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Old January 31st, 2010, 09:13 AM   #16
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FCP sounds like the best option for me then...

Good input by all, I think Final Cut Studio 3 for $1100 is what I'll go for, the money I save not buying a second computer can go towards some peripherals, such as extra hard-drives and a 2nd monitor. Anything else I should look into for maximizing FCP?
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Old January 31st, 2010, 02:50 PM   #17
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which mac do you have?

there are a number of solutions that I'd recommend - probably the best being a RAID0 configuration for FCP work - this will provide a faster array of drives for editing on.... also, more RAM helps, but the amount of supported RAM will depend on which machine you have.

If you can post some info on your computer (size - for notebooks or imacs - processor speed, year built/purchased) I'd be happy to recommend RAM and a RAID array.

Alternately you can browse around Performance Upgrades; FireWire USB SATA Storage; Memory, more at OWC which is where I recommend picking up drive arrays, RAM etc.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 03:17 PM   #18
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Take a look at the Firmtek hot-swappable RAID systems available at OWC. Very reasonably priced. It's proven to be very reliable. And it's readily expandable. I'm using two systems like that, all equipped with IBM/Hitachi SATA drives.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 08:10 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
Did you ever try Edius Steve? It is by far the fastest of the NLE's and can take just about anything native on the timeline( though for multicam will run faster using HQ ). It will also burn to DVD and Bluray too and has a great multicam feature. It's not perfect I still use Vegas for audio but now really do not use Premiere anymore though a do have it for Encore but even that is used less as I prefer DVDArchitect for Bluray and DVDLab for SD.

Ron Evans
Hi Ron, I have used Edius from V1 and now i'm on V5, it never crashes it's the most stable software I aare of. I have HP WS8400 Zeon quad, I have also got FCP 7 running on macbook pro 17 inch, Comparing the two is like a Rolls Royce to a Ford, FCP crashes and has a messy interface and seems to spend most of its time requiring rendering and loosing firewire connection. for me edius is very simple with multicam and producing a DVD or blueray couldn't be easier. The advantage of FCP is the advanced side when you wish to use motion, colour etc.

Edius a good all round stable editor with clear interface and technical support. Many people opt for a mac based on the looks and the fashion pressure of owning one, as far as i'm concerned its another PC that is expensive to buy and run.

Regards David Hart
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 02:22 PM   #20
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Many people opt for a mac based on the looks and the fashion pressure of owning one...
Not me.

As a photographer in 1996 Macs were the only viable option for professional prepress in the publishing world. Color management was part of the operating system, unlike PCs. It made it possible to do reliable on-screen color. With so many color photos in newspapers, and deadlines often measured in minutes, printing proofs were out of the question. Macs were the core of our newspaper's workflow when the Star-Bulletin switched to computer-generated color separations, and it's still the only system used long after I left.

When I got into non-linear video editing in 1997, using a Mac was a logical choice as I was already working on one. Around that time there were a lot of posts from PC users about how to make their editing systems work. Having a wide selection of mixed hardware was a hinderance more than a help, and many struggled. Meanwhile, people with Macs worked with systems that were more or less consistently designed, so most of the posts were about how to do something better.

Fortunately, things have changed since then. The PC problems have gone away and now there are more choices available. But it was the Mac which made it possible in the early days for so many to get their feet wet with broadcast-level quality with Firewire and DV. Then in 2004 Apple and Panasonic introduced HD via Firewire.

I'm sticking to using Macs because it does the job well. The FCP Studio bundle, with the Color program that used to cost $5,000 to $24,000, is an amazing deal. And with a million FCP users out there, it's fairly easy to find other FCP editors.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 09:36 AM   #21
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This is an ongoing debate, but let me put forward some of my views on this:

Pro MAC:

1. They look good
2. They can be stable
3. They are fashionable

Con MAC:

1. They are pricey
2. They have limited expansion options
3. They lack software support for utilities
4. Their OS is lacking
5. User support/help is limited

This is all in comparison to the PC and CS4 world.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #22
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As more than a million users already know, Macs ain't all that bad. And FCP editors are in good company. Many well-established pros in the industry frequent these boards and often lend a helping hand to those who might otherwise remain perplexed.

