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Old April 24th, 2009, 02:04 PM   #1
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pc vs mac

I will be purchasing the EX1 soon (may be forced to purchase early if the internet sales tax goes into effect next week). I am at a point where my four year old Dell computer needs to be replaced, thus, I can either get a new Dell computer and use Sony Vegas; or I could take the plunge and get a Mac with FCP. (For the past 10 years I have used ScreenPlay by Applied Magic, stand alone editing system, which is probably the easiest nle system every devised, but it only edits in SD.) Two questions:
(1)Is there a significant difference between these two systems; i.e., is one much better than the other?
(2) Is FCP much more difficult to learn compared to Vegas?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #2
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I have an EX3 and use both a PC with Vegas and a Mac with FCP (part of FCS2) for HD editing (not all EX3, some HDV stuff). No, one is not better than the other, they BOTH have their strengths and weaknesses.

I'd say the PC/Vegas route is far cheaper and I think easier to learn/lots to love and so should be your default ...but there are things about FCP I really like too now I've got used to it - and it is more universally accepted if you work in conjunction with other video pros as I occassionally do. It's really down to personal preference and your budget - that's the bottom line. I'd say, if in doubt, go the PC/Vegas route and consider FCP in the future but there is no right or wrong answer to your question.

Maybe find some friends or like minded video people who have either to show you the basics of each interface (maybe some Forum members in your area could help you?) and then decide or look at the multitude of video tutorials on-line for either to get a feel. Note that Vegas is moving to version 9 right now (let's hope some of the bugs of 8 got fixed) and FCS3 should be released sometime in the next few months (if you believe the rumours).
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Old April 24th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #3
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I agree with Andy. Buy which ever platform is best supported by your peers. It's nice to be able to lean on someone else for advice. The forums are great, but there's nothing better than having someone sit with you to worth through a problem.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #4
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I have grown up on a PC (not literally) and I invested in a screamin' Mac Pro with Final Cut Studio 2. I still haven't gotten used to the Mac interface. When I first got my Mac it took me 30 minutes to figure out how to do something as simple as open the DVD tray. I Googled it and everything. Getting around in a Mac (file management) is much more difficult to me because it's not like Windows. For those who use Macs I guess it's easier, but not for me. I miss "Explore" and pulling up the folder menus. I went Mac to get on FCP because I was starting my video editing from scratch and it seemed the way to go.

If I were you and you've never used a Mac, you might want to stick with what you know and use Vegas or Premiere. But I'm the first person to disregard my advice.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 04:29 PM   #5
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I'm all Mac but in the 80's started with the Atari, went through CP/M, MS DOS and even the Amiga.

Didn't like the Mac interface at all at first. But over a decade (or two) later I'm used to it. Not that it took me that long!

If you're going to do color grading then the biggest reason to use a Mac is FCP's Color. If you bought it as a stand-alone program it would have cost somewhere between $5,000 and $25,000. Now it's included in FCP Studio 2. Extremely powerful and pretty easy to use once you understand the interface. There is a great tutorial available for it.

There's also Soundtrack Pro, Live Type and Motion. All great tools.

Take a look at the features both systems provide, then decide.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #6
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I think the real question is wether you wish to use FCP or Vegas. Final Cut Studio is hands down the best overall video production tool out there - IMHO! I use Motion - Soundtrack Pro and now Color almost daily and shuttle between them with simplicity and ease.
Add Compressor and DVD studio Pro and this package easily beats out the competitors.

I have a lag time on renders and moving large HD files, yes - so I just ordered the new 8-Core mac Pro.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 06:23 PM   #7
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Go with FCP ST2. You are future proofing yourself. Market share of professionals is shifting from Avid to FCP.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 06:25 PM   #8
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I'm new to FCP. It's true, FCP has a high end grading tool in color, but it's capabilities, I'll argue, go far beyond the skill level of most people. You can probably say the same thing of Vegas's audio capability. FCP is industry stand but Vegas is a lot cheaper and probably more intuitive.
Platform wise, the great thing about Macs is they don't pick up viruses the way pc's do. I don't find the OS faster or more stable though.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 07:38 PM   #9
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I've used both. Engineered at a video facility that used both.
Mac wins for me for various reasons.

