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matthewHUB
Jan 17, 2008, 02:08 PM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A93 Safari/419.3)

hi all. Thinking of getting an MBA. I also want to get the new canon HV30 in feb when it comes out. It's USB 2 so no problems there. I'm upgrading from a PB 12" 1Ghz so although the MBA is not stellar in terms of performance, it'll still be like 6 times faster than mine! (not sure on the exact figures)

Would the MBA be poweful enough to import HD video into iMovie when I'm on the road and I need this feature? I stress it's only every couple of months.

Thanks.



jameskohn
Jan 17, 2008, 03:34 PM
I'm in a quite similar situation. I shoot HD video in the AVCHD format (Panasonic HDC-SD5). I'm looking to upgrade my G4 PowerBook 12". In addition to a little more screen real estate (13" is perfect), I want to be able to off load HD video via USB from an SDHC card to a new laptop. Not much heavy lifting after that; maybe some iMovie 08 stuff then upload to iWeb. MacPro on my desk handles any editing functions.

So I too am wondering if MBA is a reasonable replacement for my G4 PowerBook, and if the SSD is the way to go. The more I think about it, the more I feel the MBA has what I really need as a second computer, specifically for taking on the road. Other than the above mentioned video as well as some photographic work, it's just Excel, Word, Safari, iChat(video) and email. Might just be the right answer, and it's definitely the perfect size and weight.

My though was to wait until there is one in the local Apple store, then take an SDHC card up there and see how it does. If MBP's get updated in the mean time, I would love to have that decision to make!

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 03:39 PM
Well you should obviously be able to temporarily store HD on the MBA without any problems. The only consideration there would be the limitation of that small capacity drive. HD is pretty storage intensive. Editing HD might be limited to the speed of the drive as well as the size of the drive. If you go SSD you will probably struggle with write speed and even less storage...

All in all I would say the MBA is utterly unsuitable for HD work unfortunately. Why not go for a MBPro 15"?

Regards,

C

zioxide
Jan 17, 2008, 03:53 PM
hi all. Thinking of getting an MBA. I also want to get the new canon HV30 in feb when it comes out. It's USB 2 so no problems there.

No.

You can't use USB to import video. The USB port is only used for importing photos off the SD card. You must use firewire to import video.

Therefore, you can't edit video on the Macbook Air.

The other alternative is to buy an AVCHD cam that stores on hard drives, where you can import from USB. But AVCHD is a pain for numerous reasons (including lower quality than HDV, if your cam hard drive fills up you're screwed, no easy backup solution, etc).

Plus the 4200rpm drive in the Air is fast enough to be able to play back Apple Intermediate Codec (the codec iMovie converts HDV and AVCHD to for editing). You would need an external firewire drive.


In conclusion, just get a Macbook.

etorres
Jan 17, 2008, 03:54 PM
If a you use a G4 for HD video then a core 2 duo is more than up to the task. The only limitation is the size of the hard drive which is 80 Gb.

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 04:01 PM
You can't use USB to import video. The USB port is only used for importing photos off the SD card. You must use firewire to import video.

While I agree you cannot "capture" over USB afaik, you can certainly move HD footage over usb ie. the captured files.

I do agree that for any meaningful video work you would really want a FW port.

C

zioxide
Jan 17, 2008, 04:02 PM
While I agree you cannot "capture" over USB afaik, you can certainly move HD footage over usb ie. the captured files.

I do agree that for any meaningful video work you would really want a FW port.

C

err, what?

how are you going to get captured files to move then?

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 04:05 PM
err, what?

how are you going to get captured files to move then?

Capture the files on your Workstation... transfer them via USB and work on them on the go...

I agree that would not make much sense which is why the MBA is not suited for even SD video work...

C

zioxide
Jan 17, 2008, 04:07 PM
Capture the files on your Workstation... transfer them via USB and work on them on the go...

I agree that would not make much sense which is why the MBA is not suited for even SD video work...

C

True, but I don't think the OP has a workstation from his post and sig.

Plus, the hard drive in the Air is way too slow for video editing.

Shannighan
Jan 17, 2008, 04:12 PM
I'm in a quite similar situation. I shoot HD video in the AVCHD format (Panasonic HDC-SD5). I'm looking to upgrade my G4 PowerBook 12". In addition to a little more screen real estate (13" is perfect), I want to be able to off load HD video via USB from an SDHC card to a new laptop. Not much heavy lifting after that; maybe some iMovie 08 stuff then upload to iWeb. MacPro on my desk handles any editing functions.

So I too am wondering if MBA is a reasonable replacement for my G4 PowerBook, and if the SSD is the way to go. The more I think about it, the more I feel the MBA has what I really need as a second computer, specifically for taking on the road. Other than the above mentioned video as well as some photographic work, it's just Excel, Word, Safari, iChat(video) and email. Might just be the right answer, and it's definitely the perfect size and weight.

