best way to capture video using Final Cut Express on iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by 3D0G, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. 3D0G macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    #1
    I want to capture about 30 hours of DV tapes from my camcorder using Final Cut Express on my new iMac and was hoping to find the optimum configuration for doing so.

    I'm using the Firewire port to connect to the camcorder. So then the question is: which hard disk to use for the capture scratch? Since the iMac has only one Firewire port, and that's used for the camcorder, the only choices are the internal Serial ATA 7200 rpm drive and an external drive connected via USB 2.0.

    I wanted to avoid using the internal drive because it's the system drive and especially to avoid the significant internal heat build-up, but when I connect a 7200 rpm Seagate FreeAgent disk via USB, I'm consistently getting dropped frames.

    So I've resorted to using the internal drive for now, and when I'm done, I may copy/move them off to the external drive, but I still would prefer to capture directly to the external drive (without the dropped frames though).

    Can anyone give me any recommendations or comments please?
     
  2. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #2
    If you read the FCE manual, they strongly recommend not to use the internal drive actually. I use an external FW800 drive connected to my imac and I connect the camcorder to the FW400 port.

    If the USB drive is too slow, I think you will have to use the internal drive though...
     
  3. 3D0G thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 7, 2009
    #3
    Exactly--I do NOT want to use the internal drive if I can avoid it. But, with only one Firewire port on my iMac, what's the choice? How do you connect your camcorder AND your Firewire drive to your iMac? Does your iMac have two Firewire ports?
     
  4. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

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    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
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    #4
    This is weird because I have two FW ports on my imac. A FW400 and an other one FW800... It's the imac in my signature, a 24' imac alu.
     
  5. 3D0G thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 7, 2009
    #5
    OK, I guess I'm out of luck--I just got the new 27" iMac, which has only one Firewire (800) port. Good thing I got the AppleCare on it then, so if my internal hard drive burns up, I can get Apple to replace it. :)
     
  6. 3D0G thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 7, 2009
    #6
    daisy chain Firewire devices?

    Actually, I just read somewhere else that I can daisy chain Firewire devices. So in this case if I get an external drive with two Firewire ports, I can connect the camcorder to the drive and the drive to the iMac. This will reduce my Firewire speed to 400 mbps, but that should still be more than enough for capturing.

    Can anyone comment on this configuration?
     
  7. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #7
    OK so you have two solutions if you want a serious set up for video editing:

    1) I have heard you can put two hard drives in the new 27". Join the SSD bandwagon and get yourself a second internal hard drives. You have to be good at DIY though and you might loose your guaranty.

    2) You can maybe get an external FW hard drive and daisy chain it with your camcorder. I am not very confident about the performance though.
     
  8. 3D0G thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    #8
    An update: Yes, that configuration (Firewire 400 daisy-chaining) works well...I haven't had any dropped frames after 20 hours of capturing.
     

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