new to macs but want to join the club :)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by aquatwo, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. aquatwo macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2005
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Hello everyone,

    I am a diving instructor and have recently decided to become an u/w videographer instead. I know that I will enjoy the creative side, and wont have to dive 4 times a day. I have been advised by other videographers to get a Mac with iMovies to start with and then possibly upgrade the software later to Final Cut when I know a bit more about what I am doing.

    I have been researching the market and it looks like the Powerbook is a good bet as I travel a lot. My problem is that I dont want to buy one and find out there is not enough memory or the graphic card is not sufficient or whatever. I simply don't know enough about digital video requirements and a bit lost in all the lingo.

    I have decided on the Powerbook G4, 15" and beefed up all the specs that were available just to be sure... The spec I have arrived at is below, only the price tag on it is making me weep a little :)))

    Does anyone know if all the upgrades are neccesary (in bold) for video editing as I am not really planning to use it for much else apart from the Internet of course.

    In general I am very exited about owning a mac laptop as every review or comment i read people say they are in love with them :))

    PowerBook G4 – 15”


    2GB PC2-4200 DDR2 - 2x1GB SO-DIMMs

    100GB Ultra ATA drive (7200rpm)

    SuperDrive DL (DVD±RW/CD-RW)

     1440 x 960 resolution
     1.67GHz PowerPC G4
     ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 - 128MB DDR
     15.2-inch TFT display
     USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 & 800

    Price: £1607.67
    VAT: £281.34
    Total: £1889.01 (ouch!)

    Thanks in advance for any comments
  2. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    You can save a lot of money by getting that extra RAM through a third party vendor like Crucial.
  3. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2004
    You will probably want to get an external hard drive as well (Firewire 800, preferably). You will find that the 100MB hard drive will fill up fairly quickly.
  4. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
    It looks like you're in good shape. I would agree with checking out Crucial for RAM. They've been very good, for me. Also the External HD is pretty much a must. Lacie d2 Extreme 250 Gb has also worked well, personally. Welcome to the club! :)
  5. maddav macrumors 6502


    Jul 3, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    I know it was typo, but you're right that 100MB will last about a second!
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    As long as you shoot on MiniDV or HDV you don't need to worry too much about specs other than having enough external HDD space to store your media (you don't want to store media on the internal drive). Something else to consider is when do *need* to buy? I ask because Apple laptops are going to get a major revision soon. Maybe as early as an announcement in Jan 06 (of course the PB's may not be a part of that announcement). But I guess that no later than summer '06 the PB's will make the switch to intel (and hopefully much better performance). On the flip side there will always be something better "down the line" and, personally, I wouldn't want a Rev A of any computer, especially if it was for business. I'll take slight slower, but proven dependable over faster and buggy any day.

  7. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2004
    ha ha ! yeah!
    I must have been eating marshmallows when I typed it - the mgamgamytes!

    The reason I suggested another disk is because I do little home movies & animations in my "spare time" :rolleyes: and I use my external 200GB (no marshmallows this time!) quickly when I'm loading from the camera before compressing. My PB has an 80GB internal disk that I reserve for work - the external disk is for backups and playtime.
  8. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    As other have, I recommend buying the RAM form a reputable third party dealer, and not through Apple. Apple charges a premium for their RAM, and you can save a lot of money by buying elsewhere. Crucial is a good place, as is CanadaRAM, and DataMEM, and there are many others, however the main things to keep in mind are a) doe the dealer offering a lifetime guarantee? and b) does the dealer have a Mac-specific compatibility guarantee? If the answer to either or both of these questions is "no", go somewhere else, it isn't worth the risk. :cool:

    Also, if you will be doing video editing, I think an external HD is a good idea. I personally prefer using an HD enclosure instead, but for you an external drive is probably the simplest solution. :)

    Otherwise, that machine looks amazing, and I think it will meet all your needs. Welcome to the Apple universe, and if you ever have any further questions, just ask them, we're all here to help! :cool:
  9. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    Good Set-Up, your going to need an external drive for all your videos to get the best performance. 2 gigs of ram will have u set for the future.

    Enjoy the "Mac Experience"
  10. aquatwo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2005
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Thank you all so much for your comments, I feel like I am part of the family already :)

    I will certainly take all the advice on board. Sounds like you guys saved me a lot of money already.