My though was to wait until there is one in the local Apple store, then take an SDHC card up there and see how it does. If MBP's get updated in the mean time, I would love to have that decision to make!


will 80gigs be enough?
i think you might need a macBook or macBook Pro.

Consultant
Jan 17, 2008, 04:32 PM
SSD drive is multiple times the speed of fast 10K Desktop Raptors.

jameskohn
Jan 17, 2008, 04:36 PM
1. I use AVCHD, so video is always transferred from the SDHC card to my computer via USB

2. We're talking about temporary storage of a max of 8-10GB, NOT editing, but possibly uploading to iWeb.

3. If I'm going into the 5 pound range, I'd go for the 15" MBP. That indeed may be the correct answer if they would only update them!

Otherwise I'm guessing MBA would be fine for internet, Word, Excel, iChat (video), email and only occasionally dumping the video or photo contents of an SD card while I'm on the road. MacPro does all the heavy processor work. It's the perfect form factor. Perfect.

matthewHUB
Jan 17, 2008, 04:45 PM
Thanks everyone for their kind help.

I don't have another machine as yet as i use my PB for everything. It was not clear to me that you cannot import via USB on the camcorders. This is a pain. May i ask why you can't? i thought USB2 is the same speed as firewire.

Basically, i'm going to be using the new laptop every day for BASIC things like Word, dreamweaver, iPhoto, and safari. Plus a teeny tiny bit of putting some vids taken with my new camcorder every 4 months or so. Really not high demanding tasks. How much space does one need on the SSD in order to do basic editing with iMovie? Can i run vids off an external HD?

zioxide
Jan 17, 2008, 04:51 PM
Thanks everyone for their kind help.

I don't have another machine as yet as i use my PB for everything. It was not clear to me that you cannot import via USB on the camcorders. This is a pain. May i ask why you can't? i thought USB2 is the same speed as firewire.

Basically, i'm going to be using the new laptop every day for BASIC things like Word, dreamweaver, iPhoto, and safari. Plus a teeny tiny bit of putting some vids taken with my new camcorder every 4 months or so. Really not high demanding tasks. How much space does one need on the SSD in order to do basic editing with iMovie? Can i run vids off an external HD?

Firewire is faster than USB. Cameras do not support transferring video from a tape to the computer via USB. You must use firewire. That's how it works.

DV takes up 13GB/hr. AIC takes up even more than this.

The bottom line is that you can not realistically edit video on the MB Air.

I don't see why you want it anyways. Just get a Macbook and save yourself a bunch of money. Seems like the only reason you would want to get an air would be for bragging or something.

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 04:52 PM
Otherwise I'm guessing MBA would be fine for internet, Word, Excel, iChat (video), email and only occasionally dumping the video or photo contents of an SD card while I'm on the road. MacPro does all the heavy processor work. It's the perfect form factor. Perfect.

In that case it should be perfect for your use. I am a heavy Excel user and my main reason for a laptop is taking it mobile. I have already ordered my MBA to use with the programs you listed :)

Good Luck,

C

matthewHUB
Jan 17, 2008, 04:54 PM
Firewire is faster than USB. Cameras do not support transferring video from a tape to the computer via USB. You must use firewire. That's how it works.

DV takes up 13GB/hr. AIC takes up even more than this.

The bottom line is that you can not realistically edit video on the MB Air.

I don't see why you want it anyways. Just get a Macbook and save yourself a bunch of money. Seems like the only reason you would want to get an air would be for bragging or something.

I travel a lot. lots of plane journeys. i carry my notebook 24/7 and have had physical problems due to the weight of my shoulder bag. i want to go as light as possible, but still have the ability there if i need it.

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 04:57 PM
Thanks everyone for their kind help.

I don't have another machine as yet as i use my PB for everything. It was not clear to me that you cannot import via USB on the camcorders. This is a pain. May i ask why you can't? i thought USB2 is the same speed as firewire.

Basically, i'm going to be using the new laptop every day for BASIC things like Word, dreamweaver, iPhoto, and safari. Plus a teeny tiny bit of putting some vids taken with my new camcorder every 4 months or so. Really not high demanding tasks. How much space does one need on the SSD in order to do basic editing with iMovie? Can i run vids off an external HD?

I'm sorry to say that I really think the MBA is going to be utterly useless for meaningful video editing. I wish I could give you some hope, but I cannot see it. The other tasks should be ok. Although for design work in Dreamweaver and presumably Photoshop as well then, 13" would feel small to me...

Best of luck with your choice,

C

zioxide
Jan 17, 2008, 04:57 PM
I travel a lot. lots of plane journeys. i carry my notebook 24/7 and have had physical problems due to the weight of my shoulder bag. i want to go as light as possible, but still have the ability there if i need it.

Well I can guarantee you that it's not going to work. You won't be able to edit on an Air.

