Seeking Video Editing Solution Advice for Work

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Moof1904, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #1
    I have a G5 and ACD at home with FCPHD and DVDSP, so I'm a staunch believer that editing video on the Mac is the way I prefer to go, but I have a situation and I'm looking for advice...

    I started a new job about a year ago. Because the company (small startup) is 100% Windows (Server, Outlook, etc.), and the IT person turned green at the thought of adding a Mac to his network, I agreed to do my work (print publishing) on a PC. The CEO and I agreed, however, that when the time came to start producing video (for internal training, external training, etc.), I would get a Mac.

    That day is here. I've spec'd out a respectible, but not exhorbitant, Mac system (G5 dual 1.8, 2.5 gigs RAM, 2nd internal drive, FCE) to request. The total is in the neighborhood of $3000.

    On the other hand, I currently have a P4 3.2 GHz, 40 gig HD, 1 gig RAM, Dell PC that I could augment with Firewire, additional RAM, DVD/RW drive, 2nd internal IDE drive, and something like Ulead Medial Studio Pro 7, for a total of $900 or so. For the purposes of producing short video clips (2-20 minutes each) that don't need to be Hollywood quality, I'm estimating that this setup would be approximately equal in capability to the G5 system (perhaps a bit slower, with only one processor).

    The trouble is, it's been a year since the Mac promise was made. Promises like that tend to be forgotten or fade in their relevance. Money's not a problem here, per se, but because we're a young startup company, we're always watching the bottom line and trying to not be frivilous.

    It's inevitable that those in the approval chain would ask if I really need to spend $3000 versus $900 to obtain approximately the same video editing capability. If both systems are capable of doing what I need (a series of 2-20 minute vignettes for various audiences), how can I justify the added $2100 expense, just in the name of useability?

    I know what I would prefer to use, but the real world of corporate perception, finance, and politics (I don't want to be viewed as a prima donna who insists on having the only Mac in the company when a PC would serve my needs), it's not always as simple as choosing the most desired tool. If I got the Mac, I would still continue to use the PC for everything else. The Mac would be only for video editing.

    And while I much prefer the Mac, it's not a bad thing that I gain experience editing video in Windows.

    So, I guess I'm asking that in this circumstance, is the increased capability and user experience worth asking my company to spend $2100 insted of $900. Or put another way, if this is 20% of my time for the next 10 months, will they get their money's worth through increased productivity and employee contentment?

    Thoughts? Opinions?
     
  2. jkaz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Upper Mid West
    #2
    unfortunately, i have to recommend the $900 upgrade.

    but do it like this: tell your company that you think you can do it with the $900 upgrade, but are not assured that over the long haul it will be the best investment.

    if you bring this up before hand, if the machine craps out, or just stinks for your purposes, you will have warned them in advance.

    or, tell them it will get you through for another year at which point you will need a new mac.

    in a year your same money gets a whole lot more apple(of course)

    or you could just try to sell them on the fact that an apple now will be your base for video editing for the next three years.

    if you are doing enough work, buy a new one in 2 years.

    i know i'm rambling but here is the breakdown of my recommendation:

    $900 upgrade now, new mac in a year.

    mac now, new mac in 2 years.

    how much number crunching are you going to be doing anyway?
     
  3. absolutmp5 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    #3
    im betting at this young startup thats all windows based you have some down time because more frequently related window issues. The matter with a mac though a higher intial investment they are more cost effective. I agree that though you wont be doing high end video editing now, it would be godo to have a machine that could keep up with the company if you guys plan to up your promotial material to more forms. The time lost on windows issues cant be gotten back, now im not saying macs dont have their problems but the likely hood and frequency of how many times a problem arises will be greatly reduced. Also if you guys plan to expand your division with more systems you can always tell them about how your pro apps use node or render farm capabilities so that your old machine wont exactly be useless even after many years. dont forget the resale value of macs.
     
  4. tpatricks macrumors member

    tpatricks

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    #4
    Don't even think about the Dell... really... don't...

    I don't have enough space to tell you how wrong you'd be to retro fit the Dell. A dual CPU PowerMac G5 with Final Cut "Express" and even iDVD eats the lunch of the $900 upgrade.

    Plus, the Mac has so many other applications that make life easier on the video production guys: audio, video, slide shows, etc.

    I've got a Sony Vaio 2.8 ghz with WinXP and a dual CPU PowerMac G5 loaded with FCP, Logic, GarageBand (very good, even for commercial use), DVDSP, et al. Add PhotoToMovie or FotoMagico and you've got a powerhouse with little down time.

