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Old August 27th, 2007, 03:20 AM   #1
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Should I choose Mac or Pc

I have been a pc user since I could type, but from alot of comments in and around forums it has come to light that Macs are great at film production i.e. FCP. My question is it worth a indie filmaker as myself to switch from pc, which I've used for around 13years to Mac, which I haven't even spent a day behind. I really need help with this because coming this winter I'll be purchasing my setup, cameras, on t lights, as well as editing workflow station, and I'm not sure what to do. I need serious feedback, which can aide me in my choice. Learning the nw OS doesn't scare me as much as purchasing several Grand woth of equipment and learning that I should've went the other route. Thanks so much for the help.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 03:56 AM   #2
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I think the main question you should ask yourself is; is there currently anything you can't do on your pc, as indie filmaker, that would force you to switch to a mac? Though I'm sure you will get plenty reactions from Mac/pc users telling you that their system will be the best, and just using the search function on this site will give a lot of similar questions and debates often ending in bashing up eachother.
I have asked myself the same question some time ago but reading the forums now it seems that FCP 6 does have stability problems even causing production houses switching back to FCP5 but then again I also read about premiere CS3 users complaining about the stability of this new release.
Switching to a mac is a quite big investment but I'm sure you won't regret it, on the other hand staying on a pc is a bit cheaper and with the right set-up hardware/software you won't regret it either.
One of the reasons to switch to a mac could be that it's a client requirement that you work with fcp, if you got the cash you can buy fcp and premiere on a mac. But then on a pc you can use vegas or edius which both have proven to be very good nle's.

I think the biggest disadvantage of fcp is that you can't try it out on a pc, you must buy a mac first and then see if you made a good choice.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 04:21 AM   #3
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I'm not overly concerned about the switch from pc to mac as price goes, because I need an upgrade of my pc also, for my post production. What I'm thinking is buying a mac book pro at the cheapest level (2gb) and upgrading the ram myself, which would run me close to $1700 +$149 for FCP. And if I got a new PC (laptop) I would still spend close $1200 software included. But I just wanted to know is FCP worth it for a noob at editing or should I take my time and work with Vegas on the PC.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 07:09 AM   #4
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I'd stick with whatever you're most familiar with. Your productivity would only be hampered with learning a new machine unnecessarily.

(And I'm a Mac user.)
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Old August 27th, 2007, 07:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Though I'm sure you will get plenty reactions from Mac/pc users telling you that their system will be the best, and just using the search function on this site will give a lot of similar questions and debates often ending in bashing up each other.
Just a word of warning. What Noa pointed out here, will not be tolerated at DVINFO.

Jimmy, I don't think you would regret owning a Mac system. I've had one for a couple years now after being a strictly DOS/Windows guy since IBM offered up the original 'personal computer'. Although I still have both systems in my house, I find the Mac gets 90 percent of my computer usage. I don't have an Intel based Mac, but all the new ones are, of course. There is software that allows you to install and run Windows on the Mac systems these days. Several people have reported good experiences running native apps like Vegas NLE in this mode. Of course you have to buy a stand alone copy of Windows, but you'll get pretty much the best of both worlds in one machine with this approach.

Since there are numerous Apple retail stores around the country now, I'd suggest going to one of them and asking to see FCP demonstrated. This will also allow you to see if the software 'feels' right to you.

Best of luck, whatever you decide.

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Old August 27th, 2007, 07:41 AM   #6
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In addition to Adobe CS3, Sony Vegas, Soundforge, Acid, and Cinescore all run on PCs and provide thoroughly professional tools. Just pointing out their equally powerful tools to FCP on the PC, some would even say better. YMMV
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Old August 27th, 2007, 09:24 AM   #7
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A fresh experience

No bashing at all, Macs are wonderful machines and FCP is a good NLE.

But on Saturday afternoon I visited a good old friend who's been in video as an expert amateur (sounds like an oxymoron?), shall we call him high class hobbyist... long time Mac person together with his son, also head first into video. They own at least a Mac desktop and a laptop that I know of, and they've been using FCP for years.

I was surprized to see a shiny new PC under the editing desk, so obviously I asked why? They said they needed to upgrade the hardware, did some research... Macs are proprietary this, proprietary that, proprietary everything... the PC came out half price (put it together themselves). They moved to Adobe for software, they love jumping from app to app, integration rocks, there is nothing they were used to doing on the Mac that they can't do on the PC.

As I said just a fresh experience... long live both the Mac and the PC... and you go with whatever suits your production needs and your pocket.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 10:46 AM   #8
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Not to burst their bubble, but Adobe's CS3 Master Collection is also available for Mac. If they want to be editing with Adobe's products, you can do that on a Mac just as easily as you can on Windows.

Furthermore, you can run Windows on a Mac, while also having an OSX partition. So, I don't think their argument is well thought-out.

