MacBook Air For Video Editing??

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by RRKPL, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. RRKPL macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2007
    At present I have a 12" MacBook Pro 1.5Ghz G4 laptop with an 80GB hard drive that I take with me on video shoots to do limited editing. I usually hook it up to a external firewire drive and have used it to put together rough cuts in SD and HDV without much of a hassle. I'd love to get a MacBook Air but was wondering if the small Hard Drive (44000RPM?) and trying to use a USB external drive would be a hassle. We shoot to P2 cards and getting the video to the laptop wouldn't be a problem, I'm just wondering if the drive and the I/O speed of the USB would be fast enough.


  2. techlover828 macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2007
  3. matthewHUB macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2005
    i made a thread about this a week ago. I'm sure if you search it it'll come up with good info.

    I'm obviously not as experienced as you for editing. but something came up about using USB... drops frames as it writes in bursts as opposed to firewire which writes continuously. do a search and check out the thread.
  4. MvdM macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2005
    Buy the MacBook Pro. It has a faster processor, can handle more memory, has FireWire, more USB connectors etc.
  5. Srestrepo macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2007
    Thats what I thought he meant that too. I do a lot of video editing at home and work for MLB. And I can say without a doubt in my mind this machine will not do you justice. If you want to do some editing and not be tied down to space,power,and time just get a MBP at the very least. Dont get me wrong, I love the MPA but its not meant for intensive applications. my 2 cents.
  6. RRKPL thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Yes I meant Powerbook (Just now having first caffeine for the day :)

    I understand the advantages of a MBP I've just been enjoying the smaller form factor of the 12" Powerbook and also leave the serious editing till I get back to the edit suite. It was one of those "Oh, wouldn't it be nice" moments, but I'm guessing I may need to wait another year or two.

    Thanks for the input,

  7. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007

    Eh, I have to disagree. The OP is using the 12" Powerbook and so far he's gotten along very well. The processing power in the Air is plenty powerful for video editing or it wouldn't work with the latest iMovie and iMovie 08 takes up a lot of system resources. I played around with iMovie at Macworld and the Air held it's own very well.
    The Intel 1.6 or 1.8Ghz processor is more than enough in spite of the 4200rpm disc speed. You won't see much difference between 4200 and 5400 inside the current MBP's. I would say if the OP needs the Air for thin and light form factor video editing would work very well.
    The Air is not an old iBook.
  8. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Aug 22, 2007
    MBA looks like its going to be a great laptop for a certain market but for what you are describing you are going to be doing a Macbook Pro is really the only way to go and by far the best option for your needs. :apple:
  9. Srestrepo macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2007
    I am going to disagree with you. When your using apps like imovie and final cut your using intensive processing power. iMovie is nothing compared to final cut but most people here who i've seen that do video editing will not use iMovie ( its a simple and meant for the first time user video editing app). Yes MPA is the newest tech out today but at 1.8 Ghz (max) your lucky if you can edit video ( when I say video I'm taking family home video, commericals, vacations, etc) in an hour when the MBP can do it in way less time. I only say this because I would with MLB and I edit highlight reels for TV so I wouldn't want to handcuff myself to a MBA when the MBP give me the mobility and power I need.
  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    MBA will be faster on almost everything when compared with the 12" Powerbook g4.

    Processor power
    MacBook Pro > MacBook Air > PowerBook G4

    Lack of firewire on MBA is disappointing, for some it will be a deal breaker (until MBA comes with firewire), for some that does not matter.

    SSD drive > high speed desktop Raptor > 7200rpm laptop drive > 5400rpm drive > 4200 rpm.
  11. andboom macrumors member


    Aug 8, 2007
    The Macbook Air doesn't lend itself to Final Cut Pro video editing. As far as I'm aware, Final Cut Pro requires a graphics card (not graphics chip) in order to install / run, which is why a Macbook isn't supported either. Furthermore, even if FCP would run on it, the only video devices you could capture from would be USB based and then you would have to capture to your internal drive (which in all likelihood would be too slow anyway, what with system processes happening in the background as well), and even with a USB hub you wouldn't be able to attach external storage to capture to because it wouldn't be able to sustain the data transfer on the same USB bus as the video device. You'd be better off running a 12" Powerbook for basic in-the-field digitising/editing - I still use mine for DVCAM / HDV and it works great. I wish Apple would produce a 13" Macbook Pro with an expresscard34 slot, fw400 and fw800 to cater for pros on the move :)
  12. RRKPL thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Your right Andboom. I've been using the 12 Powerbook for FCP editing in the field since they came out and I've been amazed at how well it's done. The first time I edited HDV on it I was sure it would choke up but it didn't. I have been using it with an external firewire powered Acom portable drive and it both captures and does simple edits with the Acom for storage and FCP on the internal 80Gb drive. It would be soo cool it they came out with a small form factor MBP 13" inch. My girlfriend has a 15" MBP and lugging that around vs my 12" Powerbook is quite a difference.
  13. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    The OP did say "Limited Editing". I don't know what your needs are but I use iMovie 06 for extensive edits and more special effects and I use iMovie 08 for quick edits and posting to YouTube. Those are generally things you do with limited editing. The OP did not mention anything about studio editing. I think anyone at this point that knows computers would know that the AIR is not for FCP.
    For the record, iMovie 08 is heavy on system resources and the AIR handled it very well when I used it. Fire up iMovie and play a quick video and check Activity Monitor. I have an iMac 24" 2.8 Ghz and iMovie used a lot of the CPU.
  14. JasonBourne9 macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2008
    So strange to see all these titles of threads from people who seem to be completely missing the point of the MBA...

    I can't wait to see:
    "MacBook Air for dedicated hardcore game machine?"
    "MacBook Air to replace room full of 8-core Mac Pros in 3D rendering farm?"
    "MacBook Air as corporate mainframe server for Fortune 100 company?"

    People - it's an ultraportable. It's going to work exceptionally well as an always-with-you, email, office apps, web machine. It's going to work decently to acceptably on moderately demanding modern uses such as complex media, photo manipulation, light video work, etc... and it's going to be very marginal for truly demanding stuff that requires fast processors, dedicated video, lots of fast storage space, etc...

    Seems like a simple to understand concept to me.
  15. kockgunner macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    (sorry for the bump)

    so what's the general consensus for how smoothly imovie runs on the macbook air. I just want to make a a few home movies and i'll probably never touch final cut pro in my life -- is the air going to run any slower than say a macbook when usingn imovie? is the HD speed gonna bottleneck the performance or anything?

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