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Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE

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Old April 7th, 2006, 01:30 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 595
System Upgrading Questions...

Hi everybody,

I am concidering upgrading my editing system and was wondering if you would be so kind as to offer me some advice?

Firstly a bit of history. Last year my brother was doing several short films, so I invested quite some money into video editing equipment for him. As he only had a Sony 1-CCD MiniDV Camera at the time, we set up a Final Cut Express System on a eMac with several external Lacie Firewire hard drives. He also made extensive use of DVD Studio Pro, Pro Tools LE, After Effects and Photoshop.

After those projects were completed, with great success, I purchased a Sony Z1P for a project of my own.

This year, I've decided to focus heavly on Film & TV (as opposed to my normal occupation) and am considering upgrading the eMac system to something with a bit more grunt (my brother has more patience than me!).

I will be running all the same software as I have done on the eMac, except I will upgrade to Final Cut Pro Studio. I also would like to look into editing HDV, seeing as I've got the Z1P (even though the end result will be DVD).

Ideally, I would like this system to last for the next 3 or so years.

I'm thinking a G5 is the way to go... Now for the questions:

1. Which processor? Dual 2GHz, Dual 2.3 or Quad 2.5GHz PowerPC G5?
2. How much RAM? ECC or Non-ECC?
3. What graphics card? NVIDIA GeForce 6600 256MB SDRAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT 256MB SDRAM or QUADRO FX 4500 512MB SDRAM?
4. Should I look into Dual Screen Monitors? Is 20" enough room? The Apple Cinema Displays seem to be a complete waste of money. What are the alternatives? Dell?

Also, currently I use a cheap Canopus analogue-to-digital convertor (ADV110), so that I can capture any S-VHS footage I need. What hardware should I look into if I need to capture Beta SP or DigiBeta footage in the future?

Is there any additional hardware I should concider purchasing that will speed up rendering time on FCP & After Effects?

Finally, I currently use the Canopus device to hook up a Broadcast Quality monitor to FCE for monitoring/previewing. It's my understanding that when editing HDV, you cannot preview the footage in this same way? Is there any hardware solutions that will let me preview the HDV footage?

(Also: if the recommended system is in my price range, I'd prefer to buy it now than wait until Apple gets around to putting Intel-based system on the market.)

Please excuse the large amount of questions I've thrown in! I understand some of these will have been answered on this forum many, many times previously, but I think it's better to give you all the information, so you can provide more specific and relevant advice.

I look forward to your replies...

Chris Hocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 22nd, 2006, 03:19 AM   #2
Major Player
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 595

I'm presuming this post is too general and asks too many questions to deserve a reply.

I will do a bit more research into the different varieties of PowerMac's and post any useful conclusions here.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 01:18 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 273
This should help: It's recent and addresses most of your questions. If you're cutting native HDV, you'll want the fastest processors you can get because interframe codecs put more of a strain on the CPU than intraframe.

My personal bias says you should get away from the LaCie drives as soon as possible. I have lots of experience with them (my company owns a few dozen of them), and the failure rate in their firewire controllers is too high for me to ever buy one again.
Zach Mull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 22nd, 2006, 07:57 PM   #4
Major Player
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 595

Thanks Rach for your advice! I really appreciate it!

I've always loved my Lacie's! Now you've scared me...!

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