So you either have to decide to get the air knowing you won't be able to edit video, or get a Macbook and a better bag that will spread out the weight better.

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 04:58 PM
I travel a lot. lots of plane journeys. i carry my notebook 24/7 and have had physical problems due to the weight of my shoulder bag. i want to go as light as possible, but still have the ability there if i need it.

Can't you keep the old computer for editing? as you do it so infrequently that should be the best bet. Then save your back with the MBA when traveling :)

C

matthewHUB
Jan 17, 2008, 05:30 PM
Can't you keep the old computer for editing? as you do it so infrequently that should be the best bet. Then save your back with the MBA when traveling :)

C

NO. my PB can't even play HD. it crashes.

matthewHUB
Jan 17, 2008, 05:43 PM
Also, let me clarify what i mean by editing.

I'm a classical musician, and sometimes i need to record performances for one reason or another. the 'editing' i'd have to do is to cut out audience applause etc. that's about it.

Pressure
Jan 17, 2008, 05:55 PM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A93 Safari/419.3)

hi all. Thinking of getting an MBA. I also want to get the new canon HV30 in feb when it comes out. It's USB 2 so no problems there. I'm upgrading from a PB 12" 1Ghz so although the MBA is not stellar in terms of performance, it'll still be like 6 times faster than mine! (not sure on the exact figures)

Would the MBA be poweful enough to import HD video into iMovie when I'm on the road and I need this feature? I stress it's only every couple of months.

Thanks.

Do you mean uncompressed HD? If that is the case, it is most definitely a large resounding no.


SSD drive is multiple times the speed of fast 10K Desktop Raptors.

This is unfortunately not true. There are circumstances where a Solid State Drive is much faster than a mechanical drive but the mechanical drive is faster in random write speed.

But they are working on that. Perhaps sometime later in 2008 we will get Solid State Drives that outperform the mechanical drives in everything. Oh, and at cheaper prices as well (one can also hope) :D

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 06:45 PM
Also, let me clarify what i mean by editing.

I'm a classical musician, and sometimes i need to record performances for one reason or another. the 'editing' i'd have to do is to cut out audience applause etc. that's about it.


The problem is that even cutting out some parts of a video, SD or HD, would mean actually capturing the footage in full and then manipulating it in your editing software of choice. Therefore, even mild editing will be a problem. You could possibly get away with SD if its just one video stream and one audio stream. I am not sure how fast that tiny drive will be though. You would still have to capture the video on a different machine however,

I think the drive in the MBA is the same as in the iPod Classic. Thats not going to be much good for video...

Adding the SSD will change read speed dramatically, but not write speed as the poster above mentioned.

I think this is one of those times you need to really think hard about what you will need to use the machine for before buying.

Regards,

C

ashjamben
Jan 17, 2008, 07:00 PM
i don't know anything about HD video editing or anything like that, but from reading the post it seems like the question would be best asked at an apple store when the MBA is available. there seems to be lots of 'i can't imagine such a small drive being able to go that quick' and 'i think this' or 'i think that'. you should really ask an expert.

MacRumorUser
Jan 17, 2008, 07:31 PM
The problem is that even cutting out some parts of a video, SD or HD, would mean actually capturing the footage in full and then manipulating it in your editing software of choice. Therefore, even mild editing will be a problem. You could possibly get away with SD if its just one video stream and one audio stream. I am not sure how fast that tiny drive will be though. You would still have to capture the video on a different machine however,

Couldn't you just use an external USB2 7200rpm drive to capture footage to ? ;) Therefore more than acceptable.
Admittedly then you might need a usb2 hub too.

I have edited and captured video on a powerbook 1.67ghz G4. I assume the CoreDuo2 1.6 or 1.8 should be fine powerwise too.


oh and just in regards generally to photoshop and other apps.

Plus all those people saying you can't do photoshop stuff on the MBA, tell that to all the Powerbook G4 users as this machine is more powerful than any of them, and people were quite happy working with photoshop on those. :)

heatmiser
Jan 17, 2008, 07:44 PM
If you want a real laptop (ie, one that can do the stuff you need it to do), get a Macbook. You're wasting your time with an Air. Spend five minutes planning your packing and take out the extra two pounds if they're that much of a bother. It's worth it for a fully functioning computer.

zioxide
Jan 17, 2008, 07:45 PM
Couldn't you just use an external USB2 7200rpm drive to capture footage to ? ;) Therefore more than acceptable.
Admittedly then you might need a usb2 hub too.

USB uses burst transfer which is bad for video. You'll get errors and dropped frames. Plus, you can't capture without firewire.

MacRumorUser
Jan 17, 2008, 07:47 PM
USB uses burst transfer which is bad for video. You'll get errors and dropped frames. Plus, you can't capture without firewire.

I've used USB drives and not suffered drop frames... but yeah the firewire thing is certainly a big big DOH!!! I keep forgetting that it doesn't have one.

