PDA

View Full Version : Mac Mini - Video Editing? Any Good?


scottgintheuk
Sep 25, 2005, 09:47 AM
Hi All

I am currently a PC user, but am interested in switching to Mac. I m looking at getting the Mac Mini (1.42Ghz, 512MB RAM, 80GB HD, SuperDrive Spec)

How will the above spec machine deal with very basic video editing? I have a DVD Cam Corder and will want to 'join' video clips with music tracks added.... nothing too serious.

I have to choose between the above Mac or a AMD Athlon 64 (+3400) PC System (with 1GB Ram and 200BG HD)

Any help would be appreciated

Scott

mad jew
Sep 25, 2005, 09:54 AM
The PC hardware will cope much better with editing but you'll love the Apple software. :)

Nevertheless, a mini will be fine, especially if you get 1GB instead of 512MB of RAM.

WinterMute
Sep 25, 2005, 09:55 AM
iMpvie will work just fine for basic editing, although Final Cut Express is more capable.

You'll notice that rendering transitions and exporting videos isn't as fast as a G5 or a big AMD, but will be OK.

Get plenty of RAM and a BIG external FW drive.

MovieCutter
Sep 25, 2005, 10:16 AM
Um...your DVD camcorder isn't going to work. DVD camcorders don't allow you to transfer video to...well...any computer...not through the use of say a Firewire cable anyway. Plus, the size of the discs won't fit in a slot-loading drive such as that in the Mac Minis. The reason you can't transfer the video to a computer is that DVD camcorders encode the video into MPEG-2, which isn't exactly the most friendly format. The ONLY way you would be able to get your DVD footage onto a Mac or most PC's is somehow get a tray-loading DVD drive (most likely an external one), and use a program like Handbrake or other DVD ripping program to rip your footage off the disc into a format Final Cut Express or iMovie can actually play with. MiniDV camcorders on the other hand play with all editing programs quite nicely, but it's those "cutting edge" DVD camcorders that cause the most headaches when people find out what they can't do. Good luck.

Oh, and get the Mac Mini. It's worth it for iMovie and Final Cut Express alone.

ammon
Sep 25, 2005, 11:01 AM
I've always had concerns with the hard drive in the mini.

The HD is a laptop drive spinning @ 4200 rpm. The system/editing software are both running from that drive. Capturing DV to the same drive seems like dropped frames could occur. And there is only one firewire port, so you couldn't capture to an external firewire drive unless you daisy chained them together.

I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it, but I could be worrying about nothing.

Has anyone actually captured 60 minutes of DV onto a mini w/o dropped frames?

zap2
Sep 25, 2005, 11:22 AM
i would say safe ur $$$ for a iMac or PowerMac perhaps an intel one

e˛Studios
Sep 25, 2005, 11:26 AM
Has anyone actually captured 60 minutes of DV onto a mini w/o dropped frames?

I have transferred at least 12 MiniDV tapes and never once had a dropped frame. I am using 2 external FW LaCie 250GB drives. I would say you may have a bad HD if you cant get a 60 minute tape with no dropped frames, or you're not following one of the golden rules of video transfer.

This golden rule says you should never use the same drive that the OS is installed since the paging alone will cause you to drop frames, always use a drive that is independent of the OS and you will rarely see any dropped frames.

For what the OP wants to do the Mini will do spectacular, i use my mini for small editing projects and it performs quite well. Just remember to use a separate drive from the OS drive and you will be fine (save some money and get the smaller drive internally and get a large external FW drive).

Ed

scottgintheuk
Sep 25, 2005, 11:26 AM
Hi All

Thanks for the help thus far.

I really want a Mac, but it looks like that I will have to stick to a PC (and Windows :( ) with my budget and requirements.

Thanks again

Scott

ammon
Sep 25, 2005, 03:37 PM
I am using 2 external FW LaCie 250GB drives.d

I don't actually have a mini. But the reason I never purchased one was because of the single FW jack. So I take it you are able to daisy chain the external hard drives and the video camera? I didn't want to try it, so I never did!

WinterMute
Sep 25, 2005, 03:45 PM
I don't actually have a mini. But the reason I never purchased one was because of the single FW jack. So I take it you are able to daisy chain the external hard drives and the video camera? I didn't want to try it, so I never did!

I had to use a firewire hub with my G3 laptop when I first started with digital video, I had a LaCie 100Gb drive and a camera connected to the hub and the downstream cable went to the Mac, never had a problem with dropped frames.

It's much easier with FW800 for the drive and 400 for the camera mind.

Macabron
Sep 26, 2005, 12:10 PM
I was able to do video editing in final Cut with a daisy chained drive and camera on a 466Mhz G3 iBook. So I don't see why you cant do it on a machine with better specs than mine.

notjustjay
Sep 26, 2005, 12:47 PM
The HD is a laptop drive spinning @ 4200 rpm. The system/editing software are both running from that drive. Capturing DV to the same drive seems like dropped frames could occur.
I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it, but I could be worrying about nothing.

Has anyone actually captured 60 minutes of DV onto a mini w/o dropped frames?

Well, I do it all the time with my Powerbook which I'm certain has a 4200rpm drive, and is in every other way slower than the Mini, and I've never had problems.

I've even captured onto a USB external drive (not cool - it's ALMOST fast enough to keep up when editing, but not quite...)

It should be fine.

electronboy
Sep 27, 2005, 09:10 AM
i would say safe ur $$$ for a iMac or PowerMac perhaps an intel one

I would disagree. Final Cut Studio will be one of the LAST applications ported succesfully, and note successfully, to the the Intel platform as all the applications in the suite make extensive use of the Velocity Engine or SIMD instructions in the PowerPC chip--G5 or G4.

If you need a video solution today, you will be better served by a G5, but for simple stuff a G4 should work. Limit the other applications you have open on a G4 while doing video editing and you should be OK.