camera plus $5000 for three P2 memory cards plus $1800 for a one-hour offloading device, plus some way to archive all your data from there to hard drives or DVCProHD tapes. This camera is going to be far more expensive to operate than the initial price might lead people to believe.

That said, it's a tough call how to proceed in your situation. I'd guess that many people buying the HVX200 will end up editing the footage in FCP5 on Macs, but that would be a big investment to make before you see for sure how things shape up later this year. So you could just buy Avid now for the $350 price you quoted and play around with it in DV mode for a few months, by which time you could probably save that much or more on the price of a new computer at future prices. With all the turmoil going on in the video industry, it's best not to spend any more money than you have to ahead of time.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 11:10 PM   #17
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Kevin,

Thanks for the suggestions.

Sorry, but I disagree. Attempting to minimize cost at every opportunity is just good business. So my desire to obtain the best bang for the buck with an editing system is unrelated to the cost of cameras. If a PC can provide the same capability/performance of a Mac at a savings of $1,000 or more, then it deserves serious consideration. Unlike many, I am NOT religious about either PCs or Macs. I have used both extensively. I'm for using the most cost-effective tool.

Second, I never said I planned on buying the HVX200. In fact, I plan on renting it. Or perhaps I'll be part of a production that provides it. Any projection of HVX200 workflow costs is pure speculation at this point, since the camera is not even shipping yet. Who knows what the price of P2 cards will be then, and what other options may exist like firestore.

At the same time I realize that the cost of using a camera in the class of a HVX200 will not be cheap. Therefore, I am even more motivated to minimize my other costs.

Contrary to your remark, I AM thinking carefully even before I started this thread. That's why I'm exploring all options at this point before I commit myself to becoming very proficient at using a specific NLE.

Best Regards,
Pete
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Old May 5th, 2005, 11:38 PM   #18
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Pete: I'd pretty much agree with everything you just said, so if saving money at every opportunity is your goal then clearly Avid is the most affordable purchase to make for now. As far as "bang for the buck" is concerned, I'd say a dual 3.4 GHz Xeon system should be a match in terms of performance to the latest high-end Mac G5, depending on exactly what you're doing. All else being equal you'll generally get a better deal with more options on the PC platform, but for DVCProHD editing you'll probably find better support on the Mac platform. Maybe that will change by the time the new Panny camera ships...
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Old May 12th, 2005, 11:35 PM   #19
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I know this thread is old but that Mac price is off. A brand new G5 2.5Ghz is 2999 so a refurb would be much less unless specially configed.

Dual 2Ghz PCI-X Powermacs have been sold in some edu channels for $1700.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 01:16 AM   #20
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Planning on doing SD (NTSC Composite of Component - 4:2:2) you'll need a digitizing card AND a fairly fast SCSI array (and card) for FCP or AVID systems, single hardrives internal or external won't cut it. A UVW-1800 BetaSP or similar deck for SD, a DSR-11 or equivalent for DVCAM/miniDV (4:1:1) using a HDVcamera for digitizing [either way] or any other camera for that matter, is NOT a good idea -- don't forget a GOOD video monitor 4x3, preferrably with a blue gun phase adjustment feature ... When you get to HDV editing (4:2:0) your going to need another video monitor 16x9, probably a stand alone HDV deck, if your serious about the business side

A few companies out there are using FW800 arrays for 8bit SD, most with very good success... lot cheaper...

overall, if your serious about the business end, you can easily add another 10 Grand to either FCP or AVID system -- don't forget to upgrade from the FCP Education package to the FULL release package.

As for which OS package, a no brainer at this end -- my Dual G5 hasn't crashed in over a year, running OS10.3.9 QT6.5.2 FCP4.5. Not sure how the PC's are doing these day's, nor do I plan on finding out.

Good Luck in your endeavour...

David Healy
Reno-Tahoe and Las Vegas
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Old May 14th, 2005, 06:57 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrison Murchison
A brand new G5 2.5Ghz is 2999 so a refurb would be much less unless specially configed
Actually the dual 2.5 can be had for about $2,700 new - if you can still find one. It's been replaced with the dual 2.7 which is $3,000. At the Apple Store you can buy a certified refurb'ed dual 2.5 for $2,300.