However, if price is a major issue, then yes, you'll save some bucks on rolling your own Windows box.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #9
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If you want to be a professional editor, you might as well switch to FCP and learn it now. If you don't care, then I'd stick with a PC and master whatever NLE you are using now.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
If you want to be a professional editor, you might as well switch to FCP and learn it now.
Would you mind expanding on that? I don't quite understand what you're getting at. All things being equal (skills of the editor, computer, etc) how does Final Cut make you a more professional editor?
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Old August 27th, 2007, 12:03 PM   #11
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What Mathew said ... If anything, Avid is still the NLE of choice for the studio post houses. The corporate professionals tend to favour Adobe, not FCP, while Vegas is giving all three of them a run for the money with professionals of all stripes. To say that if you want to be a pro you MUST learn FCP is simply not true.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 12:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Eric Darling View Post
Not to burst their bubble, but Adobe's CS3 Master Collection is also available for Mac. If they want to be editing with Adobe's products, you can do that on a Mac just as easily as you can on Windows.

Furthermore, you can run Windows on a Mac, while also having an OSX partition. So, I don't think their argument is well thought-out.

However, if price is a major issue, then yes, you'll save some bucks on rolling your own Windows box.
Unless you're spending someone else's money, then money is ALWAYS an issue for all of us regular people, yes, a major issue. I don't see your point with your first line either - if they wanted a Mac, they would have kept FCP, why move to Adobe? Their goal was to do the job without breaking the bank.

To me the hard part is not fighting over which tool is more professional than the other, but to learn professional editing. THAT is what makes you a pro editor, not Adobe or Avid or FCP. Give a professional editor good footage and Windows Movie Maker and he'll cut you a masterpiece!
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Old August 27th, 2007, 01:13 PM   #13
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My personal story was one of having lousy experience with PC laptops. I ended up buying a MacBook and running boot camp with all my PC software, I rarely boot into the Mac OS. It is the most reliable laptop I have owned. MacBooks/Pros are not much more expensive than PC laptops. This would give you the best of both worlds. Now, if you are buying a desktop computer, you would save quite a bit of cash by buying a PC and I have found desktop PCs very reliable. Both OSes will get the job done.

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Old August 27th, 2007, 01:17 PM   #14
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Unless you're spending someone else's money, then money is ALWAYS an issue for all of us regular people, yes, a major issue.
I agree - it's an issue. Didn't say it wasn't. But let's analyze the true total bill...

Quote:
I don't see your point with your first line either - if they wanted a Mac, they would have kept FCP, why move to Adobe? Their goal was to do the job without breaking the bank.
If they already owned FCP ($999), then, why would they want to spend that kind of dough to invest in Adobe Premeire Pro? If the primary goal was saving money, this could prove potentially counter-productive. Of course, they saved some money on the new computer being a roll-your-own variety, but they had to spend something near the difference in new software. They wanted to go Windows. That's fine. There are many valid reasons for going that way, and saving money can be one. It's just that there are associated costs with switching platforms, and perhaps not all of those costs were fully explored prior to making the decision. Maybe they were, and I'm not getting the full story. That's OK, too. I'm just pointing out that a savings on hardware necessitated an additional expenditure in software in this case. That's all.

Quote:
To me the hard part is not fighting over which tool is more professional than the other, but to learn professional editing. THAT is what makes you a pro editor, not Adobe or Avid or FCP. Give a professional editor good footage and Windows Movie Maker and he'll cut you a masterpiece!
Cutting is something I used to do with a razor blade and adhesive tape. You don't even need a computer to do it. So what is the hard part, then? The hard part is not fighting over a tool (that's easy, and everyone can do it). The hard part is deciding which tool best serves your purposes. That's a decision worth pondering for awhile.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 01:39 PM   #15
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IMO...

A- It's not hard switching to Mac. Though there are some minor annoyances that you have to get used to (crtl and alt kind of flip positions, Mac file system versus NTFS, etc.). But it's not hard to swtch.

If you are thinking of working as an editor, I don't think you can go wrong learning FCP. There are so many people who use it.

Quote:
If anything, Avid is still the NLE of choice for the studio post houses.
For higher-end broadcast work (commercials, TV series, etc.), FCP is also used as well as Avid. This is both for offline and online editing. Though there is probably more Avid than FCP. For online editing, a number of different systems are used. Avid isn't always #1... for onlining commercials, the #1 system is Flame.
However, for that type of work, you also need some experience working an entry-level position like intern or tape op before you know enough to be a decent assistant editor. And then gain enough skills to work as an editor. Working in that niche is not something you can learn at home.

B- If you want to get into broadcast design work, get After Effects Pro. It is a very deep program.

C- If you're just looking at doing your own films, I would strongly consider Vegas for its value. The NLEs out there (Premiere, Avid, FCP, Vegas, etc.) pretty much do the same thing. If you need to get into more complicated stuff like compositing in special effects, then you'd look at something like After Effects.

Vegas is very very good for one man army type of work... you can do all your audio editing in it, and a little bit of effects work in it. And it has good color correction tools. The other NLEs are kind of clunky when it comes to audio editing, so you might look at emporting an OMF/whatever to the bundled audio mixing applications. Which is not as elegant a workflow.

D- If you need/want After Effects, then you might also look at the Adobe suite for its value. Whereas the NLEs don't make a difference on output quality, you can use After Effects to fix problems in your footage, add effects, paint stuff out / remove logos, compositing in matte paintings, etc. etc.

But learning After Effects is only if you want to get into really detailed stuff... it may spread yourself too thin. You might be better off spending your money on other items (other gear, production budget, rent, food, whatever).
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