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Old July 17th, 2008, 04:10 AM   #1
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Is a mac a better option than windows pc ?

I have the A1 camcorder and want to start editing or at least getting images from my tape too my pc which as of yet I have not managed to do.
Ive asked around for the best method and easiest method and a few people have suggested a mac, is a mac a better option for video - pc transfer and editing and forgive what may seem a stupid question but can a cd with video made on a mac work fine on a windows pc or in a dvd player ?
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Old July 17th, 2008, 04:21 AM   #2
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The media they produce in general is interchangeable. Some of the native file formats are different, but most proper software allows mac to play on PC and vice versa. DVD formats are set standards anyway.

The real decision is down to what your use will be. There is no doubt that Macs are well suited to video work, but the range of internal devices and sheer range of software for PCs make them a sensible choice if you want to run lots of different software types. Macs do have a reputation for reliability, but lots of people can fix PCs, not that many can do Macs.

Do you need to swap projects between machines or even people? If so, it makes sense to use a platform that is common. My own experience of PCs is that if you run one without the games, add-ons and other general software clutter, it will be reliable and stable. My music PC (a carillon) never misses a beat - I never have problems with it. It doesn't have any software on it apart from audio software - never types a letter, or plays a game. My laptop which has everything known to man on it, falls over regularly and is really slow. My fault - not the machine.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 07:36 AM   #3
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Just a reminder to everyone, we don't do platform wars on DV Info Net.

I can't accept the suggestion to just "get a Mac," because the truth is that there are excellent NLE solutions for both PC and Mac platforms. There's no reason why you can't be happy and productive on a PC platform (or a Mac platform, for that matter). It just doesn't matter much beyond which operating system and interface *you* prefer.

Keep in mind that two of the most popular NLE apps -- Premiere Pro (PC and Mac versions) and Final Cut Pro (Mac only) were both initially developed by the same person back in the day.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 08:07 AM   #4
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It really boils down to a question of what software and accessories you want to use. If you want to use Sony Vegas, you're stuck with Windows and if you want to use an MXO/MXO2 you need a mac for lack of Windows drivers. Those are just quick examples.

Software and I/O are more important anyways than the personal computer hardware. You can even run Windows on Apple hardware (via bootcamp); they're basically the same.

On price, if that's a concern, at the (professional) low end Apple is on par with offerings from major suppliers like HP/DELL/IBM/etc., however prices go up on a steeper curve with Macs as the specs increase. There are less macs to choose from and less options to configure, but that is not nessesarily a bad thing. The important thing is you get a stable system.

With PC's you will have more "budget" and DIY choices, but in the end you do pay for what you get, quality wise. I personally don't believe in series-of-one quality systems. Just because components are "quality" doesn't mean the system is. I want suppliers that vouch for the stability of the whole system and suitability for my intended use.

Macs can be more stable but are not without software issues. Much of Windows' problems stem from too much 'messing around', like installing/uninstalling stuff on a whim. On Macs that is less of an issue. It is good practice to keep a production machine clean.

I personally use both a Mac Pro as well as several PC's. I'd be hard pressed to choose just one system, but then it would probably be a Mac with Windows via bootcamp (oh the horror of it!). Or maybe just a good Windows machine. Or a Mac. Eh...

The devil is in the detail...

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Old July 17th, 2008, 08:19 AM   #5
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If you do get a Mac remember you can run Boot Camp and run PC software on it as well, you allot a certain percentage of your machine to be a PC, the rest a Mac. Just install XP/Vista etc. and it'll be a PC!
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Old July 17th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #6
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That's one thing people forget. A Mac is a great Windows PC.

I have almost convinced my die-hard PC brother to get a Mac Pro since he has seen mine run circles around his super gamer PC with Vista loaded up on both.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #7
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If you do decide to go with a PC and have to deal with Mac users, I'd toss in this comment. I recently had to work with a fellow editor who has a mac, and we needed to ship drives to each other. I purchased a copy of a program called "Macdrive". And while it won't turn your PC into a Mac, it did allow me to mount the Mac formatted external drives and work with it just fine.