    Thanks again you all lovely mac people!
  11. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    I HIGHLY recommend the LaCie 500GB external FW drive. (I've read a FEW bad things on the 1TB drive, but no first-hand knowledge)
    The 500GB is instananeous in response and reasonably priced. I do a LOT of V-editing, and it has never failed me.
    DON'T buy the Maxtor Drives, IMHO. I've had too many fail, and I've had a couple dozen.
    To be fair, the LaCie is hooked to my G5 tower on the 800MB port. If you're looking for portability and use of the 400MB port, please consider the FireLite by SmartDisk. I have 40 of the 100GB models, and they do EVERYTHING. I clone to them, edit from them, and they need no powersupply. I carry them home in my pocket. In my line of work the FireLite is in the top 10 MUST haves, and maybe the single most important tool I use.
    As for ram, if you can spare the dough, stick with the Apple ram and not third-party. TOO many horror stories... and Apple will stand behind theirs.
    GOT to have a SuperDisk!
  12. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    I second these recommendations, however, for the benefit of our new Mac user aquatwo, I just wanted to point out a couple things he may not be aware of. :)

    Lacie makes great HD solutions, however, for what it's worth, you should know that Lacie does not manufacture their own hard drives. It is a common mistake I hear people make, saying, "I don't like Seagate or Maxtor, but Lacie drives are great!". This is incorrect - Lacie uses other drives in their machines, and have been known to use Maxtors, for instance. Now, Lacie does an excellent job in putting together the "complete package", (just as Apple does a good job of putting together all of their miscellaneous third party products to make their Macs), and I do recommend them, but I just want to clear up any misconceptions that are out there. Because in the end, you might just happen to be buying a Maxtor drive when you buy a Lacie. ;)

    I also do not recommend Maxtor - I have had nothing but troubles with them as well, personally and what I've experienced from friends and coworkers.

    Also, if you need to be cost-conscious, don't worry about getting an external drive with FW800, as it does cost a bit more money. The reason I say this is because you rarely realize the full speed that FW800 has to offer, as the system can't write at that high of a speed consistently. FW400 is definitely adequate, and although there is improved speed if you go to FW800, it is not as much as you might think.

    Hope this helps! :cool:
  13. freeny macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2005
    Location: Location:
    Ive had two Lacie drives fry on me. 1- 120gigabyte and 1- 2terrabyte. I believe the fact that I am always on the move constantly plugging and unplugging has put a burdon on the lacie drives. the 120gb had a fried casing and wiring and the 2tb could not be diagnosed. I cant reccomend lacie drives for on the go work. At Tekserve here in NYC they will also tell you that Lacie drives are "substandard".
  14. Doozy macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2005
    I don't know about the rest of the folks here but, I found iMovie hard to use. Although I was editing in Final Cut since 2.0 and when iMovie came out I just gave up on it because I couldn't figure it out. It is so different than any other editing program that I have used it just didn't come natural.

    So what I am trying to say is maybe instead of using iMovie buy Final Cut Express with the money you saved from buying third party RAM, this will allow for an easier transition to Final Cut Pro when your ready to take that next step.

    Good luck with your new U/W Video sounds really exciting. Way to go.

    I would love to see some of your work when you are ready, I use a lot of stock footage, so I may have a need for cool underwater footage in the future.
  15. aquatwo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2005
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Thanks again everyone. I was getting worried I was going to buy the wrong thing, but I feel much more confident making a decision, even though I would admit some of it doesn't make sence until I google it or look it up in the IT webopedia. But I am getting there. :D Learned a lot already just researching all the suggested products and ended up reading up on other stuff.

    I like the idea of that one. In my line of work the smaller it is and the less it weighs the better. Excess luggage charges kill me everytime. Also I can add them if/when I need them. Cool. I like small gadgets.

    Doozy, once I shoot anything worth watching I will post a link for you. It will take a little time though, it takes ages to actually see anything cool, most of the time its just the big blue. :) Sharks and turtles and stuff always hide.

    Regarding the software, see the point there too. Is Express very different from the Pro? Would it make sence to just get the Pro if thats where I will be heading to? I might even go on a course while I am in the UK for the next couple of months. So once I shoot the stuff I will already know what to do with it. :)

    Thanks again everybody, you have no idea how much you have helped!

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