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Old September 22nd, 2007, 02:58 AM   #1
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Which Computer will be better....

Well I have XL2+EF lenses, am into nature video specially birds. I'm not well versed with editting & required a good system. Can you people help me to get the better one, which configuration will be better(hardcore).
How about I Mac/PC & different configurations of hard disc, RAM,etc.
As I told, am beginner in this, kindly excuse me for rudely asking for too much.
Ashok
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 04:30 AM   #2
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Hi.

Well, there are a lot of debates between Macs and PCs. Really, it comes down to preference (none yet for you), experience (not a factor for you, so you've got options), and a few small differences. Both will do fine.

I like Macs for editing, personally. Everything flows well, external hard drives don't need drivers, cameras usually work well, software is nice, the OS looks better than windows, etc.
But I can also do all the same stuff on a PC.

One advantage to a Mac is iMovie. It's MUCH better than Windows Movie Maker (the PC clone of it), and you will really like working with it if you don't want to get into more advanced programs. It supports HD, even.

FCP is nice for editing (and the whole suite is good in many ways too). The adobe products are now being offered for OSX again, and they are also available for PC. I'd probably recommend them for PC (though a few other options are out there, like Avid, Vegas, etc.). For a Mac, Final Cut Studio makes sense as it's designed specifically for Macs and a lot of people really like it. FCP and Premiere are almost identical, so I wouldn't worry too much about which one you use (or even switching between them later if that came up). In fact, they sorta grew from the same project to begin with. Same layout generally, terms, etc.

You can decide Mac or PC yourself, but I will say this:
Macs are generally more expensive, but people who use Macs generally like using Macs. I don't hear many people complaining about wanting to switch to PCs, certainly.
PCs are an option, too, and would do fine (and cost less, probably), but they don't appeal as much, to me anyway.


For hardware, you want at least 2GB ram, and maybe 3, but that isn't a huge issue. More won't hurt, but isn't really needed (probably).
A fast processor is great. As high as you can get. Dual core 2.33ghz is nice for me. I wouldn't mind faster, though, of course.
Lots and lots of hard drive space, especially for HD, as I expect you may end up shooting. You'll want to save it uncompressed for no quality loss, and that takes up gigabytes fast. 500GB is fine to start, but you'll want more later, especially for archiving. I suggest external harddrives for backups. They're not too expensive now. $400 US or less for a 1TB external drive. Not bad.

Dual monitor setups or nice large widescreen displays are also very nice.

A comfortable and accessible work environment will really make editing better. If you can spread out your work on two monitors, have a mouse/keyboard you like, speakers (get good ones with a subwoofer, if you plan to use any music, especially), etc., you'll be happy editing.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 04:52 AM   #3
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Here we go............

OK, ball straight back into your court Ashok - what is available where you are or somewhere close?

There's little point me or anyone banging on about their favourite system setups when we don't have a budget, don't know what you can source where, how close support is (if any) and all that stuff.

As I can see all sorts of problems crawling out of the woodwork with you trying to import an editing system into India from abroad, I definately think you need to see what you can source locally. Once we have an idea of what is available, it will make the job of suggesting a decent setup a lot easier.

And, of course, a budget! (that should be a 4 letter word - wait, maybe it is - CASH!).

Your not shooting HD, so we're not looking at a Cray III here, so that helps, a bit.

Off the top of my head, without having a clue what you can actually source locally, I'd say PC, if it wasn't for Vista. Getting a PC with XP could be quite a challenge at this point.

Which leaves Mac of one flavour or another, tho' I percieve the "cost of ownership" to be considerably higher than a PC - tho' this undoubtedly depends on pricing in India.

Gonna need some more info I think Ashok - what's around local and what sort of prices are they? Can you get XP loaded PC's? Is there a Mac dealer within a 1000 miles?

That should keep you going for a day or two.


CS
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 10:19 AM   #4
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Thanks Daniel & Chris........