This isn't the 80s any more. Macs and PCs can play very nicely together these days. I have not been an Apple fan (and with my own very good reasons), but I have been quite pleased with what I've seen from them lately. In fact, I tried to do a corporate purchase of a MacBook Pro 17", but was turned down, so I bought a Dell to the same spec. Essentially interchangeable to me.

Best of luck in your decision, and avoid the platform wars. Both can work just fine for editing.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:56 PM   #8
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I look at it like this.

Mac uses 98% of components that a PC uses, but simply only a different operating system.
Mac has Final Cut studio 2 which from what i have heard is amazing. But you cant customize a mac to the extent you can with a PC. So for that one purpose I use PC.
But i do use vista ultimate 64 bit so i can use as much Ram as possible. I think both are great for editing and I do believe the Mac OS is way more stable than windows.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 11:36 PM   #9
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So far I'm having good luck running Win XP (as well as Linux) on my MacBook under VMware.

This means that you can have Windpws and Mac apps open on the same desktop simultaneously. And so far Sound Forge and Vegas are running just fine under XP under MacOS. I have some Waves plug-ins in Sound Forge and they also work just fine as does the iLok dongle support.

I don't do any really heavy stuff with either one on my notebook, but it's handy to have them running when I'm on the road. Only downside so far is that Windows won't capture under VM (but I think it will under BootCamp)

I got the Mac because I need to do some work in Japanese and MacOS supports this without having to have a separate version of the operating system like Windows does. My main machines at home are all Windows based.

I think it's all just a matter of what your needs are and what software you like to run. You can do anything you have to on either platform with equally good professional results..
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Old August 1st, 2008, 04:55 AM   #10
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Jayson,

From reading your message, it sounds like you currently own a pc; is that correct? You don't need a mac to capture footage to your computer, a pc will work just as well.

What you need is a video editing program, and there are very good ones for both pc and mac. Final Cut will only work on mac, Sony Vegas/Movie Studio only work on the pc. Many others work on both.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 08:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayson Corcoran View Post
I have the A1 camcorder and want to start editing or at least getting images from my tape too my pc which as of yet I have not managed to do.
Ive asked around for the best method and easiest method and a few people have suggested a mac, is a mac a better option for video - pc transfer and editing
Simple answer: no. I use Macs at home (iMac and an aging iBook) and can't see myself ever purchasing a PC but there's nothing you can do on a Mac that can't be done equally well on a PC. There are differences in the two formats, but it's not a better/worse thing, it really comes down to building a system to handle particular workflows. Trust me, unless you're experienced enough to know the answer yourself, you're not likely to end up in a situation where the Mac/PC or Finalcut/Avid/Premiere/Vegas questions would ever really make a difference.
Quote:
and forgive what may seem a stupid question but can a cd with video made on a mac work fine on a windows pc or in a dvd player ?
Yes - DVD video discs are a set standard and should play in ANY standalone DVD player that supports DVD-R. My tip here is to burn the DVD at the slowest speed possible. Mac or PC won't make a difference, though the DVD player might.

You need to make sure your PC has a FireWire card and a programme to capture and edit DV/HDV video. Macs have come with these as standards since 1999, which is why people often recommend Macs still as default video computers even for Newbies. Indeed that's why I started on Macs in the early '00s (I came for the video, I stayed for the OSX).

PC's still don't have FW cards by default, as a connector, it's not as common as USB/USB2, it's only used for DV/HDV video. However if you don't have a firewire card, decent ones can be picked up for very little, the ADS Pyro is highly recommended. After that I'd advise you get your hands on a decentish HDV capable editing programme. Premiere Elements is a fine choice for the PC.

Stay away from Windows Movie Maker (just as Mac users should give up on iMovie '08 or later and get Final Cut Express 4)
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