However if you re-read Pete's original post he says that the $3,000 price estimate includes additional RAM and a second internal drive, and that number was probably about right when he did the estimate. Today you could pick up the same system for about $200 or $300 less though.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 11:28 PM   #22
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If you are eligible for education rate on software then you are definitely eligible for educational rate on the computer.
I work as a media intern at a large high school/college that invests heavily in Apple gear (Xserv on the way for use as a XSAN) and I can assure you and everyone ells reading that you are totally legitimate to purchase at the educational rate.
When the time comes for you to start working commercially you can upgrade from the ed version of software to the normal one at a vary nice price that still keeps you below the price of the standard licensed software bundle.
I have worked on both high end Avid systems and FCP systems. I personally give preference to FCP although you need to know both to make it.
Apple also have killer service.
We are in the process of creating a 99% Mac interface (1% goes to the to the Video Toaster 2 used for live mixing) and Apple have bean nothing but great in helping us out with this project along with all the others we have had assistance from them on in the past.
Try and get Dell 9or any pc company) and Avid to cooperate to this extent and deliver the same degree of service.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 11:51 PM   #23
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I never have used avid but i use and love FCP. IMHOP you don't need to buy top of the line mac or pc (which ever you decide). I've used a laptop, G4, and G5. Most of the time processing power is not used. When I render I go to bed, take a walk, or eat a meal. Creativity, skill and experience are far more important than fast machine. Low end G5 or amd64 should do you just fine. Spend the money on a dual monitor or a second system so you work on multiple projects at the same time. Render on one while working on the other.

Oh one other thing line up work before blowing your wad on top of the line equipment. Otherwise you'll be in a world of hurt. Trust me the real world isn't predictable as school. Always better to have cash in the bank.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 06:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Ratson
When the time comes for you to start working commercially you can upgrade from the ed version of software to the normal one at a vary nice price that still keeps you below the price of the standard licensed software bundle
I thought it was worth revisiting this issue because it's being hotly discussed in Apple's own forums. When people call various places at Apple or ask at different stores they get conflicting answers. But Apple has recently clarified the issue on their website. Evidently the educational versions are "dead ends" which has frustrated a number of people. If you're a student graduating before long then it's best to look into this personally before buying an educational version because they are no longer eligible for upgrade:

http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/topquestions.html

Quote:
Educational and Not-for-resale (NFR) versions do not qualify for upgrades.
Although some people at Apple have been saying this for awhile, users discovered that the FCP 4.5 upgrade would install over FCP 4 academic without problem. However this is no longer the case with FCP 5 according to reports on Apple's forum. Several people say the FCP 5 upgrade won't install over FCP 4 academic.

Caveat emptor!...
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:58 PM   #25
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I am using AVID Pro HD on Dual Opteron 252's on an nForce 4 motherboard.

The main reason I won't likely use Mac's is simply a matter fo being too damned expensive and the cost of ownership greatly exceeds an x86 based system.

Yes if you go out and configure them, a base AMD Opteron dual system costs close to the same as a G5.

However, I can upgrade the AMD far cheaper. Currently i am looking at the new Dual Core CPU's. On the AMD, I only have the additional cost of 2 dual core CPU's. To upgrade the G5 when dual cores come to the Apple market, I have to incur the cost of an entire new system, at a cost of what? 4-5k for a dual core box?? it's 3k for a pair of single core CPU's. Dual core is easily going to cost 4-5k.

with Opteron's I can get the latest dual core chips, top of the line for 1300.00 each and plug them into my current system.

Avid supports pretty much the same functions as FCP, including multicamera editing, and HDV is coming in an upgrade. So no big deal there.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 08:21 PM   #26
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Avid Educational Version is Upgradeable to Comm. Ver.

According to JourneyEd.com, a well-known academic online reseller, Avid "Educational products are upgradeable to commercial versions."

