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Old October 14th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #1
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Location: Charlotte, NC
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If You Were Starting From Scratch....

I know that questions like this probably get asked often here, so I'll offer my apologies up front if I offend anyone due to repetition. I'm hoping to gather some informed opinion to help justify a decision on which route to follow for an optimum editing and computer platform.

I'm at the outset of trying to fashion a new career for myself. Part of what I have in mind is video creation, mostly corporate stuff delivered on the web, with an aim to help companies describe and sell their products and services. I plan on capturing via a combination of sources; probably a Sony XD cam, a DSLR with video, etc. My goal is to shoot most things in 1080, rendering to 720 for web application, but having the 1080 version available for other delivery options.

I've mostly been a PC guy for most the past 20 years, although I had an original Mac and I have no aversion to that platform. I have a little experience editing in Sony Vegas, but I'm not so wed to it that I wouldn't happily consider other options.

So, considering things like versatility (available options and plug-ins), ease of use, rendering times, overall productivity, scalability, ease of finding knowledgeable help (if this flies, I might hire some help down the road, and having a commonly-used platform makes finding good people easier), and overall cost - what do you folks think would be the best of these options:

• Final Cut Pro on a Mac?

• Adobe Premier on a Mac or PC?

• Stick with Vegas, but on a 64-bit PC?

• Some other option I haven't thought of yet?

I'm beginning to think FCP might offer the best overall balance, but I'll happily admit I don't know enough to be sure. What do you folks think?

Last edited by Rich Herbert; October 14th, 2009 at 01:14 PM.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 01:20 PM   #2
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yeah you forgot
Grass Valley Edius on a PC, of all the NLE you mentioned, Edius is the only one out of the box will give you realtime, full frame rate HD output on a HD monitor so you can grade your footage on a HD monitor and not your computer monitor, others required more card or the right graphic card, Edius can also output to Blu-ray straight from the timeline with basic menu from the included Blu-ray authoring app., if you want more sophisticate authoring, I use Encore and it works fine, when rendering to Blu-ray or DVD, Edius also use all processors, when rendering to Blu-ray, my dual quadcore, (8 processors use all 100%), a 2 hrs. timeline took only about 3hrs. to render to Blu-ray, about realtime for DVD, and the encoded files are exellent, much better than others that I tested before, Edius is also easy to use and very quick to edit, the weakness of it is keyframing and alpha matte, keyframing on effects is limited and no moving alpha matte.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #3
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Step 1: Figure out which NLE gives you the best productivity for your kind of work.

Step 2: Get the best price/performance wise hardware for your NLE.

Step 3: Decide on which additional plug-ins can enhance your product for a worthwhile price.

I know these are generalizations that do not help very much, but your question is so generic and depends very much on personal tastes, that no one can give you the key.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #4
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For versatility, I'd have to give the nod to Premiere. For a strong user community, though not necessarily ease of use, I'd say FCP.

If *I* was starting from scratch, I'd go with Avid, but that is costly, and has some drawbacks. If you intend to make a living at this though, I'd say FCP or Avid.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 01:34 PM   #5
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If I did it all over again, I'd take an editing class with a first rate working editor as the instructor. Once you have a good working feel for the basic ideas, selecting the NLE becomes a simple technical decision, either it does what you want or it doesn't. And I'll also add that no matter which NLE you select, you will eventually find something that will drive you insane.
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
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Old October 14th, 2009, 02:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
no matter which NLE you select, you will eventually find something that will drive you insane.
Truer words have never been spoken!

I have a Love/Hate relationship with Final Cut, having been one of the first FCP editors in my city starting with version 1.0.2. Running 6.0.5 now and still making a living at it.

It's been a long road. Lots of frustration but lots of fortune as well. Remember, edit hardware and software pays for itself quickly. Don't "cheap out" just because you're frugal. Buy what you need (once you figure out what that is) and get out there and learn it as well as possible and go make some money. Oh, and have some fun along the way - no one gets out alive.
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
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Old October 14th, 2009, 06:29 PM   #7
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You can download trials of virtually every NLE to play with. I recommend that you do that and spend quality time with each one. Since I go back to version 1 of Premier, not Premier Pro but the original Premier I've not much desire to change.

If you want to try the Mac apps it gets dodgier. But you should consider whether you want to learn a new computing environment. If you do, then try it.

If you can find a good teacher you will learn faster and you might make better choices. And yes, eventually any NLE will make you want to pull out a gun and shoot it... dead.
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