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Old May 2nd, 2005, 08:19 PM   #1
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FCP 5.0 Studio vs Avid XpressPro HD

I'm trying to decide between Xpress Pro HD (without Mojo for now) on the PC and FCP 5.0 Studio on the Mac.

I will need to buy a new machine eventually in either case. My use is for small company video production (weddings and events), HD for cable/satellite, and some independent filmmaking. I plan on shooting HD when the new Panasonic HVX200 becomes available this fall.

I currently have a PC that is close to the min for Avid: 2.4Ghz 800FSB HT, 1 GB DDR RAM, nVidia FX 5700LE 256MB graphics card. My thought is to start out editing SD with Avid on the PC, and then buy a new dual Xeon 3.4Ghz machine when I start editing HD. I have priced a refurb Dell for $2,059 that has everything I need (dual Xeon 3.4Ghz, 2GB DDR, 80/250 SATA HDDs, nVidia Quadro FX 1300 w/ Dual Mon DVI).

I think a refurb Mac G5 2.5 would cost around $3,000 after adding RAM to get 2GB, and a 2nd HDD.

I can get education discounts for both:
FCP Studio 5.0 -- $500
Avid XpressPro HD 5.1 -- $350

So, here's equivalent packages as of today:
Code:
PC - Refurb Dell Dual Xeon 3.4Ghz    $2,059
Avid Xpress Pro HD (educ.)             $350
=============================================
TOTAL PC/AVID PACKAGE                $2,359

Mac - Refurb G5 Dual 2.5Ghz           $3,000
FCP 5.0 Studio (educ)                   $500
============================================
TOTAL MAC/FCP PACKAGE                $3,500
So it looks like the Mac package is at least $1,000 more than the PC.
If anybody knows how to get this Mac for cheaper, I'd love to hear about it.

I like both Macs and PCs, and I don't want to start a PC-Mac war. This is all about getting the best value system.

I need the most bang for the buck. What to you recommend?
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 08:25 PM   #2
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Strictly on a flexibility basis, (I'm a PC man) IF you go with the mac, you can still go with AVID, and add FCP later.

Just thought I'd confuse the issue.... sorry.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 09:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion, but I'd rather not be switching NLEs at some later date.

My whole motivation for changing NLEs now is to pick a NLE for the long term, and stick with it so I can really learn it. My current NLE (LE 6.1) doesn't support HD (DVCProHD). Although I only need SD now, I plan to shoot HD this fall. So I want to start using an NLE now that will support HD.

One thing I'm really sure of: What's the PC equivalent of a Mac G5 Dual 2.5Ghz from a pure processing POV (forget about UI, OS, stability, all that subjective stuff)?

I'm guessing the Xeon Dual 3.4Ghz is close, but I really don't know. If anyone has any hard data on this I'd be most grateful.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 09:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Wilie
My use is for small company video production (weddings and events), HD for cable/satellite, and some independent filmmaking.

I can get education discounts for both
Just curious... how can you get a legitimate education discount when you clearly intend to use the software for a business?
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 01:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Just curious... how can you get a legitimate education discount when you clearly intend to use the software for a business?
Because I'm currently a student in Film School. I intend to use the educ ver to learn the software and how to edit.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 07:10 AM   #6
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I don't doubt that the letter of the law is frequently ignored, but you said you intend to use the software at a "small company" (after graduation I assume). Apple's software license doesn't allow this, it's only intended for students and faculty. I don't know for sure, but I'd bet Avid has similar language in their agreement:

Quote:
Academic Copies: If the Apple Software package has an academic label or if you acquired the Apple Software at an academic discount, you must be an Eligible Educational End User to use the Apple Software. "Eligible Educational End Users" means students, faculty, staff and administration attending and/or working at an educational institutional facility (i.e., college campus, public or private K-12 schools).
But getting back to your original question, no I don't think there's any way shave $1,000 off the price of the Mac system...
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 11:36 AM   #7
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Boyd,

Are you the license police for Apple/Avid???

It is perfectly acceptable to buy educational SW to LEARN ON, which is exactly what I plan to do. I can't start my business UNITL I know what I'm doing. I am very offended by your accusations when you don't have any of the facts. As a currently enrolled student I am fully, legally, ethically entitled to buy educational software. Enough said about this.

