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Old Oct 26, 2010, 09:16 AM   #1
antoniusf
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imac or mac pro for professional HD video editing

Am looking into buying a mac for hd video editing, high resolution, speed and price are the criteria.

its the 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 with 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM enough to work well on 10-25 minute videos or do i need a mac pro.

Is the Two 2.66GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” (12 cores) with 16 gb memory, is all the power used.

Is the extra 2.93GHz really worth it.

this is all for FCP by the way
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 09:21 AM   #2
spinnerlys
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Old and not correct version version in this colour
New and corrected version in this colour

With the Mac Pro you can add e-SATA ports for RAIDs, if you want to edit uncompressed ProRes (up to 220MB/s) Uncompressed ProRes (up to 330Mbit/s = 41.25MB/s), the iMac limits your fastest access to an external HDD via Firewire 800 (up to 75MB/s), but you don't need a Mac Pro to edit HD videos, though I haven't been in any production house, that used iMacs as their main editing machines, all Mac Pros or the HP equivalents of them.

The Mac Pro also offers expandability to add video out cards, to monitor and control the footage on an external professional TV.

Btw, as FCP is still 32-bit, it will not take advantage of 16GB RAM.

Last edited by spinnerlys; Oct 27, 2010 at 01:03 PM. Reason: corrected something someone was making me something about
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 11:59 AM   #3
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If you want to edit AVCHD natively with Premiere Pro, Go for the iMac with the fastest Processor.
If you use Final Cut (and have to transcode to ProRes wich has big files) go for the Mac Pro because of Harddisk flexibility.
And a software Raid is absolutely sufficient for editing 3-4 Tracks of ProRes, no need for an expensive Raid card. IF you want to go uncompressed... that's another story!
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 12:33 PM   #4
KeithPratt
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Broadly speaking, for plain old editing the iMac will be more than enough. If you want to use Motion, a Mac Pro gives you the chance to put in a beefier GPU. If you want to make proper use of Color you need a Mac Pro (or 17" MacBook Pro) in order to get a proper signal out to a broadcast monitor. If you're going to be using Compressor a lot, the more cores the better (though the 4-core iMac will be faster than what a lot are getting by with).

Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnerlys View Post
if you want to edit uncompressed ProRes (up to 220MB/s), the iMac limits your fastest access to an external HDD via Firewire 800 (up to 75MB/s),
You've mixed up Mb/s and MB/s there. 1080i60 ProRes is around 20MB/s, so well within Firewire800's capability. And there's also the option spec'ing an iMac with an SSD + HDD combo and using the HDD as a scratch.
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 01:35 PM   #5
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I'd choose iMac

For what you are working on a quad-core iMac will be more than enough. OWC now offers a $160 SATA external port on the newer iMacs which have an internal SATA bus. SO you can use a SATA RAID. You have Apple ship the iMac to them directly. For color monitoring a Matrox mini ($460) will output a signal you can accurately color correct with in Color. Just edited an hour and a 38 minute documentary on an iMac in ProRes422 and it was super fast as far as encodes and rendering.
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 04:48 PM   #6
martinX
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With an iMac
  • You can't hook a broadcast monitor easily (mine's hooked up via a DSR11 deck but that's only a standard def solution).
  • you'll have to select external drives carefully for best performance.
  • You'll have to be more careful with capture and saving originals and backing up

An iMac will get you started, but the Mac Pro is a professional machine. It depends on how you are set financially, how you expect to grow your business, how you are able to deduct these expenses etc.
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Old Oct 27, 2010, 10:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithPratt View Post

You've mixed up Mb/s and MB/s there. 1080i60 ProRes is around 20MB/s, so well within Firewire800's capability. And there's also the option spec'ing an iMac with an SSD + HDD combo and using the HDD as a scratch.
Yep, I thought of ProRes 422 HQ, which has a data rate of 220Mbit/s, but I meant Uncompressed ProRes 12-bit 4:4:4, which has a data rate of 2,237Mbit/s, which is almost 280MB/s, thus Firewire will not suffice, but I doubt the OP will edit with that format.
Thumb resize.
Apple ProRes
White Paper July 2009

Last edited by MacDawg; Oct 30, 2010 at 08:55 AM. Reason: TIMG
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Old Oct 27, 2010, 11:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnerlys View Post
Yep, I thought of ProRes 422 HQ, which has a data rate of 220Mbit/s, but I meant Uncompressed ProRes 12-bit 4:4:4, which has a data rate of 2,237Mbit/s, which is almost 280MB/s, thus Firewire will not suffice, but I doubt the OP will edit with that format.
http://i52.tinypic.com/34j9axh.png
Apple ProRes
White Paper July 2009
I think you are misreading the graph. ProRes is always compressed and the darker blue bar on the far left is supposed to represent an uncompressed 12-bit 4:4:4 codec (maybe something like Animation codec). The lighter blue bar just the the right of it is ProRes 4444 (w/o an Alpha Channel).


