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Old July 18th, 2012, 02:29 AM   #1
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Upgrading, Avid vs. Premiere, need workstation suggestions, camera feedback

Hi all,
I am in the process of researching will continue to search the forum. But in the meantime....
I am upgrading and am planning, in the interest of bread and butter, to focus on wedding video for awhile, (then would eventually like to be back in broadcast or doing documentaries).
Budget is limited. Welcome your feedback/recommendations.

1) I am looking at definitely staying with a Mac platform ( I'm thinking a Macbook. Portability is extremely important to me, but I'm wondering if a desktop station would have better editing power, upgradeability, or bang-for-the-buck.

2) Am switching from FCP to either Avid or Premiere, depending. I need a complete solution similar to FC Studio. Many of the things I do are very graphics-heavy in which case Premiere might make sense, but I would like to be prepared for broadcast in which case Avid makes sense. I am wondering:
a) What are the system recommendations to edit smoothly with these? What is your experience with this?
b) Will Media Composer have everything I need or will I have to buy additional programs?

3) The camera I am looking at to replace the PD 170 is a Sony HXR_NX5U. Is that a good choice? I will read the giant camera thread, just thought I'd throw the question in here anyway.

4) Any other recommendations are appreciated as well.

Thanks! =)
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Old July 18th, 2012, 03:42 AM   #2
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Re: Upgrading, Avid vs. Premiere, need workstation suggestions, camera feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kell Smith View Post
3) The camera I am looking at to replace the PD 170 is a Sony HXR_NX5U. Is that a good choice? I will read the giant camera thread, just thought I'd throw the question in here anyway.
I'd recommend the EX1R over the NX5. (If you can afford it.) It's better in many respects, but the headline aspects are better resolution (2 megapixel ("fullHD") ) versus 1 megapixel of the NX5, bigger chips (1/2" versus 1/3"), and better codec (XDCAM EX versus AVC-HD.

Disadvantages? Would have to be cost (maybe not surprisingly), it's more expensive, but you are getting a lot more for the money.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 09:44 AM   #3
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Re: Upgrading, Avid vs. Premiere, need workstation suggestions, camera feedback

Thanks David, for your recommendation.
I'll look into that and do some research. Budget is an issue, and I need the camera to stay in the neighborhood of 4k. But I'll look that one up and check out the features and price. Maybe I can cut somewhere else.

Does anyone know if I will need to replace my Sony UWP-C1 lavs?

I wish I could download some free trials of Avid and Premiere, but won't be able to do that until I get a new computer. I'm curious, what are you people out there using that have switched from FCP? And how beefy does the system need to edit smoothly?
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Old July 18th, 2012, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: Upgrading, Avid vs. Premiere, need workstation suggestions, camera feedback

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Originally Posted by Kell Smith View Post
And how beefy does the system need to edit smoothly?
Difficult question to answer directly, it depends what you want to do. What I would say fairly definitively is that for the same level of performance, you'll need to more beef to naively edit AVC-HD than XDCAM. When I said XDCAM was a"better" codec it wan't just thinking in terms of quality.

I'm about to get a system with CS6 Production - I was thinking of FCP, but after what has happened with FCP X a lot of people seem to be going to Avid or Adobe. In the UK Avid may be seen as "more professional" than Premiere - but it's a LOT more expensive.

If the choice was an NX5 with Avid, or an EX with Premiere, I'd go with the EX...... My personal view.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 02:11 PM   #5
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Re: Upgrading, Avid vs. Premiere, need workstation suggestions, camera feedback

As a one year Mac user and PC premiere user since old version 5 - I put CS5 on my new mac - using the cost difference between the 13" and the 17" to fund the software. I don't regret it. Production Premium has everything I need from start to finish. When choosing CS3 a few years ago I went around the FCP/AVID/PREMIERE stands at the video show and total feature set and the tight integration with after effects, photoshop and encore did it.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 03:51 PM   #6
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Re: Upgrading, Avid vs. Premiere, need workstation suggestions, camera feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kell Smith View Post
3) The camera I am looking at to replace the PD 170 is a Sony HXR_NX5U. Is that a good choice? I will read the giant camera thread, just thought I'd throw the question in here anyway.

