Editing HD Video on iMac and the new Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by villain612, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. villain612 macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2010
    I am looking to buy either an imac or a mac mini for the sole purpose of HD video editing for music videos.

    Hard drive space will not be an issue as I will be editing of an external hard drive.

    I've read differing opinions on whether or not the new mac mini can properly handle HD video. It was my understanding, that as long as it has 4 GB of RAM, then HD video shouldnt be a problem. The output times of the video aren't that big of a deal - these clips will be 5-10 minutes in length.

    To get the most bang out of my buck just for video editing, what should I get - imac or the new mac mini?

    Also, I've heard that final cut pro cannot operate on the mac mini due to not having the graphics card to run it? Is this true?

    Thanks for your help.

    In the end, I want to keep my costs as minimal as possible, and use Final Cut Pro if I can. I will be editing clips filmed with the canon 5d and 7d.

  2. X1Lightning macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2007
    If you are planning on using FCP, that requires a dedicated video card, so that throws the mini out

    I know first hand that the adobe line runs on the mini, but you are going to have much slower render times.

    i have since moved on to the 27" i7 and couldn't imagine going back to the mini

    in all reality if you want the best "bang for your buck" its the imac, the mini maybe cheaper but is not even close to the same machine for what it has to offer
  3. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    That is not true, FCP 7 runs on integrated GPUs too, I ran it on my 2009 MBP with the 9400M and was also able to run it on my 2008 White MacBook with its Intel IGP.

    Even Motion and Color run on an IGP, but perform much better with a dedicated GPU.

    The Mac mini is perfectly capable to be an editing machine, even without a dedicated GPU. Even Motion and Color will run on it, though it will run slower.

    The advantage of the iMac is its 1920 x 1080 resolution and the faster and bigger internal HDD, the desktop CPU and the GPU, thus if you can get your hand on one and don't have a big external display, get the iMac.
  4. martinX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009
  5. Leddy macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2008
    I'd get the iMac.

    Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD. I've edited on a Mac Mini before and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone - maybe in desperation, but not as a long term proposition. The iMac is a much better option.

    You'll want to transcode your H264 files from the 5D and 7D to ProRes 422 using either Compressor or MPEG Streamclip and edit using the ProRes files as H264 is not the best format to edit with.

    Also, you should look into Magic Bullet Grinder ($49) which will enable you to add timecode to your clips and thus Media Manage them at the end of your edits to save disk space.

    Hope this helps.

  6. bimmzy macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2006
    Firstly the more powerful your computer the easier it is going to be to edit in HD.

    Of course the mac mini will edit, it's a mac after all, but at times it will chug along.
    Unfortunately it has a lousy graphics card, and FCP 7 won't like it much, and certain effects simply won't work.

    If you're using the 5D or 7D for shooting then what ever mac you get, make sure you download Canon's FCP plug-in for importing, as it lets you import files straight from the SD card via Log and Transfer. PLEASE don't waist your time, going around the houses, by using MPEG Streamclip or Compressor!

    ProRes 422 Light, is more than good enough for 24/25/30P from Canon cameras, though the full ProRes 422 is great if you have the drive speed and space.

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