Tough Decision, GOOD Camcorder or FAST Mac?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by FF_productions, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I've put myself in a tough position.

    I've saved up some money over the past few months to go ahead and buy a dvc30. Now that I've come up with enough money, I'm having 2nd thoughts.

    If I sold my Dual G4 and combined it with the amount of money saved up for the camcorder, I can buy a FAST PowerMac/mac pro.

    OR, I can replace my ****** Digital 8 Camcorder with a Panasonic AG-DVC30 and live with a Dual G4 to edit in Final Cut Pro.

    I just need an extra opinion to help sooth the pain.
     
  2. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #2
    just my opinion, but if I already had a decent computer, I'd go for the cam-corder so I could have both a good mac and the great cam... If you sell the G4 and upgrade to a "faster" mac you'll still have nothing but a good computer and still be needing a good cam...
     
  3. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #3
    True, but I usually edit other people's videos..

    I would like to have a decent camcorder.

    I'm leaning towards a camcorder, then slowly earn money for a faster machine.

    I just want to order this camcorder as soon as possible so I stop having crazy thoughts.
     
  4. MacFan25863 macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    #4
    Why not buy the MacPro and a cheap dv cam (like a used Canon ZR80)?

    The quality of the ZR80s is actually pretty good (better than the rest of the ZR line IMHO). Anything dv you buy is better than Hi8.
     
  5. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #5
    I think I have reached a Verdict.


    I'm going to buy this Panasonic AG-DVC30.

    then, slowly put money together and get a G5/Mac Pro to be my ultimate final cut computer.

    It's very nervous times because I've never invested this much into anything..
     
  6. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland
    #6
    Sorry to create more doubt in your mind, but if you usually edit other people's movies then maybe you should go with the new computer, then save up slowly for the good camcorder. The camcorder is cheaper than than the computer, and therefore it will take less time to save up for it.

    It also depends on whether you edit/film for a living. If this is what you do for a living and the majority of it is editing, go for the computer.

    It is true that if you buy the computer you will have a great computer but low quality footage to edit on, and if you buy the camcorder you will have good footage but an older, slower machine. The other side of this is that HD video is becoming more and more affordable, while SD DV is becoming quickly obsolete (not totally of course, but it is moving in that direction). You may be better advised to buy the computer now that can handle HD video, and then save for a hopefully-then-lower-priced HD camcorder. If you do choose to later upgrade to HD and have stuck with the dual G4, then you will be screwed, as the G4 wont be nearly as capable as the quad g5 or Mac Pro.
     
  7. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #7
    honestly, if I were you, I'd keep the G4, get the cheaper cam that's almost as good, and take a surf trip. But, if you're editing other people's video for income, a MacPro may be the wisest investment:confused:
     
  8. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #8
    See, this isn't the easiest decision to make.


    I do try to make $$ with my machine and would like a super fast machine to work with that is dedicated to editing.

    The camcorder is something I've wanted for a while but couldn't afford it and now I can.

    This is a tough decision.
     
  9. Demoman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    Issaquah, WA
    #9
    You can never replace the quality of the video you shoot. It is lost forever. You can always increase your computer later. I also have an AG-DVC30 and love it. It made a world of difference to what I was producing.

    I needed a second camera for the type of video I shoot. I thought about buying an HD camera, but no one can watch the video. I ended up with an AG-DVX100B. I figure HD is still 3-4 years away from the mainstream. I will have amortized the investment within 2 years.

    Note: Do not use Sony DV tapes in your camera. In fact, go on the web and find an inexpensive source for professional panasonic tapes. The careful shopper can find them comparably priced to cheap retail tapes.
     
  10. Matt Phoenix macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    #10
    Just wondering, what's wrong with Sony DV tapes? I'm definitely not a fan of Sony, as everything I've owned by them has fallen apart, but what's the deal with those?
     