4) Any other recommendations are appreciated as well.

Thanks! =)
On cameras, with your budget, an NX5 would be a good choice fro moving over from your PD170. An EX1r would be better camera but it will be a whole lot more expensive. There is also the choice of buying a used EX1 (older model), too, which might be closer to you budget. Have you seen this recent thread?

Decision? NX5 or used EX1

A couple of other thoughts in response to your questions and plans.

First, for wedding shoots, are you thinking about multi-cam shooting set-ups? You could buy an NX5 (which requires tinkering with set-ups and shooting manually to get the best results) and also add a second small cam and tripod for locked-down wide shots from another angle. The CX760 (or the previous models like the CX700 or CX550v) are good choices. The little cams work very well on auto settings and the combination of an NX5 and CX (and a second light tripod) would still cost a lot less than an EX1r. On the other hand, if you have an older machine, the 35Mbps XDcam footage might be more easily ingested and run than the AVCHD recorded by the NX and CX cams. I do not do enough work with Macs to know the answer to that, but it is something you might want to check.

Second, the NX5 will be an easier transition from an PD170 than an EX1, and you can use your old accessories and batteries with the NX5.

Third, it strikes me that Avid is only "better for broadcast" if you will be working collaboratively with others who use Avid or if you will be wanting to edit on broadcasters Avid systems. For a one man band, use what you like best. You will have to try out the programs to see which one is easier for you to work with.

Fourth, Avid and Adobe pricing can be weird and hard to decipher. For a while, both Avid and Adobe were offering cut-rate upgrades to FCP users, but I think most of that ended a month ago. However, I believe Videoguys is still offering a $995 cross-grade to Avid Symphony, which comes with Sorenson Squeeze and DVD authoring apps and some color correction/mastering applications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kell Smith View Post
1) I am looking at definitely staying with a Mac platform ( I'm thinking a Macbook. Portability is extremely important to me, but I'm wondering if a desktop station would have better editing power, upgradeability, or bang-for-the-buck.
Editing on a laptop with CS6 can be problemmatic in a couple of ways.

One thing to check to be sure is that the Macbook comes with a GPU that allows you to can run CS with Hardware Mercury Playback Engine enabled. Hardware MPE makes a huge difference is usability and responsiveness with Premiere Pro CS6 and with the Adobe Media Encoder. I'm not familiar with Macbooks, so I cannot give you any details about which might or might not be suitable. Photoshop CS5 and After Effects CS6 do not seem to make much if any use of CUDA processing, but do benefit greatly from expanded RAM. Get as much RAM as you can afford. I have not yet worked some with Avid MC6, but I gather that it, too, benefits from large amounts of RAM.

A second thing is that you may have to compromise some of the portability in order to have an additional drive (two would be better). The fundamental problem with most laptop editing computers usiing the likes of CS6 and MC6 is that hard drives do not read and write simultaneously. But, that is what you make the computer do when you try to run media files, an editing application, and your operating system all from a single drive. This is a large bottleneck that will make CS6, for example, run as though you were using a four year-old dual core processor. What you want is to have the OS and the applications on one drive and the media files on another. Even better is to have the project files (renders, scratch files, etc.) on a third drive. Ideally, for portability, you would be able to get a new MacBook with the OS and applications on an internal Solid State Drive (SSD) and have second, large capacity internal drive for media. Is this possible? Maybe there will be a Thunderbolt port and some portable Thunderbolt external drives? At the very least, you would want a firewire 800 drive.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 06:30 PM   #7
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Re: Upgrading, Avid vs. Premiere, need workstation suggestions, camera feedback

I hesitate to offer what you probably already know, but as you are thinking about PremPro then the Adobe PremPro hardware forum is awash with exactly the information you need. In fact there is a long running thread that is constantly updated:

Adobe Forums: What PC to build? An update...

The consensus used to be that Windows based systems were preferable to Apple for PremPro, but that may have changed in the eight months, or so, that I used the forum for my latest build.

