Portable or desktop FW drive for editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by dhc, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. dhc macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    I’m going to buy an external firewire drive to use with my video files, while working in iMovie – there’s just not enough space on my 80GB Macbook Pro anymore.

    I’m still uncertain whether I’m going to go for a Lacie 80GB portable firewire drive or a Lacie 250GB desktop unit (both about the same price) - here are my (inconclusive) thoughts -

    Thoughts on a portable drive:Q. Do I need a portable firewire drive?
    A. Although I’ll probably do most of my editing at my desk, I’d quite like the option to take the drive with me and work wherever (particularly if its FW bus powered).

    Q. Would the lower capacity of a portable unit be an issue?
    A. I’m not sure I’d work on more than one project at a time (never have done in the past), so I think I’d be okay.

    BUT, with only one firewire input on the drive – I’d have to import to my hdd, then move it to the external (which is manageable, I suppose.)

    My thoughts on a desktop solution:
    Q. Do I need an additional 250GB drive (I already have a 250GB USB drive for backing up – clearly this won’t be useful for editing though)?
    A. Not really, but I’m sure I’ll find a use for the additional space over time.

    Q. Do I want another AC powered device on my desk (I have a ton of plugs and wires already)?
    A. Not really, but I could live with it.

    Q. Is the desktop Lacie THAT impractical for portable use?
    A. Probably not, but it's just more baggage..:eek:

    BUT, Can I successfully daisychain the camera through the external drive (there’s only one FW port on my MBP, but two on the Lacie) – will this cause any issues? I’ve read somewhere here that the best bet is to capture to your hdd, then copy to the external – just like with the portable..?

    If I’d have to capture to the hdd with either drive in the first instance, I’d probably lean toward the portable, but if I could have direct capture to the drive, I’d be tempted by the external.

    Indecisive? Me? Can I tap into your experiences and opinions, please?

    Ps -post longer than expected – :eek:
  2. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2006
    daisy chaining the drive and the disk, ehhh you really shouldn't. You'd saturate the bus and drop a ton of frames when you're importing the dv footage, I presume.

    The portable dive is slower than the desktop drive but I'm not sure that that would be an issue. Due to the firewire speed limit. On the portable drive you get 8ish hours of raw dv, on the desktop drive you get 25ish.

    I think you could power a full 3.5 desktop drive through the firewire bus.

    you could get some extra devices that would allow you to capture directly to the drive but they are expensive. You cant just record to disk.

    Why do you need the portable drive? Is their a sold reason why you absolutely need that drive? If not get the desktop drive.
  3. dhc thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    Thanks for taking the time to read and the response, Rokem.

    Ah, I see. I'd assumed that you could just identify a location (on any attached drive) to save an iMovie project - kind of like storing your Aperature library externally. So how would that work then? I create a new project on my local hdd, then copy that onto my external drive - then 'point' iMovie at the new location?
    No absolute need, but I think 250GB might be wasted space, and figure the portable unit, when required, would be exactly that. How often that would be 'required' is still a valid question though...:confused:
  4. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2006
    What you'd have to do is record your video to your internal disk than copy that imovie project to the external drive to work on it. You could then copy the imovie project over to the usb/firewire disk.

    If you're not going to be needing more than 8 hours of raw footage then get the portable drive.

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