Mac support? Lots of expert help here in this forum and on other forums. Expert help is also available at the Apple Store's Genius Bar. Make an appointment, bring it in, and it can often be fixed right there.

Expansion options? Whatever connects to USB or Firewire is usually plug-and-go. RAID. SAN. Fiberchannel. Critical color monitors. Component video cards. All possible. None require an IT degree to set up.

Pricey? Maybe. However, lots of "options" are standard on Macs. And compared to what a three-deck edit bay used to cost with a good controller and all the necessary extras, this is pocket change. In fact, compared to what I paid for my Media 100 system over time, FCP is cheaper than the cost of a single upgrade.

OS lacking? How so? For the general user the key is good software, which is usually the case. The underlying OS isn't accessed by the average editor or content creator. Finding stuff: Easy. Moving stuff: Easy. Networking: Easy. Multi-user, shared-file edit system with FCP? Maybe not so easy. But then there's Avid. And it's still on Macs. See: http://www.studiodaily.com/filmandvi...len_11309.html

Utilities? For the average user there's about 30 that comes with the OS installation. 28 of which I don't ever use. There are other third-party disk utilities like Disk Warrior or SoftRaid.

As for recovery utilities: make backups. It's far less distressing than praying for salvation.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 06:42 AM   #23
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Which of the 5 con's do you not agree with?

Price is easy to compare and can not be disputed. They are much costlier than PC. Simple MacPro system with only 4 HDD's is already $ 5850. Comparable PC less than $ 2500.

There is no way to fit say 20 disks internally in a MAC, like you can easily do with a PC.
There is not a long list of hardware options as there is for PC.

You can't find a lot of useful utilities on MAC as you can for PC. Example GSpot, but the list is far longer.

Try a CS4 project on PC and MAC and you will see that multi threading is disastrous and erratic on MAC. Not so on PC.

The number of users with a PC is many times larger than MAC. Thus more expertise around for support.

None of these remarks can be disputed I think.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 07:30 AM   #24
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We're heading into platform war territory. Let's stay away from that generic and verboten topic and stick to explicitly assisting the original poster, if there really is anything else useful to be said. Otherwise this thread has probably run its course...
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Old February 5th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
Which of the 5 con's do you not agree with?

Price is easy to compare and can not be disputed. They are much costlier than PC. Simple MacPro system with only 4 HDD's is already $ 5850. Comparable PC less than $ 2500.

There is no way to fit say 20 disks internally in a MAC, like you can easily do with a PC.
There is not a long list of hardware options as there is for PC.

You can't find a lot of useful utilities on MAC as you can for PC. Example GSpot, but the list is far longer.

Try a CS4 project on PC and MAC and you will see that multi threading is disastrous and erratic on MAC. Not so on PC.

The number of users with a PC is many times larger than MAC. Thus more expertise around for support.

None of these remarks can be disputed I think.
Well, in a way, these remarks can be disputed. Let me just say that from the standpoint of having Windows XP, Windows Vista, and OSX Leopard in my household, I see the value of having all options available so that the right tool for the job is at my disposal.

The Apple Computer that existed before OSX is not something I relished or used. But after learning that OSX is a GUI for the BSD Unix under the hood, no more need be said. I would hardly call OSX 'limited'. And with the implementation of Intel Processors, the Apple Mac of today can utilize both major OS platforms, but the reverse is not true (without some serious hacking).

I once felt that the Apple computer was more expensive than its counterpart, until I realized that given equal CPU speed, RAM size, disc space parameters, I was getting a faster performing system for a given task. Again, this goes back to the UNIX OS which is leaner and faster than Windows. Like Dean, I learned that some of the software included as standard with an OSX system was an optional cost for my Windows systems. For internet usage, I have no need for protective software running at all times under OSX, thus affecting performance, and requiring money to upkeep.