I learnt a few lessons with my build. After putting together a system with a 3930k running at 4.2GHz with 32GB RAM, and GTX570, I was still not able to scrub the timeline or work smoothly until adding a raid0 for the video source drive (with DSLR H.264 1080). I now have 11 drives including the now no brainer SSD for OS and program files, a pair of second gen V’Raptors in a raid0 for video source, a pair of WD 1TB WD Blacks for Exports and other data, plus various internal and USB3 external for other data and backup (with ShadowProtect). One of the raid0 has failed in fact, and I was thankful for the investment I had made in ShadowProtect.

On the other hand, Scott Kelby and the other ‘Photoshop Guys’ over on Photoshop User TV all use Apple laptops exclusively, and I know at least one of them uses the entire suite.

Photoshop User TV - The weekly Photoshop TV show featuring "The Photoshop Guys" Scott Kelby, Dave Cross and Matt Kloskowski. Presented by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP).
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Old July 24th, 2012, 01:52 AM   #8
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Re: Upgrading, Avid vs. Premiere, need workstation suggestions, camera feedback

I have never used Premiere, but I will simply say that I really enjoy editing in Avid. It does everything I need, and I have only scratched the surface.
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Old July 24th, 2012, 12:54 PM   #9
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Re: Upgrading, Avid vs. Premiere, need workstation suggestions, camera feedback

I edit in Avid Media Composer on a 3 year old gaming computer that was a floor model at the local Best Buy. The left over Symphony offer at VideoGuys is a good deal.

Avid has a 30 day trial you can download. What would it hurt to try on your present computer?

OTOH, Adobe's new monthly subscription deal is very attractive.

Whatever you get, how well you learn to use the program is the determining factor, not the program itself.

FWIW, both Premiere and Avid work on either Macs or PCs. If cost is a factor, you can get a lot more PC for the same amount of money.
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Old July 25th, 2012, 02:25 PM   #10
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Re: Upgrading, Avid vs. Premiere, need workstation suggestions, camera feedback

Thank you everyone,
I got called away for a few days and am now back to putting together the estimate. So I just popped in to check the thread. I'll be looking over these recommendations and figuring out where to go from here.
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Old July 25th, 2012, 10:28 PM   #11
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Re: Upgrading, Avid vs. Premiere, need workstation suggestions, camera feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kell Smith View Post
Budget is limited.

1) I am looking at definitely staying with a Mac platform ( I'm thinking a Macbook. Portability is extremely important to me, but I'm wondering if a desktop station would have better editing power, upgradeability, or bang-for-the-buck.
For the camera you have chosen, a laptop will do the job. But if you are looking at real-time effects and grading, you'll be better off with a desktop.

CS6 is a breeze on a laptop. There is a catch though:

CS6 supports Open GL and ATI cards, but not to the level of the nvidia cards - for its mercury playback engine. If you're going CS6 (or Avid for that matter), and you really want to save some money - I recommend taking a serious look at PC-based solutions.

Because if you're sticking to a mac, what's wrong with FCP?

Quote:
2) Am switching from FCP to either Avid or Premiere, depending. I need a complete solution similar to FC Studio. Many of the things I do are very graphics-heavy in which case Premiere might make sense, but I would like to be prepared for broadcast in which case Avid makes sense. I am wondering:
a) What are the system recommendations to edit smoothly with these? What is your experience with this?
b) Will Media Composer have everything I need or will I have to buy additional programs?
I don't think the NX5 or the EX1 qualify as broadcast cameras. Both CS6 and Avid are good enough for any high-end workflow - film or television. So is FCP.

I think for wedding videos you are good to go with the recommended system requirements on the official web page. Maybe you could outsource your editing work when the big documentary comes along?

Quote:
3) The camera I am looking at to replace the PD 170 is a Sony HXR_NX5U. Is that a good choice? I will read the giant camera thread, just thought I'd throw the question in here anyway.
Not if you want to go to high-end broadcast. You're looking at a camera with a 1/2" 3CCD sensor at least at 8-bit 4:2:2 @50 Mbps interframe (I think the new PMW200 might qualify, but BBC did officially reject the 100 so we'll have to wait and see).

If you are okay with small sensor cameras, take a look at the Blackmagic Cinema camera. No experience with weddings so I can't comment on that specifically.

Hope this helps.
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