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High Definition Video Editing Solutions
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Old December 27th, 2009, 12:13 PM   #1
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Mac or PC for Post?

I'm currently in photography and use a Mac for my post on photos. Now that I'm looking towards video I'm hearing from my videographer friends that PC may be better suited towards video than a Mac.

As I'll have to buy new video software etc, would it be better to go to video on PC or Mac from a "blank slate" choice.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme Hay View Post
I'm currently in photography and use a Mac for my post on photos. Now that I'm looking towards video I'm hearing from my videographer friends that PC may be better suited towards video than a Mac.

As I'll have to buy new video software etc, would it be better to go to video on PC or Mac from a "blank slate" choice.
This is something of a religious discussion. But to be honest, you'd be better served choosing an editor FIRST, and then choosing the platform that editor runs best on. Now that Macs run on Intel, and the good NLEs are all SO close in features and performance, it hardly matters.

I'm a PC guy, but collaborate with Mac folks all the time. We both have our war stories, and we both have our positive stories.

As far as I'm concerned, either one would work just fine. The Mac tends to be a bit more stable because of the monolithic hardware, but the drawback is the monolithic hardware! :) The PC offers more choices, but the more chance to introduce something that's not stable.

Frankly, I've just gone to Avid on PC (evaluation copy) and I couldn't be happier. But it's more pricey that most folks would put up with.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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Good point on software, as I'm currently using an old version Adobe Photoshop for my Photography I was looking at maybe getting Premier (in a production package) so I could get the new PS & All of Adobe's video software.

I think that would be enough for my initial purposes.

<Note - I'm going to be using a DSLR-v for video as it looks like it will meet my style of filming and allows for some serious syngery and costs savings with my photography.>
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Old December 27th, 2009, 12:42 PM   #4
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It would probably be helpful to do two things.

1. List out your current hardware. The most important bits are CPU, HDD, RAM, Video card.

2. Download trial versions. You can get trial versions of nearly all the major NLEs. Try the ones that are in your price range, and give them a fair shot. Some will have a steeper learning curve than others. Stay with it long enough to get the feel for it.

In my evaluation, I am taking REAL work product through the NLE from start to finish and producing a finished work. I've finished 2 projects in Avid and I've had the software less than a week. One of them was a multi-camera shoot that I abandoned in Vegas this past summer. I got it done in a day and a half in Avid.

The very powerful editors give you so much flexibility and capability, it's scary how fast you can work in them. I had been watching Vegas absolutely choke on my 5D files. Not knowing what to expect in Avid, I was shocked when I started editing and playing them back full-screen, full frame rate with effects on the clips. I couldn't believe my eyes.

So make sure you take YOUR files (not some demo stuff) through the entire workflow to see what you'd really get.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
It would probably be helpful to do two things.

1. List out your current hardware. The most important bits are CPU, HDD, RAM, Video card.
Computer - MacPro
2Chips x 2 cores at 2GHZ each = 8GHZ
9GB of DDR2 Ram (2 Open Card Slots for More Memory if Required)
256MB - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT
HD - 500GB left of free (backed-up) space, but I can flip drives around and put in larger drives into bays.

Monitor - Samsung 216BW - 1680 x 1050 @ 60 Hz - Depth: 32-Bit Color
[Space for a second Monitor]

As for #2, Once I purchase my video camera i'll take out the trails and run some videos through them, currently I'm using some software I have (very basic) to handle the Flip Ultra HD video. So far the software will barely handle 720p, but it isn't taking full advantage of the hardware. So I need a program that will, or GHZ and MB are wasted.

Like in Photography I'm interested in speed of work as I want to spend time "in the field" taking pictures/video etc, rather than in front of a computer. For me speed and ease of post is ideal.
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Last edited by Graeme Hay; December 27th, 2009 at 06:02 PM. Reason: Clarification of Processor Speed
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Old December 27th, 2009, 02:38 PM   #6
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When you say "2GHZx4 = 8GHZ," do you mean you have a quad core chip running at 2GHz? If so, you should be okay for most apps and video types. If you have another socket for a second processor, you might consider that for speed, as you say that's important to you (as it is for many of us).

