$2000 for video editing monster

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by changle, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. changle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    #1
    Hi All,

    I'm going to purchase a machine for video editing, and will take it with me traveling, into remote areas of China to make documentaries along with all my videography equipment.

    This is my first mac purchase so I'm going to have to learn FCP and perhaps premier, but I want the best bang for my buck in terms of editing.

    At first I was thinking of a 13 inch 2.9 ghz cMBP with 16gb ram and 256gb ssd, but then I heard people saying that since its dual core it wont be as good? Any thoughts?

    Thanks a ton guys, I've been browsing the forums for weeks and still havent been able to make up my mind!
     
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #2
    Dual core or Quad core only matter when it comes down to encoding the final video. Obviously, the more cores to crunch through the frames, the faster it'll get done. However, faster is relative and can mean 10 seconds you save vs 3 minutes. Depending on the load, clock speed and architecture.

    As you mention traveling, I would not advice a 15" MBP at all.
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

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    #3
    Quad core or dual core also depends on what kind of footage you acquire, if it is using a highly compressive codec like H.264 or an editing codec like ProRes or DNxHD, as H.264 needs more computer power during playback and transcoding and applying effects with whatever software you will be editing.

    If you do not need to churn out 10 minute pieces every day with 60 minutes of raw footage, dual core might be just fine, if you can let it do its job in the background just fine.

    The following guide might be a bit old and does not include FCP X, but the same principles still apply, even when FCP X can natively edit H.264 encoded video without the need for transcoding it (though it will have to render many temporary files depending on the filters you will use).

    Video Compression
    Why It Matters & How To Make The Most Of It


    It is also called "Premiere" due to the word's relation to film premieres and not football or Oceanic politicians.
     
  4. changle thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 7, 2013
    #4
    Yeah I'm shooting with a 5d mark ii, so it will be using h264 i believe... I dont think I really care about the retina, I just want something to be able to handle all my footage and edit it really smooth, doing color correction etc and rendering without overheating and slowing down
     
  5. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

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    #5
    I think the 13" cMBP is a a good choice for your budget, the Retina has more GPU RAM (1GB vs 512MB), however the price tradeoff and the ability to put 16GB of RAM (vs 8GB; non-upgradable in the Retina) in it make it a worth while trade off in my opinion. More RAM will make a difference when editing HD, and as stated above processor speed is really only relevant to rendering.

    Definitely, go for the internal SSD and get 7200RPM external drives, I like the LaCie rugged's if you are traveling.

    A note on editing software, FCPX is supposedly more user-friendly, but if you want more control go with Premiere which is basically FCP7.

    EDIT:
    Saw you are shooting DSLR, if you edit in FCP you will have to transcode to an uncompressed format for editing, so the GPU and quad core in the retina maybe worth considering if your budget allows. I believe premiere allows you to edit with the compressed files, but it won't be fast.
     
  6. changle thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 7, 2013
    #6
    So I have to go 15" then? I was hoping to do it on a 13". I just want it to be smooth and seamless, I don't really care about rendering times.
     
  7. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #7
    You don't have too, it'll make it easier in a sense to have quad cores. But like you said, since you care not of rendering times, a Dual core is fine too.
     
  8. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

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    #8
    It depends what you mean by 'smooth and seamless.' Canon DSLR shoots compressed so you will have to transcode before you can edit 'smooth and seamlessly' in any editing program. The transcode will take time, how much depends on the processor speed and GPU.

    Can I ask how much footage you intend to be dealing with daily?

    If you are editing 20 minutes a day I wouldn't worry about quad core vs dual core. However, if you are shooting multiple hours a day, you will probably be transcoding overnight, so the quad core would be worth seriously considering.
     
  9. simsaladimbamba

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    #9
    The 13" will do fine with H.264 encoded video, but it will not be as smooth and seamless as a quad core Mac though.

    Also consider the 1280 x 800 pixel with the 13", it might not be enough screen real estate if you have a lot of clips and such.

    I guess you want to use FCP X?
     
  10. changle thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 7, 2013
    #10
    Thanks very much for your input guys

    Yes I am planning on shooting maybe 15-20 min of footage but then cutting that down into a 5 minute-7 minute clip. So I will first have to convert the footage into another format before importing into premiere? I've been used to editing in Sony Vegas and I haven't bothered with any conversions, but I guess it makes sense to do that to ease the load on the computer while editing?

    I'm planning on using FCP or Premiere whichever one I take a liking to, not really sure yet, but it seems like most people vote for Premiere these days?
     
  11. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

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    #11
    The amount of footage makes a difference, with that little (15-20 minutes) the transcode will not take too long on a dual core, obviously the quad core would be faster, but it is not enough to justify the extra expense in my opinion.

    And yes most people like Premiere because it is almost identical to FCP7. The FCP Blade Tool is the Premiere Razor Tool.

    Google, 5D to Premiere, workflow for info on the best way to transcode and formats.

    Best of luck on your trip!
     
  12. simsaladimbamba

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    #12
    If you are interested in the topic of video editing applications and good video formats and codecs and the act of transcoding, have a look at post #3 and the links to that guide about that issue. It even includes Adobe Premiere Pro.
     
  13. changle thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 7, 2013
    #13
    Awesome!! Thanks so much guys!