What don't we stick to the technical discussion, like Chris always reminds us to do.

Do you have anything beneficial to contribute?
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Wilie
Boyd,

Are you the license police for Apple/Avid???

It is perfectly acceptable to buy educational SW to LEARN ON, which is exactly what I plan to do. I can't start my business UNITL I know what I'm doing. I am very offended by your accusations when you don't have any of the facts. As a currently enrolled student I am fully, legally, ethically entitled to buy educational software.
Yeah but it would suck to have to buy the software again to use it for commercial purposes.

Boyd was just trying to save you some money.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 12:12 PM   #9
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From what I have seen, most places seeking Editors or people with experience in editing look for those proficient with a Mac, and both Avid/FCP. At least for more beginning positions.

Also, I think it'd be wise to keep a cool head. Regardless of whether you felt offended, overreacting in response isn't going to get you questions answered very often.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 12:39 PM   #10
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Byron,

Well, looks like this thread is going to be totally side-tracked by an irrelevant issue.

I don't think I over-reacted. If you do, then that's your opinion.

I answered Boyd's first question/accusation very simply, but completely. That should have been sufficient. I was, and still am, offended by the fact he offered nothing to help but choose to restate the accusation with additional rigor.

The truth is, the educational issue is none of his, or anyone else's business. I don't appreciate being falsely accused of something so quickly. If you, or anyone else don't want to contribute to this thread, then you certainly don't have to.

I try to stay out of the legal/business issues of other people unless I'm directly asked to comment.

Best Regards,
Pete
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 01:26 PM   #11
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BUS-TED! *L*

I've seen both interfaces, and I'd take FCP in a heartbeat. I would only learn AVID if I wanted to bill myself out as an editor.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 06:19 PM   #12
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I attended a seminar featuring Final Cut Pro Studio, and even though I am already a FCP user, I was wowed by the demonstration, as was everyone in attendance, judging by the "Ooohs" and "Aahhs." And yes, there were some Avid folks in the group. I don't know what they thought.

Multicam! Up to sixteen streams of video playing in sync. Cut your own "live" show.
Native HDV input. No ridiculous workarounds.
Output H.264 Hi Def to a dvd now, and play it back on the G5 on the Cinema display.
Native support for P2, now.
Also IMX

And Soundtrack Pro. Watch out Pro Tools! Complete integration with FCP. Surround Sound, Multi-channel audio input, amazing noise correction filters.

For anyone serious about a real post production solution, you got to check out FCP Studio on the G5.

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old May 4th, 2005, 10:59 PM   #13
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Pete, why don't you try out my own personal mantra:

"I used to be offended... now I'm just amused."

No biggie. Cheers,
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Old May 5th, 2005, 02:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Orr
I attended a seminar featuring Final Cut Pro Studio, and even though I am already a FCP user, I was wowed by the demonstration, as was everyone in attendance, judging by the "Ooohs" and "Aahhs." And yes, there were some Avid folks in the group. I don't know what they thought.
Yeah, I've heard a lot of good stuff about FCP Studio 5. If FCP ran on a PC, it'd be a no-brainer for me. It's just that everything about the Mac is more expensive than the PC, not only the initial purchase, but all the "little" stuff (HW &SW) that you buy later on. It adds up quickly.

Maybe I'll hunt for a bargain on a used Mac.

Of course, I'd be very surprised if I got an Avid recommendation in *this* forum. :-)
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Old May 5th, 2005, 08:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Wilie
Yeah, I've heard a lot of good stuff about FCP Studio 5. If FCP ran on a PC, it'd be a no-brainer for me. It's just that everything about the Mac is more expensive than the PC, not only the initial purchase, but all the "little" stuff (HW &SW) that you buy later on. It adds up quickly.

Maybe I'll hunt for a bargain on a used Mac.

Of course, I'd be very surprised if I got an Avid recommendation in *this* forum. :-)
Avid works on Macs. And XpressPro HD is coming to Mac.

Whatever software I decided to go with, I'd use Apple hardware if I could. Sure it's more than a PC, but it's also soooo much more than a PC. ;)
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