I really think the OS is by and large better than XP (I won't go near Vista).

I think trouble shooting Macs is faster. They BOTH can have issues but I find Mac trouble shooting much more clear cut. That's a big one for me because down time is lost money.

There's certainly great Windows only programs as well as Mac only programs so there's no reason to avoid Windows if you fall in love with a Windows only program.

The answer IMHO is get a Mac and install Windows to run on both Bootcamp (runs as a native PC) and Parallels or VMWare. Places like MacMall (which is also PCMall) can do the install for you for less money than having to buy Windows "off the shelf."

There's VERY GOOD reason why Final Cut Studio has the market share it does and it's Apple Marketing hype. I say this as someone who was an Avid editor from its inception (like 1989 or thereabouts) until about 2001.

Brian, Windows can't even touch Mac OS when it comes to "stability" as commonly used technically. The unix based os can go years (YES YEARS!) without crashing. Programs can crash, the OS almost never. The last kernal panic (OS crash) i had was 3 years ago (all 5 of my Mac combined!) was when my most heavily used system at the time crashed due to a bad mouse. While this is anecdotal this is common experience with Mac OS and the BSDUnix underpinnings.

Do NOT confuse program stability issues with OS stability issues. They are technically NOT the same. Windows has an OS crashes far more often. Also, by design, when a Mac program crashes, the OS won't get taken down with it. In most cases when the Mac OS goes down it's tied to a hardware issue. Even a bad RAM chip couldn't take down my Mac OS.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 08:36 PM   #10
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I've never had a problem with XP crashing. However, I've been tortured by worms, viruses, malicious nasty stuff...on XP I mean.

Perhaps the question to ask, and I don't know the answer, is not Mac versus PC, but which program integrates best with the EX series.

Here are two more fun facts about Macs 1) If you want a notebook, mac makes pricey but nice ones. 2) if you DO need to reinstall an OS, it's easy on a Mac, depending on which flavor of Windows you use, it can be a major headache.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 08:49 PM   #11
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Own both platforms, use both, networked together, XP, Vista and Mac OSs on each machine, multiple OSs, etc.

FCP, Avid and Vegas for editing. In general, what everyone says here is my bet too.

Just pick the one you can get started with, based on price point, availability, and peer service (advise/support group).

The others will eventually come, and probably newer programs will come as one of these go, years down the line it won't matter, one way or the other, as long as the programs you make stand the test of time and popularity, you'll be keeping on keeping on, shooting and cutting away on whatever works best for the job at hand. (I started on upright Movieolas...)

On scripted I'll start the show on Vegas in the field (EX1) and then bring it into Avid (I love the script functions on the Avid) and once locked I'll Quicktime or Automatic Duck it out and into FCP / Color and the rest for finishing, edit audio on Pro Tools and mix on Soundtrack Pro.

The most important thing is to find a pipeline that you're happy with, that works for you. Like choosing a camera, choosing an editing interface is by and large a matter of how it makes you feel under your fingers. Are you fighting the system? Or cutting your show?
Every way you go there will be some kind of a learning curve, so it's more or less of a hassle, live with it, get over it, it won't last forever.

I think most of them, except FCP, have demos you can try, and failing a group of people nearby who can show you their systems, that's the route I would go in.

If you're looking to become a pro editor then Avid and FCP are both a must these days. But if you're ever typed a document on Microsoft Word, or Works, or Word Perfect, you'll see that in they end it's the words themselves that count, not the buttons or command sequences, or hot keys you have to push to manipulate those words.

I don't know that I've added anything to this discussion but I thought I'd throw in my 2c anyway.