I'm going to miss it when I get mine :o

TatsuTerror
Jan 17, 2008, 07:50 PM
Isn't there a USB to Firewire cable?

zioxide
Jan 17, 2008, 07:52 PM
Isn't there a USB to Firewire cable?

No

heatmiser
Jan 17, 2008, 07:53 PM
Isn't there a USB to Firewire cable?

Even if there were one, you couldn't turn a USB port into a FW one simply by using a cable.

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 07:57 PM
Isn't there a USB to Firewire cable?

Can't see that working with cameras and decks. FW gives you camera/deck control when you capture. I have never heard of anyone capturing video over USB even for SD. HD is going to be even more demanding.

Not up to speed on HD compression standards to be honest. Stopped editing video just when HD was starting to get on the scene... I do know that for uncompressed HD you need extreme drive speeds. For multiple streams you would be talking something like the Xraid and FC... HD packs allot of information per frame...

I honestly think that if you can only get one computer and you need to do any type of video capture the MBA is the wrong machine...

C

comptr
Jan 17, 2008, 10:30 PM
The camera he is trying to use on the macbook air has no ilink (firewire). Most avchd camcorders that record to memory stick don't have the firewire port since all you need to do is remove the card from the camera and place it into a usb card reader and transfter the files that way. The macbook air should be fast enough as long as he can wait for the hard drive to catch up if he gets the 80 gig. Here is a reveiw of the camera he has http://tinyurl.com/2xz8j4 . I should know since I am going to purchase the same camera sometime this year.

growinglogic
Jan 17, 2008, 10:32 PM
While I agree you cannot "capture" over USB afaik, you can certainly move HD footage over usb ie. the captured files.

I do agree that for any meaningful video work you would really want a FW port.

C

Wrong. I have a Canon HG10 and it uses USB.

zioxide
Jan 17, 2008, 10:34 PM
The camera he is trying to use on the macbook air has no ilink (firewire). Most avchd camcorders that record to memory stick don't have the firewire port since all you need to do is remove the card from the camera and place it into a usb card reader and transfter the files that way. The macbook air should be fast enough as long as he can wait for the hard drive to catch up if he gets the 80 gig. Here is a reveiw of the camera he has http://tinyurl.com/2xz8j4 . I should know since I am going to purchase the same camera sometime this year.

The OP said he was going to get a Canon HV30, which is an HDV camera.

Even if you were to use a AVCHD camera with a card reader, the 4200rpm hard drive is way too slow to stream Apple Intermediate Codec. The video pretty much wouldn't play in the editor.

Wrong. I have a Canon HG10 and it uses USB.

Again, that's an AVCHD camera. The OP is getting an HDV camera (which are better than AVCHD). You can't capture clips from a tape camera over USB. You can copy the clips over from an AVCHD over USB, but it's still too slow to stream it.

matthewHUB
Jan 17, 2008, 11:31 PM
wow ok so i guess i'm hitting some problems. Are the HDV cameras really that much better in terms of quality than the AVCHD ones? I've just been itching to have something this small and light that does basically a bit better than my PB G4 12" and this seems so perfect except for the lack of firewire.

i mean, photoshop/dreamweaver etc are more than fine on my PB, so why is everyone complaining that the MBA is not fast enough?? OK ok i'm not a serious power photoshop user, but still. For me, this machine is plenty fast enough, absolutely perfect size, just lacks firewire. Worth changing all my plans over? or shall i just get an AVCHD camera? or shall i just make do without a second machine and try and save my editing for when i visit my parents house... then maybe get an imac?

It's so annoying - this machine is so perfect for me as a replacement for my really quite dying powerbook. barring the lack of firewire

zioxide
Jan 17, 2008, 11:48 PM
wow ok so i guess i'm hitting some problems. Are the HDV cameras really that much better in terms of quality than the AVCHD ones?

currently, yes. HDV has a bitrate of 25MB/s and the current AVCHD cameras are like 15MB/s iirc.

i mean, photoshop/dreamweaver etc are more than fine on my PB, so why is everyone complaining that the MBA is not fast enough??
dreamweaver would be fine, but for large ps work where it's using the hard drive as a scratch disk, it would be slow because the Air's drive is extremely slow.
Worth changing all my plans over? or shall i just get an AVCHD camera?
no. the fact is that imovie transcodes both HDV and AVCHD to AIC (apple intermediate codec) for editing. The MB Air hard drive is way too slow to playback AIC for editing.

or shall i just make do without a second machine and try and save my editing for when i visit my parents house... then maybe get an imac?
Yes. The air is really designed as a portable to compliment a main computer. This seems like the best course.