Here in India Mac is 2 1/2 time expensive to PC. We do have dealer network in my place for PC (HP,Lenova,Compaq). Bangalore is the HQ of Apple India, so no problem of getting the products.
The advantage with PC is, I can get the service very fast. My friend is the dealer for HP products. but this is not the case with Mac, the computer has to go to Bangalore.
Some friends of mine have the opinion that, Mac is good for video editting & the picture in the monitor are very sharp but with PC pictures are not that sharp.
My budget aprox Rs90K(Rs40=$1), whether iMac is better or apple's monitor+CPU. because I can add on to CPU like additional hard disc, hard drive, RAM & so on. this may not be possible with iMac ( this is my idea).
Daniel, will you elaborate more on 2 monitors system operation.
Ashok
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 11:23 AM   #5
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I think you answered your own question. Get a PC as its a lot more convenient for you and less costly. PC's work fine as long as you are not tempted to load them up with a lot of free and poor software that will slow down and potentially make your PC give you problems. Stick with the software that you need ONLY. Hardware for PC and Mac are close to the same at the moment with Mac using an Intel processor its a PC with Mac operating system in a very well designed box. With either system more RAM is better, separate hard drive for video storage, dual core processor for encoding and there are plenty of video cards for the PC that have dual monitor output from ATI or NVidia. Dual motiors will allow you to spread you desktop and have timeline, resource and effects windows and preview window open at the same time.
To start, a low cost editing software like Premiere Elements or Vegas Movie studio will give you the basics. When you are more proficient you will have your own views as to what you want and will be in a better position to choose.

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Old September 22nd, 2007, 12:27 PM   #6
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Quite honestly, any Core 2 Duo or faster computer, regardless of which OS and editing software setup you choose, will be MORE than adequate to smoothly edit standard definition (eg miniDV) video.

All you really need to do is decide what will be most convenient, cost effective, and enjoyable for you to obtain, maintain, and use. A lot of folks are perfectly happy using a 17" laptop as their primary editing machine. Others prefer 24" and larger dual-displays to concurrently run their editing app and After Effects or audio software. Just decide how you would like to work and buy a system that fits.

In summary, brand, OS, software...for miniDV it just doesn't matter as long as you're comfortable. Like they say, it is the musician, not the instrument. They'll all do a fine job.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 01:15 PM   #7
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Get whichever you are used to. They are both good tools, and honestly neither have any kind of advantage over the other, now that Macs can boot Windows/PC software (PCs used to have the huge advantage of having way more software options).

Like Pete said, if you are editing standard (miniDV) definition video from your XL2, don't get roped into buying cutting edge... Heck, up until 4 months ago I was editing on a 4 year old 2ghz P4 (single CPU) with 1gb of RAM, and it did everything in real time, perfectly.

If that's all you are doing, you don't need to spend more than $500 on a PC, plus whatever hard drive space you want. Anything else is flushing money down the toilet. :)
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 01:22 PM   #8
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Also, check out reconditioned hardware. There are a lot of very usable used machines on the market. For the XL2 (I also have one), many older macs and pc will do the job. With the turnover to HD, good hardware for SD is spilling into the 'ol bone yards... I would ask around at some local studios, or place an ad.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 01:30 PM   #9
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I caution you about just buying the first available and convenient option. Sure, it might be harder to get a certain system, but even if you do need to wait two weeks while it's shipped in from 3 continents away, you'll be much happier in the end if it's a better system.
90,000/40= $2250 or so. That's a bit on the low end for a good mac. Macbook pro [laptop] (*macbook [standard] won't even run final cut, so you need the pro) starts at $1999 and tha'ts only 1GB ram. I have the $2499 version. It's nice. I'd recommend it. Or, get the Mac Pro [desktop tower] and that will give you a bit more power, but I think it's around the same price range.

If you can afford a mac and you get it and learn how to use it, I'm sure you won't regret it.

There are also student discounts if that applies to you.