  11. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    i was in the same boat. had a g4, needed a camcorder, wanted a faster G5.

    in the end, this is what calculated my decision:
    1. i use my machines to make money. i wasn't quite sure that getting a camcorder would get me money, but i knew the machines could make me money and....camcorders are cheaper so getting the money for one of those would take less time.

    so, i bought a dual g5..the 2.0 with a bunch of ram and an externa e-sata enclosure with some HDs. not the fastest machine in the world, but it does the trick and handles the pro software just fine.

    the result...i made enough money in a few months to buy a new camcorder.

    i did keep the g4 though. i would have made more money then compared to now. it's probably worth it for you to keep your g4. you won't get alot for it and imho, the value of what you use it for (editing or burning a dvd while you edit on your new machine), is worth more than what you would get back for it.

    hope that helps.
    keebler
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    If you do a lot of CPU intensive video tasks (lots of effects/compositing, lots of DVD encoding, want to use Motion, etc.,.) then a new machine might be the best way to go because you could finish projects faster thus allowing you to work on more projects. Of course, this assumes that you have enough business lined up that being able to turn projects around faster will actually increase your revenue.

    For my paying side work I still use my 4.5yr old Dual 1ghz G4. But I don't do a lot of vertical editing (effects/compositing) so typically the only thing I have to render are titles and color effects. Encoding DVDs takes forever, but I just do that overnight. I'll probably upgrade when the Rev. B towers come out... assuming I need to do something that my G4 can't handle.

    If your computer isn't holding you back, and you do a fair amount of production work (shooting) getting a better camera or other production gear (light kit, audio gear, etc.,) might be a better investment.

    If you can't decide then pay cash for one and put the other on a credit card. Nothing like carrying debt to motivate you to make money. ;)


    Matt Phoenix,
    I think Demoman was trying to say that paying the premium for Sony tapes isn't worth it as you can get equal quality tapes for less (kinda like how you shouldn't buy RAM from Apple 'cause they mark it up so much).


    Lethal
     
  13. 3dit3r macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    #13
    If you are not a professional editor or shooter, then I would suggest you buy what you enjoy doing more. If or when you become a professional, you will probably focus on one or the other. Not to say that you have to or that this is a paradigm, but I don't know of anyone that can get consistent work doing both. All the pro shooters and editors I know can do both, but mainly get work doing one.

    Speed may appear to be an important factor in upgrading your computer, but it doesn't mean you still can't get the work done. I still do plenty of work from home on my Dual G4 450 running Jaguar and FCP 4. I upgraded to 4.5 and Panther but dumped both because it slowed down my computer. Sure, it takes longer to render, but I guess I'm old school and have learned from my days of editing on AVID v.1 how to work around that.

    So get what you really like to do. Subconsciously, you know what that is. It kind of sounds like you want the camera. And remember, when you do this professionally, you can write off your computer, camera, hard drives...
     
  14. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #14
    This saturday I'm ordering the DVC30, the computer I will save up for later. So in a month or 2, I'll be posting whether I want a G5 or a Mac Pro.
     
  15. Demoman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    Issaquah, WA
    #15
    Sony uses a special lubricant on their tapes that will wreak havoc with Panasonic heads.
     
  16. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland
    #16

    If I didn't know that we were talking about cameras and I took this out of context it sounds SO DIRTY. :eek: :D
     
  17. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #17
    The problem is a general one, not something specific to Sony. Some manufacturers use a wet lubricant and others use a dry lubricant. If you mix them it can turn to goo and clog your heads. The old rule of thumb is to pick one brand of tape and only use that brand, but I've been hearing for the past couple of years that the manufacturers fixed the problem on their end. I've run a bunch of different brands of tapes on a bunch of different DV decks in the past few years, and the only issue I ever had was w/Panasonic tapes not playing back right in a Sony 1500 deck. But they played back fine in a Sony HDV deck. Go figure.


    Lethal
     
  18. MacFan25863 macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    #18

    Our Sony deck had the same problem...it didn't like anything but Sony tapes. We ended up selling it and getting a new (non-Sony) one.
     
