Got a New Cam, Which Comp?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Trialser, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Trialser macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2008
    I just bought a Sony XR500V, now I want to know what the best system is to edit with. I have a MBP from 07 right now, a 2.2gHz, but its getting fixed and im thinking about upgrading.
    What should I look for for editing AVCHD? I want to get a 15", a 2.6ghz will probably do? Is there a difference between Final Cut Pro and Express? I have heard iMovie 09 is actually quite good, but I will probably look into the FCP or E. Anything else I should look for?
  2. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    Only go Pro if you are a Pro, its not worth the extra money IMO if your not going to use motion, dvd studio pro. don't even bother installing color on a mbp you NEED a mac pro etc.
    I would recommend using an external drive as a scratch disk w/ FW 800
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    iMovie is a fine non-linear editing application for beginners. But as you advance your craft, you'll quickly outgrow its limitations. It's a single-track video editor, so if you need to layer video clips and what not, you need to step up to FCE or FCP.

    You don't need FCP for AVCHD. FCE is more than sufficient, unless you really want the flexibility the other bundled apps give you. In a nutshell, what makes FCP different is:

    Motion = Well, a motion graphics application. FCE itself has rudimentary motion controls built-in like FCP does.

    Color = Professional color grading software. You really want a 2nd monitor to use this application effectively. For basic grading, FCE has color correction plugins built-in.

    DVD Studio Pro = Professional DVD authoring software. Basically, it does everything iDVD won't do. But no Blu-ray authoring support, however.

    Cinema Tools = Tools for conforming projects shot on film with offline digital edits.

    Outside of these bundled applications, FCP supports professional video codecs (DVCPRO, HDCAM, XDCAM, REDCODE, etc.) that FCE does not.

    You don't NEED a Mac Pro to run Color. It'll run on a iMac with an external display in a pinch. To use Color PROPERLY with a calibrated broadcast monitor that you'll probably feed with an SDI signal, a Mac Pro would certainly make things a lot easier because they can accept expansion cards. But I know a few people that run Color just fine on iMacs and MBPs with external displays attached.

    Getting back on topic, ULTIMATELY, you'll need to decide how far you might push your craft and that will make your computer buying decision a bit easier. iMacs are relatively affordable and pretty powerful, but very limited in expansion. Mac Pros are expensive, but have a more practical usable life, especially in the professional content creation world.
  4. Trialser thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2008
    Thanks for the info. I have used FCP quite a bit along with DVD Studio Pro, and really liked it over the older versions of iMovie.
    What about processor speed? My old MBP is a 2.2gHz and struggled to render a lot of the bigger files. Would a 2.4 be sufficient for HD editing? I am also definitely looking to get a laptop. I travel a lot so its better for me. I dont mind carrying around a 15" either.
  5. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    I doubt you will notice much of a difference in upgrading to a 2.4. Even when switching between my 9400 and 9600GT in motion, I can't say I notice a massive difference.

    If you want something faster, you might be better off getting a Mac PRO and then upgrading your MacBook Pro (7200RPM HD and 4GB RAM).
  6. GeekOFComedy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 29, 2008
    Whats with you and Mac Pros. Seriously it's like don't forget to purchase the 2 extra monitors for color, as if you have any money left over.

    I used all the pro apps on my macbook pro 17" 2.5GHz Early 08. Every FCP App runs fine. Even Color does the job on 1 display as you do have a small canvas to preview everything. Motion runs fine. Final Cut Pro runs fine once it has the right codecs.

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