Suggestion needed for Windows convert

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by freight dog, May 23, 2006.

  1. freight dog macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2006
    San Diego, Calif.
    Hey all,

    I'm about to buy a Mac to go along with my new Panasonic PV-GS500. I plan on producing videos for the web.


    Will the new Macbook with 1GB RAM be a good fit for me? What video software package should I invest time and money in: FC Express or iMovie?

    Any insight is sincerely appreciated. I can't wait to toss my worthless Windows machine.

    John in San Diego
  2. octoberdeath macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2005
    well it all really depends on what you want to do with your videos. i would recommend getting one of the MBPs if you want to do a lot of intensive graphical stuff. other wise i would invest in FC Express.
  3. ikonq macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2006
    Hey, Thought I'd offer some Advice.

    If you're going to do Standard Definition editing, Then the MacBook and MacMini will be enough.

    If you're going to be doing High Definition editing, Then the iMac, MacBook Pro and PowerMac would be more appropriate.

    It depends on what you want to do though.
    On a pro level, you shouldnt do anything without some sort of scratch disk.

    If you're just a home user, Get a MacBook with 1GB ram and upgrade the hard drive (Seagate have just released a 160GB laptop drive... :p), or use externals.

    Standard definition (or MiniDV) are really lightweight and can be handled by a MacBook very easily.

    In terms of software; iMovie is great to get started on, But limits you to 1 Video track and 2 Audio tracks.
    Final Cut Express is compatible with iMovie, and it gives you 99 Video and 99 Audio Tracks to work with. It includes Livetype, which is fairly cool, and soundtrack is good for just about all of your audio post production.

    The New final cut express features keyframing, which is really useful- and Photoshop support, so you can improvise your own Motion graphics, without having Motion Software. Ultimately- Final Cut Express is worth the money. Even if you start in iMovie, you'll eventually want to move up to the flexibility of FCE.

    Another cool thing is that if you ever use another monitor *hint 20" or 23" ACD hint*, you can resize windows to fit that display. In iMovie, your GUI is all in the one window.

    Hope this helps you.
  4. freight dog thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2006
    San Diego, Calif.
    Great advice, you all. It appears that FC Express is the route I need to go. I will indeed buy an external hard drive as well.

    Thanks again! Your advice is valuable.

  5. electronboy macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2005

    I know its a stretch, but you might want to consider a MacBook Pro and FC Express if you think you will ever do professional work.

    If your looking to make movies for yourself, friends or family iMovie on a MacBook will work OK, but you should plan on buying/learning FC Express at the minimum. Then if you ever need to work with big projects you already know the interface.
  6. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    iMovie comes free so you don't need to invest any money in it.

    MacWorld's benchmarks show hardly any difference between the MP and MBP for the iMovie action they tested so it doesn't look like lack of dedicated GPU hinders it much. And this thread discusses the MacBook with Final Cut Pro, where some benchmarks showed the MB as fast as the MBP.

    However, don't take my recommendation - I don't know a lot about video software (I've used only iMovie) and I don't know what FCE gives you that might be affected on the MB.
  7. octoberdeath macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2005

    glad to lend a hand... i know you will enjoy your new set up immensely
  8. ikonq macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2006
    Just as a reference in regards to what has been posted above;

    The MacBook and MacBook Pro will perform very similarly to each other in programs where they are rendered/encoded/processed by the main processor. The main thing that a Pro will help with is RT Extreme (Rendering in real time for previewing) and Motion.

    The other upside of a pro is that you can use a ExpressCard/34 Sata adapter, and connect Sata drives at faster speeds than the internal sata (according to benchmarks).

    The MacBook is more than capable of what you're after, but if you wait a little longer for the extra graphics grunt of a pro, you probably won't regret that either.
  9. freight dog thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2006
    San Diego, Calif.
    Thanks iKong and Linden. Good advice, appreciate you taking the time to voice your expert opinions.

  10. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    Don't forget - iMovie comes free. So you may as well wait and see if that's good enough before investing in something better.
  11. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    Final Cut Express will give you a lot of freedom and you will probably make better videos with FCE then in iMovie. If you are getting an external hard drive, make sure it is FIREWIRE, USB 2 is very troublesome with video and could cause problems.
  12. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    If you are producing video for the web (which we can assume is not HD), there is really no difference between the MB and the MBP in terms of rendering time. Save the money and get the MBP. You can put the extra cash into a good external monitor and plenty of RAM.

    I agree with most others here that FCE will do you just fine in terms of software.
  13. ikonq macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2006
    External Screens are very cool for FCE or FCP if you ever get one.

    What i see alot of people doing is moving their timeline and inspector etc. windows to their external monitor, and previewing on their built in monitor; or some people will use soundtrack on one and final cut on the other. (Quite sexy if you opt for an Apple Cinema Display too, because you get the FW and USB hub.

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