Note-- stay away from Apple brand displays. They are incredibly expensive and you can find a third party one for less that is just as good. (They're very nice displays, but the cost is insane-- sometimes more than the computer.)

PCs would be ok too, but everyone else who posted seems to be suggesting just settling for them because they're cheaper and convenient. Think twice, at least. Doesn't sound to me like anyone is saying they're "better". And you were asking about the best.

As said, Vista is horrible. Do whatever you can to avoid it. It barely runs most editing software from what I've heard. (Luckily I've almost completely avoided it.)

A Mac would also give you iMovie. It's very simple, but powerful, especially for the type of thing you want to edit.
I'd recommend iMovie over Premiere Elements or Vegas. And you'd have to buy those separately.

Though I know you are currently shooting SD, you might want to shoot HD in the future or do other work that is more intense on the processor. You don't want to settle for a low end $500 computer because it will end up obsolete quickly and you'd be happier with a faster computer for rendering, etc., anyway.

Plan for a bit of expansion now, pay a bit more, then you won't have to replace your setup when you start doing a bit more.

If you want a $500 computer, just go for the Mac Mini. It should run iMovie fine, if slowly, and you're done. But that isn't a great idea for obvious reasons (that also apply to any PC in that range).

Either system would work, though that doesn't mean you'd have the same experience with both. It depends on the editor.

However, does anyone here know of anyone who bought a mac, regretted it, and ended up getting a PC instead?
I can't think of anyone, but I know a lot of people, myself included, who have bought a Mac to get away from using PCs.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 02:16 PM   #10
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Hi again....

Ashok,

if PC resources are readilly available (and you can get XP) and significantly cheaper than Apple, this bit of light reading may give you some pointers as to what you can stuff into that case.

Obviously local availability needs to be taken into account, but a great deal of the nitty gritty of building one of these systems, and the various bolt - ons, are explained in great detail.

A good intro into the subject for the un - initiated. Check it out.

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=95335

You might want to run a shopping list of stuff past some of your mates to see what leaps out as easy to get etc.


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; September 22nd, 2007 at 03:45 PM. Reason: Finger trouble.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 08:04 AM   #11
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Halo Friends,

I showed these mails to my friends, they are in editing line. Their advice is as follows,
Intel mother board 965, intel core duo 2.4GHZ,250X2 Seagate,2GB RAM, 20 TFTGraphic card 256MB ,Card reader. They use Pinnacle.
Do you all think is it ok. I know ultimately, have to decide myself, still need your opinion.
Ashok
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Old September 26th, 2007, 10:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashok Mansur View Post
I showed these mails to my friends, they are in editing line. Their advice is as follows,
Intel mother board 965, intel core duo 2.4GHZ,250X2 Seagate,2GB RAM, 20 TFTGraphic card 256MB ,Card reader. They use Pinnacle.
Do you all think is it ok.
Yes, that should be more than adequate for editing footage from your XL2. My advice would be to get a good notebook computer if you can afford one, since desktops are unnecessary these days for DV editing and notebooks are far more convenient. So either a Macbook Pro in whatever configuration you can afford or any brand-name PC notebook with a decent Core 2 Duo processor (2 GHz or faster). 2 GB RAM is plenty, and get a graphic card with at least 256-512 MB of real (not 'shared') video memory.
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Old September 27th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #13
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Thanks Kevin...

Do you think notebook/laptops are better than desk top, apart from portability?

Ashok
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Old September 27th, 2007, 10:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashok Mansur View Post
Do you think notebook/laptops are better than desk top, apart from portability?
Desktops are still more powerful, but for DV editing that's largely irrelevant - today's good laptops are more than adequate for the task. For HD editing desktops still have an advantage, but even there a laptop may be suitable depending on your circumstances.
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Old September 27th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #15
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Ashok,

You need to pick your editing software/NLE first - that will tell you which hardware you need to buy. Spend time testing different software, and asking around in your area what people use the most. When you're done, I bet you'll have a very good idea of which computer you need.
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