2014 Macbook air and video editing

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by CP Baard, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. CP Baard, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    CP Baard macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2014
    I am currently studying a Fine Arts and Multimedia degree, and desperately needed to replace my old Imac. I had the first top end 2010 i7 macbook pro, but sold it in 2012 for not utilising it, which I came to regret after enroling for my current degree.

    To get to the point I had to get a new mac but could only afford the entry level 2014 13" macbook air 4gb RAM 128 SSD, after many discouraging posts on the net I went ahead and got it anyway as a gap stop thinking that I would replace it imediatly when my finances looked better.

    I edit in premiere pro and to my surprise this computer has been fantastic for my project work, rendering is quick and exporting a sequence to large .mpg file is almost the same time as the edited sequence in general. For home editing and light independent commercial work it is fine. My first year and student projects rarely exceed 10 minutes of HD footage doing things like short films, music videos, advertisements, Video ART, and can probably handle a little more.

    This is not a pro machine and so if you edit all day every day from 9-5 this will not cut it. Mainly I suppose also the limited ram for me and SSD space would cramp projects quickly.

    Screen is not retina, but good, and allows for battery life which is second to NONE! When editing for hours 13" is anyway not enough and I use the machine with an external monitor. MBA can power far superior displays.

    I am so pleased, I will be able to see my degree through with this machine, which brings me to my last point that Apple products are all good and and the latest and greatest mentality is overated when all you need is a practical solution.

    I live in Cape Town, South Africa where imports generally are more expensive than in first world. My MBA which is advertised for $999 in the US (before or after tax?) retails for about $1400 here so its not a cheap date, but the reliability and absolute pleasure and performance are worth it.
  2. John marts macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2014
    I did some video editing in imovie and was very impressed with its speed. This computer is seriously legitimately capable of video editing. I had my doubts but it surprised me too.
  3. CP Baard, Oct 27, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014

    CP Baard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2014
    Another deciding factor for me was that the next in line MBP retina 13" at the time was not much of an upgrade to the air in terms of editing power, except it had a retina screen. In real world flow for professional editing a laptop screen is not enough, retina or otherwise. I think the recent upgrades and prices in the line are better.

    Something to consider that I stick by is when getting a mac if power vs price is always the issue go in low or go in high that way you will always get more bang for your buck. I have figured that this machine being on the low end should be able to service me for 2.5 years where as a high end machine should give you a professional lifespan of a minimum of 4 years and more. These machines are fantastic. I still use my Imac which is the first intel versions its 8 years old its prompts are quick its running snow leopard. I load project backups onto it just for safety and store media on it.
  4. driftless macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2011
    No, not if you using the professional programs. 4K will be a non-starter. The 13" rMBP is not up to the task either.
  5. CP Baard, Nov 1, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014

    CP Baard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2014
    Well I did cover that this is not a pro machine and should not be considered as a production tool for professionals (which any professional wouldn't). This thread is for everybody else, wondering can the MBA edit video? and to what extent?

    I tried not just to relay benchmarks and data, but real world experience which seems to be better than would be suggested. A student or home users dont need MBP power at double the price at the top end.

    I've edited corporate stuff as well, but shot from canon 5D mkiii in HD with ease. I doubt most people asking these these questions will ever go farther than posting on youtube or corporate presentation and home use. My work is mostly conceptual but I have to produce it and do post production myself, but the focus of my studies is not on learning to become an editor/post production technician its just part of the package and the MBA works well for that purpose.
  6. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816


    Apr 12, 2007
    I use FCPX on a 2013 MBA at work to put together training videos and it works fine. I actually take the machine home to do some private projects from time to time and so far it has been able to do everything I want it to.

    I don't use a lot of simultaneous tracks and use limited effects and translations, but it plays back 1080p 60fps footage just fine, even before it is transcoded into pro res. h.264 transcoding is stellar on these haswell machines by the way, which is great for uploading to YouTube.

    I currently own a 2010 mbp which can barely handle FCPX, but I'm holding out for Skylake which should bring quad core to the whole cpu lineup. That should give the MBA a pretty sweet power boost.
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I have been editing video on my 2013 i7/8gb/512 MBA with my old version of Final Cut Pro and have been very pleased with the performance. Before that I used a 2011 i5/4gb/256gb MBA and it was also fine, but the new machine renders faster.

    I shoot mostly Sony XDCAM EX 24p HQ full HD. I used to do quite a bit of video work before retiring in 2011 and edited on a 24" Core2 Duo iMac and 2008 Core2 Duo MBP back then. The little MBA just runs circles around both of those old machines.

    So I agree, it isn't the "best" machine for video but you might be surprised by how powerful the MBA is. And when I'm carrying around a big camera, matte box, pro tripod and other heavy stuff then I really appreciate the size of the 11" MBA. For my limited video work these days, it's really all I need. :)

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