    The Sony? There's always something that's not working right; Firewire, WinXP, Sony's add-ons, audio sucks, and on and on.

    For $3000 or so you'll be a hero and can crank out more than anyone could ask.
    -
     
  5. jer446 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 28, 2004
  6. jkaz macrumors 6502

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    Upper Mid West
    #6
    you haven't read his post very carefully then, have you.

    edit:

    here, let me point some things out to you that you missed:

    "the company (small startup)"

    "100% Windows"

    "short video clips (2-20 minutes each) that don't need to be Hollywood quality"

    "but because we're a young startup company, we're always watching the bottom line and trying to not be frivilous."

    "I don't want to be viewed as a prima donna who insists on having the only Mac in the company when a PC would serve my needs"

    "If I got the Mac, I would still continue to use the PC for everything else"

    "The Mac would be only for video editing"

    "And while I much prefer the Mac, it's not a bad thing that I gain experience editing video in Windows."

    next time, put the coffee away for an hour before you type- thanks!


    edit 2:

    to reclarify this for you, this is a question prudence, not a comparison as to what is better.
     
  7. jchen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #7
    Oh stop it, already...

    That's a silly list. One by one...
    • Size (of company) doesn't matter
    • 100% Windows doesn't matter (diversify)
    • Short video clips? Perfect and FAST on the Mac
    • Primadonna? They already agreed to get you a Mac. Get it.
    • So you'll have a Mac and a PC? Sweet.
    • Offer to give up the PC once your Mac is rolling; saves money
    • Only video editing? Why? It'll do everything else, right?
    • Video editing experience in Windows is like gaining experience in headaches

    jkaz, why do you have to be so snotty when someone simply disagrees with you?

    It was a valid question and a valid response. So's mine. Enough already.
    -
     
  8. jkaz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Upper Mid West
    #8
    i'd rather be snotty than condescending.

    2 points:

    1) based on the parameters of the initial inquiry, 80% of all his work will be done on the pc.

    this doesn't matter if he can, could or should do it on a mac.


    2) a computer isn't trash until after it has been 'maxed out'. for him to say that he can't use the computer would be lieing.

    but you are right though, it could be dished off to another member of the staff, too bad he needs the pc for the 80%
     
  9. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    Yes, but...

    A valid question would be what exactly would he be using the PC for? MS Office? Access?
    An answer to that question would go a long ways in determining the value of a new mac, because if I CAN serve as a replacement (+some) for his PC, it will negate the hassle of having two machines.
     
  10. jkaz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Upper Mid West
    #10
    this is true, but it would bring the cost of switching even higher depending on the route taken.

    i wonder if the original poster ever considered an emac. the editing software(fcpxxx) would carry over to a beefier mac purchase down the road.

    (i'm not even going to listen to anyone that says an emac can't handle simple video editing)

    edited for one typo
     
  11. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    Hmm...

    Get an iMac, max out the ram, or...
    get a mini, max out the ram, and get a display. In year or so, sell the mini and get a tower.
    For simple stuff an iBook would suffice. I regularly made 5-10 minute movies on my G3 500Mhz iBook, so the new G4s should be just fine.
     
  12. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    I am a video editor/compositor for a TV station in London, England. Last year I asked for a G5 & FCP machine see this thread We were told that we could not have a Mac as the company could not support them, (even though I still have a G3) Macs are a security risk, (presented with a list of Viruses for os7-9) & they were to expensive.
    My total spec for the machine & software came to about £10000 (aprox $18000us) After months of discussion we were told that no way could we have the Mac - "company policy", its got to be a Windows XP machine. So we gave them the spec for the IBM machine & premiere pro. This machine cost more & did less, dismissing the "more expensive" theory.

    What we got was a top end Dell 3.2ghz 2GB ram 2x250 GB HD & the decklink extreme video capture card, also what we got was 6 months of hell, the system just doesn't do the job.

    Because I work in a broadcast environment we use uncompressed video. The Dell we got just cant handle this, it is about 70GB/hour compared to 13GB/hour for DV. Premiere crashes a lot, or just locks up for minuets at a time. The system does not hold sync between audio & video. Exporting video crashes out. We got to the point where we had to send jobs out of house because we couldn't do it on the PC. We also lost the media disk with 2 months of work on it. I have also got to know the IT support guy well as they spent a fair bit of time trying to get it to work. I have had more downtime since i got the PC than I had with the G3 in the last 6 years.

    Our IT support are now admitting that they don't have the specialized knowledge to support a video editing system on the PC. We also have a Avid express system on a similar PC & that also suffers form a lot of down time. When it comes to video editing I would not consider a PC system.

