Editing HD footage: Buy Ref-MBP, iMac, BBook or Alum-MB?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AppleParfait69, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. AppleParfait69 macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    What specs will really improve the time it takes to edit footage and pictures, and dload them?

    Which of the mentioned macs should I get?
    BONUS ? ;)
    Should I get Final Cut?

    I know there have been a ton of posts on this topic, but I didn't know how much the graphics cards and ghz matter for editing video from a HD camcorder (canon hf100 w/sd cards so firewire isnt necessary :) ) and editting RAW images with my camera. Perhaps I'd get Starcraft 2, BUT I'm currently retired from computer video games and have been for awhile :). Other than that, I surf the net and word process a ton(not exactly big needs I know).

    I'm trying to make an intelligent decision and not waste $$$$. I have a Lenovo x61 tablet coming my way courtesy of a sister who doesnt need it anymore so I do already have an awesome quality lightweight laptop...I plan on using that a ton for my job (I'm a teacher). However, I don't think it will work with the editing and picture stuff I want to do. I travel a ton (Rwanda, Tanzania, Xcountry last year all in last year with Jerusalem/Churchill, Canada/Peru on the horizon) since I save a ton as a teacher and don't usually BUY anything else, especially something big like a computer.


    1-Top choice...I think.....The Refurb 2.4 ghz MBP seems like the right move because it is still portable and could also just serve as my home computer. Do I really need the pro though for what I want to do?

    2 Very close second-. iMac, lose the portability but sick screen size for editing? 2.8 ghz , 3.06 ghz or 2.8ghz with upgraded video? Which one/upgrades should I target if I go in that direction?

    3-If I was a millionaire,I'd get the Refurb Blackbook for my fiancee or one to bring on vacations since I wouldn't want to take the tablet, but correct me if I'm wrong, it would be a serious luxury and just duplicating what I have in my Lenovo?? small screen size is a negative for editing as well....Perhaps blackbook 2.4 with the new 20 or 24 inch display? Gets more pricey then though...

    4-The new macbook, love the touchpad BUT glare? small screen size and price at this point turn me off. I put it in because I don't know, maybe the graphics are needed for what I want to do?

    Any thoughts or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I've read the previous posts, but I don't know what specs are really necessary for quick and efficient HD editing AND RAW image editing.
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Unless you need Motion and Color from Final Cut Studio, just get Final Cut Express and the fastest MacBook, then buy a 24" external display. That'll give you 1080p (1920x1200) HD for editing. On Macs, cpu is king for video editing, not gpu.
  3. tuinte macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    Get a MacBook Pro or more powerful (ie, iMac). I'm not the guy mad at Apple for no firewire on the new MacBooks (love them!), but this is precisely when firewire (or eSATA) is needed - to host your media on an external scratch disk so the slower 5400 RPM system drive isn't overloaded.

    If you want a responsive editing environment, your system and your media should be on different drives. This means firewire or eSATA, which means MacBook Pro or iMac (or Mac Pro).

  4. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Its not possible to connect an e-sata drive to iMac.
  5. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    i have the new 2.4/4gbram Mbp and the canon HF100
    it runs great on imovie, i say get fce/p and a 2.5 mbp with 4gbram.. thats all you need
  6. highjumppudding macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2008
    imac will get the best performance and the lowest price tag. go with that. unless you need portability, then get the macbook pro. DO NOT get a macbook for any editing or pro work. you will be greatly disappointed. even with these new machines, DO NOT BUY. they are strictly consumer machines.
  7. HunterGather macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2008
    But isn't a macbook (white/black/glass) (fully maxed out) good for modest editing in Final Cut Express?
    When connected to a nice small external drive of course.
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    There's nothing wrong with running FCE on a MacBook. The render just as fast as any MBP that has the same processor. Where you can run into issues is if you use Motion or Color that come with FCS or if you want FW800 or eSATA, which are only available for the MBP. If your budget allows a MBP and 24" external display, then by all means go for it. If not, then a MB will perform just as well.
  9. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    I recently purchased a Canon XH-A1 camcorder and would like to start getting more serious about video editing and working with HD. Prior to this, I had a Sony HC1 and for my needs, I would just downgrade from HD to SD and was fine with iMovie.

    I currently own a 15" 2.2ghz MacBook Pro w/ 4gb RAM which I bought in Fall, 2007. I had a 1.42ghz Mac Mini w/ 1gb RAM at home which I bought in Spring 2006, but I believe that has been damaged in a fire. I'm now looking to replace it with something more powerful to have at home to do serious editing with (as I learn how to seriously edit that is). I think I'm comfortable using my 15" 2.2ghz for editing HD on the go or in my bedroom.

    I'm considering a Mac Pro but am wondering if perhaps that may be either too much computer for me or too pricey for me. I think I'd like to spend around $1000 to $1500. I'm watching this thread here: "Cheap" Mac Pro? ($1500) so let's see what happens.

    For now, I plan to work with Final Cut Express 3.5 because that's what I have.
  10. eVolcre macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2003
    would a 20 inch iMac be capable for amateur level photo and HD video processing and editing? I'm also interested in converting my 1000 DVDs into soft media.

    What is a basic requirement for a home machine that would serve as a mass storage, tons of picture imports and editing, high def video importing and editing to make home movies and converting or ripping DVD ?

    I need to transport this out if the states so a mac pro or even the 24 inch iMac would be tough to carry. iMac, macmini with screen are my options. Dontneed any portability.
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    I can do all of this on my 2 gHz Mini. I prefer to do it on my quad-core hackintosh, though. :)

    For 1080p, you'll want a 24" display, so a 20" iMac with a second 24" display would work well for FCE (assuming it supports dual display mode).

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