I'd actually recommend getting the iMac first and wait a few months for the MB Air for the Rev.A kinks to get worked out. (if you can deal with using the 12'' PBG4 for your traveling for a little while longer.

matthewHUB
Jan 17, 2008, 11:59 PM
no. the fact is that imovie transcodes both HDV and AVCHD to AIC (apple intermediate codec) for editing. The MB Air hard drive is way too slow to playback AIC for editing.

even the SSD?

matthewHUB
Jan 18, 2008, 12:38 AM
Ok final question.... do you think then that i can use my PB G4 to capture the video from the HDV cam? What software do you use to capture it?

Does it matter that my PB can't view HD video? (it just crashes or sleeps as it overheats) If i could keep it straggling along and use that to import the video then i guess i'll be set and i can have the MBA for on the road. the problem is that i can't view it on my PB, but i can just copy it over to the SSD :D

thoughts?

PS does anyone else have this problem with HD video on their PB?

LethalWolfe
Jan 18, 2008, 01:02 AM
Ok final question.... do you think then that i can use my PB G4 to capture the video from the HDV cam? What software do you use to capture it?

Does it matter that my PB can't view HD video? (it just crashes or sleeps as it overheats) If i could keep it straggling along and use that to import the video then i guess i'll be set and i can have the MBA for on the road. the problem is that i can't view it on my PB, but i can just copy it over to the SSD :D

thoughts?

PS does anyone else have this problem with HD video on their PB?

Even if you captured it on a different machine AIC (Apple intermediate Codec) is around 40gigs an hour and the MBA only has an 80gig HDD (or 64gig SSD). By the time you include OS+Apps 1hr of AIC video will pretty much fill up the rest of your storage. The MBA is suited, or intended, to be used the way you want to use it.


Lethal

matthewHUB
Jan 18, 2008, 01:09 AM
OK so then scratch the idea of using the Air to do video... i guess if i'm using tapes it can all wait till i get back home to use the PB, which i can hook up to my external 250gb firewire drive, and capture through this machine.

Does it matter that it crashes though when i play HD content? I think it crashes due to overheating form the Hard Disc. so... capturing to an external firewire HD wouldn't do that correct?

Catonow
Jan 18, 2008, 04:14 AM
Couldn't you just use an external USB2 7200rpm drive to capture footage to ? ;) Therefore more than acceptable.
Admittedly then you might need a usb2 hub too.

I have edited and captured video on a powerbook 1.67ghz G4. I assume the CoreDuo2 1.6 or 1.8 should be fine powerwise too.


oh and just in regards generally to photoshop and other apps.

Plus all those people saying you can't do photoshop stuff on the MBA, tell that to all the Powerbook G4 users as this machine is more powerful than any of them, and people were quite happy working with photoshop on those. :)

I was thinking the same thing. Why not supplement with an external HD to capture footage to, which you can bring along every couple of months when you need it? I wonder if the Time Capsule can serve your purposes? It has a USB port.

Glancing over the specs for the Canon HV30, it seems that they include a USB cable but no firewire. So I wonder if that is how you transfer data. With an SSD drive, I don't think you'd have any speed worries. Storage issues can be dealt with via an external drive. Your PB probably just didn't have the computing power to handle HD. This new chip will be several times faster and stronger than the PB's.

I just can't imagine that this computer cannot handle the kind of consumer-level photo editing, light video editing and other basic tasks it seems that you intend to use it for. I suspect the naysayers have more intensive, memory-hogging tasks in mind that what you're talking about.

Frankly, it sounds as if, as someone who travels a lot, the idea of an extremely portable laptop is highly appealing. You've probably got your encased cello or oboe in one hand, and an overnight bag, plus maybe a garment bag over your shoulder for your tux. Shaving two or more pounds off the weight of your hardware would make a bigger-than-others-may-realize difference in your comfort level (and for the long-term health of your back). Am I in the right concert hall here?

netdog
Jan 18, 2008, 04:16 AM
All in all I would say the MBA is utterly unsuitable for HD work unfortunately.


Agreed.

if you are doing anything with HDV, this is not the machine for you.

Catch
Jan 18, 2008, 04:41 AM
i mean, photoshop/dreamweaver etc are more than fine on my PB, so why is everyone complaining that the MBA is not fast enough??

I don't think anyone is saying the processor in the MBA is not fast enough. Its the productivity and workflow that will suffer. The smaller screen in Photoshop as well as the slow HD. There is absolutely no reason why Photoshop will not run on the MBA as long as you are aware of those weaknesses compared to say a 15-17" MBP.

I think the MBA was more or less designed for people that work mostly in Office, Mail, Safari and watch the odd movie while on the road. Some people call it a lifestyle machine. I think thats a very narrow view, but it kind of places the MBA far below the other Pro machines for "arts" related industries.

I love it. I have ordered it, but I also am very well aware of its weaknesses...

Good luck with your choice my friend. Its a tough one!

Regards,

C

NickFalk
Jan 18, 2008, 06:46 AM
I've just been itching to have something this small and light that does basically a bit better than my PB G4 12" and this seems so perfect except for the lack of firewire...

