iMac G5 for FCP or no?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Myles, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Myles macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2005
    I've never owned a Mac before, but am tempted to get one for ease of use in terms of video editing. I'm currently a film student just making short films which need to look semi-professional in order to make marketable products. Currently I have an
    Intel P4 2.9 GB
    1 GB RAM
    Nvidia FX 5900
    160 GB Hard-drive
    No DVD or DVD-RW drive (just CD and CD-RW)
    19" Flat Screen monitor (hp pavilion f1703)
    Win XP Home Ed

    The new Isight iMac G5 appeals to me at the moment not only because it is just a single, uncluttered unit, and so is less troublesome to continually move from home to uni etc (my current system is a massive tower with wires galore), but also because i could buy it (this is the 20" 2.1GHZ, with a 500GB harddrive and 1.5GB RAM) along with FCP Studio for just under £2,500. As I'm not looking to spend too much more than this (lowly student etc) I'm just asking whether the iMac is a decent enough system to perform video-editing which is not industry standard (I have a Canon XM2 DV camera which creates decent enough visuals for the things I'm making, mainly music promos). The Power Macs would obviously be better served, but they do work out a lot more expensive, and I'm not quite sure how much better their performance would be for the types of films I'm making (not completely amateur, but not 'Cold Mountain' either. I would still be using credits, titles, variable speed (as in slow-mo etc) and frequent colour correction, and might start looking into using motion for fairly basic effects.)
    I've been using a borrowed version of Adobe Premiere Pro up until now on my machine, which has been fine, but the now undersized hard-drive, lack of DVD drive and poor graphics card diminish its performance somewhat. Just wondering if you think upgrading the machine I have now would be a better option, and if so, what upgrades I should make, as all I really want is a decent and practical little personal editing studio (and the iMac really does look tempting, especially as I've never owned a Mac before).

  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Quality content speaks for itself. I had a friend in college that got his foot in the door at Dateline w/a piece shot on S-VHS and it had all around weak product value, but it damn near brought people to tears whenever it was played. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to make things look nice, 'cause nice is good, but quality is better. Polished crap is still crap. ;)

    For your needs and budget I think a G5 iMac will be perfect. The only other thing I would look into is keeping your eye out for a preowned dual proc G5 tower. But, you did say you were also looking for less clutter and a G5 iMac will certainly give you that.

  3. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    The iMac G5 is a great portable editing system, if you're looking for power that the G4 PowerBooks can't offer. Obviously, you'll need an outlet, but otherwise, it's awesome. I know some friends who edit on the G5 iMac at their friend's house. They take it along with them in an iMac carrying case.

    It's fast enough for editing so the only thing you'll really need are extra external FW hard drives.

    Here's to the Crazy Ones [​IMG]
  4. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    I got a previous gen iMac and I'm using it with FCE. Works great. Just load it full of RAM and a large hard drive (plus I got an external). And don't let it get to less than 8GB of hdd space, or it will slow down. I'll be getting the student version of Final Cut Studio soon, and motion probably runs like a dog, but so far all of my Adobe apps work great. Faster than my similarly configured PC. iDVD is pretty quick too.

    And like Lethal said, it's the work itself, not the tools. The only difference between an iMac and a PowerMac is going to be a little speed.
  5. TheMonarch macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2005
    Bay Area
    FCP [4.5, HD] runs beautifully on my 1.67 PB... Render times suck sometimes, but I've never edited anything longer than an hour, so its never unbearable.

    So I'm sure any G5 will be a pleasure to work with, for short films at least...
  6. Myles thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2005
    Cheers for the replies, it's still an attractive idea then, and no one's said it'd be better to update my own PC yet which is making the hole the money's burning in my pocket that much bigger. The only reason I say I need to make things which look semi-pro is just a personal thing, as I've worked as a director of photography and so for things to look as good as possible (given the often zero-budget conditions) is important, and the films I'm making at the moment are admitedly style over content, so they're characterised by having hopefully impressive visuals and sound design (which is why Final Cut's new soundtrack program has me drooling).
    Oh, and having never used FCP, I can see myself jumping in at the deep end, but I take it you'd all recommend it?- other than the lack of real-time effects I've not heard a word said against it.