So there's another advantage of Avid over FCP.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 01:48 AM   #27
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This thread compares Avid on a PC vs. FCP on a Mac in terms of price, but my decision on an editing platform was influenced more by the OS than the price. I don't like that Macs are more expensive than comparable Windows machines, but I pay the difference because I am so much more productive on Mac OS than on Windows. Before OS X I edited on Windows, but I switched to Mac 10.2 because I found Apple's claims about better stability and ease of use finally came true. My productivity has only increased with 10.4 (I actually use Spotlight and Automator regularly), and there's no way I would switch back to Windows for NLE. I don't hate it, and I still use my old PC sometimes - I just do much better on Mac OS. I believe the current version of Xpress Pro HD runs only on Windows XP so that's something to consider in addition to price and the specific NLE.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 02:33 AM   #28
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Several people have claimed that the Mac is more stable than Windows. The only thing I can think of that would support this is if they were running some version of Windows 9x (95, 98, ME).

I have been running Windows 2000 Pro and Windows XP Pro since 2000, and have NEVER had an OS crash, lockup, or blue-screen. On the other hand, I have personally observed an eMac, G4, and G5 completely lock up and require a cold power off to recover. The G5 was a brand new machine only about 3 weeks old.

I have used both Macs and Windows machines. In fact my primary computer was a Mac until Windows NT4 was released. My criteria is to use the best tool for the job, where "best" includes factors of capability, performance, ease-of-use, and price.

There was a time when Macs were far superior in ease-of-use to Windows machines. The margin was greatly reduced with the release of Windows 2000 Pro, and now with Windows XP Pro there is very little difference. In some areas, I find Win XP easier to use than Mac OS10. For example, window management. In Win XP, you can grab any corner of the window to resize it. But with the Mac you can resize only with one corner. The other Win XP feature that I really miss in the Mac is the "context" menu you get when you right-click on an object. Yes, the Mac is finally supporting this, but the standard Mac mouse doesn't have a right-button. I know you can control-click, but this just isn't as easy or as intuitive. I find the Win XP 2-button mouse with mouse-wheel to be very intuitive and efficient to use.

In the end, it comes down to style. If you prefer the Mac style, you just have to pay for it.

In this case, if FCP 5 is a clearly superior NLE (over Avid Xpress Pro HD 5), then I might be willing to pay the extra for a Mac system. That's my modivation for this thread: Is FCP 5 really superior?

Best Regards,
Pete
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Old May 27th, 2005, 09:15 AM   #29
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Well my Dell 650 has many fits, and it's top of the line. Of course I have every slot filled, extra data drives and an interanal array in the thing. I fried a processor within the first week of having it. Called Dell tech support, some guy named Charlie with a bangladesh accent though it was a temperature problem. I now leave the case open to allow for better air flow and keep it cool. Just bad design. We paid almost $5K US for this.

We had some dual G4's that must of been "dropped" shipped. They could never run correctly, always crashing. Swapping out ram sticks and processors didn't help much.

However, three dual G5's that replaced those G4's are churning away for a year straight and not an issue. We never turn them off, they just work. I have to tuck my Dell into bed each night, or I'm looking at a reboot before the days half over.

I know many of my issues on the Dell are memory leaks and ram hogging software, but I never hear about that on the mac, the unix os is simply more efficient in my understanding.

Anyway, I'm looking at an AMD powered BOXX workstation, but I'm taking a serious look at the new G5 and FCP HD. I use lightwave, adobe, and macromedia software. Stuff that's easily cross platform.

Ah, a fully blown/hardware packed G5 may have it's kinks too. But with another windows station, and with my expectations, I'll continue to play a dual role of video-editor/IT technician.

Pete
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Old May 27th, 2005, 10:57 AM   #30
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Pete,
Every Mac application supports context menus with a right click and 99% support scroll wheels. I'm using a Microsoft 3-button mouse now on my Mac. But that's not the point. The point is: if you like Windows XP Pro better than Mac OS, and it will be cheaper for you to commit to it then why don't you go with that? Is it just the HVX200 support issue? I like Mac OS and FCP but there's no way that there's such a capability difference between it and Xpress Pro HD that I would pick FCP if I didn't like the OS or the cost. It's like you said about Windows vs. Mac - it's a matter of style. I've met some people who prefer the Avid interface and some who prefer the FCP interface, and I find the difference between them similar to the difference between Windows and Mac OS. If you like Windows and you're good enough at maintenance to never have a crash with XP Pro (I've had the opposite experience so I guess I need to learn to take better care of my PC) then I think you should go with Avid. You'll be much more productive working in a comfortable environment. Best of luck with your business.
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