...It's so annoying - this machine is so perfect for me as a replacement for my really quite dying powerbook. barring the lack of firewire

I feel your pain Matthew. When I first saw the thing I fell in love immediately and I'm sort of planning to get a new laptop this year... But the fact is that without a firewire and with only a small 4200rpm HD this thing really is useless for video-editing no matter how small and simple.

So your statemen abow is like saying. This car seems so perfect except for the lack of an engine...

matthewHUB
Jan 18, 2008, 12:11 PM
I was thinking the same thing. Why not supplement with an external HD to capture footage to, which you can bring along every couple of months when you need it? I wonder if the Time Capsule can serve your purposes? It has a USB port.

Glancing over the specs for the Canon HV30, it seems that they include a USB cable but no firewire. So I wonder if that is how you transfer data. With an SSD drive, I don't think you'd have any speed worries. Storage issues can be dealt with via an external drive. Your PB probably just didn't have the computing power to handle HD. This new chip will be several times faster and stronger than the PB's.

I just can't imagine that this computer cannot handle the kind of consumer-level photo editing, light video editing and other basic tasks it seems that you intend to use it for. I suspect the naysayers have more intensive, memory-hogging tasks in mind that what you're talking about.

Frankly, it sounds as if, as someone who travels a lot, the idea of an extremely portable laptop is highly appealing. You've probably got your encased cello or oboe in one hand, and an overnight bag, plus maybe a garment bag over your shoulder for your tux. Shaving two or more pounds off the weight of your hardware would make a bigger-than-others-may-realize difference in your comfort level (and for the long-term health of your back). Am I in the right concert hall here?

you're bang on. I have to lug around a cello (sometimes 2), a garment bag, overnight bag, plus a messenger bag with my notebook and enough music for a whole recital program.

I have an external firewire that i could capture to through my PB. would this work? Is there a way of just dumping the footage without previewing so it's not CPU intensive?

Catch
Jan 18, 2008, 12:18 PM
you're bang on. I have to lug around a cello (sometimes 2), a garment bag, overnight bag, plus a messenger bag with my notebook and enough music for a whole recital program.

I have an external firewire that i could capture to through my PB. would this work? Is there a way of just dumping the footage without previewing so it's not CPU intensive?

You can easily transfer the footage via the USB port. If all you want to do is move it to the MBA. No problem with that at all... Its a real shame they could not have fitted a FW port for people in your situation...

C

Catonow
Jan 18, 2008, 01:02 PM
I don't think anyone is saying the processor in the MBA is not fast enough. Its the productivity and workflow that will suffer. The smaller screen in Photoshop as well as the slow HD. There is absolutely no reason why Photoshop will not run on the MBA as long as you are aware of those weaknesses compared to say a 15-17" MBP.

I think the MBA was more or less designed for people that work mostly in Office, Mail, Safari and watch the odd movie while on the road. Some people call it a lifestyle machine. I think thats a very narrow view, but it kind of places the MBA far below the other Pro machines for "arts" related industries.

I love it. I have ordered it, but I also am very well aware of its weaknesses...

Good luck with your choice my friend. Its a tough one!

Regards,

C

The chap has been using a 12" PB. The extra screen real estate will seem a luxury. As for another commenter about the 4200 rpm HD, he's already stated that he would buy the SSD, which according to my understanding is faster even than a 5400 rpm HD.

As for downloading HDV to your PB, I don't see any impediments. You've said it only gives you trouble when you try to work with it. Then, sure, you can transfer it to your MBA at your leisure.

All in all, I think this will be a serious upgrade over your PB. Enjoy.

LethalWolfe
Jan 18, 2008, 01:15 PM
I have an external firewire that i could capture to through my PB. would this work? Is there a way of just dumping the footage without previewing so it's not CPU intensive?
The CPU intensive part is the transcoding from HDV into AIC that happens when you capture the video.

The chap has been using a 12" PB. The extra screen real estate will seem a luxury. As for another commenter about the 4200 rpm HD, he's already stated that he would buy the SSD, which according to my understanding is faster even than a 5400 rpm HD.
The SSD is only 64gigs though. 1 hour of AIC video is around 40gigs. After you install the OS and apps you don't have much room left.


Lethal

Catonow
Jan 18, 2008, 01:36 PM
The CPU intensive part is the transcoding from HDV into AIC that happens when you capture the video.


The SSD is only 64gigs though. 1 hour of AIC video is around 40gigs. After you install the OS and apps you don't have much room left.


Lethal

I guess it boils down to, how long are the video clips that the OP will be editing? And what about supplementing with an external hard drive?

matthewHUB
Jan 18, 2008, 01:50 PM
what about shooting in SD? Is that any less of a problem?

eb6
Jan 18, 2008, 01:54 PM
Just get a Macbook.

heatmiser
Jan 18, 2008, 01:57 PM
You're pretty much wasting money on an MBA that would be better spent on a Macbook and an external display, extra memory, a drive upgrade, etc. If you don't need a Macbook Pro, the second most capable Apple laptop by a mile is the Macbook. The Macbook Air is an underpowered version of the Macbook that costs more because it's also underweight. If you're looking to do work, get a laptop that can get the job done--not the Newest Apple Thing.

