iMac 24" for video editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jamie., Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Jamie. macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2009
    Hey everyone,
    I'm an ameteur filmmaker and I'm looking into getting a Mac for my highschool graduation.
    I will need to upload and edit video quite often, BUT PRICE IS AN ISSUE. I'm not trying to spend an incredible amount of money. But I do need a comupter that will handle the tasks I need it to perform.

    Even though I have filmmaking skills, I'm terrible at understanding computers. Can y'all help me out with how much ram and harddrive space I will need? as well as how to upgrade a graphics card.

    Will this be a good option? It has a larger screen and it's cheap. 4gb of ram sounds good to me also.

    or this which has a faster processor i believe?

    ONE LAST THING, I love the layout of Sony Vegas for editing, but it's a PC based software. So I would have to run Bootcamp in order to run Vegas on a Mac. Is Bootcamp a simple thing to use?
  2. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    What video codecs do you use? (i.e., HDV, AVCHD, etc)

    Personally I would pick the first one as it has the GT120 graphics and the faster processor. But that, once again, is just me. Are those your only two options?
  3. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Anything you buy today will be more than adequate. I cut XDCAM HD footage on a 2.0Ghz MacBook Core Duo and never had a problem. And graphics processors don't have an impact on video editing as far as FCP is concerned, not sure about Vegas. And yes, Bootcamp is very simple.
  4. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
  5. Jamie. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2009
    hmm so these are better? i see they have snow leopard....andthanks.

    and i'll be editing standard definition video's and eventually some HDV or AVCHD.
  6. muskratboy macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2007
    if you're an aspiring filmmaker, then you might as well start learning a real editing app.... no one's ever going to hire you to cut something on vegas.

    final cut or avid are your choices... FCP is probably easier to use, but i think you can get a version of AVID for cheaper. and then just run that in VM or bootcamp.

    and while you're at it... i'd stop with the "i don't get computers" angle. stop telling yourself that. and if you really want to do anything in filmmaking, you'd better get that out of your head now... cause you WILL be using computers. :)
  7. Jamie. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2009
    oh i know...and filmmaking is a hobby of mine. i don't care if i ever have a career in it. i enjoy doing it.

    i manage to get by pretty well in vegas. i also use after effects. i like vegas because i've been using it for so long and it's convenient. there's nothing wrong with convenience.

    just because i like using vegas doesn't mean i'm clueless with other's just a preference :)
  8. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    I think you can get Avid Media Composer for about $300 academic price, which is a huge discount from retail. I second learning it, yes FCP is catching up, but like somebody mentioned before, learning Avid will give you more cred if you go looking for a job in the industry.

    I use Avid and FCP and like them both for different reasons.
  9. Jamie. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2009
    interesting...and for nearly $700 less than FCP.

    most likely i will be running final cut express and adobe after effects.

    possibly vegas with bootcamp.
  10. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Leaving out Vegas (as I know nothing about it), pretty much anything put out in the last year or two will meet your needs, so consider your budget this way:

    You say video is more of a hobby, so how long will it be one? And what are your requirements? 720? 1080? Length of your projects? Will you need a ton of storage? The ONLY reasons for the budget conscious to buy top of the line are if A) you absolutely need the power of them right now or B) you will need something that will last for a long time (like over 3 years with no replacement) to work at high speeds. If you're in a professional environment either or both of those may apply. If not, then what works for you now and has a bit of extra power past what you need will cover your current needs and probably the next 2-3 years of advancements in the field.

    Keep in mind also that SSD drives are constantly improving, and they make a HUGE difference in working with film. My advice would be buy the best model you can within your budget. When it slows a bit in a couple years, buy a top of the line SSD drive, that will give you an extra couple of years, and with SATA3 coming up, provided the drives are backwards compatible with SATA2, those drives will be swappable into any new system you buy in the future, so your upgrade path will make more sense if and when you ever get to it.

    With any creative endeavour, my advice is always to spend what you can afford but keep in mind that a better camera for video or mics for audio is going to make much, much more of a difference than the quality of your system (to a point, you don't want a G3 imac for video, of course). We still run our audio recording system on an old G4 Sawtooth, and it's slow but works perfectly; every time we upgrade it's always mics, as they make all the difference in recording. The software has improved significantly, especially into the Intel Mac era, but we have solid analog compressors and EQs so we get quality recordings and don't yet need the top of the line to produce commercial grade recordings. It's all relative to what you need, so having a solid view of that will definitely help you decide what your best purchase is. :)
  11. Sych0 macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2003
    Avid has long supported the mac community. No need to run it in a virtual machine or bootcamp. just install the mac version
  12. Jamie. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2009
    thanks VERY much guys.

    i see myself shooting and editing video into the future. so i want the best i can get, WHILE ALSO keeping it on a budget. i will want this machine to last as long as possible.
  13. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    My recommendations still stand.
  14. Jamie. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2009
    well as of now i suppose that's what i want.
  15. bumzo1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    While the 24" is great (its the one I have now) I think you should go for the higher end 21.5". The screen may be smaller but it is the same res and the processor and especially the graphics card are much better in the new one, plus you get the wireless kb and magic mouse.
  16. Jamie. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2009
  17. Jamie. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2009
    I keep hearing about issues with Snow Leopard not recognizing when a MiniDV camcorder is hooked up via firewire...I've been through this problem with PC and I DO NOT want to go through it again.

    Is it still safe to make the "Mac Move"? Or will I be at risk by not being able to capture MiniDV video?

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