    Go with the Mac if you can, it will just work.
     
  13. jkaz macrumors 6502

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    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Upper Mid West
    #13
    great post evil santa, i think that's enough testimony right there to say that a mac is a must.

    now the question would be this:

    which config to buy?

    the original poster spec'd out a 3k d1.8 that's alotta machine for only 20% of a persons work load.

    sounds as though a monitor is not needed.

    i think the mini mac would be worth looking at. an emac would get the job done and a single processor power mac would just be sweet.
     
  14. Moof1904 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #14
    To clarify, the reason I believe I'll do only video editing on the Mac (if I get one) and continue to do other stuff on the PC is that I've already invested the company's money buying Windows versions of FreeHand, FrameMaker, Photoshop CS, WebWorks Publisher, etc. etc. etc. This few thousand $$$ on software that I couldn't reasonably expect my company to fund sidegrades to the Mac versions. That's why I believe I'm locked in to the PC for print publishing for some time to come.

    Thanks for all of your thoughs so far, Gang. I've enjoyed reading everyone's perspectives.

    Edit: And because a monitor larger than my current 1280x1024 Dell would be a requirement for either system, I didn't want to confuse the issue by mentioning a monitor.
     
  15. jkaz macrumors 6502

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    #15
    in that case, i would start out small on the machine side, then slowly migrate over as your software needs upgrading to new versions, etc.


    are you the only person in your company that works with media in this capacity?
     
  16. Moof1904 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    May 20, 2004
    #16
    Yes, I'm the sole print and video production person. While others may produce raw material for input (hand written outlines on manufacturing procedures and such or miniDV footage), I'm the final producer.
     
  17. jkaz macrumors 6502

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    #17
    how long have you been working with apple computers?
     
  18. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #18
    a emac or mini mac should do, just get a FW drive, I would recommend 2, & use one to back up your media regularly or run them as a Raid, (the back up ver, cant remember what sort that is right now)

    At home I use a G4 733 with a internal 2nd drive for media (80gb) & a FW drive for media 80GB, and a 250GB FW drive just for back up. The g4 is well below any of the current mac spec but it works just fine. I only do cut dissolve type work on it, as its a bit slow for rendering. The biggest monitor you can get is always good. If you are running with just DV, you only need FC express. If you are planing to output to DVD get the production bundle.
     
  19. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    Jan 20, 2005
    #19
    FCE doesn't support timecode, so it's not suitable for production work. FCP would be a better choice.
     
  20. Moof1904 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    May 20, 2004
    #20
    I didn't know that FCE didn't supprort timecode. Ugh.

    (To answer a previous query: I've been working on Macs since I bought my first one: an SE-30. Then IIcx, IIci, Q8500, G3 tower, Ti laptop, dual G5).
     
  21. Stinkythe1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    #21
    I was in the same boat as you.

    I work for an event photography place that takes pictures of action events (cheerleader, showchoir, baseball, ect...) and we use 100% windows and have a big server running win server 2003 to hold all the thousands of pictures. We're starting to do video and I was pushing my boss to get a powermac G5 to edit the video. He was reluctant because he knows windows and does not know os x. I kept reminding him of all the benifits and cool features of mac's and especially the Final Cut Pro suite.

    Luckily, he knows a guy who is getting a new G5 and is going to be selling his old one which has the FCP suite and Photoshop cs on it for a very great price. We should be going down to pick it up in the next few days. Who knows, maybe you can get lucky and find a cheaper solution for your company besides buying a brand spanking new G5.
     
  22. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    Mar 9, 2005
    #22
    Any way you may consider getting a less expensive mac?
    Powermacs are the pro mac lineup but that doesnt mean the others arent highly competent machines my maxed out imac G5 preforms brillianly for video ed thats doesnt sound very different from what you do and you could get an imac for about half the price.
     
  23. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    Mar 9, 2005
    #23

    Dont want to seem rude but if your this locked in to having to stay with pc's why put the post down, also you could easily get a monitor switch just use the dells monitor between two computers if that helps with price at all.
     
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #24
    Can you get any of these software companies to ship you Mac versions of their software for free if you mail them your CDs/DVDs of the software?

    Also, get a slower Mac. You really are asking for a lot, and if the choice was mine, I'd deny you the $3000 when the company you work for isn't a video company and you'd do most of your work on the PC anyway.
    If you asked for a refurb, or a new but slower dual G5 PowerMac, and you got your RAM from a 3rd party vendor, then sure, I'd agree.
     

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