Catonow
Jan 18, 2008, 02:08 PM
what about shooting in SD? Is that any less of a problem?

SD takes up less HD space, so yes, that would probably suit the MBA more. How long are the videos that you edit?

I still wonder whether an external HD would resolve that issue. I know video editors who work with external HDs all the time.

LethalWolfe
Jan 18, 2008, 02:19 PM
If you went w/SD video you could probably pull it off. You could have the camera spit out SD footage, capture that on your PB, transfer it to an external USB HDD then connect that to the MBA.

But that seems like a lot of work compared to just capturing it and working w/it on your PB.


Lethal

matthewHUB
Jan 18, 2008, 02:31 PM
SD takes up less HD space, so yes, that would probably suit the MBA more. How long are the videos that you edit?

I still wonder whether an external HD would resolve that issue. I know video editors who work with external HDs all the time.

No longer than an hour. The problem is that using an external on a MBA would have to be USB... and other posters have said that it's bad to use USB for video as it drops frames etc. The way the drive writes is in bursts.

I'm having second thoughts about the SSD. i mean, i could almost buy an iMac with the extra money. I may end up getting the 80gb, and then upgrading in a year to a 128gb SSD.

will the 4200 drive be ok for watching movies saved as dmgs from a DVD? Or will it lag? Would be nice to save a DVD as a dmg at home, then watch it on the road. in WIDESCREEN (novelty coming from a 12") haha.

zioxide
Jan 18, 2008, 03:23 PM
even the SSD?

There's no real benchmarks on it yet, but it can't be that fast. Plus, there's almost no storage space.

Ok final question.... do you think then that i can use my PB G4 to capture the video from the HDV cam? What software do you use to capture it?

Does it matter that my PB can't view HD video? (it just crashes or sleeps as it overheats) If i could keep it straggling along and use that to import the video then i guess i'll be set and i can have the MBA for on the road. the problem is that i can't view it on my PB, but i can just copy it over to the SSD :D

The part that requires the most power is (as Lethal said) the capturing, because iMovie & Final Cut transcode the HDV to AIC on capture.

I don't see why you have to capture on the road. You have a tape camera. It's not like you'll be recording over the tapes after you import them anyways. Just save them for when you get home.

I was thinking the same thing. Why not supplement with an external HD to capture footage to, which you can bring along every couple of months when you need it? I wonder if the Time Capsule can serve your purposes? It has a USB port.

A NAS (using wireless) is even slower than USB (which is too slow for editing AIC). I've never tried it with a gigabit ethernet connection though, but the Air doesn't have an ethernet port (and the dongle goes through USB so it wouldn't be gigabit).

Glancing over the specs for the Canon HV30, it seems that they include a USB cable but no firewire. So I wonder if that is how you transfer data. With an SSD drive, I don't think you'd have any speed worries. Storage issues can be dealt with via an external drive.

The MB Air doesn't have a firewire port so you wouldn't be able to connect an external drive (USB external isn't fast enough for AIC)

what about shooting in SD? Is that any less of a problem?

SD takes up less HD space, so yes, that would probably suit the MBA more. How long are the videos that you edit?
DV still takes up 13GB an hour. Bitrate is still 28Mb/s which is close to/above the real world speed for USB.

I still wonder whether an external HD would resolve that issue. I know video editors who work with external HDs all the time.

See above. There's no FW for an external, and USB externals are slow.

I'm having second thoughts about the SSD. i mean, i could almost buy an iMac with the extra money. I may end up getting the 80gb, and then upgrading in a year to a 128gb SSD.

^ Best idea yet.

will the 4200 drive be ok for watching movies saved as dmgs from a DVD? Or will it lag? Would be nice to save a DVD as a dmg at home, then watch it on the road. in WIDESCREEN (novelty coming from a 12") haha.

I imagine it would be fine. If you had problems playing back full DVD dmgs, you could use the iMac to rip & compress the DVD to mpeg 4, which would cut the bitrate down dramatically. The air would have no problem playing back a DVD ripped to h.264.

Catch
Jan 18, 2008, 03:31 PM
I'm having second thoughts about the SSD. i mean, i could almost buy an iMac with the extra money.


This is the 'no brainer' way to go. If you can stretch you will have the best of both worlds and the ideal setup for a MBA in my opinion. Even if it means saving for a bit longer go down this route. You will not regret it in my opinion, as it fits all your needs...

C

InLikeALion
Jan 18, 2008, 03:43 PM
No longer than an hour. The problem is that using an external on a MBA would have to be USB... and other posters have said that it's bad to use USB for video as it drops frames etc. The way the drive writes is in bursts.

