Mac for editing GoPro Footage

Amnesia180

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 29, 2017
37
2
Hi all,

I'm after some advice... I'm entering the world of Apple and leaning towards getting a mac.

I like taking shots and video with my GoPro, I'm not shooting with multiple cameras but won't want something that will mix video of my GoPro Hero 4 (mostly 1080p stuff), some video from my S7 Edge and still images.

I was looking at a mac mini, something like the 2.6 GHz 8GB RAM 256 SSD.

But then someone suggested a Macbook Pro.

And since doing more research I've seen the iMac where it's all built into the monitor.

The Mac Pro tower are way out of my price range.

I'm probably looking at second hand rather than brand new.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
 

smallcoffee

macrumors 68000
Oct 15, 2014
1,575
1,963
North America
Hi all,

I'm after some advice... I'm entering the world of Apple and leaning towards getting a mac.

I like taking shots and video with my GoPro, I'm not shooting with multiple cameras but won't want something that will mix video of my GoPro Hero 4 (mostly 1080p stuff), some video from my S7 Edge and still images.

I was looking at a mac mini, something like the 2.6 GHz 8GB RAM 256 SSD.

But then someone suggested a Macbook Pro.

And since doing more research I've seen the iMac where it's all built into the monitor.

The Mac Pro tower are way out of my price range.

I'm probably looking at second hand rather than brand new.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
What's your price range? Do you value mobility? If you want something mobile, definitely look at a MacBook Pro, especially a refurbished one if you're on a budget.

If you don't care about mobility, the iMac is a good option. For any desktop solution a Mac is going to be more expensive than the equivalent Windows box. For some that's an issue.

I would wait though if you can until June or whenever WWDC is because they will likely announce new hardware that will be released.
 

Unami

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
699
354
Austria
I was looking at a mac mini, something like the 2.6 GHz 8GB RAM 256 SSD.

But then someone suggested a Macbook Pro.

And since doing more research I've seen the iMac where it's all built into the monitor.
either way, i'd go with 16gb of ram and if possible also the faster (i7) processor. gopro footage and video editing in general can be pretty taxing on the machine. of course you'll want a reasonably fast external harddrive for your footage too, 256 gb won't cut it.

it's kind of sad that apple's mac-mini page still shows the discontinued apple thunderbolt display.
 

Amnesia180

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 29, 2017
37
2
Thanks for all the replies.

I was looking at the 256 SSD purely for applications. I'd then get external HDD (1TB) for storing footage and moving the final edits to.

I hear of people editing on a 2011 4 GB RAM Macbook Pro, where as others say their i5 8GB iMac can't handle it.

Ideally, I'm looking around the £500 mark, I can go higher if needed. I've been looking on pages like CEX and eBay for second hand ones, with the option of upgrading the RAM (is this expensive and/or difficult? I'm used to doing Windows machines).
 

Kcetech1

macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2016
176
80
Alberta Canada
RAM (is this expensive and/or difficult? I'm used to doing Windows machines).
depending on the machine it can not be done at all. rMBP's and 21" iMacs can not have their ram expanded going back a few models now, some can be upgraded but are picky on the ram you put in such as the 2010 MBP. You can not expand the storage in many MBP's too much either, and the current 15" can not be done at all.
 

mike.coulter

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2008
179
23
Cardiff
I picked up my 2013 i7 MacBook Pro for £300 with a broken screen, £240 for a replacement screen and I think I've got quite the bargain. Swapping the screen isn't particularly hard either with all the guides on iFixit.

So I guess you could look at getting one to repair?
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,284
2,276
Perth, Western Australia
If you're editing video any recent CPU will "do the job" for 1080p (rendering will be slower with slower CPU but your timeline scrubbing etc will be OK).

The big deal though is SSD. Make sure you get an SSD, as scrubbing through content with a hard drive just sucks. Hard.

You'll need SSD scratch space for working with video. Plan on having a decent amount of SSD space for current projects - hard drives really slow video work down. By all means store archive or completed projects on spinning disk, but if you're planning to work with footage in a project, make sure you account for enough SSD space to work with it.
 
Last edited:

Amnesia180

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 29, 2017
37
2
Thanks again for the replies.

I could look at getting one for repair, hadn't thought of that.

Regarding SSD, that is why I was looking at 256GB SSD. I'll only be storing a few programs on it. All completed projects will be backed up externally but current projects will be stored on the SSD. I could even buy an external SSD if needed.

Another reason for 256 GB SSD is for some reason the 500 GB version absolutely rockets in price, by more than the price of an external 256!

Still unsure whether Mac Mini, MBP or iMac is the way forward though. I would like the portability, but it's not essential...
 