There are several software packages which run on both OS platforms where I prefer the Windows version, so that's the version I use. I don't like a few things about OSX either but after nearly 5 years, I have first hand experience in saying it has been a very pleasant computing experience overall.

Honestly, I'm not aware of what PC enclosure holds '20 disks', but that's a lot of heat to be subjecting any enclosure to. What I do know is that the current Mac Pro tower can hold up to eight drives internally, with some additional third party hardware and I believe there is native support for 5 drives internally. With the capacities of current drives hitting 2TB, I don't see a limiting factor here either.

As Dean mentioned, there is ample support, including the Apple retail stores, and on forums such as our own DVINFO. No, there is no lack of support or user groups for FCP and other high end applications. And the retail stores or the support line will spend the time to hold your hand through the most basic of tasks. Neither of those last two support options cost any money, they are offered at no charge.

There really is no reason any more to limit your choice. My personal advice is to use both systems. Spend the money to get an Apple system, then add a Windows partition or, buy an inexpensive PC to get the best of both worlds. That way, you can come to your own conclusions about which tool to use for the job at hand, which is how I always approach any task.

I would advise the originator of the thread to 'test drive' both systems using whatever software they think would fit their needs, and see which they like. A lot of things always come down to ergonomics once all other variables are eliminated, be it cameras, NLES, steadicams, automobiles or what have you.

Respectfully,

Greg Boston
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Old February 5th, 2010, 05:02 PM   #26
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Well said, Greg.

For my own system here I use hot-swappable RAIDs and have about two dozen terabyte HDD's on the shelf with archive material. So there's no need to have 20 HDD's online, and it's a lot more energy efficient.

If I need something out of that archive I can easily insert the drives and pull anything off them as soon as they mount. It's about as simple as the 5.25" floppy discs I used back in the last quarter of the 20th Century. Those things had an amazing capacity exceeding 180 kb!

If I did need to have more capacity online, I'd get a server. But there's only me working here and there's absolutely no need for that much online capacity to crank out a dozen one-hour shows per season in HD.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 07:27 PM   #27
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Very sensible responses. I've had little problem as a PC user working with Mac folk, though I do tend to tease a lot. My issues with the Mac tend to stem more from Apple corporate culture than with the machine itself. Sometimes the isolationist nature of Steve Jobs really makes things unnecessarily difficult when they need not be. I'll cite some examples.

1. The decision to base FCP on ProRes, and then shut everyone else out from it. Final Cut Pro is a fine program, and many people use it. But the initial decision to lock out PCs entirely, was just silly. Locking out Apple's own software like FCE was just asinine. The decision was not a technical limitation, just one of totally unnecessary protectionism.

2. The decision to not support BluRay. Clearly this is not a technical limitation as the BluRay hardware connects just fine. And it's not an OS issue as Adobe is happily writing BluRay on the same platform. Again, it's just the personal decision of one man causing untold problems for tens of thousands of owners.

3. The decision to not really support WMV or NTFS. Really this is not that hard. And whether Apple likes it or not, it is a small player in terms of total sales against PCs. It would REALLY make a lot of sense if they could ease the interoperability. There is nothing at all keeping them from reading and writing to NTFS. There are utilities for the Mac to do so. And reading and writing WMV files is rudimentary. Other NLEs manage it just fine. Again it's simply an isolationist attitude that need not be there. The people who like Apples are not going to jump ship. And the people who prefer PCs are generally quite comfortable with that.

The one thing I do find an advantage on PCs is that there tends to be a lot more in the way of high quality, free utilities for doing any number of things. Programs like Virtualdub simply don't exist on the Mac platform. And that is really unfortunate.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #28
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Does your Mac have PCI Express? It sounds to be a few generations old(is it PPC or Intel), and most if not all hardware these days are PCI Express. Another thing to look into is whether your video card is supported.

Something else to consider is Adobe's CS5 and their Mercury Playback Engine.
The Genesis Project: Technology Sneek Peek: Adobe® Mercury Playback Engine

Furthermore, since you will be editing AVCHD (from DSLRs), you current Mac is underpowered if you want a smooth editing experience.
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