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Old June 8th, 2005, 04:05 PM   #1
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How does FCP5 and HDV work on Mac Laptops?

I am about to go mobile and am wondering: has anyone tried FCP5 using native HDV importing/editing on a G4 1.67? If so:

- how much RAM are you using?
- what are the limitations you've found?
- is the internal hard drive fast enough to capture HDV?

On a G5 dual 2.5 with 2.5gb RAM, FCP and HDV *smoke*. All unlimited realtime editing (straight editing) and very much feels like HDV is "light" to the system.

I'm wondering what to expect in a laptop.

Thanks!
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Old June 8th, 2005, 10:31 PM   #2
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Just a guess, but I'd expect HDV editing on a single G4 processor to seem a bit strained. If you do find out that it works, please let us know.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 02:04 AM   #3
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portable HDV FCP5

I agree that HDV runs well on Final Cut. My twin 1.8 G5 w. 2 gigs of ram and oodles of HD space doesn't have any issues. I haven't played much with motion 2 yet but I don't know where that forum is. I would understand that this will tax my system considerably.

I have asked my dealer here in toronto to set up a demo for me on a 17" powerbook with all the ram he can and stripped down to just Final Cut. I'll let you know next week whether its successful.

I'm concerned about a few things:

You'd need another PCI card for an ext. HD. (shared bus)

Special effects. Keying, CG

The performance of the included 100 gig drive falls dramatically after 50% capacity.

capture lag

real time (or close) editing

I guess your workflow would have an effect on performance. If you're careful about what you transfer (not importing everything and then trimming)

Lewis


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Old June 9th, 2005, 05:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewis Lehman
You'd need another PCI card for an ext. HD. (shared bus)
The higher end PB's have 400 and 800 firewire ports, couldn't you use the 400 port for capture and the 800 port for an ext HD? I've been researching getting a powerbook for an additional portable/fixed workstation and the only thing holding me back is it wouldn't play H.264 HD DVD's so that eliminates it as a potential portable presentation tool for HD product.

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Old June 9th, 2005, 10:58 AM   #5
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Richard, see this thread about FW400 and FW800....

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=45848
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Old June 9th, 2005, 12:43 PM   #6
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Hi Boyd,

I followed that thread and the one it linked to and it definitely seems like something to check out. I still am thinking about a powerbook but would want to be very sure it could edit off the Z1. Luckily the Apple store in Atlanta has FCP 5 on one of their 17" PB's and said they would be happy to let me bring the Z1 and a firewire drive over to see how things worked. We are getting rid of our last G4 1.4Ghz x 2 and I was considering a powerbook since the G4 just saw use burning DVD's and running Pro Tools but then again a G5 2X is the same price. ???

I was wishing that Steve Jobs would announce a dual processor G4 Powerbook or possibly a G5 PB at WWDC but duhhhh...

Thanks for the info,

Richard
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Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Richard, see this thread about FW400 and FW800....

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=45848
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Old June 9th, 2005, 01:09 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies so far

Very helpful, everyone, thank you and please keep it coming. I'd love to know about that G4 demo mentioned.

I second-guessed my own question about whether the internal drive would be fast enough for capturing; I realized the answer is "yes" since HDV is only about 3MB per second. However, I would probably capture to external anyway to have footage there for editing..

So the question becomes then: what (portable) external drive. I have had good success with a portable LaCie 7200RPM FW400 drive so I'd probably be inclined probably to work with that for now. If that doesn't work I might try this FW 800 drive: http://www.lafcpug.org/reviews/review_weibetech.html

Once again thank you for all the feedback and info so far!

Steve
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Old June 9th, 2005, 02:37 PM   #8
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Steve,

I use the generic HD USB/1394 enclosures from CompUSA with whatever is the cheapest huge 250G hard drive on sale to put in it. I have 5 drives like this for basically $40 per enclosure and whatever the disk costs. I use both USB 2.0 and Firewire connectors to these drives depending on what ports are open on my laptop and my PowerMac at home.

Never had problem with speed or frame drops.

Call me cheap but I'd rather save the money for my camera.

I also have a SmartDisk Firelite 80Gig - super small and portable - needs no power source, that I keep with me at all times. I have all the Motion, LiveType, and DVD Studio templates installed on it.

Bryan
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Old June 9th, 2005, 02:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Wyrostok
I'd love to know about that G4 demo mentioned.
As others have suggested, the staff at the Apple Stores are generally very helpful. See if you can find a time when they aren't too busy (right after opening on a weekday probably - went to my local store today at 10:30 AM and 5 salespeople all congregated around me :-) They will probably let you play around with the software and hardware so you can draw your own conclusions. You can also schedule times to meet with their "geniuses" (I hate that term) using the Apple website.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 04:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Wyrostok
I am about to go mobile and am wondering: has anyone tried FCP5 using native HDV importing/editing on a G4 1.67? If so:

- how much RAM are you using?
- what are the limitations you've found?
- is the internal hard drive fast enough to capture HDV?
My mobile wedding editing setup is: 17" Powerbook G4 1.67/2GB Ram/100MB HD/LaCie Firewire PC Card/FCP 5/OSX 10.4.1. I shoot on a Sony HVR-Z1.

The 2 GB Ram is really worth it. For capturing, I run the Z1's firewire into a in the LACie card (separate firewire channel than the onboard firewire), and capture it to an external 100GB firewire drive plugged into the firewire port on the right side of the Powerbook. No problems capturing or editing.

You might want to look into a Firestore HDV hard disk recorder to make it easier for you - after your shoot, just plug it into your Powerbook and start editing - no capturing time needed.

I've heard that as long as you keep your source deck and your capture drive on separate firewire channels, you should be ok (That's why I bought the Lacie PC Card). I'm not sure, but I think the Firewire 800 and 400 ports on the powerbook share the same channel
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