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Old August 19th, 2010, 08:10 AM   #1
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Is an Imac portable ?

Hey guys,

I'll start off by saying I'm always have been a PC user, but now I'm about to take the plunge into the macworld. We're specialised in weddings and want to do some Same Day Edits.

So my biggest concern is what to choose. My first choice was going for a new Macbook Pro 17" while it's portable and we can allready do some capturing during the day.
But an Imac 27" costs as much, but has a quadcore so I think it will be better for editing and rendering the projects in time. But can an Imac also be used as a portable device while it's just a screen ? Just put the screen in the car, set it up on location, plug the keyboard and mouse and you're ready to go or what are your ideas about it ?
A problem can be that I can't capture my videos during the day and only start with it after the final set-up.
What are you ideas about it ?
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Old August 19th, 2010, 08:33 AM   #2
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The 27" iMac is very heavy to be a portable. A lot of glass with ballast to keep it from tipping over on a desk. Wouldn't want to drop it either. While a quad processor would be nice to have all around, you have to assess your shooting needs to see if it's really needed on the road. You probably will be very happy with the 17" notebook.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #3
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Yes, it is portable, but you need a proper case, like on of these:

http://www.tenba.com/products/Transp...Equipment.aspx
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Old August 19th, 2010, 08:45 AM   #4
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Anything is portable if you want it to be; I would not suggest it though. Its large its heavy and there is no case i am aware of to transport it except for the box it came in. I have a Macbook Pro pre unibody model and it does every thing I need it to perfectly, and without upgrading the new ones that have better specs than when I Upgraded mine to be top of the line.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 10:34 AM   #5
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There might not be an off-the-shelf flightcase for the 27" iMac yet, but my personal experience with this retailer is good! They also make cases to order, and already have a assortment of cases for the previous version of the iMac.

Apple Computer & laptop Cases
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Old August 19th, 2010, 11:58 AM   #6
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Everyone's idea of portable is different. Matt summed it up perfectly: everything is portable if you want it to be, but an iMac 27" really is heavy.

To give you my opinion: I have had a Macbook Pro for 2 years, my first Mac. I needed to be mobile. I could edit I wanted to, and yes, sometimes I had to wait for renders and stuff. But in those 2 years I earned money with that computer that gave me the opportunity to buy a 27" iMac a couple of months ago. It's a beautiful computer and the i7 really is fast for Compressor renders. And I think my current combination is perfect: having an iMac i7 (which I only regret not having eSata or an Expresscardslot) and a Macbook Pro for mobile work.
But I would also not advice you to think of an iMac with a 27" glass screen, built in aluminium as portable...

You really have to make a choice: do I need/want to be mobile or not?
If so, buy a Macbook Pro. You will be able to capture and edit on the spot. I have one from the 2007-2008 generation and it edits HD perfectly. It's also nice if it's your first Mac. If you after a while feel the need to step up, you can always buy a more powerful computer (Mac Pro or iMac) later, as I did.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 12:16 PM   #7
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We take a 21" iMac to wedding fairs - but I would not want to move the 27" iMac around - we leave that in the edit suite.

The MacBookPro is ok for editing provided you are doing SD or not trying to layer too many HD tracks - for that you need a better hard disk (really a RAID).

Same day edit - is this SD or HD? Have you done SDEs before? How long does a SDE actually take you? How many cameras are you importing footage from? SDE from most people seems to be more of a 'cut out the bad bits' type edit rather than real story telling - because there simply isn't time for a proper edit. No one has ever said they need one from us - and I would be very uncomfortable in trying to edit and ship something same day. Even the highlights video takes more time than we would have for editing the same day!
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Old August 19th, 2010, 12:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
The MacBookPro is ok for editing provided you are doing SD or not trying to layer too many HD tracks - for that you need a better hard disk (really a RAID).
You can do simple HD edits with a Macbook Pro, even work with multiple layers. How much, depends on codec and the computer of course. (and the disk, but this also depends if you get the 7200 rpm or the 5400 rpm, or external drives). Even with a mobile 5400 rpm I have edited XDCAM HD pieces.

Is it the ultimate setup? Far from it. But it's very possible and even without much trouble.
(My macbook Pro was also much faster at editing HD as my windows-desktop from 2 years before it, so it's not a simple laptop = weak, desktop = powerful scenario).

I think working with Motion is going to be a bit slow though.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 02:09 PM   #9
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Semi-Portable

I bought my mac about a year ago. I was faced with either buying a macbook or for the same price a 20" iMac.

Obviously, it would have been nice to have the portability but just didn't want to face slow renders, laptop keyboard and mouse, and more notably a smaller screen!

I took the decision to buy the iMac as I saw it as semi portable option. Obviously I can't work on the train with it or the like. But I knew if I needed to edit at the clients premises or take it on a job it would fit in the car and would give me the luxury of sitting at my own office desk! It also impresses the clients too!

On a couple of occasions I have had to work on the job with it and completely felt the benefits of having a desktop as apposed to a laptop. I very much believe I made the right decision!

Best of luck making yours!

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Old August 19th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #10
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Thanks to all for sharing your ideas and tips.
Out of your reactions, I think it will be too bulky to have it on the road all the time.
So for that it's better to go for the Macbook Pro 17" with 8GB ram and 7200 Harddisk.

The best solution would be like mentioned here before. To have a big mac at home and a macbook pro for on the road, but it's out of my budget unfortunately.

It's just that my wife does the photo-editing on an older pc and in photoshop it takes a lot of time saving a photo, so I hope by buying a good macbook pro, she can work on it at home on photoshop and it will hopefully be faster and on the road I can use it for video editing.

About the question of Dave Partington.
No we haven't done same day edits before, so I'm new to that and it's just for making a quick highlight video. 2-3 minutes. It will be edited in HD, but it will be burned onto a normal DVD.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 03:44 PM   #11
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Get the 17inch and a larger monitor for the missus at home. The MBP will be super quick compared to what she's been using...
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 02:53 PM   #12
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I take my 21.5" Imac to work with me every day. I use an Ilugger case which is pretty much like an oversized laptop bag. I works very well and while a bit heavy I love having a solid Desktop performing computer with me. Yes there is no battery but I am either at my desk at home or at my desk at work.

How much time do you have to create your SDE? I actually edit AVCHD on my 21.5" Imac and it seems to work very well with Prores material. I can edit HD in realtime while in FCP and it runs very well. Rendering is a bit slow but if you limit the video to 2 or 3 minutes I think even a core 2 duo based Imac should get you by depending on how much time you have. Keep in mind the nice thing about FCP and AVCHD is that FCP converts to Prores for you during Log and Transfer. This takes a bit more time but once this is done your final rendering should go much faster then PC based systems that edit native AVCHD.
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