    I'm going to go with the 13 inch 2.9 ghz, 256 ssd, 16gb ram. I'll think about it for a couple days and I'm going to check back tomorrow to see if anyone has any objections, but I think this will be a great system!
     
  14. simsaladimbamba

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    #14
    You can save additional money via just buying the 2.9 GHz model or even the i5 model for 300 USD less, as the difference between the i5 and i7 is not that much (20 to 30 %), but do not buy the SSD and RAM from Apple.
    16 GB RAM can be had for 100 USD, 256 GB of SSD glory can be had for around 150 € (Crucial M4 and Samsung 840), which would leave you with 250 to 550 USD for additional external USB 3.0 storage in 2.5" form.
    1 TB in 2.5" form using USB 3.0 can be had for 100 USD, and if you intend to transcode your footage, you are going to need it.

    Let's say, you buy three 1 to 2 TB HDDs, one HDD for the original footage, one HDD for the transcoded media for use in the editing application, and one HDD for backing up the original footage and maybe even the transcoded media if you need to.


    For my last project (introductions into Richard Wagner's operas - green screen, animations, graphics; some multi camera convention; multi camera recordings of a festivity for some friendly people) I had one HDD for raw footage and one HDD for backing it up, two HDDs for project media files and two HDDs for backing up that media, in case something went awry, I just would have to point the editing application to the other HDD and continue editing.
    As the result were 550 minutes of 1080p video, I did not wanted to start from scratch, thus the backup strategy.

    As archive, I stored the original media on two smaller HDDs (1 TB each) and the editing media files on two additional HDDs (1 TB and 1.5 TB) and also stored the rendered output files (After Effects and DNxHD masters of the finished sequences (were around19 sequences)) on another HDD, thus I have five HDDs in case I ever need to get back to that project.

    I just wrote the above to also give you an idea what and how to backup and for you to develop a backup strategy, as HDDs fail at some point, some fail after some months, some can spin for many, many years.
     
  15. esskay macrumors 6502

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    Jan 3, 2008
    #15
    One of the economical benefits of the cMBP is that you can easily upgrade the RAM and SSD yourself much more cheaply. If it were me, I'd definitely go that route.
     
  16. fratey macrumors regular

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    May 6, 2010
    #16
    1280x800 isn't enough screen real estate even when working with a single clip.


    If you want 13", get the 13" retina. Get yourself a good deal by going for the refurbished one. the Classic is an absolute waste of money.
     
  17. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #17
    Why? Give me a good reason why Classic is a waste of cash...
     
  18. fratey macrumors regular

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    May 6, 2010
    #18
    The screen is absolute junk, it's completely unusable speed-wise until you pop an SSD in it, and it's extremely heavy. Which gets even more polarized by the outdated parts in it. Paying over $800 for a computer with a lower resolution than your average cellphone in 2013...

    Of course, there's a few groups that would make better use of a Classic Pro – particularily in the 15" range, but in general, the Retina or the Air provides superior value in every single way, shape and form when bought new directly from Apple.
     
  19. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #19
    Really now... How is it extremely heavy? The 13" MB is still one of the lightest laptops around (that isn't an ultrabook).

    Outdated parts, how? Just because an Ethernet port doesn't make it outdated.

    Unusable? Really? That is how you describe it? You need lot to learn kiddo. I still have my Late 2008 MacBook and it runs on an HDD. It is nothing but smooth and responsive. No, once again, it doesn't have an SSD. So I yet to see how that point is relevant.

    Resolution? The entire Retina deal is new and you already feel the need to lash out against standard resolutions? Also, phones are phones, never are you going to be able to appreciate the full pixel density. Hell, in the iPhone you can barely do so.
     
  20. fratey macrumors regular

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    #20
    Uh, really, it isn't. A quick filtering gave me that 807 out of 1124 laptops on the Swedish market weigh less than two kilos. The 13" Pro? 2,06 kilos.
    The rest of the world runs Haswell.
    Ugh, really. Insulting me over a computer.
    I'm glad for you. I was kind of sick of my Pros taking three minutes to boot, and I'm even more sick of the entire computer freezing to a grind when cmd-tabbing from Lightroom. Of course, your mileage may vary - I'm a photographer, after all.
    I'm not comparing it to retina itself - the retina part mitigates that by allowing different scaling settings. Notice how I'm not complaining about the Air, which has a more workable 1440x900 resolution. The 13" Pro has a lower resolution than half of the Thinkpad line from a decade ago.
    To be fair, I can "appreciate the full pixel density" on my iPhone 5 despite a vision error of around 1D. I can even appreciate the step between my iPhone 5 and the full HD phones - although I'd say the iPhone 4/5 DPI was a nice sweet spot.
     
  21. Celedral macrumors 6502

    Celedral

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #21
    If you want smooth editing then you'll want one with a dedicated GPU so the 15" model is the only viable option I see. I'm currently using my RMBP to edit quick stuff, but in the process found myself lusting for more power. I edit 50% 5DIII and 50% R3D from Red cameras. The best way I can edit without any performance is with a External Thunderbolt SSD for media and one for scratch and preview files or events on FCPX.

    Premiere will edit DSLR files natively so pretty much drag and drop. I'm not sure if anyone else here experienced it, but my RMBP gets super hot when rendering and editing. 80-100c+ with the fans at 5,000+rpm, but that might just be my computer.

    ALSO RAM is very important, 8GB is not enough, go for 16GB at the least
     

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