  19. PegasusMedia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #19
    There's something funny about the way our minds work. I'm just a video nerd, but this is an interesting psycholgy exercise that fascinates me. What is it that drives us to want (need?) the newest fastest computer? It's only going to be the newest fastest computer for a few months at best, you know.

    FF, you have a perfectly good computer that is fully funtional and cranking out product for you! You don't need to relace it! The only time this is important, as Lethal said, is if you are running an around the clock operation where the processing speed increase will increase revenue. Keep in mind...the faster computer will not make you, the editor - the artist - faster. It will simply make renders & such faster, which, if you are sleeping 8 hours per night, probably doesn't matter much. Schedule your days so that renders, burns, and such happen at night and at lunch.

    At my day job, we have a superfancy top of the line Media100 844/x that rocks the world. Next door we have a TEN year old Media 100 running on a 9600 with 29 gigs of external storage. And you know what? BOTH rooms make lots of money! A lot of jobs can still be done very well on a ten year old machine...so I think your "old" mac is still ok!

    You made a good decision. Enjoy the camera, and use it to expand your services. A tip from a grizzled old fart...you normally edit other peoples stuff? Use your new camera to shoot & work on something YOU like. Something that interests you. Working on other peoples stuff too much will make you a crabby old bugger like me!
     
  20. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #20

    Thanks so much for the response. You really hit the mark with that post. Seriously, I do want a new computer for faster renders...but will it make me better? No.

    Saturday I'm ordering the camcorder and I'm going to live with this machine.

    Just a question, what kinds of stuff do you edit? It boggles the mind how you could use such old machines to do projects and still make profit...
     
  21. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #21
    As recently as 2004 I saw Avids running on 9600s at 3 or 4 post houses (some in LA some in Indiana). Those guys were probably brand new in 1997-8. Up until last year a place I used to work at used a linear edit bay on a daily basis (the thing was probably 15yrs old at least). Granted it was used for a very specific purpose, but it was still used 100hrs a week. A show I worked on earlier this year we used Avids on mirror door drive Macs running Jag.

    As long as the machine still does what you need it to do it's not obsolete.


    Lethal
     
  22. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #22
    You guys have given me a completely different perspective on my machine.

    This is a strange question, but if I loaded Jaguar on this machine, and all the original stuff this machine had, would it be faster?
     
  23. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #23
    I think it comes for the experience. The experience of knowing when your gear is holding you back vs when you are holding yourself back. And the experience of buying something new and snazzy only to realize what a waste of money it was.

    A few years ago I got a shooting/editing job working for CART (open-wheel racing series) and thought a PDA would just the thing I needed to be professional and organized and all that stuff while on the go at the track. After a two races I mainly used the PDA for MP3s and games while traveling between races, and at the track (the reason I bought a PDA in the first place) I used a pen and pocket sized note pad.:rolleyes:

    I doubt it. Apple's done a good job of keeping OS X snappy on older machines, plus if you go all the way back to Jag you'll limit what software you can use as many apps don't support that far back. FWIW, the MDDs running Jag I mentioned in my last post didn't seem any faster than my Quicksilver running Tiger.


    Lethal
     
  24. johan_tanying macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    #24
    On my seven years old G4 350 MHz / 768 MB RAM / ATI Rage Pro 16 MB Panther runs considerably faster than Jaguar. I haven't tried Tiger for long yet, but it seems at least no slower than Panther. My advice is to go for 10.3.9 - fast and compatible with almosr all software.
     
  25. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #25
    Cameras last as long as they physically can. Computers need updating after a few years. If I were in your position, i would be getting the cam and some RAM or a CPU upgrade for my PM.

    As for this question, the MacPro is faster and probably more future proof. Wait till they go on the refurb list; on the Australian store, i saw a PowerMac Dual 2.7GHz for 30% off retail price!
     

Share This Page