Bottom line - get cutting. It doesn't matter on what.

HTH
Cheers
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Old April 24th, 2009, 08:59 PM   #12
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As a Mac user since the inception in 1984, I have to attest to the usefulness of the Mac, especially in it's current form with the underlying Unix foundation. I've also used PC's from their beginnings as well as other operating systems and still use them today.

I feel that on a Mac you have the best of all worlds: Mac OS X, Windows if you need it using 'virtualization' software such as VMWare Fusion or Parallels (I have and use them both) and Unix. The benefit of virtualization software is that you can run any Windows OS inside of Mac OS, and it's quite seamless, for the times when you have to run Windows software. This kind of software used to run Windows really slow, but now it runs about as fast as it would on a PC with the same speed machine.

Mac hardware has gotten a bad rap over the years as being overpriced for the performance, but this is somewhat of a myth. It's been proven that if you want to get the same type of hardware on the Windows PC platform, you'd wind up with close to the same cost. In addition you have a unified system where the OS is designed to work with the hardware, it's more closed than Windows / PC's but because of that it's more stable.

That being said, if you get a Mac you'll be destined to be the orphaned step-child in the computer world, as Macs total maybe 8% of all personal computers, practically all the rest are Windows PCs. However after a while you'll learn to live with it and appreciate being the 'underdog.'

Apple has really made a great impact on the creative professionals community through with their Pro Apps (such as FCP Studio and Logic). They are a great value for all they bundle and are well supported by creative professional third-party software manufacturers.

If you just needed a computer to read email and surf the web, then I'd say get a Windows PC, but if you want a versatile tool I'd say get a Mac.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 09:46 PM   #13
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Wow!

In all the years I have posted questions in forums, this is the most intelligent and informative information I have ever received. (I thought I would get some negative responses for posting this type of question.) I have learned so much. Thank you. I'm going to with the Mac and FCP. Again, what a great forum.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 01:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Moreau View Post
Apple has really made a great impact on the creative professionals community through with their Pro Apps (such as FCP Studio and Logic). They are a great value for all they bundle and are well supported by creative professional third-party software manufacturers.

If you just needed a computer to read email and surf the web, then I'd say get a Windows PC, but if you want a versatile tool I'd say get a Mac.

Great Sales pitch Keith,

I use both and quite franlky computers are just glorified calculators, a PC or Mac will produce the same results, it's the creative user who will make the difference.

I wonder if Rembrandt or Degas ever entered into a debate of which brush is better?
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Old April 25th, 2009, 02:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
I wonder if Rembrandt or Degas ever entered into a debate of which brush is better?
While I haven't heard the above two converse BELIEVE ME good painters ABSOLUTELY CONSIDER THE BRUSH AND THE CANVAS as well. Then there's Jackson Pollock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Moreau
Mac hardware has gotten a bad rap over the years as being overpriced for the performance,
I have 5 Macs (and 1 Windows PC). The oldest Mac is 8 years old and it can edit DV just fine running FCP 5. My wife also uses it for basic Photoshop and DTP work. They have a very long useful life. Cost of ownership seems to be lower over time since Apple tends to be "forward thinking" when it comes to connectivity/ports on their computers. There's little reason to go through the "rebuilding or buying a new computer" as frequently as one does on Windows PCs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Moreau
if you get a Mac you'll be destined to be the orphaned step-child in the computer world, as Macs total maybe 8% of all personal computers
What percentage of car owners drive Mercedes Benz or Lexus? Are they orphaned step-children? Actually in the creative arts Macs have a much higher market share than 8%. Given the popularity of FCP (and don't forget Final Cut Express) my bet is Macs have high percentage of the NLE market.

But if you want to do live flash streaming using Adobe Flash Media Encoder you'd need Windows and that's why there's good reason to get Windows and one of the virtual programs or run Windows in Bootcamp. Macs really had a big win when they made it a Windows box as well because there still are some things you may want Windows for.
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