Switching from windows to Mac: clueless DV beginner

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by CP450, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. CP450 macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2007
    I have decided to make the switch from windows to Mac and I want to replace my desktop with a Macbook Pro (not yet purchased). I have several hours of raw DV vacation videos (not HD) that I want to begin to edit, as well as a few thousand photos. I have absolutely zero experience with this. I'm not a photographer/videographer, I simply want to enhance my current photos and video for personal enjoyment. I'm not yet certain if I want to turn this into a hobby of sorts. That being said, I plan on replacing my current camcroder with an HD model sometime this year for a trip to Europe (I don't know how relevant this may be). I have a few questions on the best options to begin my migration to OS X:

    1. What is the best way to set-up an external "scratch disk" for editing (I assume this is a good idea from what I have read)?

    2. Also, how can I best set-up an external drive for back-up in conjunction with this? RAID? NAS?

    3. What size and speed would be recommended for the internal HD on a new MBP?

    4. Should I start with iMovie/iDVD or start with FCE? How about for photo editing. I'm not a photographer/videographer, I simply want to enhance my current photos and video for personal enjoyment. I'm not yet certain I want to turn this into a hobby of sorts.

    Well, this should get things started. I'm a blank slate at this point and would appreciate any suggestions. I apologize if this in the wrong forum. Thanks!
  2. Texas04 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2005
    1. I would have two externals, one for your video media, and one for backups, as far as the video media, I would use iMovie to begin with and do all of your projects on your external drive, either USB 2.0 or Firewire will be fine, (consider the ports and that you will have your firewire camcorder taking up the firewire connection on your computer).

    2. For backups I would do another External USB 2.0 and with Leopard, just back up. (I would consider a USB hub as well).

    3. The biggest one you can get considering the amount of media you have.

    4. I would start with iMovie/iDVD, and if it really is limiting you, (I don't think it will for a while if you are a beginner, then go to FCE. Also iPhoto will be fine for your pictures. Again if you are crazy about this stuff you can always upgrade later. iMovie, iDVD, and iPhoto are free! :)
  3. ppc_michael Guest


    Apr 26, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA

    1: Scratch Disk
    There is no special format or setup for a scratch disk, you can use any hard drive. In iMovie, captured footage is saved to the drive that the project file is saved on. In Final Cut Express/Pro, you can explicitly set the location of your scratch disk in the System Preferences menu.

    2: Backup
    As of right now, there are a few automated backup solutions available for purchase, but I am not really familiar with any of them, so perhaps someone else can elaborate. However, when 10.5 Leopard is released in October, it includes a system-wide backup feature called Time Machine. So if I were you, I would wait until Leopard and not buy anything extra. :)

    3: Internal Hard Disk
    That's really up to you. For capturing video, 7200 RPM is highly recommended, which I don't believe the MBP can offer internally. That's where the external drive comes in. ;)

    4: Editing Software
    I think starting with iMovie would be the most reasonable choice, so you can see how you like it before spending money on something more involved. Plus it's kinda-sorta similar to Windows Movie Maker, which you might be familiar with. iPhoto (also preinstalled on your MBP) is a pretty cool photo management application that has basic photo enhancement features (red eye, brightness/contrast/exposure, color temperature, cropping, etc). For the more advanced stuff, Photoshop is still king.
  4. CP450 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2007
    Thanks for the help...just a few more questions

    I just have a few more questions for follow-up:

    1. What are the best Mac-focused websites (besides this EXCELLENT site) that a new Mac user can use to learn the ropes?

    2. Will there be an upgrade of Office for Mac soon?

    3. 160GB 7200 internal HD configured when I order OR purchase a 200gb 7200 and install myself?

    4. Any thoughts on partitioning the HD (internal)? Should I make separate partitions for OS, programs, data, and one for Windows (if I ever use it)?

    5. Basically, I could have a single drive as a scratch drive and connect it to the MBP when I am editing and have a separate back-up system to move the scratch disk data to? Could I connect the back-up drive to airport extreme and use as a wireless NAS with access from any Mac? I guess the only issue here is speed vs. FW connection? Would it be best for the back-up to be mirrored RAID?

    6. Bootcamp, Parallels, or VMWare?

    Thanks again for the help! I'm going to order after I get some guidance on these issues.
  5. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2005
    2-I'm not sure, but there is always openoffice to try before you buy MS Office. The best part is that its free.

    6-Bootcamp if you are running graphics intensive programs or anything major really will run best with this. As far as VMWare vs parallels, I seem to hear vmware is a little more stable but I don't have any experience with either.
  6. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC

    Date for new office is uncertain, but expectations are this Fall, or certainly by the end of the year.

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