Lethal

EDIT: OP, what are the types of things you are going to be regularly editing?
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Last edited by MacDawg; Oct 30, 2010 at 08:57 AM.
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Old Oct 27, 2010, 01:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LethalWolfe View Post
I think you are misreading the graph. ProRes is always compressed and the darker blue bar on the far left is supposed to represent an uncompressed 12-bit 4:4:4 codec (maybe something like Animation codec). The lighter blue bar just the the right of it is ProRes 4444 (w/o an Alpha Channel).


Lethal

EDIT: OP, what are the types of things you are going to be regularly editing?
Yes, I was mis-reading the graph. Thank you for correcting it.
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Old Oct 27, 2010, 01:34 PM   #10
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it depends on what your editing. I have no issues editing using my footage from my Sony NX5 on my mbp.
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 08:08 AM   #11
antoniusf
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thank you fro all the info, will have to make up my mind now!!!

i am using a sony EX3 and the canon 5d mark 2, sometimes a red one, its for internet advertising, documentaries, music videos and short films.
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 09:18 AM   #12
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I have a massive exclusive lifetime research into man's past. It entails geological evidences supporting historical earth changes in the past, together with thousands of ancient written tablets predating the flood. Even where Noah lived and where the Ark was built, even back to where Adam is presently entombed today, etc. I want to film small segments of this research to offer it on Youtube. I think I need an external video camera with sound to attach to my MacBook Pro. Never really done this, but would like to secure necessary equipment and get started learning and producing. Sort of a ongoing documentary of my research.
Could use any help. bmsf@mac.com 1 801 652-5577
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 09:26 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Erickson View Post
I have a massive exclusive lifetime research into man's past. It entails geological evidences supporting historical earth changes in the past, together with thousands of ancient written tablets predating the flood. Even where Noah lived and where the Ark was built, even back to where Adam is presently entombed today, etc. I want to film small segments of this research to offer it on Youtube. I think I need an external video camera with sound to attach to my MacBook Pro. Never really done this, but would like to secure necessary equipment and get started learning and producing. Sort of a ongoing documentary of my research.
Could use any help. bmsf@mac.com 1 801 652-5577
Does that mean you are looking for camcorder and microphone recommendations or is this just SPAM?
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 09:37 AM   #14
Erickson
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Does that mean you are looking for camcorder and microphone recommendations or is this just SPAM?
Not SPAM and yes. Like I say, I am new to this, only played with my Mac and did a couple Youtube's. Thanks for your response.
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 09:41 AM   #15
spinnerlys
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Not SPAM and yes. Like I say, I am new to this, only played with my Mac and did a couple Youtube's. Thanks for your response.
Then you may be better off creating your own thread and specify what kind of camcorder you need (what it shall do in what situations and locations) and what kind of microphone you'd like (what it should record and what it should not record). And don't forget your budget for all of this.
To create a new thread, go to the Digital Video sub forum, click the button and be as detailed and specific as you can, even with the thread title. And btw, it might be better to remove your telephone number and your email from your post, to avoid spam.

And MRoogle is a good tool to search these fora for already existing threads about questions you have. It might be able to answer you quicker than waiting for an answer.
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 04:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnerlys View Post
Yep, I thought of ProRes 422 HQ, which has a data rate of 220Mbit/s, but I meant Uncompressed ProRes 12-bit 4:4:4, which has a data rate of 2,237Mbit/s, which is almost 280MB/s, thus Firewire will not suffice, but I doubt the OP will edit with that format.
A video file can be either uncompressed or it can be ProRes, but it can't be both. The whole point behind ProRes is to make uncompressed codecs obsolete because they're so impractical. Beauty without the bandwidth, as Avid calls it.
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 06:50 PM   #17
martinX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erickson View Post
I have a massive exclusive lifetime research into man's past.
Have you thought of approaching other like-minded individuals for funding a documentary production?

If this is your first foray into the wonderful world of video making, your first videos will look like "guy with handycam running around the outback" and that will detract from the story you are trying to tell.

My favourite book for learning documentary making is The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide.

Though I still haven't produced my magnum opus, it has provided me with a lot of help for my other day-to-day shooting.
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 04:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by antoniusf View Post
thank you fro all the info, will have to make up my mind now!!!

i am using a sony EX3 and the canon 5d mark 2, sometimes a red one, its for internet advertising, documentaries, music videos and short films.
An iMac will handle it, BUT transcoding the Canon footage takes a looong time even on a Mac Pro, so it will take even longer on an iMac. (We have last years MP´s with esata RAID disks and it took us 3 weeks to convert all our footage, it was a alot, but still we were not prepared for that).
a 12min clip would easily take 30 min to convert to ProRes 422.
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