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Old April 24th, 2010, 04:44 PM   #1
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newbie editor: which Mac to go for?

I've been a professional videographer for a few years now and I'm thinking of starting to edit my own work. I don't have any experience editing whatsoever and I'm thinking of learning on FCP. Which Mac should I start out with? Most of my editing will be on weddings and corporate events. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old April 24th, 2010, 05:04 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums.

If an all-in-one solution works for you, I've been editing in FCP on an iMac for 3 years now successfully while waiting for a convergence of new MacPro and projects to support the purchase.

If you aren't doing a TON of layering and effects and compositing, the iMac is a suitable solution at a reasonable price. I do MOSTLY long form (documentary) style stuff but I also do short form TV commercials and the only time I feel the crunch is on HEAVY compositing/multiple layer stuff.

I use ProRes as a codec to ease the performance issues that surround HDV or other long GOP MPEG formats, resulting in much larger files but better throughput.

Of course, your mileage may vary but if you have the opportunity to try FCP on an iMac, I'd encourage it.

And THEN, you'll start salivating over Mac Pros...
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Old April 24th, 2010, 08:52 PM   #3
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I second that...

The iMAc is what I've been using for fours now, and during my internship I actually used iMac G4 & 5's for commercial productions. The point is, they are very durable and stable and reliable.

The only downside is that they are not expandable beyond the RAM. FCP Studio is quite excellent - I'd just recommend getting some good training from either PeachPit PRess or Lydia.com.

Best!
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Old April 25th, 2010, 12:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc S. Brown View Post
I actually used iMac G4 & 5's for commercial productions. The point is, they are very durable and stable and reliable.
My Blue and White G3 450MHz lasted me from release until the iMac, which should say something considering I was cutting TV commercials and documentaries on it (VERY slowly toward the end...)
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Old April 25th, 2010, 12:18 AM   #5
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Well, truth is any Mac from the G4 on will work. I would go for the intel chipped ones. (my 1st gen MacBook Pro still edits just fine) If you do want to keep up to date and get into some EFX, I would go for a MacPro a generation or two back. That way, you can get an updatable chasis (graphics cards, memory, capture cards, etc.)

If money's not a concern, go for the biggest baddest mac you can afford and load it with the baddest video card and most RAM you can swing and you'll be good for years to come. Especially since Adobe CS5 will allow all your RAM to be used and FCP WILL have to follow or lose customers.

I know lots of people who still use their G4 Macbook pros for basic editing and a large company in the area was using G5 MacPro's until a month ago.
If you plan on using AE or Motion in any sort of way beyond titling, go for the most powerful MacPro you can get and write it off on your tax return! (just saw you're in Canada! don't know the rules up there for tax law!)
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Old April 25th, 2010, 10:14 AM   #6
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Well I guess knowing a bit more about specifics would narrow things down a bit.

I would not consider a G5 or earlier. Yes they can do the job, but they are no longer supported by Apple as of June and they creep slowly along compared to the newer machines. Also you'd have to find an older version of FCP and all software is phasing out support for powerPC's so their life is limited.

If your looking to really take the plunge, and $ is not too much of an issue, the MP is no doubt the way to go. If you've already got monitors, you can pick up a refurbished MP for as little as $2150. Personally I think the few hundred $ more is worth it just for the easy storage (4 internal HD's) and the ability to easily upgrade and expand. As Shaun said, if you get an imac & your a serious editor, you'd want a MP in the future.

The imac quads are an excellent comp for editing, but the one FW port is a real issue IMO.

The MBP's are pretty capable, but if your not going to be editing on the go, the desktops would be far better.
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