    Thanks again
  7. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    It's much better than Premier. Much. Much.
  8. Texas04 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2005
    I agree... been trying to tell my school that for years :rolleyes:
    I havent used for much of anything, but for now in HS iMovie 4 on an old iMac g3 400MHZ~ Works great, And i have a DVD burner that works like a VCR and thats how I make my DVD's for now till i get my new Powerbook. I have edited longer movies on Newer (than mine) iMacs and it has worked great, so for you a brand new 2.0GHZ~ should be awsome
  9. illegalprelude macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    you will love your iMac. I would like to think I do semi-pro editing (Ive edited True Life cuts for MTV, thus why I dont call it professional, another other Channel or something besides reality tv and I would call it pro :D ) and I edit on my PowerMacG5. look at my specs in my sig, you iMac would spank my G5. I also have final cut studio so yup, Motion and FCP5 and Soundtrack and all the goodies run just fine on my Machine so you will have a field day with your unit :cool:
  10. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Yep motion 2 will run no problem, just it will get a bit choppy when you have loads of layers, or it goes over a long length of time.

    My powerbook runs motion 2 so imac g5 will be fine.

    My powermac (see sig) saw a huge leap in performace on motion as soon as I plugged in a more powerful graphics card (motion passes a lot of its load onto the gfx card), unfortunetly you can't change that in an iMac but don't worry, it will still work.

    Motion at times for me can also be a tad unstable when using it with FCP running in the background, soon as I make it standalone it works a treat without ever crashing.

    Good luck and enjoy :D

    p.s I studied Avid at University B.A hons course, where I specialised in digital media (photoshop/illustrator) and editing and even though I know how to use Avid extensivly, I think Final Cut Studio is a far better suite of applications, which allow far more creative freedom (it works with you, rather than you work with it) than Avid. Some may disagree, but that's just how I found working with FC.
  11. Myles thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2005
    Well, all is sounding good then. My only concern now is what to do with my PC. I mean, it's still a good system. Maybe I'll just use it for games. If only there was one universally brilliant NLE that worked across all platforms cos then I could could do little tweaks here and there on my PC, but I want FCP, so it looks like it's finally time to invest in a mac. Thanks for all the info. I'll just tempt fate one more time to see if there are any nay-sayers (I know it's a Mac forum, so there may be a fairly obvious bias to get the mac as opposed to upgrading my pc) but if anyone thinks I'm just being stupid, feel free to tell me. It's still a lot of money haha!

    Cheers for your replies so far.
  12. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool

    quoted for truth.
  13. Myles thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2005
    Oh, and one more thing, is the price of the iMac's going to drop significantly after christmas would you think, is this something that has happened before? I'm aware of the rumours that an intel iMac may well be a possibility in the near future, but I can't imagine that'll be for a few months, and even then, will the current G5 drop in price when the new one is announced? Sorry, just want to make sure I'm getting as good a deal as possible.
  14. illegalprelude macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    although new units will come out in the next few months I would presume, i dont see a price drop happening at all.
  15. Myles thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2005
    Just ordered it, should arrive around the new year. Happy days!
  16. FocusAndEarnIt macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    Welcome to the Mac. Once you go Mac, you never go back. :D
  17. kwajaln macrumors 6502


    Sep 18, 2004
    Congratulations Myles!!!!!

    My switch to Apple, about a year ago, literally changed my life. All those things I had always wanted to do on a computer, like video editing and DVD authoring, had seemed so far out of my grasp and then POOF with an Apple I am doing almost everything I ever dreamed of. The family video DVDs I send to friends and family (all PC users) constantly result in phone calls like "oh my god, how did you do that?" or "you're a computer genius!" Of course WE know that's it the beauty and the simplicity of the Apple software, but I don't tell them that!!! :p :D

Share This Page