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throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,284
2,276
Perth, Western Australia
The SSD inside the Mac is MUCH faster than an external drive, so that would explain the price disparity. Even my 2015 model gets 1400 MB/sec read/write with filevault.

A typical external SSD will get less than 1/4 of that on USB, if its a SATA -> thunderbolt connected to SSD, it might get just over 1/3 of it.
 

Amnesia180

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 29, 2017
37
2
Oh right, I understand now.

Think I still need to do a bit more research then. Maybe I'll try and stretch to the 500gb model, but do you think a 256gb ssd would suffice for current projects, save then transfer final products to an external for storage and playback?

In an ideal world I'd get an i7, 16gb ram, 1tb ssd etc, but my budget for second hand doesn't stretch unfortunately.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,284
2,276
Perth, Western Australia
Depends how big your current projects are and how much other stuff you' have on there.

Be aware:

In the machines with dual core CPUs there is basically very little difference between the i5 and i7 (they're both dual core, hyperthreaded, the only difference is some paltry mhz and a meg of cache or so - all up maybe 5-10% cpu throughput difference). so go the i5 to save money there. (e.g., Macbook Pro 13", Macbook Air)

8 GB of RAM will be enough to work with hobby level 1080p GoPro projects (i do it with my 13")

I'd say you could get away with 256 GB, but if you're planning to do much beyond convert one go pro session into a video you might want more. i.e., if you're building a library of footage and joining multiple different sessions together by clipping small bits out of lots of footage - i'd try for 500 GB instead.

200 GB fills up pretty quick with a few apps, an iphone or Mac backup, etc.

A quad core will help (wouldn't say it is required for 1080p - your final renders will just take longer is all), but don't just assume that i7 = quad core, because in the low power mobile variants - they aren't.
 

Amnesia180

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 29, 2017
37
2
Thanks again. I'm learning a lot.

Popped into the apple store today and I was advised an iMac would suit my needs better than a MBP.

They said the 21" 3.1 GHz, 16 GB RAM with a 1TB FD would be fine for editing etc. Is this the case?

I'm aware however, that I'm unable to upgrade this model in the future. Its coming up at £500 less than the MBP with only a 500gb SSD with just 8GB RAM.
 

mike.coulter

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2008
179
23
Cardiff
Thanks again. I'm learning a lot.

Popped into the apple store today and I was advised an iMac would suit my needs better than a MBP.

They said the 21" 3.1 GHz, 16 GB RAM with a 1TB FD would be fine for editing etc. Is this the case?

I'm aware however, that I'm unable to upgrade this model in the future. Its coming up at £500 less than the MBP with only a 500gb SSD with just 8GB RAM.
If you don't need the mobility an iMac is a great choice. Know of any students in your family so you can get the student discount? Could be worth a try.

I used an iMac for years, great machines.
 

Amnesia180

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 29, 2017
37
2
If you don't need the mobility an iMac is a great choice. Know of any students in your family so you can get the student discount? Could be worth a try.

I used an iMac for years, great machines.
Seeing as it is only a single power cable, it means I could move it from time to time if needed to take anywhere. But I won't actually need the portability of an MBP, not for the vast difference in price.

Only thing concerning is the Fusion Drive and it not being SSD. Is this likely to cause much of a problem?
 

mike.coulter

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2008
179
23
Cardiff
Seeing as it is only a single power cable, it means I could move it from time to time if needed to take anywhere. But I won't actually need the portability of an MBP, not for the vast difference in price.

Only thing concerning is the Fusion Drive and it not being SSD. Is this likely to cause much of a problem?
Probably not, it's still plenty fast enough for normal use.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,284
2,276
Perth, Western Australia
Thanks again. I'm learning a lot.

Popped into the apple store today and I was advised an iMac would suit my needs better than a MBP.

They said the 21" 3.1 GHz, 16 GB RAM with a 1TB FD would be fine for editing etc. Is this the case?

I'm aware however, that I'm unable to upgrade this model in the future. Its coming up at £500 less than the MBP with only a 500gb SSD with just 8GB RAM.
Well, it depends on your requirements. if you want something to carry, the iMac won't work for that.

Faster, Desktop class CPUs are always going to be faster. Rendering output of your final project will most definitely be ~2x faster or more on an iMac. But thats something you can leave running in the background while you do something else. If you're a hobbyist and not on a time-frame to crank out large amounts of video, the trade off for losing the portability may not be worth it.

I guess you need to decide how much of this video stuff you're going to be doing vs. the convenience of having something portable. It's not like the 13" machines (or even an Air, or plan MacBook) can't do it, or even do editing quite competently; but most certainly there will be a huge difference in final render time. The actual cutting together, scrubbing through video and previews are just fine on the portable machines in my experience.
 

Amnesia180

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 29, 2017
37
2
Thanks for the detail. I'll be giving this some thought and will post back with what I decide!