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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old February 25th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #1
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Power Mac G5 for editing EX3 footage

Hi all,

I can get a 4 years old Power Mac G5, 512 MB/250GB for a very good price.
Will it be good enough for handling footage obtained with the EX3? I don't really need it for serious editing, just very basic stuff.
What upgrading I should consider in order for it to be useful ?

Thanks,

Ofer
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Old February 25th, 2009, 09:06 AM   #2
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Ofer, your decision needs to also include the use of Sony's EX3 utilities and also importantly video editing suit that you intend to use.

Sony's XDCAM Transfer 2.8 states the following minimum requirements:
PowerPC G5 2GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Xeon 2GHz or higher
1GB or more of memory
Mac OS 10.4.11 or later, preferably 10.5.6
Final Cut Pro 6.0.2 or later, preferably 6.0.5

Sony's XDCAM EX Browser 2.0.1 states the following minimum requirements:
OS: OS X 10.4.10 or later, preferably 10.5.6
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 1GHz or higher NOTE no PPC!
Memory: 1 GB or more recommended

So right off the bat, you need an Intel machine for Sony's Clip Browser, more RAM at least 4GB for FCP and preferably 8GB, as well as a second hard drive. First rule of thumb in video editing is have a dedicated hard drive for video editing clips/projects. The PPC G5 internal hard drives are also limited to SATA I speeds.

Also note that Apple's Snow Leopard OS 10.6 due to be released this summer will not work on PPC's. So as you look forward all application software upgrades will be requiring Intel machines.

I made the transition from a PPC G5 Quad to a MacPro Intel 3.2 Octo a year ago and have not looked back. I made the transition knowing that I would purchase my EX3 last October. I recommend at least 8GB of RAM minimum and preferably 16GB for video editing. The MacPro's can also accommodate four SATA II hard drives internally. Budget for lots of hard drive space as video projects will use much more space that the EX3 footage. If you intend on doing Blu-ray authoring, also budget for a beefy video card.

Hope this help, cheers!
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Old February 25th, 2009, 09:39 AM   #3
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PowerMac G5? Don't bother.

I would say don't bother and skip the G5 entirely. This unit is several generations old now and the money you sink into it won't benefit you in the long term. Not only the is the CPU ancient, but so is the RAM, the graphics card, the drive controllers, the bus speeds, etc, etc. When you buy a newer machine (Intel CPU for sure) you are getting SO much more for your money.
Take a peek at Apple's Special Deals section of their online store as they often have refurbished units for a reduced price but with a warranty. If you have to be really budget conscious, perhaps you should look into one of the bigger, more recent, iMac machines and go with Firewire 800 drives. Better yet, get the last generation of the MacBook Pro and stick 4 gigs of RAM in it and you'll get the Expresscard slot, FW800, Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and a nice screen with ability to hook up another display (this is what I use quite often and it works great).
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Old February 25th, 2009, 10:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ofer Levy View Post
Hi all,

I can get a 4 years old Power Mac G5, 512 MB/250GB for a very good price.
Will it be good enough for handling footage obtained with the EX3? I don't really need it for serious editing, just very basic stuff.
What upgrading I should consider in order for it to be useful ?

Thanks,

Ofer
I have used my old PB G4-1.5GHz 1.5GB to edit ex1 footage.
Unfortunately clip browser doesn work with it.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 04:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice guys!
I guess I will have to get the newer machine.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #6
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Ofer:

Editing EX1 35mB/s footage on an Apple G5 PPC quad, FCP 6.0.x, everything works well.

However, I did spend an extra $800 on a very serious graphic card and I also have 8GB RAM on board. Main HD SDI I/O is an Aja Kona setup but I do have an older Canopus ADVC110 on a firewire cable that also gives me great I/O, albeit SD.

I do have a couple of PCs networked with the Apple and mainly use them for VFX (Lightwave, Maya, Combustion, Boujou, etc) and also to create Blu Ray content from the EX1 footage.

So YMMV but my solution works very well.


Cheers
Chris
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Old February 25th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #7
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I'm still using my original Dual 2GHz G5, 1.5GB RAM, 256MB video, the latest version of FCS2 and the latest updates of 10.4. Ordered it the day G5s were announced (although it took months to arrive IIRC)

The Sony import plugin and XDCAM transfer both work well. It edits footage from the EX1 in realtime. CC and simple dissolves play realtime. It's rock solid, and always has been. i often runs with loads of apps open never seems a major problem for it.

Last week I bought a new 17'' MBP from Apple with 4GB and 512MB video, which renders in FCP and Cinema 4D just over twice as fast as the ancient G5 tower.

It's not that it won't work with EX material, it does. But it might not be so great if you want lots fast renders and effects.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 08:01 AM   #8
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Thanks guys!
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Old February 26th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #9
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Even in Doug Jensen's Vortex video he says an old dual core 2ghz macbookpro works good. So it's hard to believe that g5 could be much worse.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 04:33 PM   #10
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I think it depends on your definition of "editing video". If you're doing basic cuts in FCP and dissolves with old a single layer (maybe 2 layers on the rare occasion) then you'll be fine. But don't expect much more than that.
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