I'm having second thoughts about the SSD. i mean, i could almost buy an iMac with the extra money. I may end up getting the 80gb, and then upgrading in a year to a 128gb SSD.

will the 4200 drive be ok for watching movies saved as dmgs from a DVD? Or will it lag? Would be nice to save a DVD as a dmg at home, then watch it on the road. in WIDESCREEN (novelty coming from a 12") haha.

Matthew, I think you need to give up the MBA dream if you want to use your laptop tasks like video. It reminds me of a kid wanting something really bad because of the color or the coolness of the item and wanting it no matter how impractical it was. Like a batman bike but his parents know that he is about to outgrow it and it wont fit his needs. I've had plenty of moments like that throughout my lifetime.

Apple products make it easy to experience this conundrum. It's hard to tear yourself away from something you want. But face it. This isn't practical to someone who doesn't have another computer. Your PB doesn't count because you make it sound as if it's dying. Someone earlier had a very wise suggestion, and I think you should listen to it: Get an iMac now, and wait for the kinks to get worked out of the air before you buy one, if you're still determined to get it.

But if you can keep yourself from splurge buying right now, maybe eventually you will see that a Macbook to most of us reviewing your situation, seems like a much better choice. Don't lock yourself into something that won't let you have room to grow in your creative endeavors. I'm afraid that if you buy now, you WILL end up regretting it later this year.

Then again, maybe we're wrong. We're probably not.

InLikeALion
Jan 18, 2008, 03:46 PM
I agree with Zioxide's response in every point.

zioxide
Jan 18, 2008, 03:53 PM
I'm having second thoughts about the SSD. i mean, i could almost buy an iMac with the extra money. I may end up getting the 80gb, and then upgrading in a year to a 128gb SSD.

After a quick search on store.apple.com, I have determined this:

Refurbished 20'' Aluminum iMac 2.0Ghz, 1GB Ram, 250GB HD: $1049
Difference between MB Air 1.6 and MB Air 1.8 w/ SSD: $1299

that's a no brainer.

You can get the 20'' iMac + a 2 gig stick of ram from newegg (~$45, giving you a total 2.5GB ram and opportunity to go to 4 later or for just another $45) + 500GB external hard drive (FIREWIRE!) + MB Air 1.6GHz for the same price as the MB Air 1.8GHz w/ SSD.

So yeah, like I said earlier, get the iMac now. I'm sure you can squeeze an extra couple of months from your Powerbook just for your portable tasks, so all the major kinks can be worked out of the Air before you purchase it.

matthewHUB
Jan 18, 2008, 04:04 PM
thanks for the help.

PS i've never started a thread that got this many views/replies before. THANKS!

Catch
Jan 18, 2008, 04:07 PM
After a quick search on store.apple.com, I have determined this:

Refurbished 20'' Aluminum iMac 2.0Ghz, 1GB Ram, 250GB HD: $1049
Difference between MB Air 1.6 and MB Air 1.8 w/ SSD: $1299

that's a no brainer.

You can get the 20'' iMac + a 2 gig stick of ram from newegg (~$45, giving you a total 2.5GB ram and opportunity to go to 4 later or for just another $45) + 500GB external hard drive (FIREWIRE!) + MB Air 1.6GHz for the same price as the MB Air 1.8GHz w/ SSD.

So yeah, like I said earlier, get the iMac now. I'm sure you can squeeze an extra couple of months from your Powerbook just for your portable tasks, so all the major kinks can be worked out of the Air before you purchase it.


There you have it. the guy gives fantastic advice and throws in the research for free! I think you owe him a beer at the bar my friend. :D

C

jameskohn
Feb 1, 2008, 02:38 PM
Now that people are actually getting these in their hands, I'm wondering if anybody has had an opportunity to load AVCHD from an SD card via the USB port on a MBA (either SSD or HDD)?

I'd love to know how that goes!

matthewHUB
Feb 1, 2008, 11:11 PM
yeh... i'll change the thread title to attract attention

jameskohn
Feb 1, 2008, 11:55 PM
Now that people are actually getting these in their hands, I'm wondering if anybody has had an opportunity to load AVCHD from an SD card via the USB port on a MBA (either SSD or HDD)?

I'd love to know how that goes!

I went ahead and picked up my 1.8 SSD at the SoHo NYC Apple store earlier today. I just tried downloading AVCHD video from an SDHC card via the USB port. As I expected, it's really slow. To be fair, I did it in the largest, highest quality format, and I'm comparing it to my MacPro 3Ghz Quad. My best guess is that it took 2x - 3x longer on the MBA. About 3 min. to download and render thumbnails for 30 seconds of video.

I've never used my laptop for this purpose before, but it's nice to know that if I'm in a pinch I could. Everything else is wonderful so far!