Final Cut Pro Express: Can G5 handle it? Can novices?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by SylviaW, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. SylviaW macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2008
    My office of video newbies is making movies for the web using iMovie 5.0.2 on a G5 with Canon Vixia HV30 cameras.

    I am interested in switching to Final Cut Pro Express.

    Can the G5 handle it?

    Can our staff, which is doing well with iMovie, handle it?

  2. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    What speed G5? How many cores? How much ram?
    Really final cut express will run absolutely fine on a G5. You'll just have to be patient when rendering things, and learn to edit and apply filters without fully rendering the output until it's ready.

    Be prepared for multi hour renderings, but of course you can cancel the render at any time and see how it's doing "so far".

    I guess it's going to depend on what your staff is doing and how complex of a job you want them to be able to do.

    Hope this helps!
  3. SylviaW thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2008

    Please bear with me here; I'm new at this. Are these the specs you want?

    Processor name: PowerPC G5 (3.0) [so that's one core, right?]
    Processor speed: 2 GHz
    RAM: Size: 1 GB X4

    It's at least 4 years old.

    This sounds complicated. Reality check, and I should said this before: These movies are very basic. No effects. All we do is string together a few clips, add titles front and back, and export as a .mov file.

    With Final Cut Express, are we truly going to have to learn to apply filters, endure multi-hour renderings?

    Thank you -- greatly appreciate the help.
  4. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
  5. SylviaW thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2008
    I thought we couldn't get iMovie 6, now that iLife is out for so long. Wrong?


    Honestly: Two of our videos have had hums from background noise in them, and someone told one of our staffers that if we had a better editing program, we could fix that.
  6. xStep macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
    You could try e-Bay or Craigslist.

    An external audio program may be cheaper to deal with the buzzing issue. The person was probably thinking of Sound Track Pro, but I'm sure other options are available.
  7. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005

    I used to run Final Cut Express and later Final Cut Pro on an iMac G5 with half the RAM that you have. While it took a while to render some 'complex' tasks, such as chroma keying :)rolleyes:), it got the job done. You shouldn't have a problem.
  8. SylviaW thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2008
    Thanks to the very helpful early responses here, I spent last night reading other forums and watching the tutorial videos at

    I think what I'll do is look for iMovie 6, as suggested.

    Also will try using the Shure SM58 cardioid microphone that our office already has. The Shure mic has an XLR connector that, for now, I'll have to connect to the camera with an XLR-TRS cable. If that fails to produce good (enough) sound, I can look at the modest investment into a juicedLink/other XLR adapter/pre-amp.

    Does that sound like a good plan? Other comments/suggestions?

    Thanks again, all.
  9. aki macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2004
    this is just repeating but.....before i got my 3.06 imac yaaaaaay :p i worked on video with g5 imac and final cut pro 5 and it is fine of course if you have complex effects especially layers then renders take time but i used it for a long time its definitely ok

    oh one thing tho i only did SD video not HD on g5....i cant say about performance if u are taking HD from the canon.....if imovie is fast enough tho fce should be ok too

    changing from imovie to fce/fcp.....imovie is much much easier to use and final cut takes some time to learn...but if u are doing simple things its not so bad....and it is good training if thats important about video and editing and stuff

    for free audio cleaning use Audacity it can do very good hum remove and such things just like soundtrack pro for free.....really great app

    BUT of course its always always always better to have good audio than edit bad if u can fix hums with better mic etc then do that first!!

    for iMovie u should use imovie 08 or 09 i think no reason to use an old version

    good luck!!!
  10. tcgjeukens macrumors regular


    May 16, 2007
    Esbeek, the Netherlands

    These are two different programmes:
    • FCE: Final Cut Express - smaller version of FCP. About 200 USD. More than enough for medium complex editing work (compared to the simple stuff in iMovie)
    • FCP: Final Cut Pro - full feature version. About 1300 USD. Comes with many additional tools and programmes. You will not need them if you've never heard of them :cool:

    Both programmes work on a G5. The more complex editing you will do, the more muscle your Mac needs.

    To check your Mac.
    1. Go to the :apple: logo in the top left corner.
    2. Press about this Mac (see picture)
    3. A screen will show the "muscle" of your Mac (see picture)

    In my case I have a G5 (PowerPC) running at 2 GHz. And I have two of them (dual). My memory is 1.5 Gb.

    I use FCP. Just like you, my camera produces HDV files.
    I import the files via a firewire cable. I do NOT transcode to a processor less intensive format.
    Performance is great. Only the final product rendering may take up to 5 times the length of the video (coffee is great ;)).

    Have fun.


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