Anyone tried using FCP HD on a mini?

anthonymoody

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Original poster
Aug 8, 2002
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I'm a recent switcher - bought a loaded mini (1.42, gig of RAM, etc) and have run into an unexpected need: editing HDV video. If I'd known this was going to be a requirement, I might have purchased something else, perhaps a top of the line iMac if not a PM (though i really don't want to deal with the space issues a PM requires).

Anyway, has anyone tried using FCP on a mini?

TIA,
TM
 

kgarner

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Jan 28, 2004
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I used FCP on my Mini (same setup as yours) and it works fine. You can't run as many realtime effects and rendering takes longer but the overall workflow (editing clips, arranging on timeline, etc.) works fine. That said, I did NOT do anything in HDV (just regular DV) so I don't have any idea how that will be affected.
 

anthonymoody

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Original poster
Aug 8, 2002
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Thanks a ton for the info. Question: do you use an external drive as a scratch drive? If so, how does that work for you?

Thanks again,
TM
 

kgarner

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Jan 28, 2004
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Works fine for me, but i would not classify my use of FCP as heavy or even moderate. Mostly I use it when I have a project that requires it and then not again for a while. Not sure how it will function for real heavy use, but I suspect it would be fine.
 

wwooden

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Jul 26, 2004
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Burlington, VT
I would be a little worried about editing HD video on a mini only because if you go to the Quicktime website at apple and try to download the HD videos they have, they recommend at least a G5 or a high end dual G4. Watching HD video on my PB is very choppy while on my iMac it is smooth and crisp.
 

kgarner

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Jan 28, 2004
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That's true. It is not really pleasant to watch on my Mini, but i don't know how that would equate to editing. Most of the time when you are editing, you aren't doing it full screen. Also, I think it is possible with FCP to edit the footage in a compressed format, and then render it out using the full quality clips using your edit points. But I am no expert on that so maybe someone can correct me if I am wrong.

Bottom line is like I said, FCP works fine on a Mini, but I have zero clue as to how HDV will function.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
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Los Angeles
anthonymoody,

FCP HD CANNOT edit HDV natively.
1. You can purchase a 3rd party product to transcode the HDV into a format FCP HD can edit.
2. You can use iMovie HD to transcode the HDV into a format FCP can edit.
3. you can down-convert the HDV to regular DV for editing.
4. You can buy FCP 5.

Options 1 and 2 (transcoding) will be very, very, very, very slow on a Mini (and if you go the iMovie route you'll take a quality hit 'cause from what I hear the AIC that codec iMovie and FCE use kinda blows).

If the end product doesn't have to be on HDV then I would just down-convert the footage to normal DV (this can be done by the camera itself). If the end product does have to be on HDV buying/upgrading to FCP 5 might be your best option (and probably most expensive).

wwooden said:
I would be a little worried about editing HD video on a mini only because if you go to the Quicktime website at apple and try to download the HD videos they have, they recommend at least a G5 or a high end dual G4. Watching HD video on my PB is very choppy while on my iMac it is smooth and crisp.
Non-issue 'cause HDV is much different than the HD h.264 trailers Apple has on it's site (which, in turn, are much different than any form of HD that's used to shoot and edit with).

"HD" is almost as generic a term as "personal computer."


Lethal