A Powerbook for Pro video editing?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mymemory, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001
    Hi family.

    Look, I'm here in NY and all I can find are freelance jobs doing video. Now, I have been working with a Powerbook G3 500 (pismo) for a long time, not for broadcast but for FCP and After Effects things. Of course the rendering is slow!

    The thing is that I want to be more competitive, I do not expect to have a post house but a machine that can handre FCP4 and After Effcets very well would do.

    As I live in a small appartment and a G5 is a big machine I was thinking in Getting a Powerbook 12" fully loaded and a 20" LCD screen. We are talking around $3800 here, amy be a bit less. I do not know if an external regular firewire hard drive would work with pro video (music videos, documentary, etc).

    Or should I go for a Powerbook 15" with firewire 2?

    I really like the big screen but I can hold that. I want to know the performance and if any of you recomend a system like that for pro video.

    Just let me know your opinions.

  2. cornfedgrowth macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Hey, I would deffinitally go with the 15 inch if not the 17 powerbook. The current powerbook G4s can handle FCP4 and Aftereffects much better than your G3, but if you can live with you g3 for another couple months, i'd hold off and wait for the G5 laptops. Firewire hard drives generally work pretty well with final cut. i've heard of some problems with dropped frames when capturing with the hard drive and camera on the same bus or when their daisy chained, but i've never had problems with it. Generally you'll want to keep them on seperate busses if at all possible.

    About the moniter. Buy the 17" Power book and your only 3 inches smaller than the 20" lcd and you save a couple grand... spend that money on hard drives and ram.

    So final recomendation, get the 15 or the 17 depending on how portable you want it to be.

    p.s. Dont forget to figure software into your budget. Final Cut Pro is $1000 bucks and DVD Studio Pro is 500...
  3. mediababy macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2002
    Las Vegas
    After Effects on any G4 Powerbook

    I agree with the above as a solid recommendation, especially waiting for a G5. You are only looking for frustration using After Effects on a Powerbook G4 even a top of the line 1.33 ghz. You will always be waiting while the thing is rendering.

    The hard drive in a powerbook is usually 4200 rpm or 5400 which doesnt help either.

    FCP 4 will work great if you stick to straight cuts instead of trying to throw in every amateur dissolve & zoom effect it offers.

    The almost invaluable part of a big system instead of the Powerbook is SCREEN REAL ESTATE. Working with Dual Monitors when you can afford it offers a unbelievable increase in workflow speed.

    I edit occasionally on a Powerbook 15 & it works okay, but I am constantly moving palettes in & out of the way.
  4. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    Rule of thumb, get the fastest computer you can afford for video editing.
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Unless you really need to edit on the go I would not get a laptop. $3800 spent on a desktop setup will get you a lot more than $3800 spent on a laptop setup. Plus, if you get a laptop you are basically locked into DV25(MiniDV/DVCAM/DVCPro) only editing (which may or may not be a problem).

  6. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    while advice about the laptops seem sound (15 over the 12)

    i have to go with getting a desktop. if you are really gonna do editing a desktop system comes out more cost effective and has a longer life and expanidibility.
  7. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    As I chimed in on your DV camera questions, I thought it only reasonable to put in a post here...
    Basically I agree with Lethal(in fact on matters concerning video editing I find his posts/opinions spot on...)
    So to briefly add, the PB will work, but as mentioned unless you absolutely need the portability-not the best option...because
    1) HD space...need alot, and even the largest internal HD for laptops are not that big for working w/DV-external firewire drives will work, but there goes your portability(BTW laptop drives are slower also..)
    2) Cannot (as also mentioned) deal with any format other than DV25...does not seem to be an issue as all of the cameras suggested in your other post are DV25...
    3) Cannot utilize real-time effects w/o dedicated capture cards/hardware...if you need a breakout box to capture analogue video...hardware encoders...if you want to use SCSI, or a RAID configuration in drives, all this is difficult, if not impossible w/laptop...and if possible further adds to lack of portability...
    4) Processor power...more is better...dual vs single...G4 vs G5...I think you get the idea...
    I do feel your pain about space though( I also live in a studio)
    Take care, and good luck with your purchases...
  8. agreenster macrumors 68000


    Dec 6, 2001
    Walt Disney Animation Studios
    I have to agree with the above post.

    Laptops are great, but as a SECOND computer only. Portability is a distant second to power, HD space, etc. To truly do proper professional video editing, you really need SCSI or a RAID HD and a proprietary video card system to work in real time.

    And dude, G5 vs G4 is absolutely no contest. If you can, wait until Rev.B of the G5 PowerMacs and pick one of those up--you'll never regret it.

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