Perrone's right about it being more of a software than hardware decision. But if you are a Mac person and are comfortable with that hardware and how it "thinks," you will likely be more productive with the hardware you already know than if you switch to a different platform.

Note that the Adobe trials are not fully functional -- they don't do any form of mpeg or HD, so you won't be able to fully run them through their paces. You need to purchase, register and activate them to get that functionality. Frankly, if your hardware will support it, I'd recommend Final Cut, as most Mac users seem to be pretty happy with it (but note that Macs don't, as yet, support Blu-Ray, if that's important to you).

There's no "best," only what's best for you.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #7
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You can run boot camp and use any software you like.
I suggest buying a camera first and then choosing a software. For example the DSLR's are hot right now but they don't work well with Sony Vegas at least the Canons don't.

Vegas and Edius offer the best bang for the buck though. I'd discourage you from Final Cut because it's pitifully slow.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 07:31 PM   #8
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Boot Camp isn't as exciting as people make it out to be, I have serious issues with it and it definitely isn't accessing 100% of the computing power with XP, perhaps Win7 is different?
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Old January 6th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #9
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for what it's worth I have worked in the IT industry since 1995 and use nothing but pc's, for both RAW photography via lightroom and HD video production via premiere and encore. this summer i switched to mac and haven't looked back. it took a bit to get used to since the workflow is different but overally i favor the mac much more. it's faster, more stable, WAY FASTER IN EXPORTING A TIMELINE! the one thing pc excels at is blu ray production...which is something i'm working on in mac right now. apple won't adopt blu ray so i'm piecing things together to get it to work. the blu ray workflow on pc via premiere pro and adobe encore is outstanding. i have an imac 24"...sold my quad core pc. never thought i would see the day. i still like pc but only use mac now.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #10
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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.

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Old January 6th, 2010, 09:46 PM   #11
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As far as I can tell, as long as the capabilities of Edius Neo 2.5 are adequate for any particular purpose, it's the best NLE for working directly with AVCHD source footage. That booster thing is a godsend for editing AVCHD if you are not transcoding source footage, and using an intermediate codec for editing purposes. I'm not aware of any other NLE that can even really get close to the performance that Edius Neo 2.5 affords you, when dropping AVCHD source straight onto the timeline.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 11:13 PM   #12
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I'm with Perrone - I'm a Mac/FCP guy and have been for 11 years now, having used FCP, Avid Media Composer, Media100 and Premiere. I settled on FCP because I liked the workflow (back in the days of v1.0.2) AND because I could afford it (AVID was $50k+ back then and Premiere was still a multimedia toy in '99).

I've used Premiere in the past 2 years and I PERSONALLY can't stand the little things that inhibit my productivity. FCP works the way I do (although with each subsequent version, it seems less so...) so I use it.

At THIS point of the OP's career, I would find a software package that makes sense and make sure it's one of the BIG boys IF you intend on collaborating with others or becoming a freelance editor. If you only ever intend on editing your own stuff in your own suite, it doesn't matter what you choose. If you want a skill set you can sell externally, I'd stick with AVID, FCP or Premiere, not NECESSARILY entirely in that order. Once you've decided on the software, the hardware choice becomes easier.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 03:41 AM   #13
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FWIW, I edit with a Mac.

I produce a one-hour TV show. All the shots are color corrected in Color. All the audio gets mixed down and cleaned up in Soundtrack Pro. There are green screen shots to be composited with After Effects. And everything is in HD.

It's not a perfect solution but I get the job done and have had some very nice complements from casual viewers and fellow professionals.

If you already have a Mac, then all you need is FCP Studio. You'll be well on your way while saving a few thousand dollars.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 10:43 PM   #14
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hey Dean, what are your capture / export settings for HD with your show? thanks
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Old January 7th, 2010, 11:12 PM   #15
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hey Dean, what are your capture / export settings for HD with your show? thanks
I shoot with a Sony EX1. The format is 1080p30, XDCam EX.

After editing, it's color corrected and graded, then rendered in Apple ProRes 422 HQ. It's what Color renders to by default.

The show is converted to 1080i XDCam EX for delivery to Oceanic Time/Warner, and it's delivered as a file on a hard drive.
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